Whalechaser's Musings

No Matter Where You Go...
There You Are
Make the Best of It

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Bunch of Little Projects

Even a new house eventually needs work. I have skipped along for seven years now and haven't done diddly squat around here, and it was starting to show. The gate on my perimeter fence is all but falling apart, wind blows in through my front door, I REALLY need to get a platform built to put my TV on so I can slide the DVD player underneath and it sure would be nice to have knobs and handles on my kitchen cabinets. I am not complaining. I was just making a list and wondering if there is anyone out there who might want to fix these things.

I happened to be looking at the back section of the newspaper and noticed in the services section several handymen listed and figured, my list is long enough, I will call one of these guys. To my utter surprise the fellow I called stopped by the same day and made the rounds with me for all my projects wants. He seemed ok with the gate repair, the new storm door was right up his alley, but when we got to the "build me a wood platform for the TV" he sort of commented under his breath that I could probably find one already built. The knobs and handles for the kitchen cabinets got the response "I guess it IS kind of hard to drill a straight and level hole". (for the record it is NOT...it IS hard to to measure and get every one perfectly centered and placed). And with that he left saying he would get back to me.

About three days later, when I had already been summoned for jury duty I got a voicemail from him saying I could go and  order the storm door from Ace Hardware. Not know which one exactly, I called and asked for the specifics. His return voicemail said Lowes would have what I wanted and that they could likely do the job for less than the $200 installation fee he would charge. Fine.

I went to Lowes and found a nice door and sure enough, they will do the job for $150, works for me. While I was there I got all the knobs and handles for my kitchen cabinets and drawers, in anticipation of his showing up soon to handle all the other projects. I was pleasantly expectant. I just love getting this stuff done.

Days passed,  jury duty finally ended, and I still hadn't heard from him, but I wasn't too disappointed, since one of the two biggest projects was already in the works. I know this stuff takes time. Then I realized that weeks had passed, and it was pretty obvious that I wasn't going to see the repairman, and I pretty much left to my own resources. OK. Fine.

But what am I going to do with all this kitchen hardware now? In a moment brilliance (for me) I sat down and searched for how to install hardware and found several videos. Pretty good as far as it went, but I was looking for how to get these things installed, so they were all even...I am a Libra you know, anything less than perfect could be the death of me! So, I was thinking about making some sort of template, but all the drawers were sized just a little differently and my poor brain could not handle that. Still basking in the moment of brilliance, I searched for templates and Lo and Behold! I'll bet you didn't know they actually sell them at Lowes for about $3 each; one for drawers and one for doors! Empowered, I head out to Lowes and got my set of templates and the rest, as they say, is history! Knobs and handles installed, and I think you know, you are listening to one happy camper.

The installation of my new storm door is set for two days, and I still have the TV platform issue to resolve. So, off I go again, searching for TV stands and sure enough I find a beautiful one! Very sturdy, very, just what I need, so I order it. In the meanwhile I am really wondering how I am going to lift the TV to get he stand under it all by myself. Since my illness I have the strength of sissy-girl! Well, I figure if the stars and planets aligned enough for me to find the right platform, then they will provide a solution as well. 

The stand arrives the morning of the day the storm door is going to be installed, and all I have to do is assemble it. Easier said than done, but I managed and it truly is a thing of beauty. I even had time to paint the triangle above the fireplace that had been so abused over the years; the surface was mostly white from the plaster. I tidied that up and knew there was no way I could possibly lift the TV alone. But, my plan was to get everything in place and hope that the door installer would take pity on me and help with it. Sure enough he did! All the projects are done!

Oh, yeah, all except the one that started this whole thing: the fence gate. I am still on the hunt for that solution, and I know it is out there, somewhere, just waiting for me to find it. And that grout around my kitchen counter? You are next! I already have grout and the sponge, your days are numbered!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

In December I went to Oklahoma City for a short visit and while there I toured the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.  I had originally planned the visit just to fill in a little extra time that I had while visiting the City, but the visit turned out to be down right enjoyable. Now a compliment like that from someone who knows absolutely nothing about rodeos or cowboys ranks pretty high up on the list!  There truly is something there for every taste, even if you think you have 'none' you will find yourself surprised at how you enjoy this place.

They have a museum movie which is very nicely done and gives some highlights of things you can spend a little more time with in the museum.  In the far end of the entry you will find a stunning sculpture of 'The End of the Trail'

It marks the end of the Trail of Tears.  The exodus of the Native Americans to Oklahoma.

There are several exhibition wings with various items on display.  For example, one wing shows saddles; so many saddles that it boggles the mind.  There are working saddles, parade saddles, ornate saddles and many others from foreign countries and  different cultures.  If you thought you knew about saddles before you walked in; you would be blown away at the variety and workmanship.

Out of one exhibit and into another and you will find yourself looking at horseshoes.  Never could I have imagined that there were so many different kinds and shapes.  Then it is on to ropes, stirrups and lassos; it just goes on and on.  Each area is more interesting than the last.

I wandered down a cowboy hall of fame, sure that I knew no one there...then I saw a very nice bronze statue of Ronald Reagan, so I guess I do know more than Roy Rogers!  Just off to the left was a small circa 1900 Western cattle town aptly named Prosperity Junction...it was like stepping into a time warp.  You really got the feeling that you were visiting a real cattle town;  it was so nicely done.

A little further down the hallway and I found myself in a rodeo exhibition ring complete with bucking broncos, clowns and cowboys everywhere you looked. There was quite a history on display and one could learn a lot here. 

There was also a Native American Gallery, Western Performers Gallery, Joe Grandee Museum of the Frontier West and so much more.

I only spent two and a half hours there but I could have easily spent four or five hours and really learned a lot about this fascinating part of our history.  As a matter of fact, next time I am in Oklahoma City, I will definitely plan another trip.  Because it was winter, I did not get to see any of the beautiful gardens and grounds of the museum.

I did get to see a temporary exhibit of National Geographic Photographs that showed some nostalgic western scenes.  There was no warning not to take photos so here are some of the highlights of that exhibit
 A starry night out in Utah somewhere...

Here is how you hitch a horse to a parking meter...