{SQT} Piano Bars and Additional Ramps

Happy Fri-yay! I’m pushing through the fatigue to drop you seven hot takes today! Shall we begin?

1. I turned 39 last week and on Saturday my parents gave me a record player for my birthday. If I wasn’t 39 I’m pretty sure this would up my hipster street cred…and if I hadn’t run out and bought the following $1 records from the local Goodwill: a collection of polkas, traditional Italian music, a movie soundtrack, and spoken poetry. I’m slowly winning everyone in the family over to the record player and an old night stand has made the perfect cabinet to display it on. The trick will be to track down some more inexpensive records (besides the stack of Anne Murray I left at Goodwill). I also recently bought a typewriter at Goodwill for $5 so, all in all, our family’s return to the 1970’s is coming along nicely.

2. After sharing on the blog that I was going to burn or blow up our piano (after more than two unsuccessful years of trying to sell/ give it away) a reader suggested checking Pinterest for some renovation ideas. Low and behold, I found this pin and over the last week I’ve been carefully taking apart the old upright with plans to transform it into a bar for our deck. The next step will be to cut the wires and remove the harp, which can be difficult at best and dangerous at worst. It appears to be solid brass (along with much of the hardware) so it might be worth hauling to the scrap yard. This piano might make us some money after all!! Pictures forthcoming…and by forthcoming I mean sometime after football season.

3. Our fall schedule is pulling us all along at a breakneck pace. Fulton and Teddy still enjoy school, though every morning Teddy talks about how much he hates it. When he comes home though, every day is either “EPIC” or “The best day of my life!”. I’m still not quite used to our schedule. I wake up at 5:30 a.m., get Fulton up by 5:50 a.m. and on the bus by 6:45 a.m.. This means that he’s exhausted and ready for bed by 7:30 which is an hour earlier than his homeschooling days. I know his bedtime. Tony knows his bedtime and yet every night 7:15 (when we need to start getting him ready) sneaks up on us. Family prayers, a nighttime tradition that has stood fast through everything else, has become sporadic. Teddy’s bedtime remains the same and evening sports mean the older kids are in bed between 9:30 and 10:30… I think. I’m trying to go to bed as early as I can, sometimes with success and sometimes not. I’ve noticed I’m slipping back into some bad habits. So now I’m forcing myself into bed by 9 p.m.. If I do, I’m much happier and if not, I’m grumpy and usually too tired to do the things I’m staying awake to do anyway…like blogging. I want to be writing more, but I’m falling so behind at life right now. #sigh #firstworldproblems

4. It’s not looking like we will be able to host orphans this Christmas, much to the dismay of the kids. Despite their own complaints during the hosting process, all were eager to rehost this year. However, Bart and Lisa are being listed with a third sibling this time (who I’ll call Milhouse) and we just don’t have the room for three, maybe if the third was a girl, but we’re maxed out on room for boys. Plus, we don’t have the savings to host two, say nothing of a third. (Honestly, I don’t think we could host one right now.) And I’m hesitant to fundraise for reasons outlined below. If you’re interested in hosting orphans, please consider doing so. We used Project 143, but there are other organizations (many share the same listings of orphans) that can help you. If you’re interested in hosting Bart, Lisa, and Milhouse email me and I can give you their specific information. I would love to see them go to a good family this Christmas. Bonus if you’re close enough to Jersey for us to all meet up over the holidays.

5. When we realized Fulton would need a wheelchair, friends organized a big fundraiser for us and with the proceeds we added a large ramp and deck to the back of our house next to where we park our van. We’ve modified our whole house to accommodate the back being the main entrance. However, now the boys get picked up by their school buses at the front of the house. In nice weather we don’t mind sitting outside waiting for the bus, but I know that winter is just around the corner and with it the mud, driveway ruts and cold weather that will make driving from the back of our house around to the front to wait for the bus difficult. We don’t have a paved driveway and our yard gets muddy in the rain. We have no covered place to stand in the front yard in the event of bad weather. So we’re looking to add a ramp to the front of the house so the boys can wait inside the kitchen until the bus pulls up and then as it drops its lift, each can zip out the front door, down a ramp and onto the bus without getting cold, wet, or the tires caked with mud. The estimate for a stainless steel ramp is $4,000 and it will be ugly. We’re waiting on an estimate to build a small wooden deck and ramp, but we assume the cost will be similar. And that’s not including the cost to widen the doorway which we’re just hoping their chairs will squeeze through without modification. Either way, we’ll need to fundraise to get this project done, and get it done fast. The metal ramp can get installed in three days, so worst case, even if it takes awhile to raise money or we can’t find a contractor to build a ramp within our time frame, we can get something at the last-minute. I’m waiting on one deck estimate and when I get it, I’ll set up something official.

6. Enjoying Catholic blogger and writer Sterling Jaquith’s newest book ‘Not Of This World: A Catholic Guide to Minimalism.’ Very thorough and perfect for people who need step by step guidance to reclaiming their lives from their stuff. Even someone like me who eats organizational/ decluttering books for breakfast found plenty of new and useful information in here.

7. October is the month of the Holy Rosary. I would love to get a newsletter out this month answering your questions about how to pray the rosary as a family, how to help your children learn the rosary, family prayer time in general, etc. Leave them in the comments below or email me. Even though our seven person family prayer time isn’t the same most nights, we are still a rosary praying family; in the car on the way to and from practices, in pieces throughout the day, in shortened versions with tired younger ones, and by ourselves as a daily habit. There is no one right way to pray the rosary! Sign up below to make sure you don’t miss this month’s newsletter (the date of release TBD…but definitely before November!!!)

That’s it for this week! Link up your takes below and don’t forget to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes.







  1. I hear you on the exhaustion of routine!! We are also trying to figure out how to accommodate the sleep of both the big kids needing to stay up late to do homework or sports and the younger ones who should be in bed way earlier. But right now we’ve girls sharing and boys sharing.. and the younger siblings never get to bed until the older ones do! Luckily things will start to calm way down when we throw a newborn into the mix in a few weeks.. bahaha!

  2. Do you have any info on the record player you received? I would love to get one for our home!

  3. Pingback: Seven Things

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