Before we get to the story of this epic mantel, I have to tell you that today is a big day. I’m happy to report that we survived Hurricane Hermine and I didn’t even have to bust into my Hurricane Kit. Also, it is Tini Friday and the one month anniversary of JSH Blog! I’ve been blown away by the love you guys have shown and I’m so excited to keep it going! To think that even one person would spend their time reading what I have to say just rocks my world, so the fact that 544 of you are reading this insanity in only thirty days is just staggering to me. Thank you sincerely for validating my form of cheap therapy. I hope that it makes you laugh or teaches you something, and I hope that you’ll share this blog with anyone who would like it. Or any Super Speeders. Or anyone with Momxiety.
Today as my way to say a big THANK YOU, I have a most hilarious and special treat for you… a secret recording of last week’s Tini night conversation about how we hung the 3,000 pound mantle at our old house.
My husband is an amazing man. He is incredibly fun, giving, and one hell of a cook. He is also incredibly kind, and even when he is judged for his (sexy) southern vernacular – which unfortunately happens frequently #southernlivesmatter – he laughs it off and humbly does not point out the he is basically a genius. The man knows more about water chemistry than mmmm… anyone alive. He starts rattling off stuff about alkalinity and pH and calcium hypo something or another and my eyes go crossed. He is also a stock market savant and I would be willing to bet a batch of Bird’s Nest Cupcakes that there is not one mechanical thing on the planet that he can not take apart, fix, and rebuild. Very fortunately for me, his skills are not limited to the mechanical, as he can also actually BUILD anything that I can scheme up, even if he doesn’t know it yet. Case in point, is the mantel at our last house, the 90’s Beauty.
You may remember that we ripped off the forest green 6×6 tile that was cladding each side of the fireplace as part of our renovation. We replaced the tile, and then one side of the fireplace sat without a mantel for months, until suddenly I couldn’t stand it’s nakedness for one more moment.
I wanted something substantial and rustic-looking for this mantel, so naturally I chose a 6×6 rough hewn post that weighed roughly the same as a circus elephant. Since this was a last minute project that I wanted to complete no later than five minutes after I thought up the idea, I had to spend a little bit of time making my pitch to Lane of how “easy” and “quick” this project was going to be. In my mind my projects are always easy and quick. In reality, that is never the case.
I had an idea for how to hang it that involved Gorilla Hooks. They say they can hold like 50 lbs each right?! Long story short, it did not go as planned. The beam was too big for the saw, but Lane somehow made it work, and the hooks may as well have been made of silly putty once they had the weight of this railroad tie resting on them.
I was mad that it wasn’t working my “quick and easy” way, so as the beam was sitting on a sawhorse in the garage, I just walked up and kicked it over. At that point, Lane Jones had reached his limit, and the next thing I knew he had wrestled this wooden goliath over his head and was single-handedly affixing it to the wall. Lane’s back still isn’t right, but the mantel was beautiful.
Now for the real treat… last Tini Friday (on Tini #2), Lane and I started discussing this mantel project. About two minutes into the conversation, he was on a roll. I began recording with the phone pointing at my feet. Here is the result. Volume up. And please forgive the “bleeps”…
When he realized that I had been recording he said, “awwwww maaaan.” I played this for my mom the other night and with tears of laughter streaming down her face, she said that this reminded her so much of my grandfather and how my grandmother used to say that whatever he built “might not be pretty, but it was hell for strong.”
Happy Tini Friday! Cheers to you, Lane and Papa!
Subscribe and get notified of new posts and the download link to the “Hell for Strong” printable below!