Tag Archives: tools

Who is this man and what have you done with my husband?

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It’s beginning to feel like Invasion of the Body Snatchers up at Casa River.

There’s a pod here somewhere…. I know it.

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It’s the only possible explanation for why you can currently see the floor… and walls!…. of our garage.

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The look alike alien husband removed the rattle trap archaic blower which was here when we moved in.

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He even *gasp* hung things up. Look, little shelves with neatly coiled tie down straps! Be still my heart.

And then? Excuse me while I reach for my smelling salts… he took his prized 400 lb antique potato planter out of the big barn.

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He loaded it on his truck.

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And gave it to our town’s historical society!

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(I think I may have passed out at this point.)

And just when I was sure my husband had been replaced by an otherworldly facsimile…

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I found him back in the garage knee deep in this.

Delicate apparatus?

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Well, not quite.

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Box full of rusty old tools that haven’t worked since Christ was a Corporal?

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There he is!

Welcome back honey. I missed you…

The rodent revolution can’t be far behind.

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I didn’t pray for this miracle, but I’ll take it.

Day two of the husband cleaning out the garage.

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Things were going well until he hit this corner…

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And found mouse nesting material covering whatever the hell was stored there.

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When he pulled off the filthy blanket?

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Yes. Those are corn cobs.

WTH?

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Sweeping off the pounds of nasty mess revealed this:

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Old, rusty and doesn’t work?

A keeper.

But the sweeping also revealed this:

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A tiny, squeaking baby mouse.

And when there’s a tiny, squeaking baby mouse?

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There’s a crazed mother mouse searching for it close behind.

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We spent the next half hour reuniting the little bastards, but the damage was done.

Their home had been destroyed…. like the chipmunks in the baby barn and the red squirrels in the house eaves.

Three rodent families displaced in the course of a summer.

I fear for our safety this winter.

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The miracle continues…

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Out of nowhere the husband decided to clean the garage.

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And there was lots to sort through and clean believe me.

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Did I crochet that?

I once superglued the straps of my bathing suit together, so… no.

Like hundreds of other items that show up in our out buildings, I have no clue how it came to be there. But the point is, the husband was willing to get rid of some things and that had to be celebrated.

Applauded.

And crowed about on a blog.

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Okay, so he wasn’t willing to part with everything. This was old, rusted and didn’t work.

In other words, a keeper!

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Halfway though the day he stumbled on that motorcycle dolly he just had to have. You know the one… I bought it for his birthday 10 years ago, almost broke my back getting it into the house and wrapped? The one he not only didn’t use, but never even opened?

Yeah, that one.

Problem was it had been stuck in the back of the garage for all that time and a mouse family had moved in. So when he picked it up?

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The bottom of the box gave way.

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And pounds of mouse shavings, clippings and poo fell out.

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But one side of the building revealed it did indeed have a (seriously cracked) floor and the truck was filling up for a dump run.

Cue the brass band.

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Naturally if I put anything in there, it had to be gone over with a fine tooth comb. Which by the way, I found three of.

None with a full set of teeth.

Good times.

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Day 4… deck project.

 

Four days in and we were finally ready to start adding the balustrades.

 

 

This involved a large amount of math, which as we have previously discussed… is not our strong suit.

 

 

Measuring was required. So much measuring. The fractions, the division…

Oh! The horror.

I carefully calculated the spacing of 8 rails for each section. I checked and rechecked to make sure it was accurate.

 

 

Which meant 7 of them fit perfectly.

Am I good or what?

 

 

Okay, so there were seven instead of 8.

 

 

It still looked good and things were flowing smoothly.

 

 

Until the screw heads starting popping off.

 

 

Once they were in the railing.

Which made me cringe…. and the husband grab his all purpose fix it tool.

 

 

Have hammer, will travel.

Thankfully no harm was done and we finished 3 out of the 4 sections before calling it a day.

 

 

One more section here..

 

 

Then we’ll move on to the other side.

Hopefully the heat wave will be over by then.

Hot flashing menopausal Maine women with broken toes do not fare well in temperatures over 90.

 

And the deck project begins.

 

But not before another trip to the store to buy wood.

 

 

(Yes, I know the husband is wearing his mask incorrectly but his glasses kept fogging up)

Two perfect pieces for the top of the railing had to be found. And even though we were searching through the more expensive smoothed cedar boards?

 

 

They were rife with holes, chops, cracks and warty blemishes.

After 45 minutes…

 

 

We moved on to the 2×4’s.

 

 

Is it any wonder our small weekend projects turn into 3 month long slog fests?

 

 

So this is our deck, and those are the railings that will be replaced.

Hopefully by the end of summer.

Of 2020.

 

 

First step…. remove the old railings.

The first few were easy as they had been screwed.

 

 

Then it got harder with massive doubled rusty nails that didn’t want to let go.

 

 

Did I mention we picked the middle of a heat wave with record breaking temperatures to start this project.

How hot was it….?

 

 

Okay, not quite. Though it felt that way.

That thermometer was sitting on the table in direct sunlight.

It was actually this hot, in the shade.

 

 

And for Maine?

That is insanely frickin’ hot.

 

 

But progress was made.

 

 

And halted when rotting beam sections had to be cut out.

 

 

With 1950’s era tools.

 

 

Yes, I’m afraid so.

And you know what happens when you use power tools from the middle of the last century?

 

 

Nothing good.

And we’re back.

 

Baby barn work commences…. again.

And I have to ask – are we the only ones who take a year to remodel what is in essence a small shed?

On second thought, don’t answer that. I don’t want to know.

 

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So we’ve moved around to the back half to finish our utterly favorite part…..and by that I mean the hellish nightmare that is angled trim work. I believe we’ve established we suck at this and not wanting to break tradition, we still do.

 

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How badly do we suck?

I’m glad you asked.

 

 

Badly enough to require shaving corners with less than modern tools if you’re my other half.

 

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What….

You mean 1940’s saws aren’t still viable members of the tool arsenal?

 

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Yes, that’s always my reaction as well….

But the husband says it still has life left in it.

 

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Corners were turned…

 

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Though not all of them where they should be…

As the poppa barn ( who’s still screaming for paint and agrees with River how wonderful he would look in a nice rusty red with white trim ) looked on in horror.

 

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To be continued.

 

 

So, yeah. Apparently this is a thing.

 

I went out to lunch in South Portland a month or so ago and drove by this:

 

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Yes.

You read that correctly.

 

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There’s a place where you can be socially active by throwing an axe.

Though I’m guessing not at each other…. because that would dramatically cut down on the social part.

 

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Think I’m kidding?

I’m not.

There’s even a league.

 

 

 

Which leads me to wonder if there’s another league for suburban axe throwing.

If so, I know a few soccer moms who would excel.

Also unbeknownst to me, there are a slew of videos that can teach you the finer points of the sport.

 

 

So if you’re looking for a new hobby?

Remember…. you saw it here first.

 

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A little catch up… the baby barn, a sunrise and some deer.

 

Now that the Virginia vacation saga is finally over, it’s time to clear out the photo files.

If you remember… before we left for the Cape Cod vacation in November, the husband was desperately trying to finish the remodel on our baby barn from Hell before the snow started flying.

 

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He started putting the siding on….

 

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Which was a nightmare of non squared corners and uneven ground.

 

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Yeah, there was a lot of that.

His answer? Plant a shrub in front of it.

 

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He was still using his 1950’s power tools and probably wishing for a larger wheelbarrow.

 

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Siding around the window resulted in some very colorful language.

 

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As did turning the 3rd corner where things didn’t exactly line up.

Unfortunately that’s as far as he got before the weather turned….

And now I have to stare at this split personality horror show until spring.

 

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In other news, our neighbor and her daughter fed our deer while we were gone.

 

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She sent me this picture while we were in Williamsburg, and wanted me to know the child took her responsibility seriously.

And for that she was rewarded.

 

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Flowers for mom and a thank you deer for her daughter.

 

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That little guy cost me a fortune but he was hand made and too damned cute to resist. Look at those feet!

 

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It snowed right after we got back.

 

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But the white stuff sure does make a nice contrast for the sunrise.

 

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We were happy to see our resident buck was still around.

 

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He’s an impressive fellow….

 

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And clearly his women agree.

 

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He’s got quite a little harem going.

 

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With 4 fawns that we know of.

Funny thing is….. as much as I love to travel, it’s sights like these that always make me glad to be home again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 15… Small bathrooms and antique store Hell, where River reexamines how much she really loves her husband.

 

I woke up on our last full day of vacation in Williamsburg, Virginia  (Yes, we’re finally there!)  cursing our second resort’s small bathrooms.

 

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I mean… come on.

For a girl with big hair this is a very small space to make the magic happen.

And the shower?

 

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One teeny tiny shelf!

I had to put the rest of my things on the floor.

 

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We started the day at the husband’s favorite breakfast spot where he was now greeted with ”The guy who wants two plates of chipped beef on toast is here”.

 

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And seeing that we’d had 2 full weeks of doing everything I wanted to do, I thought it prudent to throw the husband a bone and let him pick our last day’s activities.

 

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As expected, that bit me in the ass.

 

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He chose the Williamsburg Antique Mall… and let me tell you, that’s a whole lotta mall.

I have never in my life seen so much  useless crap  stuff  in one place. It went on forever, aisle after aisle after aisle. The husband was in heaven.

 

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Oh, there were some interesting things.

 

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And some seriously hideous things.

 

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It was hard, but I managed to pass on this quartz rooster head.

 

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And the Christmas tree in a shoe.

 

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But damn, at the one hour mark we’d only managed to cover a little corner of the place.

 

 

The building was so huge it had push button call stations for help because it was too damned long a walk back to the front to find a sales clerk.

 

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Two hours in there was a drunken Santa….

 

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And some of the money the husband used during the Vietnam War.

 

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Three hours in there was a pair of wolves on skis…

 

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The ice cube trays I cursed with every breath as a child….

 

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And some questionable artwork complete with psychedelic chickens.

 

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Four hours in there were Civil War era hats and a saleslady who gave me a piece of paper to write down the aisle number, the booth number, the case number and a description of each article we had questions about because no one ever remembers what was where. If you look in the upper left hand corner of the picture you’ll see my hand clutching it.

And no, I wasn’t going to give it to the husband …. I’m not stupid.

The husband?

Happier than the proverbial pig in shit.

 

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Rusty tools….

Rusty tools everywhere!

 

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I passed on more vintage chickens.

 

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And wondered who this wide eyed Santa was going to poke with that…. that….

Whatever the heck that was.

At the four and a half hour mark I had to use the rest room.

 

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Where I did indeed flush my hopes and dreams of ever leaving this place down the toilet.

 

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There was definitely something for everyone.

 

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Even if some of the price tags made you gasp.

Five hours in I told the husband I was too hungry to continue and we needed to go get some lunch.

 

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Yeah.

My worst nightmare came true….

They had a cafe.

 

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Where we had tiny overpriced sandwiches and frozen solid fruit to fortify us for more hours of antique shopping.

 

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It was at this point I knew we’d never leave.

I was doomed.

 

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Too late for that warning…. the husband has had it for years.

 

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He was bound and determined to see every last item in this store or die trying.

And by this time I was happily planning his demise.

 

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Yikes.

Paging Morticia Addams….

 

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And holy crap.

Who in their right mind wants that hanging on their wall?

 

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Six hours in I found a bug collection….

 

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Some chicken humor…

 

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And part of the line to check out.

These people took a number…. and have probably been waiting since June 13, 1976.

 

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But the husband was still going strong.

 

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And if I told you how many rusty old pesticide sprayers we have in the barn already? You’d fear for my safety.

 

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Here’s proof positive there’s a magazine for everything.

 

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And a painting that contains fish bones.

You’re welcome.

 

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SEVEN HOURS  in and we weren’t even 2/3’s of the way through.

 

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I knew he wasn’t going to leave without buying something, but by then I’d reached my limit of  utterly useless crap  antique shopping.

I was on board with the old phone. It could have been fun in the barn…. when he builds that bar he keeps talking about.

You know, the bar he can’t build because he has too much utterly useless crap  stuff in the way.

 

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Eight hours in?

I was silently screaming FFS….just pick something and let’s go!

Or maybe I said it out loud, I can’t remember.

 

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So there it is, the result of 8 hours of antique mall shopping.

A giant glass water bottle to add to the other 20 or so giant glass water bottles he currently has collecting cobwebs.

 

 

I love him.

I do.

And as long as I keep telling myself that I’ll be fine.