Labor Exchange

The farmers aren’t in the field around here.  Even the farmers who are first to plant aren’t in the field.  It’s the talk of everyone.  Ground temperatures need to be around 50 degrees for corn to germinate.  The ground can’t warm when overnight temperatures are still dipping to below freezing and on top of that, we’ve been getting regular rain and the fields are simply too wet.

That left Craig, our daughter Kalissa’s husband, with some free time this past Sunday.  He offered to come over and help me do a few things.  So, he helped me hang this mirror.  Hanging a mirror is something I am able to do but this was an old mirror and those are often heavy so I decided as long as he was here, I’d get him to help me.

You might remember that I bought this mirror at the thrift store for $15.  Right above this dresser is where I thought I wanted it and I think it’s perfect.  It looks great with the headboard on this bed.

The dresser below the mirror was also a thrift store find from the same thrift store.  I bought that many years ago and Kramer, my husband, refinished it.  It was the first project he did.  I was so impressed.  I think I paid $40 for the dresser at the time.

The headboard and the wardrobe in this room were all auction finds.

I just LOVE old furniture.  We have a mix of walnut and oak wood but I don’t mind.  I love all of the pieces.

I have a small collection of… vintage stitched samplers in this room.

All of these have been thrift store finds.

I keep my eyes open for them.  I don’t think I ever paid more than $2 for any of them.  I’m so blessed with great thrift stores.

But back to my story about Craig coming over to help me.  When he came in the door, he was carrying pants that needed mending.  So while he did some jobs here, I patched his work pants…I’m calling it a fair exchange.

I have two machines out, my Phaff Grand Quilter which is my main piecing machine, and my old Singer 15-91 which is my crumb/string quilting machine.  I have this Bernina too.  It’s a 165E…that’s the only machine I have that makes fancy stitches and rarely, if ever, do I use this machine.  It stays in the closet and only comes out for occasions like this.

For this pair of pants with the hole in the knee, I had to bring it out.  I needed the free arm to manipulate the knee of the pants in place.

While I was busy doing that, Craig had started work in my basement.  Something that was on Kramer’s long-term goal list to do before he passed away was to fix up the basement.  With the remodeling of the house, we ended up with one “nice” side of the basement that can be fixed up into good useable space, and one icky side of the basement that is “old basement” and can never be more than that.  It’s really a giant utility room.

As the grandkids become more abundant and they all get bigger, we can all see that it would be fantastic to “fix” the nice side.  I’m not looking for a fancy finished basement.  We really want someplace the older grandkids can go and hang out.  We were thinking that we’d have a television, Xbox and maybe a pool table or something like that would be great.

So…we’re gradually working on it… very slowly.  First up was to fix that bathroom.  We have the wall fixed and painted.  Next up we need to install a sink.  I’m supposed to be working on the trim but have been slow to do it.  I think I’m going to put that higher up on my to-do list.

Here is what Craig was working on while I was patching pants…
These are the steps going down into the basement.  The plan is to put the wainscotting that we salvage from the old part of the house that we tore off in the remodel and put halfway up on the walls going down the stairs.

Here is Craig’s start.

We have the same wainscotting in the bathroom so it all kind of ties together.  I’m happy with it.

It’s very slow going for Craig though.  Each piece had to be specially cut to whatever else is going on…such as cutting around the steps and the light switch.  It’s not easy but Craig is doing an amazing job.

We don’t have a ton of these boards but we are almost positive we have enough to go down the steps and then to the door that goes into the old part of the basement.

This is a long-term project.  With any luck at this time next year, the steps will be finished.

What’s really good about the project is that so far, it’s costing nothing as we already have the salvaged wood.  So far we have very little into what we have done so far and that leaves me time to save money to do the rest.  As I said, it’s a long-term project.

Right now, Scotty is the oldest grandkid and he’s six.  By the time he’s ten, I’d love to have a better space for the kiddos to hang out when they are all here.

So that’s the story of my and Craig’s labor exchange.  I said it’s a labor exchange but I would have patched Craig’s pants and he’d have worked on the basement purely on our own without an “exchange”.  He’s a great son-in-law.  I’m blessed to have him.