It's not about the house.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Day 17, Projects 3, 6 and 7: Oh No! Oh. Okay.

I forgot to mention yesterday that Johnny said I didn’t have to be so anal about hauling the door in every afternoon and out again every morning. (I was afraid the dew settling on it in the night would warp or water-stain it). He said it might swell a bit in the night but it would shrink back down by morning, and as long as I made sure it was dry before I varnished it then it would be okay. So after he squirted it with bleach last night we left it out.

And yeah. It rained. And birds pooped on it. Which wasn’t even on my list of things to happen...

Bottom line is it’s okay. I had to go out this morning and dump the puddles out of it, but once it dried you couldn’t really tell unless you knew where to look. Johnny says it’s getting there and what I have to is just keep going, keep bleaching it, until it’s white. I say the damn thing has sucked up damn near a gallon of bleach already and it gets what’s left in the bottle and that’s it. If it wants more then it can get a job. It’s got plenty of experience in… wait for it… stripping! Thank you very much, thank you, I’ll be here all week.

So anyway yes, I tried to write for three hours this morning but I think someone poured molasses in my ear while I was sleeping. So I worked out and showered and shaved and all that jazz and then went out and bleached the door. The doorknob looked really rough after all that bleach and rain and bird poop, so I went and got the screwdriver to put it out of its misery at last. I was all cheesed off at myself for not having taken it off sooner, all torqued up at the idea that after all this time and effort something that looked fine to begin with was going to looking hell -- when the last screw came out and the doorknob on the other side fell out. Aha! There’s another doorknob! One I have not ballsed up beyond salvation! I am a home-improvement god!

Careful, Prudence…

Brimming over with dumb luck, I decided to enact my get-the-skylight-thing-for-free plan. The plan was this: I cancelled my Discover card and cashed in $20 worth of points for a $25 gift card to Ace Hardware. Then I got a coupon from Ace in the mail for $5 off a purchase of $15 or more. So my plan was to call and get them to order my skylight-thingy for me. It couldn’t possibly cost more than thirty dollars, right?

Well, we’ll never know. For some reason, the so-called “helpful hardware man” at Ace wanted me to tell him who made the skylight before he’d order me the part. Go figure. Apparently there has never been an international treaty on universal construction of skylight-handle-opener-extension thingies. When I couldn’t tell him (and you don’t even want to get me started on the reason why) he very nicely took my phone number and said he’d see what he could find out and call me back within a half an hour.

And yeah. He didn’t.

While I still believed that he would, though (and why is it that I never fell for the “I’ll call you” line when I was dating, but put a tool belt on a guy and I go all hook-line-sinker?), I went up in the attic just to see if maybe, by some slim chance, there might be a piece of paper somewhere that would tell me what the helpful hardware man wanted to know -- and I damn near fell down the functionally obsolete stairs again on my way down. So I decided that would be my project for the day.

Well, first bleaching the door a thousand times, then talking to the hardware store about the skylight-thingy, then trying to write again for two more hours (this time it was taffy on my hands), and then cleaning off those f-o stairs.

I noticed, while going up and down those stairs a thousand times with armloads of canning jars that Johnny seems to think belong there, that my socks were turning a disgusting shade of grungy gray (I am not a lesson-learner, alright? I know I fell the last time because I was in my stocking feet, but it’s Saturday, and I don’t wear shoes on Saturday). I realized, also, that this black-sock effect might possibly have something to do with the fact that those attic stairs have not been mopped a single time since we moved in. Lord knows how long it might have been before that...

Prudence Puritan to the rescue!

But I couldn’t find the bucket, so I decided they could wait another couple years.

Day 17: Accomplished (at least two-fold, and maybe three, if the phone call to the hardware store counts for anything).
Time: 50 minutes (if you count the phone call). Oh crap, I better bring the door in just in case it rains or poops again. 55 minutes, then.
Cost: Nothing
Putting Extra Doorknobs On The Insides Of Closet Doors: Prescient.

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