Of Shelves and Structures

Recently, I've worked on a lot of little things, but nothing I can point at and say, "Look at this amazing finished project! I've made huge changes, but most of those changes are "make a bigger mess," rather than "make a smaller mess." Still, we have gotten a few things done, here and there. You will see a difference in my "to do" list - including some parts that were rather unexpected.

The biggest section that's been marked off my list is my security section; I wasn't planning on working on any of that for months, if not a year. However, I got a good deal on equipment, so I went ahead and installed it. I don't have all the automation in place that I will want, but the important pieces like window or door intrusion, and smoke/fire alarms, work just fine. I need to learn more about the system so I can hack in some of my own devices... but, that can wait.
Meanwhile, I've also been working on some hard-core remodeling. I've decided to tackle the Kitchen - a bit early, I know, but we are so low on kitchen storage that it just needed done. Plus, this is a "stand alone" improvement; unlike moving sinks, installing floors, or repainting all the things, all this required was making a huge mess.

So what am I building? Well, take a look for yourself! Here's a quick sketch I've whipped up:
Is it a spreadsheet? No. No, it is not.
Is it a spreadsheet? No. No, it is not.
Can you guess what it is? No? I guess I need to work on my sketching skills - it's a storage system! The kitchen, if you recall, is 8 feet wide and 15 feet long. All the entrances to the room are on the north end, which means I was free to "cap" the south end of the room with plenty of storage space, as follows:
  • The large, grey thing in the middle is our refrigerator; it has the freezer on the bottom, and "French style doors." It sticks out about 3/4 in. from the rest of the system.
  • The yellow cabinets are 32 inches deep, and will have three fixed shelves.
  • The orange cabinet will have two very wide shelves, also 32 inches deep - though possibly shorter, if the fridge needs better ventilation.
  • The red drawers are 4 inches tall and 24 inches deep, and are about 4 ft from ground level.
  • The blue cabinets will each have three 32-inch deep shelves; two of the shelves will slide out.
  • The green drawers are about 7 inches square. These drawers will be "Library card-catalog" style, very long (32 inches!), with a catch so you can't yank them out on accident. The tall green drawer will be the size of two drawers and the space between them - perfect for storing cereal boxes!
  • Finally, that one out-of-place drawer, the purple one, isn't going to be a drawer at all; it'll be a surprise! Seriously, though, I'll let you know when I finish it.
That's not the only thing I'm working on, of course. There is still painting, siding, brush-and-weed-clearing, and a host of other things. And of course, future plans as well; now that I have a security system, the biggest security hole is my gate. I usually remember to close it, but not always. I really want to get an automatic gate system installed, so I can be sure my yard is secure.

And speaking of the yard, my backyard is going to hold my next project: a treehouse! My kids love playing outside, but right now the only playthings they have are power tools and deck railings. Neither of which are, well, safe. So, I'm working on a plan for a treehouse: a fairly roomy building with lights, slide, swing, climbing rocks, fireman pole, rope ladder, killer space robot (from space)... well, ok, maybe not that last one, but apart from that, a lot of absolute awesomeness! The best part is that I don't need a building permit, I don't need sheetrock, and if all it turns out to be is a rope swing and a ladder nailed to a tree, my kids would still think it was the most awesome thing in the whole world, and that I was the best Dad ever.

Pictured: two treehouses. Not pictured: killer space robot (from space)
Regardless, to the left (your left, my right) is an early rendering (artist's impressions!) of a couple ideas of what the treehouse will eventually look like. It'll be a room with a 'deck', and will use a tree as one of the supports. The fireman pole and the gymnast beam are shown, but nothing else fancy. Like windows. Or killer space robots from space. Trust me, though - with my kids' imagination, there will definitely be a killer space robot (from space).

Well, that's all I have time for today - but don't worry! There will soon be more pictures, posts, and wonderful messes. I have so many things that I'm working on, I'm sure something will be done soon!

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