Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"Practice" Does Make Perfect

Ok, I'll spare you the "before" pictures which occurred three months ago today.  Here is my room (completed Monday night) and the storage room; now you know why I've lagged some on my blog:

Not done yet, but the light at the end of the tunnel is visible!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

By the Pound

I've been trying to be of assistance to the Amazing Cam, but my limits are extensive.  I can't stand on ladders, paint at night, or do any lifting or holding stuff over my head.  My main skills are running errands to Lowes, sweeping up debris, and handing him stuff.

On the farm, we learned to anticipate when to hand somebody something.  I'm still fairly good at it but am not always sure what's needed, so I just hang out and try not to stand in the way too much.  Yesterday I managed to cut a few small pieces of sheetrock to go around the window sills and it gave me a real rush.

We got chatting about nails.  He mentioned that a few of the longer nails he was using came from his grandpa's house.  I thought maybe they had pulled them out of somewhere to recycle them but he was talking about nails his grandpa had stored at his house.  They were purchased back in the day when you walked into a hardware store, went to the nail bin, spun it around til you found the right size pile of nails, shoved in a big metal scoop (sort of a large version of the bulk food scoops in the grocery store), loaded up what you needed in a paper sack, and took them to the cashier who weighed them and charged you by the pound.  It's one of those pleasures you didn't know you missed til you were reminded of it.  I can feel the scoop in my hand and hear the crunch of nails in my mind's eye right now even.  I'm not sure if the price per pound stayed the same for any size or was like the price of different types of apples at the grocery store.  Pauline might remember, or maybe Bill.

My dad had a cubbie box right behind the door of his shed where he kept his sorted nails.  A friend of mine saw that once and about fell over in amazement. It never occurred to us that nails wouldn't have their own little compartment separate from other-sized nails.  It wouldn't surprise me if some of Dad's nail were still in their little homes.  Dad would love Cameron.

I've heard that Ace Hardware still has open bins of nails for sale.  I'm going to go check that out.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Hardware Disease

I always thought my dad made up this term but find it is a verified name of a cow malady, and possibly of other animals, too.

Every now and then, Dad would pen up a cow and shoot a magnet down its throat with that shiney metal cow pill-feeding gizmo.  I didn't often feel compassion for cows, but this was one of those times.  It pretty much activated my own gag reflex, and the cows weren't too happy about it either.

Apparently cows, with their four stomachs, cannot pass a magnet through their digestive systems, so the magnet just hangs out and gathers the random metal things cows eat.  I could never figure out why a cow would swallow a piece of barbed wire in the first place, let alone a hunk of metal that fell off a piece of farm equipment. You'd think the crunch of breaking teeth would alert them, but I'd be first in line to name them as the dumbest animals on earth.

Well do I recall an incident from when I was a young child, probably six or seven.  It was a rare occasion when a vet was called to our farm (I cannot recall his name, though I'm pretty sure it wasn't James Herriot).  First, the cow was locked in her stansion and fed some oats to keep her occupied.  Second, Mr. Vet gave her some deadening shots. Shockingly, he then sliced a sizeable hole in her side.  What happened next seemed surreal but I couldn't avert my eyes.  He inserted his hand into her side and proceeded to remove handsful of gobs of partially-digested hay, laden with an incredible amount of hardware...barbed wire, machinery parts and, of course, the big magnet.

 Some of the magnets were cylinder-shaped and some you could run your thumb along like a section of metal celery.  They were about three inches long, quite heavy, and expensive enough to keep for another time.  They were pretty powerful and I remember playing with a couple of them, always fascinated by their magical power.  They apparently still use this tool today.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Water, Water, Everywhere

I finally felt well enough to go to work yesterday, got up when the alarm went off, and swung my feet to the floor...the wet floor.  At first I thought the humidifier had leaked in the night but nope, too much water for that.  On my way to the bathroom, I found the hallway was filled with a whole lot of water.  Then I heard it, what sounded like a shower running full blast.  In my mind, I could envision a tub filled to overflowing, water running amok.

There is just an indescribable feeling you get when you wake up on a snowy morning and see that there is water in every room and massive amounts of it flowing from your ceiling. I moved pretty fast for a senior citizen, summoning both Kyle & Teelay who came and stared at it with me. I sent Kyle out to turn off the water to the house.  He had no clue what that was about but called Jason who gave some direction. Teelay and I started grabbing about two dozen towels and throwing them everywhere.  Since we didn't have any water, we just put them sopping wet into the washer on spin cycle and dried them as fast as possible for new duty.

I had to wait an hour before the insurance company opened, but they gave me a phone number for some cleanup people they recommend.  By eleven, two handy guys showed up.  I mainly tried to stay out of their way.  Interestingly enough, the one in charge was named Jason and his assistant was named Jared.  After about an hour and a half, this Jason came out to say it wasn't a frozen water pipe as we had all supposed but was from a broken PLASTIC water valve that supplies water to the toilet.  We hadn't noticed that it was shooting up in all the falling down and by the time we had any senses about us, the water had been turned off.  I wouldn't have thought we had such water pressure anywhere in the house anyway.

They could only do so much since they had to send the flooring and a ceiling sample out to the lab for any asbestos and mold analysis.  They will have those results tomorrow.  My Jason came over after work; we went to Lowe's and bought a whole new valve replacement for less than $5.  The plumber said he could do it for $98.  I gave Jason $10 and everybody was happy but the plumber.

What they did accomplish was tearing up all the floors in two bedrooms, the bathroom, the hallway and the living room.  Those will all have to be replaced, along with possibly two walls, one ceiling, and for sure the vanity which got waterlogged.  They left me with 8 horrendously LOUD gigantic fans, one gigantic dehumidifier and a promise to get in touch me tomorrow with some totals.  Thankfully, the insurance deductible is $500 so I am pretty happy, if inconvenienced.  It will take 2-3 weeks but will be worth it when it's done.  Right now we are dealing with the smell of wet but are glad to be warm and safe and have running water in the house (not from the house) again, one of life's finest pleasures!

I do not like it, Sam I Am.
I do not like it with a pan.
I do not like it with a fan.
I do not like it, Sam I Am.
I do not like the cold, wet floor
That reaches almost to the door.
I'm in a pickle,
In a jam.
I do not like it, Sam I Am!