Hex heaven and hell

So, here’s a funny story I failed to share with you at the time. As you all know, bated-breath-daily-readers, my son began Kindergarten in our public school this year. What this really means is that we entered the Realm of the PTO Fundraiser. Now, I’m delighted by the Japanese drummers and such that the PTO helps pay for, so I cheerfully forked over my dues. Then there was the big Halloween fundraiser. Every family was expected to sell 12 cash raffle tickets at $5 a piece (or $25 for six). I toyed with offering to swap purchases with our similarly be-Kindergartenered neighbors. But when I jokingly mentioned this “great opportunity” to my mother-in-law, she actually professed a desire to part with money for these tickets and demanded I offer said opportunity to my parents as well. Bemused, I did. And thus I disposed of our 12 obliged tickets, end of story.

Or not. We left the Halloween party prior to the great unveiling of winners, but not being the optimistic sort thought nothing of it. Until the day my mother-in-law arrived home to find a $500 check. She was the grand prize winner!

Now, long time readers of the blog will know that one of my mother-in-law’s favorite hobbies is home renovation. Namely: our home. It started with painting the basement floor the week we moved in. Then we had Thane’s prenatal bedroom renovation (she painted), our bedroom repainting (while I was gone one day), the kitchen repainting, the hallway repainting (she’s a genius with paint), the entry-way transformation early one post-Piemas morning, and the infamous “I’m sure the tile under the carpet is in fine shape” bathroom renovation just this September. All this she has accomplished despite living 1000 miles away and weighing 90 pounds wet. (To be fair, my parents helped demo Thane’s room and repainted the living room 3 years ago this week. But they don’t daydream about our attic the same way Laureen does.) And I’m sure I’m forgetting one or two more minor renovations she instigated or executed. So she decided what she wanted to do with her money was to “update” something in our house – generously leaving the choice of what up to me.

"Before" picture... from before we painted the living room
"Before" picture... from before we painted the living room

Watching how hard it was to use the XBox Kinect in our smallish living room as currently configured, I finally decided it was time to pull the trigger and get rid of the ancient CRT media center we had gotten for free because they didn’t want to move it when we moved into our last rented house. So Thursday was planned as a trip to IKEA.

Both boys are now old enough to go to “Smaland” – which was great. It gave us just enough time to scope out the available options, attempt to decide if glass shelves were advantageous or disadvantageous, and put together A Plan. We blessed our larger vehicle with the roof-rack as we vibrated home up I93. Then we had dinner with friends, put the kids to bed, and sat down with massive amounts of cardboard, Swedish instructions, hex wrenches and the Mythbusters. Half an hour past midnight, the pieces were all assembled, but we were too tired to put them in place. So this afternoon, we attached, wired, organized and otherwise prepared for our new configuration.

I confess I’m pleased as punch about just how nice it looks. Here it is in daylight:

Daylight demonstration
Daylight demonstration

I just took this one, so the light’s different but you can see more:

I can hardly express how much BIGGER the room seems!
I can hardly express how much BIGGER the room seems!

And as a bonus, here’s my husband hard at work:

He actually has a hex bit for his drill
He actually has a hex bit for his drill

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2 thoughts on “Hex heaven and hell

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