I like birthday math. I’m sure it makes me somewhat strange, but it’s true (I’m strange). I like to take my age and do the math. This year, upon turning 39, I am now divisible by 13 and 3 (as well as 1 and 39, naturally) and they are both prime numbers which means I am still unique, mathematically speaking. I loved 37 which was prime in and of itself. Last year I was also divisible by two prime numbers (2 x 19) but 38 is not as masthetically (Look! I just made up a new word!) pleasing. Three and 8 don’t have much in common, unlike 3 and 9 which have all kinds of things in common—3 being the square root of 9 and all. So not only do I have primes this year, I have square roots (which don’t need dye jobs) to boot. Who ever said that math and getting older wasn’t fun and interesting never really took a good look at 39. Dare I say, I’m looking forward to 41, too?
As far as birthdays go, this one was just lovely. I can’t say it was extraordinary, but I sure did like it. I took the day off from cleaning and doing work, and thanks to my excellent friends, H & B, I had tasty Thai food for dinner and my most favorite Key Lime pie for dessert. And H even cleaned up from dinner! Talk about being pampered! Lots of birthday wishes were thrown my way (thank you!), and K sent me a fantastic Black Lab t-shirt that upon wearing it the next day, I managed to get strawberry juice (from the most amazing strawberry ever, I have to say) on it almost immediately (curse the stain attraction of white shirts!). I cannot be trusted (although I did get the stain out). The kids even behaved themselves and I had quite the dog pile when I stretched out to do some reading while the kids were at school. The day progressed as if someone wrapped up contentment with a bow and hand delivered it.
But that’s not even the best part! My parents agreed to take the kids this weekend so I could have a couple of days to myself (well, almost—the dogs are staying). Ah, sweet, silent, bliss! What will I be doing with my “time off” you ask? Well, anyone who knows me will tell you that I am not necessarily adept at relaxing. So fooling myself into thinking that will happen the whole time is just silly. There are so many projects I’d like to work on and books I’d like to read, I’ve been considering writing all my options on little pieces of paper, putting them in a bowl, and pulling them out one-at-a-time to see how many I can get through in a weekend. However, I do have one project that needs to get started now and that is converting some space into an office for me.
The space of choice is the large closet under our staircase (a la Harry Potter). It truly is big enough to furnish as long as those furnishings aren’t wider than 3 feet or 8 feet long. I am obviously not claustrophobic. I actually like small spaces (less for me to get distracted by) and this particular space has a door that can be closed (and locked from the inside once I install it). We had been using it for random storage as well as the location of all our cleaning tools, but they can be moved elsewhere without disturbing the peace. So here is a picture of the empty closet (with the work areas taped):
This office is most likely not a permanent solution, so I want to make sure that I don’t spend a fortune on getting it outfitted, but I have to be able to store supplies as well as work. Plus, I decided I really wanted to be as eco-friendly as I can be since I don’t currently have a piece of furniture that will fit the space or the need. I had been shopping around for storage and some shelving that would fit and I finally came up with an inexpensive and “green” solution. Enter Way Basics and their cube storage made up of 99% consumer waste paper. Plus, you can configure the larger pieces in all kinds of ways with a couple extra dividers. The pieces are lighter than particle board and sturdy (when you follow the directions for putting them together, of course). I am planning on having two areas in my office: one storage area with a work surface on top for art projects I might want to do, and another shelf for my laptop so I can stand and write (or use a folding bar stool if I choose to sit). The one large shelving unit I purchased will serve to cover both needs. The two bottom shelves of the unit will take care of storage (with an additional real wooden plank I found around the house to put on top) along with the 3 extra vertical boards to use as dividers in some way. And the extra top board will be used separately as a shelf with brackets underneath along the long wall to hold my laptop and possibly my flat screen second monitor if I decide not to mount it to the wall. All for under $100 (including shipping via Amazon).
I do need to figure out (rechargeable battery powered) lighting for in there (aside from the one bare bulb it’s got near the door), and I need to find a power strip that’s not so bulky that I can run from the outlet outside the door into the closet until I can figure out if putting an outlet in the closet is feasible. Tonight I’ll patch the cracks in the walls so they dry overnight, and tomorrow I’ll paint the walls (white with a light blue on the slanted overhead wall). The unit will be delivered on Saturday and I’ll put it together not long after it arrives to let it settle and cement and then I’ll figure out what I need for storage containers for all my stuff and start putting the finishing touches on it Sunday. Then, voila! New office. I can’t wait. Obviously I’ll take pictures along the way and post the finished project in all its confined glory.
I know my plans hardly sound relaxing, but to be able to get through the bulk of a project uninterrupted is as close to heaven as I get these days. I’ll putter around and I’ll tinker with some other things, and I will squeeze in catching up on some of the new Doctor Who, reading a little, writing a bit, and sleep in (as much as the dogs ever allow). I’ll listen to my music, and I might even eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. Mostly I’m going to be happy by myself for a bit and by Sunday afternoon I’ll probably miss the kids a little and be ready to show off what I’ve done. R will humor me like the good girl she is and tell me it’s “awesome,” and Monkey will try to stuff himself into one of the cubbies and life will be back to normal(ish).
And lastly, a K update: He’s still in Afghanistan dealing with suspicious locals and faulty latrines. His unit has done some great work catching bad guys and their weapons. When this is all over, I’ll be happy to share the press that’s been out there, but for now it’s going to have to wait. But K is fine and getting by and counting the days until he gets to come home on leave at the end of summer.