Stamps-With-Foot and I worked furiously in the warm sunshine on Sunday in our yard and on the final bits of the kitchen cabinets that needed to be done. Our last tasks for the day were building cabinet drawers and priming the two base cabinets. I had my ubiquitous notebook out, to the side of where we were working, checking off tasks and referring to measurements & notes as we went. We cleaned up the tools and paint around 6:30, changed, had dinner at a local Thai place and ventured out to our new Trader Joe’s for a little grocery shopping.
I was getting ready this morning for a trip to Boeing and started looking for my notebook because I needed a phone number in it. It then hit me like a baseball bat… My notebook… got left outside… overnight!… in the Rain!! FVCK!!!! I popped out the back door like my butt was on fire, my bathrobe flapping and losing a flip-flop in the dash. Damn… It was sitting on the side of the wheel barrow and had swollen to an inch thick. I walked back to the house, with my head hung down and blotted off what water I could and checked the pages – a light of hope. I use a waterproof, indelible ink in my fountain pens, so there was only a little loss of information or smeared blotches (in spots where I used a cheap pen) where detailed notes and drawings used to be. I could have been SO MUCH worse.
While most folks would have to live with a swollen book, most folks don’t have an awesome steel and iron 1920′s book press sitting in their home office… I blotted the pages again as best I could, separated the wettest ones with wax paper sheets, and put it in the press with cardboard and a towel plotter to get out as much water as possible. I left it there for 8 hours or so and removed it before the pages started to stick together. I then carefully opened every page, sat it on its end with the covers far apart, pages fanned open, on the kitchen tile floor in front of the heater vent. Everything should be just fine… I say that with hope in my heart and my fingers crossed.
I will let it dry for a day or two and then press it again for another 24 hours or so. I might take the opportunity to press a design or my name into the cover – I update when it come out of the press.
UPDATE 4-22-12: Took the notebook out of the press and it is nice and flat. While waiting for it finish pressing I made an embossing stamp out of a scrap piece of popular. My carving chisels were taken in a recent theft, so I used a dremel tool with the diamond carver bit to scratch a simple test piece. It is a stylized version of the Arabic word IQRA. I have more or less adopted it as my own hallmark and use it to stamp my furniture, cabinets, it is on my stationary, and I have a smaller version that I use as a wax seal here and there. I decided it was fine time to mark my notebooks as well.