Month: April 2013

Parker watering flowers outside her dryer box play house.

As Parker matures, one thing becomes quite clear – she imitates us. From her mannerisms to the words she uses and the storylines of her pretend play (if Parker is awake, she is talking, so it’s easy to know what she’s thinking about when she’s playing).

Since we’ve been in the middle of a remodel since early March – and it has been the non-stop topic of conversation between us and our friends – it has also become a topic of conversation for Parker – which is quite funny. This became even more apparent when we made her second cardboard playhouse.

We picked up her first dryer-box playhouse at Mahlander’s – making the lighting and appliance store Parker’s favorite retailer in town. Every time we drive past on our way to the Main Library, she says, “There’s Mahlander’s,” or “I want to go to Mahlander’s!”

Her first playhouse was re-recycled over Easter. We finally got a new box from Karl’s on Sunday and while I fixed supper, Shon cut windows and doors. While he was doing that, Parker walked circles around the box saying, “This is my dining room, this is my living room, this is my pantry, this is my kitchen, here is my front door and I want to paint this color on my walls.”

Hmmm – sounds like the makings of an interior designer?

My mom, Kay Robison, and me at the 2012 Antiques Roadshow Rapid City. Photo courtesy of SDPB.

Antiques Roadshow Rapid City premiered last night and, in a way, so did South Dakota.

For anyone unfamiliar with our state, they received a glimpse of our natural beauty when the show’s host, Mark Walberg, visited with an expert at the base of Mount Rushmore.

And, viewers were treated to amazing treasures whose value and stories are equal to that of Antiques Roadshow episode’s hosted in states of much greater population – Elvis Presley’s leave papers – signed by the King himself; furniture by Thomas Molesworth, designed for a Wyoming Ranch; and, my favorite, a Lakota skin cleaning kit.

If you missed the first of three episodes, don’t worry – you can pick it up at www.pbs.org!

Hindsight is 20/20

Each and every project we undertake to renovate our home is a learning experience. However, the valuable information we glean from each project isn’t info that we’ll probably ever use again.

Like the fact that when sandblasting in the basement, one should call Intek before sand blasting and ask them to professionally cover all vents so you don’t end up with a quarter inch of dust on all upstairs surfaces. And, at the same time schedule them to clean the ducts immediately following to ensure dust doesn’t re-circulate.

Or, that the best method to remove paint from a concrete floor is non-toxic stripper, a power washer and shop vacuum. If we’d known that from the beginning, we would have had our floors paint free in one weekend and we’d have saved a $45 rental fee on a floor sander and $50 on a grinder and paint removal head – neither of which worked.

One valuable piece of information we did learn a long time ago was ASK FOR ADVICE! Thanks to the team at Diamond Vogel we were able to figure out the best method for paint removal on the concrete floors; and thanks to our sandblaster, Shon figured out the best tool to use to remove concrete plaster from the basement’s granite walls (which can’t be sandblasted off.)

I liken this entire experience to raising a child. Now that Parker is 2, we’ve crossed a few mile stones successfully. However, like children, the valuable techniques I’ve learned for sleep training and potty training that work for her, may not work if we ever have a second child – because each child and home improvement project is unique and has its own set of challenges! 

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