Thursday, January 12, 2017

Re-finding My Inner HandyWoman

My father and grandfather were always super handy. Whether it was fixing the family car or putting an addition on the house, they were always into something. And I watched, and sometimes helped, and learned a few things along the way.

My grandfather gave me my own hammer before I had even started school. I used it once or twice, only with his help, but I was proud.

For Christmas when I was 27, my dad gave me a cordless drill. A male friend of mine got a microwave from his parents. We both laughed. But really, they were the perfect gifts for both of us. He had tons of tools already; I had all my kitchen stuff.

In my 20s, I felt pretty handy. I drilled holes to hang shelves, took down walls, did lots of painting, replaced light fixtures, hung blinds - basically whatever little fixes needed to be done, I was on them. But then I got myself a man, and he took over all those tasks. It wasn't about sexism or machosim or anything. Jim, like me, liked to fix and build things, and he was good at it. Better than me, to be honest. Or at least more careful and precise. So, the handyman stuff went on his chores list (with the laundry, for the record - we didn't have a totally gendered division of labour.)

So now I find myself back in the position of doing the handy(wo)man things. And although I'd love to be able to move those chores off my terribly long list and hand them off to someone else, I am actually enjoying getting hands-on with my power tools once again.

Other than hanging a few pictures last month (harder than it sounds with plaster walls), my first real "fix" involved adding a slide lock to our laundry room door. Just whom am I trying to keep out, you might ask? This beast:

I love Maxi, but she can be a real pest. Her greatest goal in life is to find her way into the laundry room when no one's looking, so she can eat the cats' food. And explore in their litter box. (Gross!!!!!) Jim put a cat flap in the door years ago, so cats had access, but not dogs. Maxi did manage to get in through it when we first got her, although she couldn't manage to get back out. Now she's quite a bit heavier and can't sneak through anymore, so she watches for someone to accidentally leave the door open. I guess that wasn't happening quite ofter enough, because she recently started butting her head at the door to break in. And she somehow managed to mess up the door knob enough that the door now no longer stays closed on its own.

I debated replacing the door knob, but decided instead to just quickly install a slide lock. Four screws, one small hole to drill. Just a bit of sawdust to vacuum up. And, voila!
Need a slide lock? I can do that.
I will admit that my drill hole was off ever-so-slightly, and I had to make some adjustments, but overall I am pretty pleased with myself. And now the cats may eat, as the dog can no longer get in. I have seen her try, and may or may not have laughed evilly at her as she butted her head against the now immovable door.

Power tools make me happy
Now, on to my next project. My office. I am hoping to get it cleared out next week so I can start painting. Then I have shelves to stain and hang, a whiteboard to put up, and a few other touches. I think the blinds need replacing too. It's all completely within my capabilities - if I can only find the time! Wish me luck :)

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