I can laugh about myself! Really!
Oh My God!
"If your home improvement project included duct tape and zip ties (and never works like it should), you might be a Redneck!"
It's almost a given that when you are in Animal Rescue you are always broke. I got some other circumstances that kind of help the issue. So going out and calling a plumber or electrician is often out of the question!
So what do I do when I can't call anybody up that knows how to fix things? I roll up my sleeves, pull out my wallet, buy what I think I need (on my first trip to the Home Improvement store) and get to work!
It's a given that I never have everything the first trip. EVER! And my tools are always somewhere else in the house. I think I bought at least three complete sets of tools; and still don't have a single complete set of anything! It turned into a habit to notice things laying around and remembering their location; ...most of the time!
I had all the best intentions when I bought a tool box and one of them things with drawer to put screws and such away... Toolbox is empty and collecting dust and the 'thing' never got hung up! Why? Because it is suppose to go in my shed into the future work area that I haven't found under all them unpacked boxes yet! Hmmmh!
But, the motivation and good intentions are there; at least on my part.... six month after I bought the parts and some more tools!
Call me a progressionator! If I realize how much work it takes to fix something or I can't figure it out right away... it will make it on my growing list of things to do!
Sometimes I even lose the parts for a while until I do something else and find them by accident!
Sometimes I wish I was married to a good man that does things like that! I used to be married to a Diesel mechanic; ...and still paid the Superstore for oil-changes! I wonder if my talent for fixing things outdoes my talent for finding the 'right' man?!
Fixing a Leak
It was a simple problem of a toilet leaking a little water; and a $13 gasket kit! ....So I thought!
I had loved this house from the start. The pond is what sold me; despite the darn creme colored carpet I learned to hate even more now! But it is gigantic and has 3.5 bathrooms. I have my own, the boys share, the girls share, and the guest bathroom is in a perfect spot! Love it!
Until water started dripping!
Coming to find out that this first leak was from the water lines of the girl's toilet. The gaskets under the tank must have been as old as the house!
I was so excited to see the low price of the solution recommended by one of the employees that would see me much more often in the future; and sometimes laugh with me about my successes or failures!
So we get the parts home and actually found some tools we could use. Thank God and the Air Force for the range of Leathermans I have left from my 'Active' years! It's not the most comfortable tool for your hands, but it works like a spell!
So we finally get rusted screws broken lose, had drained the water, growled about the blue mess from the brand-new blue toilet stone just placed the day before, and started to install the new gaskets....
So I am beginning to put things back together (or so I thought) when I realize that I forgot one bolt... I couldn't get it in easily... Disaster struck!
I had apparently done worse in Physics back in high school than I thought I did!
When I lifted one end up to insert the screw/bolt/object of my future frustration, I tilted it on the other side; the other screw/bolt/whatever already in the hole in the toilet bowl!
Ceramics are apparently made so weak that you want to spend the money on the new toilet bowl or hire a darn plumber.... IT BROKE!
The corner of the toilet bowl broke off and fell into the container with blue water; leaving blue water splashed all over me, the wall and the floor!
637 curses later I went to the now more familiar employee at the store and found out that I should have brought the tank to see if they have a matching bowl... or pay more for a new entire set! ..$70 later I went home...
Three months later it is still sitting in a corner of the girls' bathroom!
I sometimes look at it and growl!
Let it be light and air!
The Superstore had a sale on fans and my electric bill always sky-rocked in the summer. Sooo I bought the fans and brought them home!
The first one to take down (a tiny fan in one corner of my giant bedroom) was already a complicated procedure from hell! It had three parts to it and took FOREVER!
We finally managed to get the old one off and the new one on. Thank God it already had that bracket! I didn't know how much pain that would safe me considering the interesting wiring I would encounter! I now have a giant fan in one corner of the giant bedroom and plans/dreams for another giant fan in the other corner! One fan is just pointless if it is on the opposite end of your bedroom when you are in bed!
We proceeded to my youngest son's room and his was easy to install. The room is not the largest and the small fan didn't really require a bracket. At least in my expert opinion. So far it has not moved a notch and is still up there safe and sound!
My Oldest has the warmest or coolest room of the house; depending on the weather. So we decided to add that second giant fan in his room instead. Boy was I in for a disaster; strike one!
We got the old, ugly lamp off and the Oldest managed the amazing task to crawl across unpacked boxes in the girls' closet to the opening to our upstairs disaster area. We removed the wires, tried to remember which of the three sets belonged where (why three I will never know) and installed the bracket with about another 600+ curses. Hard wood, 14 Watt cordless drill, wrong screws.... I let you do the laughing!
So here comes the kicker:
There are three complete sets of three wires each! Two were connected and one white wire was connected with the two connected sets. WHICH ONE IS WHICH!?
We had to pull them apart to get that old box out and the bracket in!
The ceiling fan ways roughly six tons and you have to have everything together in order to connect it! So we are balancing on one lousy wooden old step ladder, trying to hold six tons of ceiling fan and playing Eni Meni Mini Mo with the wires!
The fan is up and my son hasn't had light in his room for two or three months! Now it is winter!
But, is it worth (even if I had the money) to pay twice as much for a fan at the home improvement store and pay $90 to get it installed?! Grrrrrr
BUT, it would get much better!
Angered we are proceeding downstairs to give our former laundry/now dog-room a new light source: My old tiny Fan!
The tiny room, formerly part of the garage that now makes up my bedroom, had this gigantic light that was large enough to light- and heat-up the entire garage! It was a great heat source in the winter, but in the summer we couldn't use it much to avoid frying my dogs!
We closed up the hole from the old light, laid the cable for the new one, installed the bracket for the fan, started installing the new fan..........
My Oldest forgot that the ceiling was nothing but American quality building procedures aka drywall and 2x4s!
He, as tall as he is, had been trying to squeeze himself into the crawl space up there and tried to get comfortable..... Breaking face-first through the drywall and literally falling to my feet!
I am scared to death he is hurt, considering all the crates in there; .....he is laughing so hard he has tears in his eyes!
The ceiling has a hole, the fan is missing some parts, no light in the room other than my old, once again fixed/taped desk light.....
Cold air is blowing in and will force me to fix this SOON! It's winter now after all and the fan itself is not really necessary at this time!
Now would be the time for a heart-felt ...SCHEISSE!
BUT, 2 of 4 is not too bad of a result, isn't it!?
So you wanted to 'fix' things!? lol
My Oldest loves his shower.... until one day I walk along the hallway while he is taking one and water drips on my head!
Apparently the old fixtures, despite being inspected by this guy that charged me a fortune for the inspection, were leaking! The only bathtub in the house also has a draining problem I will solve one day! Maybe with a large hammer if I lose my temper!
I bought the new fixture, some giant water-pump pliers (that's what we Germans call it) and the rolls of white stuff you need for making it air/water tight. I had already replaced the shower head in my shower, because you had been forced to stand so close to the wall to stand in the water that the fixture dug into your back! I thought this would be easy! LAUGH OUT LOUD!
I am looking in every corner of that darn bathroom, in the ceiling (from downstairs)... no shut-off valve! I walk around the house and crawl underneath the rather comfortable crawl-space full of SPIDERS and their WEBS.... No shut-off valve!
To this day I have not found it, but somebody said there is one at the pump outside in the yard!
I haven't looked yet... months later!
One day I am taking a shower in my bathroom and suddenly the 'walls' of it fall down and slide to my feet! I had already cursed that inspector when I stepped into a certain spot in my shower and felt a hole underneath it where they had to remove the concrete of the former garage to add the pluming! Arrrrrggggghhhh!
Oh, and the glass doors of the shower stall actually are coming apart too! LOVELY!
Another one of those awesome days I am sitting in my living room and here the "Drop, drop" of water.... I look up and the water is coming from the ceiling.... Where my girls' shower is!
Just like the other shower... there is NO shut-off valve in sight! ACTUALLY, there is NOTHING in sight, because everything is hidden inside the wall! And the drywall is already showing the signs of distress!
I bought the new fixtures. I pray that it isn't too hard to get the old ones off and replaced! And that it will fix things!
I do a lot of praying like that! Grrrrrrrrrrrrr
Just don't look at it!
Or shall I say: Doors!
I have a rather beautiful living room with view of my beloved pond! The room has the open kitchen in the 'back', a door to the left going to the wrap around porch, a door to the hallway on the right, two sets of double doors towards the front and pond; one on each side of the fireplace!
One set opens, the other one doesn't!
I am stubborn! I don't take No for an answer until I am forced to! Sooooo we tried to open the double doors on the right; especially since they had the screen doors we needed during the summer when the damn air condition went out again! ...It's only six years old and was INSPECTED by that INSPECTOR I came to despise just a little!
We finally forced one side open (did I mention that the idiots who laid the carpet managed to lay it that high that neither this set of door nor the single door on the left open... really!? And the other double doors by now tore the carpet up underneath them!) and worked on the other!
....When the second door.... hmmmmh.... opened.... it came apart!
The door came apart, the glass slid down, we now had a giant gab on the top where the wind blew in!
When we tried to fix it, we came to realize that it was yet another quality creation of American workmanship. I'm sorry, I love the U.S.! But I have never seen so much cheap quality!
Houses in Germany are build of brick! At least the good ones! Old North German houses are build of a white brick wall and a red brick wall on the outside. Their roof is made out of reed, a grass type roof. They have withstood hundreds of years of storms and else!!!
When the former owner of my parents' former house tried to burn one down, it burned for days and didn't budge. It had a small hole in the fireplace and he wanted it down... so he had to bulldoze it down! The cheap replacement fell apart over my parents' heads just 20 years later! The original farmhouse had been 400 years old!
The door is hollow! The outside metal, the inside Styrofoam! NO SCREW ON EARTH WILL HOLD THAT TOGETHER AND THE GLASS IN PLACE!
I resulted into Redneck measures and bought some trim. The plastic 'grill' is now broke, but the totally weird and Redneck looking trim, supported by two tubes of sealant, is now holding the glass in place and the cold air at bay!
"...you might be a Redneck!"
I am not discouraged!
I am not!
I am single with brats and a always empty pocket, but I am not discouraged! I have thirty years of making this house what I want it to be. And when I have the money I will start watching 'Holmes for Homes' and such shows again. I love watching these shows! I love creating things!
Maybe one day I will learn to do it right! lol
There will be another one or two porches in the back some day. And another in the front and by my bedroom door. Where I can sit in my rocking chair and enjoy the view.
I may even build a garage some day. I gave my car my word it would get one! But I just had to have this pond!
My boys' shower will have a door eventually. And all rooms will be painted and have wooden flooring! I HATE WHITE CARPET!
My pond will have a dock and one of these cute little open seating areas! And those ditches will have real bridges over them!
I have 29 years left to make this what I want it to be! And I am not discouraged!
The trick is to know when to laugh and how to laugh about yourself! The going joke is that if it wouldn't be for bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all!
So I feel very lucky!