35 – Christmas Eve

The ranch is a quiet place here on Christmas Eve, and for a number of days to come–all the ranch hands are off until the New Year, and the few other full-time residents are busy with family. We are surrounded by the unpaid denizens of the ranch, although most do, at least, have room and board. In other words, the animals.

Just in case you didn't know what an aoudad (pronounced OW-dad) is, and I didn't, it's sometimes called a Barbary sheep, though it's not a sheep, more closely related to goats/antelopes.  Native to the mountainous regions of the Sahara, it was introduced to Hearst Ranch in San Luis Obispo, California, in 1924, and in New Mexico in 1950. Aoudad range freely and on private hunting ranges in West Texas, Southeastern New Mexico and northern  Mexico.
Just in case you didn’t know what an aoudad (pronounced OW-dad) is, and I didn’t, it’s sometimes called a Barbary sheep, though it’s not a sheep, more closely related to goats/antelopes. Native to the mountainous regions of the Sahara, it was introduced to Hearst Ranch in San Luis Obispo, California, in 1924, and in New Mexico in 1950. Aoudad range freely and on private hunting ranges in West Texas, Southeastern New Mexico and northern Mexico, and have been seen as far as Colorado and Oklahoma.

If there were ever to be a wild nativity scene, it would be here… with barns and stables a-plenty, and wild animals that include deer, javelinas, turkey, and aoudad, as well as predators like bear and mountain lion (supposedly, haven’t seen ’em, not sure I want to!).  I’m pretty sure the half-dozen longhorns and the horses corralled nearby aren’t exactly tame, either.

The desert’s beauty is desolate, but truly amazing… and come summer, it will be hot past any reasonable reckoning. This is the area where we met, and lived here for two years before we left to go to green, lush, Oregon, so I know whereof I speak on the subject of how hot it can get. 😀

But, I’m leaving that to the future for now, and enjoying it while I can. And, for me, the way to deal with all this  is, apparently, nesting. Yeah, for any of you that know me, it’s kind of out of my norm… but I’m really enjoying the ability to bake, to create in other ways.

What other ways, you ask? Well, the one thing the recently remodeled residence we just moved into did not have was tons of storage.  And, we packed more into the House McNugget than we thought we did – five large totes full of stuff, among other things like a full business wardrobe for me, most of which I’ve never worn.

This left us in need of a space to put a bunch of stuff that doesn’t need to be used every day.  And a spare bedroom closet that simply needed an organizer to be able to put a ton of stuff in it.  Our budget wasn’t going to run to a decent one, and I hate the wire ones (sorry if you love them, but uh-uh, no, not happening).  So, I sat down to design one.

Needed storage for much more than just a few hanging clothes...
my final design

Many years back, and in a land far, far away, I figured out how to use Excel as electronic graph paper.  I’m not the first to figure it out by any means… and if you’re interested, here’s one explanation. I try not to get too uptight about it–basically, I just re-size the spreadsheet cells so they are approximately the same width and height, then use borders and shading to build out what I’m designing. At left is my final design for the closet organizer.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, there is, buried in the depths of the cell formatting menu, a 45-degree border that allows you to add that third dimension to your drawing.

I designed the thing early Saturday morning, and we went into town to have breakfast with a friend and buy the lumber for this and the other project I show below.

And... how the organizer turned out - as you can see, we left the bottom shelf completely off, at Corey's suggestion, and did away with the  dividers on what is now the bottom shelf... the horizontal divider at top left, however, was needed not just to add to the storage, but gives a lot of stability to the hanging rod.
And… how the organizer turned out – as you can see, we left the bottom shelf completely off, at Corey’s suggestion, and did away with the dividers on what is now the bottom shelf… the horizontal divider at top left, however, was needed not just to add to the storage, but gives a lot of stability to the hanging rod.

My husband took a look at the design and made some suggestions, such as leaving off the bottom shelf.  His ideas helped speed the process, save wood, and made it possible to create the whole thing with the miter saw, instead of a lot of work with the circular saw trying to cut straight lines. At right is the end result–we’re pretty pleased with it, and it got rid of enough of the clutter that I can walk in the house without my head exploding–bonus!

The other project is a hall tree.  Once I finished explaining what I was talking about, Corey was all for it. The room where we enter the house is about 30 feet long, with my desk at the far end from the entry door.  For the moment, all our boots and shoes are residing near the door because we take our shoes off as soon as we come in the house.  We needed to accommodate that as well as the hats and jackets necessary at this time of year, and evenings in the desert all year.  Also need to provide some place to sit down to take boots or shoes off or put them on, and we’ve got about a third of the room to play with, which means we can get fairly massive.  So, below is my design for a hall tree.  I’ll take a picture when it’s done to compare to the design.  I know that it will change as it’s being built, they always do…

Designed on Excel - drop the cell width to approximately the same as the height, and it's essentially electronic graph paper... you can only build with a 45-degree angle (using borders), but it at least gives you someplace to start.  Completed, this will be 8 feet long and six feet high. :)
Completed, this hall tree will be eight feet long and six feet high.  And yes, I can see a couple mistakes from here, but I’m trying to learn to be OK with “good enough,” as that relentless search for perfection is exhausting, and often useless.  That said, I’m pleased with the overall design.  The bench is plenty big to sit on, and I’ll eventually sew a cushion to put on that.  The space under the seat level will be for boots, and at 14″ under the tables, is big enough for his work boots.  Under the seat itself is tall enough, even with the bracing, to accommodate my Justins and both our hikers. The shelves on the table will fit the smaller shoes, tennis shoes, my flats, etc., hats will  be hung around the top of the backrest, and jackets will hang on the frames above the tables.

We’ll probably work on it this weekend, since Corey’s working on Thursday/Friday… hopefully it will go together quickly and with little fuss.  And that’s kind of how our Christmas is planned to be as well. Quick, little fuss, quiet.

Happy Christmas, peeples, hope it’s a warm and lovely holiday for you all.

Regards,
Lisa

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “35 – Christmas Eve

  1. SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE BUSY AND ENJOYING IT…..YOUR COMPUTER SKILLS ARE AMAZING TO ME.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS.. AND ENJOY YOUR “NEW” ADVENTURE….YOU GUYS ARE GOOD AT ROLLING WITH THE PUNCHES!!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s