February 22, 2007

Digging Ourselves Out, Day 3

Today's assignment, for those playing along at home, is to find a small home-improvement task that you've been putting off, and do it. I'm talking about something along the lines of what I chose, which is to finally replace the drawer pulls on the bureau. You could also spackle nail holes, or touch up a teeny paint job, or hang a picture, or pick stickers off the wall--something like that.

I bought the drawer pulls a year or two ago, but when I brought them home and tried to take the old drawer pulls off, I discovered that each one had a nut on the back of what I'd thought was a screw, and that when I tried to unscrew the screw-that-must-in-fact-be-a-bolt, the nut was tightening. Instant despair. Instant giving up. I explained the problem to my dad, who, after a pause in which he was probably wondering where he'd gone wrong with my upbringing, explained that all I had to do was grip the nut with pliers while unscrewing the bolt. Here's how I heard it, though: "All you have to do is...[static]...[some sort of tool]...[something I've never done]....[static]."

This morning I tackled it. I went downstairs, found a tool that brought to mind the word "pliers" ("Does it look like I could pull out a loose tooth with it?"), found a screwdriver, and removed those drawer pulls. It was not easy: those things were installed well over 30 years ago, and they did not want to evacuate the premises. One--probably the one I tightened and tightened and tightened before realizing about the nut--chipped mightily before finally coming loose. But they were out!

And here let us pause along with our brave worker, as she realizes that she has closed each drawer after removing the pulls--to get it out of the way and because it looks tidier that way. Let us turn discreetly away as bad words are uttered. Let us return after she has figured out a method of using screwdriver and pliers to gently pry open each drawer.

And let us turn away again as she realizes that the bolts for the new drawer pulls are much fatter than the old bolts, and that they will not be persuaded to fit no matter how much she clenches her teeth and tries to force them. In fact, let's allow a curtain to fall gently over this whole scene: drawers sloppily open, nuts and bolts and old drawer pulls in a heap on the previously tidy bureau top, new bolts and drawer pulls abandoned in their too-fatness, ten minutes long since over. We will return tomorrow for part 2 of this particular project.


Black Sheeped said...

Oh! I was tagged!

By the way, those twins are adorable.

desperate housewife said...

I had a similiar using new tools/uttering bad words situation when I tried to install baby-proofing latches on our kitchen cupboards. Who knew you have to use an electric screwdriver?! At least, on ours you do, cause the plain old screwdriver just wasn't getting through the cabinet doors. We currently have baby proofed nothing besides putting up outlet covers, and it's a source of secret shame to me. Shame and panic. I MUST get around to this! One day I won't be around to watch and the kid's gonna find a razor and shave her tongue or something.

Mommy Daisy said...

Well, my job was this: I had to use wood putty to fill in the nail holes of the trim my hubby installed around the next bathroom door. Then I will have to sand that down. And when it's all dry I will paint. I'm starting on that today, but I'm not sure if I'll get the whole paint job done.

nowheymama said...

Thanks to your inspiration, I fixed the keyboard tray on my computer armoire. The one I sit at every day. That's been broken for weeks. And only needed one little screw to be replaced. But I never did it. Until yesterday! So, thank you.

(This is Sarah from the Mr. Rogers post. There are too many Sarahs out there, so I changed my signature to my blog name.)

Bunny said...

I hung some pictures on the wall yesterday! I got tired of saying to my husband, hey we should do this...and I just did it!

Kelsey said...

It wasn't home improvement, but I did empty the baskets of "snacks" which were stale and gross from on top of the kitchen refrigerator. . . We tend to eat 9/10 of a bag of something and then just let the rest sit up there and rot. Now there are only a couple full bags of pretzles and some Valentine's Day candy. Also, things don't threaten to fall on me when I open the freezer door.