Last week, my wife saw a Robin in our yard. I think it was part of the advance team that came up to check things out. I’m sure he sent a text message back to the rest of the flock that said “this place is still covered in snow” but when there’s one red breast in the yard, you know there are more to follow. The guys in the picture to the right know it, it was 12°f at the time, but that’s an air conditioning unit they are hoisting onto that roof. They wouldn’t be doing that if it wasn’t going to be warm soon.
The pictures below make a pretty compelling argument that spring is on its way. Soft serve ice cream will be available in a week. It’s a scientific fact that once people start using the cold to make ice cream, there isn’t enough left to make snow. I’m sure I read that somewhere.
I think the surest sign of spring is the fact that my daughter wants to start a project in the workshop. It’s been too long since we were covered in sawdust. It’s been too long since we smelled fresh cut lumber and too long since we picked through the pile of wood to find the right boards for the next piece. The next piece, by the way, is a kitchen cart. For once, we are going to build something according to plans. Published plans. Plans that are complete with dimensions and everything. Of course we’re going to alter those plans.
The publishers of Woodsmith offered this as a quick and easy project to build in a short amount of time. Who needs that? We don’t want this to take forever, but we do plan to make this from “the pile” not from plywood. Plywood would be easy, there’s nothing like setting the rip fence at 28 1/2” and then 16 ¼” to get a 28 ½” by 16 ¼” panel, but we can do better. We can make panels from wood in the pile. Panel construction is an essential skill that Faith should master. It will be more work, but we will do it in such a way as to “add a signature visual element” to the cart. We say things like that in the shop. That sounds better than saying: “let’s see if we can make this harder than it needs to be.”
Actually, the “signature visual element” is something my wife and I once heard on a home improvement show. We do a lot of home improvements, and while we don’t usually worry about signature elements, we did incorporate a few into our exterior renovation. The little flat sections at the peaks mirror a flat section of the porch ceiling and the interior ceiling in our family room.
The kitchen cart does need to move along swiftly though because the shop is part of the garage and the garage is slated for a renovation this summer. The garage wasn’t the best bit of work the former owner had done to this house. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the worst bit of work, but that’s a series of different stories. We’re making plans to improve the structure, replace a lot of the wall sheathing, cover the walls with vinyl siding and replace the windows and the roof. In other words, the garage door is fine.
This project reminds me of the country song “There ain’t nothing wrong with the radio” by Aaron Tippin, but just thinking about the work that has to be done is making me feel warm.
Everyone around here is thinking of spring. Everyone is sure that it’s coming. Even my friend in England is talking about spring on his excellent photo blog from Ipswich. It has been a hard week to remain confident about spring’s arrival, but we are standing strong. When I left for work on Wednesday, it was 23°, when I left on Thursday, it was 11°, when I left on Friday it was 9° but today at the same time, it was 28° and heading to a forecast high of almost 50°! The week ahead has highs in the upper 30’s and 40’s and lows no lower than 22.
Of course this little guy will poke his head up soon, that’s always the definitive sign that winter needs to pack it up and go away. March may have come in like the proverbial lion, but everything and everyone around here is urging it to change into those lambs clothes and make with the warmth. I have to go now; it’s almost time for ice cream.