The Off Season

The bike shops are continually open, selling fat tire bikes and other winter gear to the rugged souls that ride despite the cold ice and snow.  For the home garage mechanic, there is very little money to be made.  I sold a few bikes back in December.  Basically, all of my youth bikes are gone.  Thank you, Jesus, and happy birthday!  And as far as buying bikes, there are good deals that come along, but I’ve got a heavy inventory already, and I won’t buy anything that isn’t an unbelievable deal.

Winter is a time to step away from the shop and concentrate on other areas of life.  The five of us moved into our present home in Grand Rapids back in August of 2017.  Our house is 55 years old, and as the former owners said, “It has great bones.”  Bones indeed, and in need of lots of improvements.  Last winter, I installed solid oak floors on the main floor.  This winter, I’ve been building shelves, creating a basement workspace, and discovering my panache for home decorating.

My winter routine is still a work in progress, but I make it a point every day to make our home run more efficiently, look better, and feel like our long-term nesting place.  Below are some of the projects I’ve completed.  I am running out of things to do, and I look forward to rebuilding bikes when the weather permits me to work in our drafty garage.

Our fireplace needed a mantle.  Amazingly, it does not touch the brick at all.  It is mounted with angle iron directly to the studs in the wall.  This was a fun and challenging job.  Plus, I got to use some of the great live edge wood that you’ll find people cutting drying and selling in the boonies outside of GR.
I had some scraps left over from the mantle project, so I made these shelves for some of my mother’s wooden toys.  She owned Peaceable Kingdom Toys back in the 70s and 80s.  We entered fine art shows all over the country, including the Ann Arbor Arts Fair.
Here’s a shelf I made for our master bedroom.
A shelf for Michael’s room
A step
A basement workspace
This has been a dream of mine for years.  I’ve always wanted a shelf for all of my CDs.  This includes my dad’s collection as well.  Together, we have over 1300 albums, including more than 600 blues CDs.
An interior space for finished bikes.
Scraps came in handy yesterday to build this shelf for my spray cans.  These shouldn’t be kept where it gets really cold, like the garage.
Maybe I’ll just stay in the basement.  This is my happy place!

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