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    I have a ridiculously over-sized, over-built, and over-weight workbench that has survived the last two house moves. Thanks to a weekend project, I’m happy to report the bench is back.

    I submitted the manuscript for my next novel to my editor last Wednesday. On time, thank you. Well, on time if you don’t count the fact we rescheduled the publication because of that little change of address from Murrells Inlet to Asheville. I’m still counting it as on time.

    After hitting submit, I leaned back in my chair and looked forward to a week or two of relaxation. My plan lasted about thirty seconds. The honey-do list appeared. All of the things I’d been promising to get to “as soon as the book was done.”

    So that’s how I came to spending my weekend organizing the garage. Throughout the move, boxes were unpacked, decisions were made about where things should go, and some items moved to the garage until we decided where they should go. Decision time had arrived.

    The first step wasn’t overly painful. We sorted everything into two giant piles—things that would remain with us and needed to be placed—and things to be donated to local charities.

    The second action was much more painful. We had to put everything to be kept on shelves that didn’t exist, or hang them from hooks that didn’t exist, or put them in cabinets that didn’t exist. We made a list of all of the supplies we needed, went to Lowe’s, spent a ridiculous amount of money, and brought it all home. I went to work. Hooks were hung. Shelves and cabinets were assembled.

    And then I made a second list of all of the items I should have bought on the first trip to Lowe’s but forgot. I have long referred to this as the Lowe’s Two-Trip Rule—no home improvement project can be completed with only one trip to Lowe’s (or whoever your hardware supplier of choice is). We went back to Lowe’s, added to the ridiculous amount of money spent, and brought another load home. More hooks were hung. More shelves and cabinets were assembled.

    Everything has found its home. All that was left was moving my workbench into position. We struggled, we strained, we cursed, we mumbled, and we moved this enormous thing into position.

    I built it over a decade ago. I needed a place to organize tools, work on projects, and hone my crafty skills. For those of you who have seen me with power tools, stop laughing.

    I wanted it to last. I built it strong. I built it heavy. Once completed, it quickly found its true purpose. It’s known as the dog food preparation table. Yes, seriously, I use it to make two meals a days for the spoiled dogs who are currently sprawled under my feet wondering exactly when I am going to stop typing so they can do something fun.

    When we moved from Maggie Valley to Murrells Inlet, I decided to keep the hideous thing. We loaded it into the rental truck, cursing it every step of the way, and then unloaded it into the new house with still more cursing.

    When we made the decision to move again back to Asheville, I got smart. We hired a moving company to move all the big stuff (we still handled all the boxes, etc.). We showed the management guy who prepared our quote every piece that needed to be moved. He dutifully prepared a detailed listing. On the appropriate day, a crew showed up and started hauling.

    We walked them through the detailed list at the start of the day. They looked at the humongous table and rolled their eyes. They even picked it up and groaned. Then they went about moving everything else.

    At about the halfway point of the day, I noticed the truck was getting fuller and the giant table still waited. I pointed it out to the lead member of the crew. Haven’t forgotten was the reply. They went on moving everything else.

    At the end of the day, they informed me no room existed for the workbench. I pointed out it was on the list. I took them back to the morning when I specifically mentioned it. I reminded them about reminding them during the day. With much grumbling and griping, they finally tackled the beast. It made the move, but, yes, it’s that heavy. Professional movers didn’t want to move it.

    For the last few months, it has sat in the cluttered garage. Now the garage has been organized. The monstrous piece of furniture was moved into place. All the appropriate supplies were carefully arranged. Tools were placed just so. I was ready.

    So what’s my first project?

    Feeding the dogs, of course.

    Books I’m Reading

    Grace McMullen broke up from her boyfriend eight years ago, but decides to check up on him via social media to see how he is doing. To her shock, she discovers he has moved to her hometown, married a woman who looks just like her, and even named their daughter Grace. Creeped out by the similarities, she decided to keep a close eye on him by moving back home.

    When she meets the new wife, Grace befriends Campbell who has no idea her connection to her husband. As their friendship grows, Grace suspects her ex is controlling, unstable, and a threat to her new friend, so she decides to save her, but how do you save someone who doesn’t realize they are in danger?

    While Grace is watching her ex and his new family, who is watching her?

    Gratuitous Dog Picture

    Landon inventories the important supplies on the workbench
    Landon inventories the important supplies on the workbench

    No piece of furniture is more important than the dog meal preparation table. Originally built as a workbench, the ridiculously over-sized, over-built, and over-weight table has survived the last two moves. Landon doesn’t care about the table, but he is inventorying the food to ensure sufficient supplies are stored.

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    1. Debbie and Ruby on July 5, 2021 at 8:15 am

      Some items are so SENTIMENTAL you just can’t leave behind or give away!! Landon is as cute as ever taking inventory.

    2. Becky Slack on July 5, 2021 at 9:35 am

      Can’t leave that important workbench behind! And thank you for making my Lowe’s stock value go up!!

    3. tammyj on July 5, 2021 at 12:44 pm

      seriously think you need your own TV reality show! I’d watch it!
      and I don’t even Like reality shows. 😀 XO

    4. Jean Burkhardt on July 5, 2021 at 2:29 pm

      My husband would agree with you on that workbench Hu-Dad! It’s really cute how Landon is checking out the MEAL supplies to make sure the HERD is well fed!

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