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Welcome to my blog. I write about everything here - successes, failures and stumbles in healing my heart, my home, my health and a sailboat.

A Little Overenthusiastic: My First Weekend of Home Improvement

Unskilled Labor

I may have been a bit overenthusiastic on this particular Saturday. Somewhere after beach yoga, I was feeling renewed, energetic and ready to take on the world - well my condo world anyway. I suspect I won't have another marathon day like this and therefore never again such a long blog post. Bear with me!

The first project: hanging a curtain rod in each bedroom.  
Bedroom no. 2 was K's room (ExBF's daughter). Now it's going to be a guest room and storage for all the things I'm keeping five blocks away for $100.11 a month.
Many of K's toys and books are still in the room - I packed them up and they are sitting by the door - but her spirit is in there. I miss her everyday. I'm trying to call it the guest room but I catch myself still saying and thinking K's room.
There were already curtains hanging in this room but I want to use the black heavy duty rod iron rod for my room and I need to add a third holder in the middle to keep the curtains from drooping.

The tools: 
-borrowed drill and drill bits from Dad's garage ( I know - I really need to buy my own).
- new curtain rod because none of the five I had was the right length or sturdiness for bedroom no. 2. 
- step stool, bar stool (because it was in the room and didn't want to go downstairs for the step ladder).
- a small glass of red wine.
- pencil so I could pretend to measure properly when I was really just eyeballing.

Trips to the hardware store: 1
Time: 35 minutes

What I did: 
- pinched my finger with the curtain clips. 
- had to take the curtains down twice to fix the rod.
- hung the curtains a little low to let light in at the top when they are closed.

What I learned:
- measure.
- you can't drill through everything. 

Side project in bedroom no. 2: move elephant painted art work to the center of the bed. It was centered when we hung it in December but when we acquired a headboard from a friend, it was on the left side of the headboard. An easy fix - why did we never do it? Good question.

What I did: 
- took the nail out and tore a bit of the drywall. 
- took three tries to get the hanger high enough. At least all the nail holes are recovered by the painting my dear friend Ali gave me after a trip to Thailand.

What I learned:
- measure.

On to my bedroom!

Tools are the same except I walked down the single flight of stairs to get the step ladder.

What I did:
- I took down the thin bending tension rod that held the curtains inside the window - sort of - for almost a year.
- I did use the pencil to mark the three holes for each rod holder. I used two - there were three but I couldn't get the middle one drilled in the right place so I skipped it. These curtains aren't heavy.
- I drilled and re-drilled because I couldn't get through the wall in some parts -- can someone say stud finder? I have one even!

Time: About an hour because I spent at least 20 minutes trying to figure out how to change the drill bit! It turned out to be much simpler than I was making it.

Now all this may not seem like much but at this point, I was feeling pretty proud of myself. So much so that I decided to tackle a couple more things on this day:

Two bedroom side projects: 
Take ancient television - given to me by my lovely parents when they bought a nice flat screen for their kitchen -from K's room and move it to my room and then figure out how to make the cable actually work on it.


Side project no. 2 Hang this inspirational fishing picture in my bathroom:

Ok, now to really get my hands dirty! I bet I can hook up that ice maker in the fridge that we always meant to do!

The tools:
-wrenches of all shapes and sizes
-thread seal tape (is that a tool?)
-my iphone for sending pictures and asking for advise

Trips to the hardware store: 2

Time: about an hour but it should have been something like 10 minutes

What I did:
My friend Jessica's husband Jason had stopped by the weekend before at a little pool party and took a look at the water connection behind said fridge. There was only the washer water lines running outside to the closet we moved the washer and dryer to many months ago. He said I'll need a splitter and he'd be happy to pick one up. And so he did and dropped it by that week. (Incidentally I still owe him $20).

Pretty isn't it?

So I pulled the fridge out and look back there - my first thought is I need to mop! My second thought is - hmmm -what do you use to connect this blue line on the fridge to this splitter. To Ace I must go! 

There, I stammer through the explanation of what I'm doing, am asked how far the fridge is from the water source - again I have not measured.I use my hands to show about a foot. I am taken to the plumbing stuff aisle where I am handed an ice-maker connector line -- that's right -- it's that easy. While I'm at Ace, I buy a water connector  for a faucet I think maybe possibly I will try to install - one day. So very clueless in all my questions. 

Back home, I turned off the two valves on the water lines on the wall - after sending pictures via text to my friends Chris and Brad. I've known Chris to fix things at his nearby marina so I figured he would have some answers. Brad, while in Illinois had been commenting on my Facebook posts contemplating all of this and he sounded like he knew what he was doing too. So those were my experts.

Just to be safe, I also turned off the main water valve in the condo. And got a bucket - well a red mixing bowl, but it worked the same.

Good thing too, because when I unscrewed the water line to connect it to the splitter. water rushed out and seemed endless. There was only a cupful or so on the floor by the time I got the splitter on and the small valve on it turned off - I call that a success! I then connected the "ice-maker connector line" to the splitter and then to the back of the fridge. I sent more pictures and was reminded to put thread seal tape on the connector line. So I unscrewed it and did that. 
The moment of truth - I turned everything back on - and nothing leaked. I went to the front of the fridge and I could get water from the dispenser - it was rather nasty looking as the filter had not been used yet - so I filled up many glasses and dumped them out before trying it. Delicious! Throw out that Brita pitcher hanging out in my bathroom - well maybe not.

A short time later, I heard a marvelous noise. Clunk. That' s right - my first ice cube!
A heck of a day I'd say!

Feeling incredibly accomplished, I shared my success with siblings and friends and Facebook and Instagram. Then I text the ExBF. Sigh.

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