Some Small Abe’s Room Changes and Ugly Stain

This post is supposed to be about staining the porch floor. Because, in fact, we DID stain the porch floor this week. Even though our progress was delayed by a hurricane and all (we live four hours or so from the ocean. We are not used to hurricanes. Dave was out of school for 3 days because so many of the schools in the county didn’t have electricity. But we were fine. We never even lost power. Thinking of everyone in harder hit places and hoping the hurricanes will just STOP already this fall). I’ll talk more about the process in the post where I actually have a finished floor to show you, but for now let me fast forward to the part where I was inside talking about The Great Gatsby with Ari and his friend and lit class companion for the year, Lula and Dave called me out to take a look at the almost finished stained porch.

(Aside: I hadn’t read Gatsby since college and I didn’t remember a whole lot about it, and then I reread it and thought, “wow. This is some good stuff.” And then I read a few essays that were very critical of the book and I got very, very defensive of it and outraged about all those people who just don’t understand Gatsby! You’re not supposed to like Daisy! Even if you think Gatsby’s parties seem like fun (and perhaps my reading of the book as an introvert who hates parties comes into play here, because I think they sound awful), you can’t read the book as some sort of apologetic for 1920’s hedonism. It’s totally NOT. GAH!)

Where was I?

Right, so I went out to have a look, after making sure Lula and Ari understood that the American dream is a bunch of crap, at least in a literary sense, and I saw this:

“Oh,” I said, “I sort of hate that.”

Honestly, I had my worries as soon as the (not super cheap) stain was mixed that it was too orange-y. But I tried to make myself confident that it was going to look great once it was on the floor, because, well…it was already mixed at that point. But yuck. No.

Also, the grain in the plywood, that I thought I would not mind so much, looks really….grainy with that stain. We should have gone with an opaque stain. (This one was supposed to be “semi-opaque” but I sure can see that wood grain through it just fine).

So the good news is that NOW the porch is almost stained for real with a different, much better stain. But not quite, so I can’t show you yet.

But I want to at least check in here at least once a week, even if I don’t have a big exciting all finished project to share, so I’m here to tell you about the porch stain fail, blather about The Great Gatsby, and show you a few updated photos of Abe’s room while I’m here.

kid's room with book ledges from Ikea

Abe is my first kid who’s really into dressing up, so I’ve been keeping my eye open for something to keep his dress up clothes in. Like this vintage suitcase I found at the thrift store the other day, for example:

vintage suitcase for dress up clothes

Incidentally, you’re going to see Fergus the Scottie in most of these photos. And he’s going to be completely in focus, despite the one or two second shutter speed I was using in a lot of them, because he’s very, very still much of the time. That’s why he’s in the pictures and Abe, whose room this is, is not. Because 4 year old boys move a lot more than 5 year old Scotties.

Abe is very excited about his dress-up suitcase, but it meant we needed to do some shuffling around of toys and whatnot. Because he used to have a big bin of blocks and his Land of Nod campfire set at the end of his bed.

Abe's National Parks Room with Novogratz bed

There was a little used, much abused by cats, armchair in another corner of his room. That corner looked like this:

So I dragged the little used (except for piling stuff on) chair out (into the hallway. I still need to figure out where it goes next) and moved toys and now we have this:

Not necessarily prettier, but more practical with extra room for toys and playing and easier access to the chalkboard for drawing, too.

Also, I finally got out some packing tape and fixed that ripped map. Which was very satisfying, and now I feel silly for not having done it earlier.

Next time! Finished porch floor? I think so. Our travel trailer has been at the service place for forever and we’re finally picking it up tomorrow and taking it somewhere or other this weekend. But I think we’re close enough to a finished porch floor that we can have that AND a weekend in the mountains.



Some Small Abe’s Room Changes and Ugly Stain — 7 Comments

  1. The stain fail doesn’t look orange-y on my screen. It looks brownish, but still pretty ugly. And definitely not semi-opaque. Semi-demi-hemi-opaque, maybe.

    I have never read Gatsby, despite many friends who love it. I’ve read the first few pages several times and thought “I just don’t care enough to bother.” I’ve read several Fitzgerald short stories (though I can’t remember them now) so I know his writing is masterly, but that’s not enough for me. Lit-crit: this would be why when I went to grad school it was in library science, not English. .

    • Yes, different screens make such a difference; this is how I wound up finally breaking down and buying a Mac a few months ago–it was what my pictures looked the best on (I spent a long time pulling up my blog on every computer for sale in Best Buy). I actually didn’t start really caring about Gatsby until after the first couple of chapters…but I’m sure I would never have made it that far if I didn’t HAVE to for the kids. It’s like being in school all over again, for better and for worse.

  2. i just love his room and love the vintage suitcase for dress up- perfect idea! and i love a dog who doesn’t move… mine always try to walk by when i am taking photos and i am over here yelling at them to stop, but of course snow ball is deaf, and i can’t hit the ground to get her attention because then my camera will move a little… ugh the struggle!!! i need a 5 year old scottie instead please. and i have also read the great gatsby a few years ago and have a fondness for it! those critics are just mean.

    • Thanks, Cassie! Fergus definitely has his flaws and I’m not sure his ability to turn himself into a statue quite makes up for them ;), but we love him anyway. I read a poem awhile back about a Scottie that talked about how his darkness “brought out the hero in photographers,” so I try to be a hero and take good pictures of my Scottie 🙂

  3. I love Abe’s room – the book area is probably my favorite. But I also love the costume trunk – and appreciate that you have a costume trunk. All children need too many costumes. The world according to me. 😉

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