Sunday, October 14, 2007


Here’s what I’ve learned so far, continuing with the luggage analogy--there wasn't any with my name on it--just a jumble of pieces with different price tags some of which might suit me. Now, back to reality.

I’ve become as irritating fussy about the house as I always feared I’d be, if not kept in check. If I spot a smear or piece of lint--I have to deal with it. Even if I’m in my nightie and on the way to bed, I reverse directions, grab cleaning supplies (I've acquired several new ones), and then attack the bit of disorder. It’s a sickness, promise not to tell anybody.

On the other hand, if I don’t see it--I can tolerate huge messes and the worst kind of filth. Just recently I found out the floor inside the downstairs closet is actually white not the medium brownish-gray it has always been. Of course, now that I know it has to be cleaned. Ditto the grouting between the entryway tiles. Yep, it too was once white. So far, the blackened grout has resisted all known cleaning methods. The floor may have to be replaced.

I still like to garden, a good thing. In fact, this week I’ve been out cutting back the spring and summer blooming perennials, as well as planting fall bulbs. The downside so all this vigorous garden activity was the reawakening my dormant appetite. Effortless healthy eating and steady weight loss was too good to last. I just wish it had gone on for at least one more size. Ah well, back to doing it the hard way or making peace with having a round body in a squared off world.

Along with the renewed interest in food came cooking--something else I’d neglected for a while. Made a delicious steak soup. The stuff was really great--it should be on the menu somewhere. To go with the soup, excellent homemade cheese bread. Was there ever a better smell than freshly baked bread? Got to be up there in the top ten--especially if when hungry. So cooking regained its spot on the A-list, though I'm not doing as much of it.

What else happened? The French lessons were hard, but fun. Concentration and decision-making weren't one hundred percent yet. IAll non-urgent decisions were postponed, but sometimes action was demanded.

Last week I got a new furnace, since the old one quit. To replace the heating appliance seemed sensible, nothing to waver about there. Simple cost benefit analysis to decide between the available options, again an easy choice. The agreed upon furnace was installed and the workers slunk out the backdoor. Eventually, I noticed the quiet and made a trip downstairs. The wall they removed for installation was not replaced. I eyed the wall parts stacked against the bar and made a note to call the furnace people the next day (it was already after business hours). Then the new furnace made funny noises, emitted unpleasant smells, and then ceased all operation.

The following day, I phoned the furnace company and complained about the equipment failure, the smell, the noise, and the missing wall. They sent a repairperson. Unfortunately, a part which he did not have, was required. One more day passed before the furnace was operational.

The technician replaced the missing wall. Sort of. Instead of sneaking out the back door, this one said good bye politely, mentioning the furnace inspection had been scheduled for Monday morning. “Oh, by the way, you’ll need to remove that wall for the inspector. I had to use sheet metal screws to attach it,” he mentioned as he stood on the threshhold poised to flee.

While rubbing my hands over the stream of heat arriving via the floor registers--I nodded and actually thanked the fiend.

Yesterday, I examined the wall with the idea of loosening the screws (very ugly shiny large screws) to make Monday removal more convenient. The evil screws sneered at my screwdriver and refused to budge. A lengthy search of the shop unearthed an electric screwdriver (or more correctly, an electric drill outfitted with a screwdriver bit) more searching eventually revealed its charging unit. Unfortunately, its current bit is not the one needed for the job. Much more searching (it’s a good-sized shop full of mostly unidentified stuff) failed to locate an alternate screwdriver bit. Then I got the inspired idea of removing the currently installed bit (I’ve seen ones that have a flathead on one end and a Phillips on the other. But the stubborn bit resisted all attempts at removal.

By now, the day was nearly gone, the rest of the bulbs were unplanted, the animals were getting restless, and I was cranky. I took the dog for a walk, which made both of us feel better. On my way home, I said hi to my neighbor. He asked how the new furnace is working. I gave him an earful about the evil screws and the fiendish screwdriver. He generously offered to come over and help. When he arrived, he has a fully charged screwdriver, complete with a clever case of neatly organized bits. Within minutes, the offending screws were removed. I show him my recalcitrant tool, and he removed the errant bit with the aid of pliers and impressive knowledge about how such things are accomplished. Very tactfully, he mentioned my electric screwdriver is not first-rate. A fact I’d already tumbled to after comparing it to his. Do I need a good one? Yet another decision I’ve postponed.


Blogger Lori Borrill said...

I think every woman needs a good Makita (drill). I didn't pay for cordless. The battery packs make them heavier, they're more expensive, and I never drill anything too far from a plug anyway. But yes, I've got the drill bit with flat-head on one side, phillips on the other and that's practically all I use it for. I wouldn't own a home without it. Get reversable, and make sure it's a variable speed (meaning press it lightly, it turns slowly, squeeze it harder it goes faster). You shouldn't have to spend more than $50 for a good one and you'll find it well worth the money.

The little hand-held ones? They don't have the power to make them worth the money.

Oh, and if you figure out a way to turn that white grout from dirty gray to white again, let me know. I could kill myself for putting white tile everywhere. Bad decision #487. Bleach used to work in the olden days with a scrub brush and elbow grease, but even that isn't working well anymore. I now pretend we grouted our white tile with gray grout. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

10:14 AM  
Blogger Evanne said...

Lori, I'm so impressed with your tool expertise. Very buff babe stuff. So far, I'm getting by with my volunteer handyman. ;) Sorry, no luck with the grout--in fact cleaning has been neglected all day. It's all Karen's fault, but I have to admit that I am easily led astray.

5:17 PM  

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