Friday, May 29, 2009

Closet Tales Part 2

I'm sure you all were just waiting for the next installment. And since I aim to please, here you are. And, not only am I going to show you how I did it, I'll show you how you can do it too.

First, here's how the area looked when I cleaned it all out. It's hard to tell without any references how big the area is, but it's about 6 feet wide and 10 feet tall.

Next, here are the tools you'll need for the job. Very basic stuff. Notice the cute helper. That's important. :)

The first step is to install the header rail across the top. Be sure to screw this into studs. Then you can attach the drop-down brackets. The kit includes some handy spacers that keep the rails exactly 24 inches apart. This is important if you plan to use any accessories like a cubbie or a basket because their hooks are set 24 inches apart.

Once you have your brackets in place, you screw them down and you should have something like this.

Really, if you've done your planning, the hardest part is done. You can now start installing your shelves and hanging bars based on where you've decided you need them.

Here's the top shelf installed, and my helper installing extension brackets. Since the brackets are only 4 feet long, if you have shelves that span a greater distance than that (and my 10 foot ceilings made that a given) you can get a nifty extension kit for your brackets.

Here's a few more shelves and hanging rods added.

Now with the accessories. I used the shoe cubbie to roll up my thin sweaters. The baskets hold my shorts and t-shirts.

And here's the finished product! Most people would have closet doors covering theirs. My won't since it's just attached to a wall in the room. But I kinda feel like I'm sleeping in a clothing boutique. Not the worst thing in the world!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Create a Closet

This is another installment in the occasional series of my home improvement projects. You can find other installments here (closet into an office), here (installing a faucet with nonsensical instructions), here (installing wood laminate flooring), and here (home improvement replaces Buns of Steel).

This was a fun job and involved no blood loss. A first for me, I think.

Here's the setup. I moved into an old Victorian house. It's been added on to several times, with rooms just sort of stuck on here and there. Basically, I had three living rooms. Upstairs there are two large bedrooms and one that's merely an over-sized closet. No one wanted that room so the cat got it. So if each kid got a room upstairs, I had none.

Plus, I don't do stairs, or rather, my knees don't do stairs. And the heat and A/C don't work upstairs. So clearly one of my three living rooms needed to be my bedroom. And one was perfect, set apart from everything else by a doorway that had held a set of doors, which I replaced with curtains. It just didn't have a closet.

I tried using the closet under the stairs but it was small, dark, and left no place to put coats. I also got an armoir, but had the same problem. I also used the closet in the cat's room. A combo of all three held my clothes but was a pain to try and find anything and still required trips (sometimes multiple) up the stairs.

So I decided to put a closet in my room.

I'd installed closets before, so I knew I could do it. I just needed to find a system that was free standing since I was going to mount it directly to the wall and it wouldn't have any end supports. And I found one.

I made measurements of my clothes in different categories--shirts, pants, long hanging dresses--so I'd know how much shelf space and hanging space I'd need for each group. Then I found a kit that came close to what I needed. You can create one yourself if you don't mind using heavy duty wire cutters and trying to count how many little clips and brackets you need.

But before the fun stuff, you have to clean. This was the area I was going to put my shelf in.

And this was all the stuff I had to get in that area when the closet was done.

And I'll show you how I did it in the next installment. I'm sure you just can't wait.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Laughter is Serious Business

I like laughing. I like things that are funny. And if they aren't funny, I generally try to find a way to make them so. I amuse myself quite often. Others probably not so much. But that's okay.

So, if you are intrigued by all things funny, you might check out this post on the Simpleology blog.

Blogger Bean Jones discusses Robert R. Provine's book, Laughter: A Scientific Investigation, which discusses the psychology behind laughter, as well as its mental benefits.

Jones uses this quote from the book:

"Laughter is a fundamental part of the texture of everyday life," says Provine. "It is so fundamental, in fact, that we tend to forget how strange--and how important--it is. Yet while laughter is one of the most common human behaviors, it has, until recently, escaped the scientific scrutiny that has dissected every other aspect of our characters."

Sounds intriguing and I plan on checking it out. But wouldn't it really be fun to be a scientist studying laughter? Just think of the possibilities...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Free books!

It times like these I wish I had a Kindle or a Sony eReader. Reading e-books on my computer is not my idea of fun. It's okay, it's just that I spend so much time on my computer that when I want to curl up with a book, I don't want it to be on my computer.

But still, e-book or not, a free book is a free book. Something I don't pass up. And I'm passing the info on to you.

First, there's Colleen Coble's Distant Echoes. Go to her website and e-mail her to get the code for the free download.

Second, publisher David C. Cook is offering a download of Scared. Check it out here.

On a completely unrelated note, spring has morphed quickly into summer here in Indiana. 87 today! I'm not complaining! I need to get my camera out and get some pictures of my flowers in bloom. Might as well get some good use out of all that pollen that's stuffing my head up like a mattress!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


If you want your comfortable world rocked, go check out Melissa Fitzpatrick's blog entries on the Living Proof Live blog. Melissa is Beth Moore's daughter and she's been blogging about her trip to India with Compassion International.

Last month Denver and the Mile High Orchestra came to town (he's a hometown boy) to play. And during their concert they took the time to show a video about Compassion and encourage people to become sponsors. I'm always so touched when people take the time to promote God's work when they could easily be promoting their own work. Clearly Compassion's work has touched many people's lives, not just the children, but their sponsor's as well.

Melissa's blog entries are a perfect example of that. I can't even begin to do it justice so you just need to go there and read it for yourself. But here's a word she has for the sponsors of these children.

They identified with us because we represented to them their individual sponsors. Let me tell you, no let me assure you- your sponsor child knows your name. Not just your first name. Your last name, too. They lined up with drums to usher you into the place you’ve financially provided for them. A place of hope. A place where that abstract verb “to dream” becomes something that just might be tangible. A place where they hear for the first time that they have dignity and worth before the Most High God. They treasure the letters that you write to them. They don’t toss them in the trash. No, they store them in a safe place. And this will really get you. If you sponsor a child in India, you’re probably the only one who has ever told your child, “I love you.” Our Compassion India specialist told us that in the Indian culture, particularly among the poor, parents do not express love to their children. She said, “Even though the parents really do love their children, they don’t show it. Rarely does a parent actually come out and express their love for their child.” Can you imagine? Let it sink in. You, even though you might think you’re just a little sponsor person who hastily filled out a form during a concert, are most likely the only adult who has blatantly expressed love for this child. A real living and breathing child.

For me personally, this comment made me stop and think. I'm still thinking about it and how it should change my daily life.

I read something recently that Richard Bauckham wrote and it really rocked me. He said, “Poverty, in a sense, exposes the truth of the human situation in its need of God. It dispels the illusion of being self-sufficient and secure, with no need of God. The poor are those whose material condition enables them to see more clearly than most the human need to be wholly reliant on God. It is in this sense that the biblical poor are understood as paradigmatic in their faith.” (Richard Bauckham, Wisdom of James, disciple of Jesus the Sage, 190).

What are you still reading my blog for? Go. Read. Now. Then do something about what you read.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Has technology shaped you for better or for worse?

That's the thought-provoking question brought to us courtesy of this article in Christianity Today.

In the article, Mark Galli interviews Shane Hipps, a former advertising strategic planner in advertising and now a Mennonite pastor. Not only do they discuss modern technology but the history of technology and how it has affected us in the past. Like with anything, we need to be aware of how these things are shaping our lives and use discernment. A great read, worth checking out.