A Train Table Gets A Second Life


Balcony seat before1

There has been some debate in my family as to who actually built this train table for my twins when they were little, but I’m sticking to my guns in saying it was my brother, R. If it wasn’t him and someone else wants to take the credit then please do and I apologize for forgetting. It has been at least 10 years though and I am quickly approaching 40 so…

I found this in the storage space under the sun room when I was doing the final clean out of the house. For a half second I thought about recycling it with the rest of the stuff I pulled out of all the hidden nooks and crannies, but in the next half of that second I realized it was well built and I could make something out of it. So I brought it to the apartment along with a side railing of a crib once occupied by one of the twins and later by E, and the cushions from  a couch I was trying to give away and went to work. And by work I mean I went to Joanne’s Fabrics to get 2 yards of fabric.

Balcony seat fabric

After cleaning off the wood (it was quite dusty) and taking apart the cushions which I then cut up to fit on the ply wood…

Balcony seat cushions

B and I stretched the fabric over the cushions, turned the whole thing upside down and went to town with our new toy staple gun.

Balcony seat stapling

Thankfully the lines on the cushion remained straight so that the result looked like this:

Balcony seat complete

Add a few toss pillows and VIOLA!

Balcony seat with pillows

Now all I need to do is paint it! (Sigh) That’s for another day!


Would The Real Knight-In-Shining-Armor Please Stand Up

To say that I’m a scardy-cat would be an immature thing to say but it would also be mostly accurate. When I was a little girl I had a fear of someone hiding under the bed or in the closet. My dad used to roll his eyes when I asked him to check for me, but he did it because he knew it was the only way to make me feel safe enough to sleep. That, and it was the only way I’d leave him alone! I’d love to say that this is something I grew out of, but sadly it is not. I don’t necessarily think someone is waiting to get me anymore but I am easily startled. That’s why when B and I came home the other night and the back doors were unlocked, I kinda freaked out. My first response was to ask B to check the house. His first reaction was to be reasonable…I didn’t like that one bit. Not because I don’t think he had a valid point – find out if there is a logical reason they were unlocked and then freak out if not – but because he didn’t do what I thought would make me feel safe right away. He didn’t check under the beds and in the closets, at least not at first. What if someone was there? Was he going to stab him with a paring knife? Or spray him in the face with Windex? Instead he asked me to call anyone (as in relatives) that may have been in the house and left the back doors open. Once I made the calls he checked the house. Thankfully there was not one hiding out, but it still took me a while to feel comfortable moving about.

I had to process through this new way of approaching my fear. At first it seemed all wrong because my feeling of safety was delayed, but that had more to do with what I was used to than actually thinking through the situation. If we had really felt we were in danger we shouldn’t have checked anything in the house. Rather we should have called the police. B was absolutely correct in this approach. And as much of an advocate as I am for individuality and creativity in approaching a situation, I still fell into the that’s-the-way-we-do-things mentality. Tisk tisk Dyana!

It’s one thing if you have this revelation about yourself once in a week, but twice? Now that’s a whole other beast, and one that need to be dealt with.

The day after the unlocked doors incident, I had a conversation with my ex in which he exclaimed “If anything happens to [the boys] you’re gonna get it!” This was his response to me allowing my two oldest sons to stay home by themselves. It didn’t matter that the reason I let them stay home was because he gave one of them a blue pain relief pill that had he read the bottle he would have realized was a Tylenol PM! I thought if they were home at least my son could rest it off. When I relayed the conversation to B he asked with concern “He threatened you?!” Nah, I thought, that’s just the way he is. However the more I thought about it, yes he did threaten me and he’s done it over and over again for years! When did I accept his threatening me as acceptable? Really?! Again, tisk tisk Dyana!

Well, can I just say that B did the most unexpected and possibly the most romantic thing anyone has EVER done for me? The next day he called my ex to discuss why he felt he had to threaten me and what exactly “You’re gonna get it” referred to. When B told me he’d just had a 45 minute conversation with him I couldn’t believe it. B stood up for me! To my ex! From his recounting of the conversation it went fairly well. He was able to discuss the situation with maturity. In this one gesture of love B has made me feel extremely safe and secure, something I haven’t had in any other relationship. And because of his concern for me, he’s also made me realize that even if “that’s just the way things are”, “that’s just the way he is”, “that’s just the way we do things”, doesn’t make it right! Thank you B for this week’s life lesson!

Time To Roast The…Duckling?

Happy Thanksgiving! In honor of this, my next to favorite holiday, I thought I’d do something a little different. I am thankfully not in charge of roasting the turkey this year so instead I decided to roast myself! What better way to celebrate a day that gives us a reason to spend time with our families and eat ourselves sick? Enjoy!

Definition of the Ugly Ducking Syndrome: When a person who used to be somewhat awkward and not attractive, though not necessarily unattractive, becomes extremely beautiful.

When I fist heard of the Ugly Duckling Syndrome I was in Junior High, probably around 8th grade. It was one of those things that stuck with me because it gave me great hope for my future. I wouldn’t say I was an ugly child, but I did seem to hit an awkward stage much younger than most that lasted well into my early teens. When I was in 4th grade I already had hairier legs than most 17 year old boys. And worse was how dark the hair was. I truly believe the only “Cuban” features I got from my dad were the dark body hair and the huge buttocks that I can still list as one of my assets. (Sorry I couldn’t resist). It was a memorable day when my mom taught me how to shave. I felt like a teenager! It was wonderful…until I realized I had to shave often to keep the hairless look. UGH!

The glasses I had to wear didn’t help either. I’ve had issues with my eyes since infancy so there was no getting around the glasses. But why oh why did I have to always have the glasses too big for my face and with the tint on them that gets darker in the sun. One or the other I could have lived with but BOTH?! Come on! Oh and did I mention my mom cut my hair herself? There are only so many words to describe what the eye can behold itself. So here is my very embarrassing “Awkwardness Timeline” (I can’t believe I’m doing this):

So there you have it. I share this to give hope to any young person that may be going through an awkward stage. It does get better, and if it doesn’t then don’t worry, awkwardness is “in” these days so go with it. In all honesty, if you are yourself and not worried about impressing other people than you are already ahead of the game. For some of us it takes longer to get. Stop dwelling on your negatives and focus on enhancing your positives. You are amazing just the way you are.

Editor’s note: I would LOVE to feature an Ugly Duckling transformation at least once a month. If there is anyone out there brave enough to submit their transformation from Duckling to Swan please do so to unforgettablyordinary@gmail.com. If you would prefer it to be a wordless post that would work as well, but I am always interested in hearing your story. Have a Fantastic Thanksgiving! Oh and here’s something for your listening entertainment…