December 12, 2012

mittens gloves hats (and more mittens)

Our house has lots of little odd quirks that I often didn't appreciate until I found myself in need of something...and bam! Ah! That's what that thing is for.

Like the weird spiny dowel contraption fastened to the wall in the basement that looks like it could easily take out the eyes of three passersby in one go. This summer it did a decent job of drying towels and swimsuits and float tubes but now-now that there are snowy and wet and muddy boots all over the place-now I get that it's a boot drying rack. And all those odd angles meant that you can dry LOTS of boots all at once.

Or the oddly configured coat hanging rack in the sunroom which is actually, we've figured out, meant to hold skis upright out on the tile floor where they can drip dry in peace. (It's pretty good for snowshoes as well)

The two linen closets seemed to have a strange lack of shelving on the bottom half until I realized the opening was the perfect height for a vacuum, which means that for the first time ever I actually have a place to put my vacuum away. And bonus! The upstairs linen closet uses the chimney as a back wall, which means that blankets and sheets pulled from it on cold nights are nice and toasty.

The list goes on. I suppose this is what comes when someone builds a house over time (ten years, I believe) and thinks about each step carefully. Handy spaces. And also hyperinsulation, since almost every wall was, at some point, an exterior wall. It's warm in here.

But it was never a house with kids. Not till ours. And while its former life as a ski house-with all the nooks and crannies that implies for bunking down extra people - adapts itself well to kids, there are a lot of things that are not as kid accessible as they could be. The bar side of the kitchen counter is a few inches too tall, even with a bar stool, for little bodies. The hatch to Briton's room would have given me a heart attach if my kids were any younger. And the storage in the mudroom (and everywhere else) is all at tall-adult height. Which means that I spend a lot of time picking mittens and hats and gloves and scarves off of the floor.

We have, as you might guess, a lot of winter accessories to deal with these days. Ski goggles and soft gloves and waterproof gloves and bootliners. There's a lot of it, all the time. And while I love having a mudroom - LOVE having a mudroom - I don't love sopping wet mittens on the floor. A) Who wants sopping wet mittens on the floor and B) Even worse, when you leave wet mittens on the floor they don't dry, and then there is whining about cold, wet, useless mittens. For the past few weeks we've gotten by with a basket on the bench. But it was neither big enough nor sturdy enough to hold up against the onslaught of getting ready in the morning/flying in the door in the afternoon.

I pondered and pinterested and finally found a pair of old kids bike baskets on ebay that I thought would do the trick. They arrived with the hardware hooking them together to hang over the back wheel still attaches (ahem, rusted on) and there was a little bit of swearing involved getting them apart, but once I did, the rest was pretty quick and painless. I used a piece of leftover wood we had stained with vinegar to do a repair in the kitchen. It's not a perfect match, but it's close, and bits of the hardware that arrived with it to attach them, one over the other, to the wall. One for us, one for them. So far, so good. Not a wet mitten on the floor in sight (not that that will last, but a mama can try)

Now I just need to decide what color to paint the mudroom because boy is it hard to take a decent picture with that muddy tan paint on the wall (and also it's pretty blah to look at). Humm... Suggestions?