When One Thing Leads to Another: A Chapter in Home Improvement Hell

AUTHOR: | POSTED: May 13, 2013 | COMMENTS: 4 Comments
CATEGORIES: Decorating, Home Improvement Hell, Home Projects, Tool Girl,

Carolyn Savage

At my cousin’s shower a few weeks ago, someone rendered the bride a wise piece of advice…

Remember, the more you do… the more you have to do!”

So true.

Oh how I wish someone would have tapped me on the shoulder many moons ago and told me to put down the paint brush and back away from the tool box.  Little did I know my ability to be handy was going to eventually bite me in my old lady ass.  Over the past two decades of marriage I have painted, wallpapered, stripped, refinished, and repaired my way into superstar handy man status.  In my earlier years, I was proud of my mechanical abilities.   I must have been smoking some sort of epoxy-crack as I think I may have thought that I looked cute in a tool belt.

I guess at 26 it was cute.

Problem is…at 44 it sucks.

Odd thing is it’s a bit of two prong problem.  First, Sean thinks I can do anything.  Like that one time after we had a new patio put in (Um…no.  I don’t do poured concrete!) and we needed a retaining wall.  Sean thought it would be stellar if, instead of hiring a masonry person to build the wall which would be uber-expensive, I would build the wall  (because I must look like I can haul retaining wall bricks the size boulders around the yard).

A wall?

Which leads me to the second part of the problem.  After years of doing home improvement projects myself, I’ve grown cocky.  Meaning, there’s a giant part of me that is still like, “Yeah.  I can do that.”  Then about fifteen minutes into the job, after I’ve been to Lowes and spent a few hundred dollars getting all the stuff I need, I realize that I’m a total asshole because I have no business building a retaining wall.   For starters, you’d think by now I’d be well aware of my limitations one of which is measuring.  I suck at measuring.  I’m more of an ‘eyeball it’ type of gal, and when building a wall that has to…you know…retain things…turns out measuring is kind of important.  In addition, I need to consistently remind myself of my age.  I’m 44.  I’m tired, and I have five kids who generate mountains of laundry and require annoying things like three meals a day.  Doing everything they need while building a wall is a bit of juggle and something has to give.  Usually it’s the laundry and that’s never good.

So why am I spouting off about all of this today?

Have a looksie below…


Isabella photo-bomb

Isabella photo-bomb

Everything from my kitchen counters is in my dining room.

Everything from my kitchen counters is in my dining room.

That, folks, is the current state of my kitchen.

Now let me explain.  Sean and I realize that there are some things that I cannot do…like tile.  (That was actually a difficult sentence for me to write because that part of my brain is whispering to me, ‘You could do it, Carolyn. You just can’t because of your schedule.  Oh… and you don’t have one of those fancy drippy water saw thingys.‘  Note to self-  Research existence of twelve step program for people who have delusions about mechanical abilities.)  So, I recently hired a real handy man to tile two bathroom floors and install a tile backsplash in our kitchen.  I thought the work would be starting in April, but due to some unforeseen delays it only started a week ago. “No big deal, ” I told myself.  “Drew’s graduation party isn’t until Memorial Day weekend.  It’s only a back splash and a few floors.”

Unless it isn’t.

Because as I’ve learned the hard way but can never seem to remember, one thing always leads to another in home improvement projects.  Meaning, you make one part of a room look great, it’s going to make all other parts of the room look like hell and next thing you know you’re standing in your kitchen having just impulsively ripped all the wall paper down with no plan as to what you are going to do with your now bare and heavily damaged walls.  Oh…and you have two weeks until a huge ass party and your yard isn’t even done nor is any of the party prep not to mention your family of seven who needs clean clothes and food on the table.

Home improvement hell.

I tell you all of this not to solicit your pity, but instead to warn you of my impending absence over the next two weeks.  You’ll have to pardon this mama on the fly for a bit.  I have a party to plan, a yard to plant, and sadly…and scarily…dry wall to repair.

See that gray stuff on the wall next to the door.  Apparently, that is VERY BAD.

See that gray stuff on the wall next to the door. Apparently, that is VERY BAD.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to start googling some process called skim coating.

God help me.

New backsplash that started all of this.

New backsplash that started all of this.

4 Comments on “ When One Thing Leads to Another: A Chapter in Home Improvement Hell ”

  • Jesabes | May 13th, 2013 5:11 pm

    The backsplash looks very pretty, at least! Hope everything goes smoothly for the next few weeks!

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  • Kristin | May 13th, 2013 5:23 pm

    I think somewhere in our distant past, we must be related because I’ve got that handyman/Ms. Fix-it disease going on too.

    Good luck.

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  • Judi Zimmer | May 14th, 2013 1:01 pm

    Oh “for sure” we do share the same genes..I am 66 years old and have 43 years of home improvement behind..My jobs are always using the buddy system…me and my man…and very often my ideas are BETTER THAN HIS.This weekend involved deep holes,large posts,cement,peat gravel,dirt(black dirty dirt)..digging,dragging,pouring,racking and really not nice words…Phase one of many complete.. the deck foundation no one will ever see!!! Today still in my robe,with a bottle of Ibuprofen at my side and so Proud…It is a true sickness…Have fun…Aunt Judi

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  • I’m Back….with A Story and Some Pictures to Prove It! | Mama On The Fly | June 3rd, 2013 12:40 pm

    […] are about Drew’s impending exit from our daily lives, I must admit…the trauma of the kitchen wallpaper removal, drywalling failure, and rewallpapering/painting fiasco is causing me terrifying flashbacks that mimic my former symptoms of […]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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