Thursday, September 3, 2009

Did you bring your man with you little lady?

It really has been home improvement central around here lately. OK, not 24/7 like we're trying to flip this house in 3 weeks or anything. We have however set some goals for ourselves, and chilly weather and hell month (otherwise known as wedding season) has been a big incentive for us.

Remember this?:



It's a very pretty antique dresser that we bought last December so that we can retrofit it into an island in our kitchen. We decided that before we did ANYTHING, we'd just let it sit in the middle of the kitchen for a while. Just to decide if we really really wanted it there or not.

After a probationary period, we determined that yes, we do want lots of extra storage. Not that this kitchen needs it, I have no less than 27 cabinets. That doesn't even include the extra 4 that are in the laundry room, right next to the kitchen. I'm not kidding. Oh, and 6 drawers.

Can I tell you a secret?

I have a couple cabinets with nothing in them.

Which would be a great place to hide all the crap I leave sitting on my desk, but that's another post someday.

ANYWAY...

So last weekend, we determine that we're going to work on said island. The only hitch is, we have to go to my mom's first, to do her home improvement project of laying some tile in her entry way.

As my 19 year old said last night "Oh that will only take a couple hours".

HA to the HA.

It took the ENTIRE DAY and we still didn't get done. I'm glad that it was Gene and I that went, because when we get to looking at it, something looked funny. Under the linoleum, there was a thin sub floor, then the old linoleum. fortunately, it made the floor too high, and I told Gene that we should rip it up, after all, why did they put in this weird sub floor?

We found out why! There was wood rot.. a lot of it! So we ended up having to drive another 35 min in the opposite direction to get some plywood, and to yell at the lumber yard guys for lying to us.

You see, let me put this delicately... I am the one that knows stuff about construction. I have been fascinated with home improvement shows back to when "this old house" was the only one out there. Now we have not one, but two channels dedicated to nothing but making our homes and gardens better. 'Rock on' I say.

Well, Gene's job doesn't call for a circular saw or even a hammer. Not that he can't use either one, he just never built things. I'm the one that knows the difference between a stud, a king stud, and a jack stud. I also can tell you what a knee wall is and can explain the inner workings of a rope and pulley window. (unfortunately, so can my ex. Ask him about the "lost summer" one time working on ONE WINDOW) So because I understand how things work, I'm the one that asks for things.

Somehow this really pisses off some "men" at the home improvement stores. For instance, there was the time that we were at Lowe's. This is where we bought our shingles for our new house, which was the very first project that we worked on.

A 'gentleman' works there, and shingles are his turf. He asks us what we're doing, and we explain that we bought a repo house, and we're looking to put a new roof on it. He says that we should just buy the 15 year gray shingles because they're "good enough".

*blank stare and a polite smile*

We end up buying the highest priced 30 year architectural shingles.

So he was still ok with this process at this point. We put the roof on, with the intention of using the extra shingles to make a ridge cap. That's the line of shingles across the ridge of the roof. What looks like the "first row" but is really the last row.

Getting this far along, we realize, that we're not going to have enough. Instead, we'll just go back and pick up a couple boxes of the regular ridge cap shingles made for this color/type of shingle.

Easy peasy right?

HA.

They don't have them. For some reason, the shingles is a stock item, and the ridge cap is special order. *oookay*. So we go to special order. We get the same guy again. Now, this is the same guy, that every time he asks a question, he directs it at Gene, Gene looks at me, and I answer the guy.

This is obviously irritating the guy, but sorry, I know what I want, and since I'm buying, the choice is mine.

Gene leaves me with stupid, up at the front trying to order the ridge cap. Gene goes back to the back for some reason, hoping i guess that they'll have what he wants *right then*. El Stupido is trying to put in the order and I can see ON THE SCREEN he's ordering the wrong thing. I say, "no, that's not the cap, that's just the shingles".

You can see him gritting his teeth.

He's getting more and more flustered as he can't get it into the system.

Shingles again.
I correct him again.

Finally he SNAPS, his face boils over, steam comes out of his ears! Dammit he's gonna go find my MAN!!!

My eyes cross, I resist every single urge that I have not to punch him in the face, and I make it back to Gene about 15 seconds before El Stupido does. I proceed to exclaim in my loudest voice, that he's going to have to deal with this absolute male chauvinistic IDIOT from this point on, and make sure he actually orders the G** D*** ridge caps!!! (Gene, missing the whole scene, gets irritated at me. Yeah that helped.)

El Stupido is directly behind me.

I walk away, count to 12,962, pay my money and leave.

It was that point on that I realized that I would have to let Gene be my interpreter. So when we go into Home Depot I whisper "Tell the guy we need 28 one by eight by eight yellow pine straight and good on at least one side."

To which Gene says "Yeah, sir, we need 28 one by eight by eight yellow pine straight and good on at least one side."

Yeah that's my life. I get to be be the "lil' lady" that just stands there and looks pretty. What could I possibly know? After all, I have prett nails. *bats eyelashes, blank dumb blond stare* (Ask me about the time I took a pistol on Southwest airlines (looking like the dumb blond). Yep, you can do that).

So now the running joke between Gene and I, is when we go to work on a project, or buy something in the store that a man would "normally" buy, he says with this best southern drawl, "now stand back lil' lady, I'll take care of this for your purdy lil' self."

It's only irritating 87% of the time.

So back to Sunday, laying tile. I call and ask for hardiebacker board. I specifically ask for it in 1/4". No, it's not concrete board, hardieboard is a brand name.

"yep yep.. we have it"
Get there. Nope nope, they don't have it.

They try to sell us some CRAP that is meant for walls. Seriously. It's water resistant drywall. They want me to use it on the FLOOR. *eyes cross*

Long story short (snort), Gene ended up defending my honor since he'd heard the whole conversation. Not surprisingly, this is another old school guy that thinks the girls pick the paint swatches and the guys swing the hammer. Period.

We left with concrete board. Which is not what I wanted but it's what I got.

A few days before that, we were at a local place, and Gene was looking for a piece of hardieboard there for our island. All they have is concrete. I'm having a discussion with Gene about how you don't cut the concrete backer, you snap it.

In the corner of my eye, I see a guy that works there, stop, turn, stare at me a good 5 seconds and then leave. I guess he figured there was nothing he could "help me with".

Wow I've gone on such a tangent here.

So back to our island.

Saturday, we had started to cut a big giant hole in the island
ACK!
WTH?

Yep, I wanted to cut out 3 drawers because I really want a posh beverage refrigerator in my island, with a prep sink on the other end. Only problem is, we don't actually HAVE the fridge in hand.

The second problem is, I made the mistake of getting on the phone and trying to get answers from big box stores from old school guys.

We gave up and drove to St. Joe and bought the first one we found.

09-03-fridge

Ain't it purdy?

A whole box, just to keep my diet coke cold. And heavenly music rains down from above. (or hums softly from the center of my kitchen)

Saturday was blown, Sunday was blown. Monday after Gene got off work we attempted to cut the hole with only ONE fight. Success!

And FYI, I did it by myself, well, with the exception of Tanner's help, who I'm training up right.

At least he'll get to ask for his lumber without an interpreter.

Oh, and PS. I'd warn you in advance if these posts were gonna be so damn long, but you know me and my tangents.

LLL (longer letter later..... LOL!. what you don't remember 1979 and hello kitty sticker laden letters passed in study hall??)

1 comment:

stonemaven said...

I Freaking HATE when the Home Depot or Lowes folks ignore me for thatJoeguy (my ever-lovin')
We pretty much work together, and some things I do better, some him, but we both know what's what.
I feel for you.

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