Sunday, April 21, 2024

DIY Toddler Hand Rail

My daughter and granddaughter, Squeak, have an apartment in my basement.  Even though they have their own home, Little Miss spends as much time upstairs with me as she does downstairs with her mom. 

Little Miss is 2 and super independent. Too independent. She comes from a long line of stupidly independent women and the gene didn't skip her.  

She's now taking to coming and going as she pleases, absent an adult. On the stairs. She goes up. She goes down.  She gives me a near heart attack every time. 

She is tall enough to reach the hand rail, but, her hand is too small to actually grip it.  She refuses to sit and scoot down the stairs once she figured out she could walk up like a grown ass adult. One foot in front of the other.  Not step up and plant both feet on one stair, then do the same on the next. Nope. She's a one foot after the other.  

And I'm too old for this kind of terror. 

So I decided to get her a toddler hand rail. But they don't really exist - at least as far as I could find. There were thick ropes people hung to their existing rails, and that would probably work fine. But it also made me nervous for no rational reason. 

So I thought about it for a few days, and came to a solution.  I needed a 12 foot hand rail.  I looked on line and didn't find anything I really liked.  So I took Little Miss to the hardware store. I found a 3/4" dowel that she could grip completely with her little tiny hand. I bought two. I bought four hand rail hardware mounts. 

I had Little Miss be my biggest helper and hold the dowel so I could see how high it needed to be. 14" from the bottom was just right.  

A few drill holes, lots of measuring and re-measuring, some stud finding, about two hours, and bam!  Railing in place.  It's not beautiful, but it's functional and hopefully it saves her from any slips or falls  

She was so proud using it going down the stairs and then up again.  I feel so much better knowing she has a good grip. 

It's not beautiful. But it's sturdy, functional, and Little Miss thinks shes a really big girl now.  Mission Accomplished. 

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Monday, April 1, 2024

I'm in a slump of some sort


I've been struggling with ideas lately. This happens when I'm overwhelmed at work.  Or over stimulated. Or lazy. I fall into a slump that is sometimes hard to get out of. 

My plan is to write up a brief review for a couple of books I've read the past month.  I'm hoping this pushes me in the direction of reading the other two books in the series. The series consists of four books written by Alice Hoffman, written about the Owens women through the generations.  

As many of us did, I fell in love with Practical Magic the first time I saw the movie, so so many years ago. It is now a quasi Halloween tradition as we watch it every October.  When I learned there were books, I was beyond excited to read them.  

I’m trying to get back into reading like I used to, back when I loved to read and get lost in a fantasy world.  I’d gobble up a book (or two) in a weekend.  Then law school happened and I’d read a couple hundred pages a night to prepare for class the next day.  Law school legit killed my desire to read anything.  I graduated in 2014. I was able to read a whole book (after starting it at least 11 times) in 2018.  Since then, I’ve read many books and the Practical Magic series is my latest grab. 

It is said that you can read these books in any order, because they all tie into each other but do not require reading one before the other.  Chronologically, however, the books flow are as follows:

Magic Lessons, set in 1664 tells the story of Maria Owens. 

The Rules of Magic, set in the 1960-70s, tells the stories of Franny, Jet, and their brother, Vincent

Practical Magic, is set in [probably] the 80s-90s and tells the story of sisters Jilly (Gillian) and Sally.

The Book of Magic, takes place after Practical Magic, involves three generations of Owens Women, including Sally's daughter, Kylie and involves the death of one of my favorite characters. 

I have read the first two books, Magic Lessons and The Book of Magic.  I was preparing to read Practical Magic and my dog ate the book.  Legit ate the book: