Before and After, Take 1

I am just ending the one week a month of work that I affectionately call “hell week”, hence no blog updates.  When you work in corporate accounting/finance, closing the books and analyzing and reporting financial results comes before blogging.  No fair!

Anyway, my mother in law just returned from a trip overseas (Welcome Home!) and checked my blog.  Her comment of “how’s the grill coming” inspired me to get this post done.  Not to mention the phone calls and emails from so many of you with grill inquiries.

A few weeks back I showed the “before” picture of our grill, partly to motivate me to get it cleaned up.  This weekend I got it done.  I used Barkeepers Friend to try to get all the rust off, a tip I picked up on youtube.  Shout out to Aunt Val and her witty comment  “And I thought that product was for lonely barkeepers!?”




Not bad, eh?  I can’t use it as a mirror to put on my makeup, but a good chunk of the rust is gone and it looks way better.  That felt good.  One thing off the list!

What’s next for a good “before” shot?  Maybe the dining room?

Since I started back working part-time a month ago, I’ve been working out of my dining room.  We had an 5th bedroom in Arlington Heights that was set up as a first floor office, though truthfully it was a depressing place to sit and work.  The view out window the window was the neighbor’s brick wall as seen through a chain link fence.  When I occasionally worked from home, I’d sit at the dining room window looking out into the backyard, with my laptop on a narrow buffet table.  It worked great.  So here in Knoxville, I’m trying the same thing.  First floor home office at one end of my dining room, with a view out the front window.

For starters I grabbed any table I could find handy, and made do with the space.  It quickly became a disaster zone, as it was low on my list of things to do at the end of the day when I needed to step away from the computer.  Then things really slid last week, as I headed back into hell week, plus there was all that grill cleaning on my mind.  It ended up like this:


Yes, that is an old sewing machine table with the sewing machine long gone, and a couple of ceramic tiles found in the garage covering the hole from the sewing machine, where my computer can sit.  Not a real functional space.

I ordered a desk online, and after it was rerouted and traveled across the United States multiple times (another story, but it got sucked into the computer fiasco when I tried to have Brian’s laptop being delivered to Knoxville rerouted to Univ of Minn.  Yes, they rerouted the 80 lb. desk box to Univ of Minn but ultimately got it back to Knoxville before Brian had to be embarrassed with an office desk delivered to his dorm).  This weekend, I got down to assembling it.  Do you know you can save a lot of money on furniture if you build it yourself?



Very happy with this change.  I didn’t want a traditional desk with drawers as I have a bin I keep handy with recent files and supplies.  It’s got a great cord caddy on the back that holds a power strip and all my gadgets plug into it and the the cord caddy cover closes.   It might have been nice if it was 6 inches wider on either end but this will work for now.  The drapes and chair are temporary, I already snagged Brian’s desk chair on wheels and one of my wonderful friends from the Chicago area is going shopping for me at IKEA to pick up 3 sets of panels I need for my dining room (anyone going to IKEA soon, they don’t have one here!?)

That’s all for now, it’s time to watch the Bears beat the Packers!  Are you ready for some football!!






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9 Responses to Before and After, Take 1

  1. Musical Karen says:

    Great update. Aunt Val’s comment about the lonely bartender really made me laugh. The grill is looking good. Keep the photo’s coming….your carpet in the photo of the desk being assembled looks very posh.

  2. Aunt "B" says:

    I’m impressed with your talent once again – you put the desk together by yourself and all I see in the picture is a screw driver – what no super glue – that is Uncle Don’s answer to everything…..
    Lovely view from the window….

  3. First of all…unfortunate about our Bears…but the season is young (as are we)…
    Love your tip about the lonely barkeeper…and that grill looks Fab! Now we want to see what Tom is grillin’!
    I am sooooooo happy you got yourself a new desk. I was despressed for you looking at the old sewing table, but do love the fact you have a lovely new view.
    Only, you my dear friend Carol, could up and move to a brand new city (and state) and be as happy and upbeat as you always are.
    Love your happy, life is good, glass is always half-full outlook (unless it’s a Miller Lite, then you’re always looking to your next). on life.
    and love you Carol!

  4. Northwoods Sue says:

    Great desk!! It hides a lot!! From the before picture, I see a slipper on the floor, plate on a shelf, your coffee cup and more. Nothing shows. You are very talented!!

    And I guess me wearing a Packer jersey to bowl last night did some magic as well!! I almost wore my Illinois sweatshirt, but didn’t want to get kicked out.

    • stewcarol says:

      Sue!!! No more Packer jerseys! I’m sure you guys had fun watching that game and my guess is you even like Clay Matthews (don’t like him, show off, but can’t deny talented.) Yeah, that was a pretty scary before picture, just keeping it real as they say.

  5. GRANDMA JAN says:

    Grill looks great…. Need a cover so it won’t rust again ,unless you enjoy Bartenders Friend.
    I would have loved to see Brian’s face if the desk was delivered to the dorm.
    I can always get to IKEA if you need something . Let me know

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