Monday, December 20, 2010

Into the breach: COWS officially begins today

Well, all the academic hoopla and falderal has been put to bed and tucked in for a three week rest, and I am left with a seemingly vast period free time with which to play. Past experience has taught me, however, that it is not as vast as I think it is. Here's how it usually goes: I blink, and the semester has started up again.

This time I'm going into my rest and recovery period with a plan, though. This time, I'm not going to fritter the time away and then wonder why my batteries didn't get recharged while watching Sandra Lee cook from a can on the Tee-Vee. This time, I'm going to do the thing that does re-charge me, and that is to use my time to make something.

Actually, I've got a plan to make two somethings. The first, as I've telegraphed to you already, is a little writing project I've been wanting to get up and running. That starts today, and as you know, I have decided  to give it the code name of "COWS." (The story actually has nothing to do with cows, so if you were hoping against hope to read a little tale about Guernseys taking a boat to the Caribbean and being captured by pirates, only to save the day by teaching the hearties how to put down their weapons and make peanut butter sandwiches with dill pickles, I fear you will suffer great disappointment.) All I will say about it at this point is that it is a mystery. (By that I don't mean that it is a mystery about what I will write, though that may certainly also be the case. No, I mean that I am writing a mystery story.)

The second project will be a small woodworking one. I was taken with a couple of beautiful ottomans I saw on the recent neighborhood Holiday Home Tour, and have decided that that is what I need to complete the recent makeover of our front room. However, our front living room is not very big, so I can't go large. Unfortunately, every ottoman I've seen in town looks big enough to host a NASCAR race on top.

Naturally, I am as pleased as punch about this, since it gives me the perfect excuse to custom make an ottoman to fit our space. I have a lot of leftover cherry from the blanket chest project, so this is something I could do for very little cost. It should also be a fairly easy project (as compared to the bench or blanket chest projects of the summer), so I think I can get it done with just a couple of hours of work each day over the course of the break.

So here's my plan for my days:

  • Exercise to start the day (running, cycling, weight lifting)
  • Woodworking in the morning
  • Writing in the afternoon
  • Spontaneous gardening in between

Walu is taking a trip to Boston for a conference directly after Christmas, so my time is more or less my own for about a full week of this break. (Actually, he's so wonky about reading and writing all the time that he wouldn't get in the way even if he were to be here the whole break.)

That's the plan. On today's docket: Start milling the wood this morning and work on chapter two this afternoon (I've already written chapter one).

I'll leave you with a closing shot of the cherry that I pulled out of the wood pile yesterday, in anticipation of making the ottoman.

Don't take any wooden nickels. Unless they are cherry, then it might be okay.


  1. It's hard to picture you watching TV.

    Good luck on the ottoman. And writing.

    PS I took your advice and went running this morning. Felt nice.

  2. Working on a kitchen cabinet myself. Drawers, doors and counter top left to do. Damn, does sound like I did much.

  3. As I sit here with my own winter break lapping at my toes, I am inspired by your schedule. Nasty cold, lazy bones and to-do list be damned! I WILL partake in restorative activities. Thank you, Susan, for your continued inspiration.

  4. May I suggest an ottoman serving tray to match? In a small living room, it is a great way to serve dog-level snacks.

  5. Eileen--Good for you! I always feel better when I am running regularly.

    Jordan--Miss you, bud! If you need to borrow any tools, just let me know. ;-)

    Susan--Um, I dunno. I like colds and lazy bones as excuses...

    Carmella--Funny, Gracie suggested the same thing...

  6. Have fun although I was really into the cow story. Really.

    Merry Merry Christmas.~~Dee

  7. You never fail to make me smile~Loving the cow story and think your exercise first plan is exactly right! gsil


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