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Monday, November 3, 2008

The Trouble With Hammers

I really got moving this weekend. I didn't get all the projects on my list done by a long shot. Well, to be completely honest I didn't get any of them done, but I came really close to finishing a couple of them. One of these projects was the wall around the built in AC in our living room. One of these days I will have HVAC in my downstairs as well as the up but for now I have to live with these non energy efficient ugly pieces of junk until I can afford the six thousand dollars it's going to cost me to put it in. Or until I convince my husband that the unit we have in the LR is costing us too much money and we need a new one.
So last year I felt wetness in the carpet near the AC and thought it was leaking. Having pulled up the carpet near there once and seen a large stain where there was a previous leak. I was immediately suspicious. I wanted to see if the unit was leaking into the wall and down onto the floor so I cut off a small piece of drywall, probably about two by three feet, and the baseboard. In retrospect I feel really stupid because it wasn't leaking and there was no mold, somebody probably just spilled something there. (I found out later the cat "spilled" something there. She is now an outside cat.)
So behind the drywall was solid wood walls. I didn't have time right away to replace the drywall so the bare spot in the wall has been sitting there staring at me for *muffled number* years. I'm embarrassed to say how long it has taken me to finally get around to this. So much other stuff was way before this on my long list of things to do.
I decided this weekend I just couldn't look at it anymore. I cut out the Sheetrock and fit it in and replaced the baseboard. I got out my plaster and filled in the holes that taking off the old baseboard had made. I thought this was the hard part. I dusted off my hands and went to bed.
The next day, plaster having dried, I painted it to match the walls. It looked great. You couldn't tell there had ever been a hole. Then I decided to make a mitred frame to surround the AC. It had previously had these really ugly dated doors on it (If you're thinking Snooker here, you'd be right. Only these didn't have the painted on cue balls.)
I had ripped them off a long time ago.
I had a bunch of trim out in the garage that I bought but never used. I went out and brought some in along with my mitre box and saw. A job this small wouldn't need any power tools.
HA! Little did I know I was in for the worst afternoon of my LIFE.
The problem is that I suck at math. I suck at angles. I suck at cutting with a mitre saw. I suck at measuring. And when I realize how bad I suck I start to get mad. This was one of those times. I'm ashamed to say that I was very liberal with my curse words. I'm sure the neighbors enjoyed the show. I re cut the top and bottom pieces of the trim THREE different times. There had been an excess of that trim in my garage, but not anymore. By the time I was done there were little chopped up pieces all over my floor. I finally got it right, but there wasn't even a quarter of an inch to spare. Then I got to nailing. This is where things really went south. I don't have a nail gun so I had to use the old tried and true claw hammer. I have a little one and monster sized one. I tried the little with some little trim nails, about an inch long. I don't know what I was thinking. By the time the nails made it through the trim they were too short to hold to the half inch drywall, much less to the solid wood behind it. So I dug through my nail box (an odd collection of old leftover nails from previous projects in which I bought a box and only used a couple) and got some longer ones. Ditto. THEY weren't long enough. Then I got really mad and got some mambo sized nails. about three inches long and kind of thick, but they had the right kind of heads. I also got out the monster hammer. (Ha HAA! I'll teach those boards a thing or two!) These worked but you had to hammer like H E double hockey sticks to get them in. I was tired and dirty after sitting there trying to make this thing work for like THREE hours, so I put a nail in and drew back the hammer and let it go fast and hard about ninety miles an hour. I let her rip. Only...I missed. Instead I got the end of my finger full on with the head of the hammer against the wall. I screamed really loud and my daughter came running from the other room. "Are you OK, Mom?" I couldn't answer coherently, so I just banged the hammer on the floor over and over and over. NO NO NO! She must have thought her mother had lost her marbles. There I was rolling around on the floor kicking my feet and banging the hammer on everything in sight. Who knew there were so many nerve endings in the tip of a finger?
After a few minutes I was able to speak and let her know I was OK. Then I determined that I would not be stopped for any reason, now I was REALLY going to finish this project and be done, working fingers or no.
And that's what I did. I finally finished it and tomorrow I paint it and the baseboard and then this project is finished.
I was telling my ten year old about smashing my nail with the hammer and she looked at me and said "That's the trouble with hammers!" I was immediately inspired to write a blog entry with that as the title.
Also this weekend I finally got all the old paint off the front door. It took hours with the sander and fifteen pieces of sandpaper and made a HORRENDOUS mess in the house, which Tom helped me clean up.(without asking!) The only bad part of that project was one sickening moment when I was sitting on the floor and scooted backwards, not realizing there was a piece of sandpaper under my butt. Of course it was upside down and left about an eight inch scratch on my beautiful hardwood floor. AAAHHH! It's not super noticeable, but I sure do see it every time I walk by and won't rest until I can fix it.
But speaking of rest. It's late and my finger hurts so I am going to bed.


Granny said...

Judith Anne, you are too funny.

jujube said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jujube said...

Oh, granny,(mom) I got it from you, don't ya know.