Two years ago today, I left my job for a run at self-employment. Two years, and ran it has, I still feel like it’s a life change that I just made. I always try and set aside some time to reflect on this decision, aware daily that it’s infinitely better than my previous 9-5 but still wanting to be sure it’s taking me down the path that I intended, and making sure that I’m making the most of it, on the blog, everywhere. I mostly know that I’m making the most of it when I can sleep in until 8:30 after a late night of working, or watching TV, or doing housework, that’ll always feel great, and leaving the house at 2:30 without a care to pick up Julia from school on a whim pretty much makes the whole decision worthwhile. But what they say is true, when you’re self-employed, you’re working all of the time. It’s something that Pete and I struggle with a lot, a not so little thing that we’re always trying to overcome and balance.
Last year I celebrated with a pretty cake, and this year, by making pancakes for the first time ever without boxed powder batter. It was this recipe, if you’re curious, and they were good. I subbed the buttermilk for vanilla almond milk with no shame, and no regret.
This year, the casual celebration hits the week we’ve identified as the calm before the storm, because hopefully by next week at this time we’ll have a closing date and be well on our way to renting our current pad and establishing roots in a cool new neighborhood. Holy hell, it’s exciting, and I can’t help but wonder where we’ll be and what we’ll be doing by this time next year.
At some point in the last year, Pete was filling me in on Alton Brown’s backstory, and it really struck a chord. If nothing else, it should remind you that it’s not too late to take up a new career or try a new path in life. In short, Alton owns the story of a producer and cinematographer who was let down by American cooking shows in the 90′s and decided to produce his own; in preparation, he sent himself through culinary school (he was in his mid-thirties at this point, people), and went about about an entire career shift in the process, becoming one of the most well-known TV personalities that there be (and one of the only that I can stand to watch), basically changing the way that ordinary people look at food and preparation. Cheers to Alton, now go make a change for yourself if that’s what you’re needing.
It’s always pretty impressive to look back into a company’s history and find that not only are they leaders in the LED light bulb category as much as they’re leading in the men’s grooming and dental hygiene domains, but that they also have a rich past and present in something as seemingly obscure as home audio with roots dating back to the early days of television.
All of this I learned after stumbling upon this beauty awaiting its fate on trash day. (Further evidence that there is always a big dog pacing around in my 5-foot radius.)
A little research–made easy by the fact that I knew it was a speaker and it read Norelco in the upper right front of the unit–helped me determine that it’s the Rembrandt Norelco ‘Exhibition’ Speaker Enclosure in blond, developed and Guild-crafted by Philips of the Netherlands. T-7 Loudspeakers, too. Pretty badass, right? Check out this product ad that I found online:
Based on the file name of the image, I’m led to believe this was a new product release in the year 1959, and I’m so pleased to have found it because, hello, it’s going to look delightful in our new home.
So, here I was, lugging the f-r-e-e curbed speaker into the back of my car in a Rochester suburb, squealing in glee that the robust scent of basement that it eminated might mean that it actually stood a chance of working or being repaired within reason, and settled in knowing that if nothing else, it’s cute little legs would be great to repurpose on a different piece of furniture. Really, so perfect for our new to-be 50′s ranch.
Its backside, I knew would need to be replaced as it left a trail of debris along the backseat of the Subaru, but since it needed to be removed anyways for exploratory measures, I knew it wouldn’t be a problem to replace it with a piece of luan.
With a prybar, I loosened the barely attached back panel to reveal… nothing.
So, the entire interior has been vacated, with the exception of a random box component that had been rolling freely with nails popping out of it while I drove backroads through our neighborhood (luckily, didn’t puncture the screen). We’re pretty stoked.
I cleaned the existing insulation and dust out of the unit and am left with a solid hardwood mid-century vintage shell of a speaker, not so bad, and it’s cool enough of an encasement to make us wonder if we can fit it with a new speaker (techies out there, advise away!). If not, we should use it as a place in the new house to store electronics, like the DVR, Wii box, and wireless-related gadgets.
Any awesome salvaged finds on your own hands lately?
UncommonGoods graciously opened up the doors to its online storeroom and offered me to review almost any item of my choosing. Talk about being like a kid in a candy store, everything they curate is oh so cool. While this post is sponsored by UncommonGoods, the product picked and review thereof is entirely my own.
I loved these canvas bins the moment I saw them, just as much as I loved the Phoebe doormat that I hand-selected and “reviewed” (a.k.a. swooned over) here. Functional storage? I always need it. Great colors? Check. Ikat-licious and reversible? Perfect little details. I knew it would suit our current house as well as any future house that we found (this is something I had picked out and ordered even before we had found the house we’re preparing to buy, but I knew it would translate to any new house we would purchase).
Now living with us, it has become a great piece of decor in our bedroom, serving as a place to store–of all things–my gym clothes, which I never seem to have enough room for in my drawers. The new house has plenty of storage though, so hopefully this charmer will be able to take up residence somewhere less riddled by socks and running shorts, like in the living room, holding magazines or extra blankets for the couch.
Up close, you can get a glimpse of how the bag stays upright so well. Two thin plastic pieces slide into sleeves and keep it lookin’ pretty and not floppy, even when it is empty. (Side note: Good tip if you’re ever going to DIY some fabric bins, yo.)
I know we just barely made it through Mother’s Day, but with Father’s Day lurking just around the corner (we’re sure you didn’t get any reminders of that whilst spoiling mom), you might want to see what gift ideas Uncommon Goods has up its sweet little sleeves. My favorite? These dog blueprints.