Thursday, May 23, 2013

Another 30x30 Check!

As my 30th birthday rapidly approaches, I am suddenly feeling the pressure to knock the (many) remaining items off my 30x30 list. I've started to accept that I may not get them all checked off...but I am going to give it my best effort!

One of the items I was especially excited about was #7 - Learn a new skill. I had a list of skills I would like to learn (that's right folks, a list within a list!) and basically just waited until an opportunity presented itself. And a couple of weekends ago, one did!

Long story as short as possible, we got a new, larger mattress/box spring set and that meant our existing bed frame wouldn't work for us anymore. Our old bed frame sat super low, almost on the ground. Ryan built us a nice, semi-temporary frame for our new set, but our bed now sits a good 2-3 feet higher than it did before. This didn't create a problem for us (seeing as Ryan and I are giant-sized at 5'10 and 6'3) but our aging kitty, Chloe, could no longer jump onto the bed. We kept the piano bench at the end of the bed for a few weeks, but it just wasn't practical. So, we decided to go super "crazy-cat-people" and build her some little steps.

When Ryan told me that we already had every thing we needed to build the steps, he jumped right in...and it hit me. I've never built anything with my own two hands. I sheepishly asked Ryan if I could help. I half expected him to roll his eyes, but instead he was quite enthusiastic! So, we headed to the garage to get started.

Hair tied back, make-up free, safety goggles in place - yet I felt surprisingly feminine!
First, Ryan gave me a quick run down of all the tools we'd be using and what they all did. I'm not completely clueless and have used a drill before, but my power tools knowledge stopped there. He showed me his diagram for the steps, and we got to work. Ryan laid out the materials, showed me his technique for accurate measurements and, per my request, made the first cut. Then, it was my turn.

My first experience with a circular saw!

Making my first cut!
A pretty straight cut, if you ask me! And yes, I used power tools in flip flops. Probably not the best choice considering my terrible luck with foot injuries...

Once all the cuts were made (half of which were mine!) it was time to start assembling.
Starting to come together!

Almost finished!

After it was all screwed together, I filled all the holes, cracks and seams with wood putty for added stability and we left it over night to set.

Only one fingernail was harmed in the making of these steps - which I glued in place. I am still a girl, after all! ;)
The next day, while I was busy doing things around the house, Ryan went out to the garage to add the carpet to the steps.

I'm so proud of the finished product!

The cats immediately started to investigate the new addition to our bedroom.

Chloe uses them every day, and Cooper has found several uses for them - like a hiding place!

The next day, I got this text from Ryan while I was at work...

I have to make mention that Ryan is an incredible teacher. He is patient and thoroughly explains each step.  We aren't big on "traditional gender roles", but I generally leave all the building and repair to Ryan because he is good at it and enjoys it. But now that I know how, maybe I'll start helping with projects more often! Until then, every time I see those little steps in our bedroom, I feel a great sense of accomplishment - and a greater understanding for why generations before us took such pride in building things with their own two hands instead of just running to the nearest superstore to buy them.

This one was a pretty awesome CHECK off the list. :)

1 comment:

  1. YAY! You rocked it! Looks like the kitties super-approved too :) I'm sure little miss Chloe especially appreciates it.