Monday, October 08, 2007

Jump in a Lake

A couple of weekends ago we went to see Tom in a play in St. Louis. Tom's a member of the G.K. Chesterton Society, and they and a local professional acting crew put together a play Chesterton had written in the early 1900's called "The Surprise". I figured it would be "ok", but it turned out to be quite entertaining and had a nice underlying moral and philosophical message as well. Tom, who has never acted before, was amazing especially when you consider that he'd never acted before and you know how fast they put the play together. He held his own pretty well with the professionals on the stage. He played the part of the King.

There have been a couple of home improvement projects on the list ... one was our bathroom. We had taken down the big mirror and "hollywood" lights and put up two large medicine cabinets and a light fixture for each. But wiring the light fixture correctly would have invloved snaking through the attic and fishing -- plus we wanted another outlet in that wall. I figured it would be easier to just remove the drywall and re-wire, then put up new. So for a couple of months lamp cord was dangling from the old light fixture wiring spot to the new fixtures.

The other one, which I did first, was the patio door. Vicki has long campaigned for getting rid of the sliding patio door and replacing it with what we found out they call and "atrium" door.

Now part of the problem with both of these projects is getting the large materials from the store to our house. We don't have a truck. Brian's is toast right now. But I decided to rent Lowe's truck (1:15 for $20). But Daryl across the street offered to take me in his and help me load and unload. So a couple of weekends ago we did just that. And while we were there we got a sheet of drywall for the bathroom.

I had the old door out by noon the next day, and Ryan came over to help me install the new one. Sam and Deb dropped by ... Ryan and I didn't figure it'd take more than an hour to do the whole thing... but it did, so Vicki ended up visiting with them while we contributed to the conversation from the "job site" -- they were right there in the living room anyway.

Well the new door is an inch shorter than the old door and it comes into the house about an inch further than the old door, so I had to do new furring strips. I did that and caulk and trim and paint weeknights the rest of the week, and then I took Friday off to start the bathroom project.

I had the old wall out and the re-wiring done by noon, so I dropped by our staff picnic out at Bethel Park just to show my face. Had a burger and talked to people for about an hour and a half, then went back home to work more on the bathroom.

My wiring job on the ground-fault outlets wasn't quite right, so I had to re-do that. Then I cut the drywall and started to put it up. I cut it a little tight so I had trouble getting it in. I left it and went to meet Vicki & Sam at the Elks.

Greg & Georgeanne & little John showed up, so Greg and I talked about beer, of course. He brews a lot. More than I ever did when I was doing it. We ended up eating there and came home. Brian & Kristin dropped by after Brian got off work around 9:00. And saturday morning I set about finishing the bathroom job.

Got the wall board screwed in and a coat of mud on it, but it wasn't drying very fast. I suck at drywall mud -- it usually takes me 4 passes. If you're good you can do it in 2. If you're really good you can do it in 1. But I'm not, and I know it. So I knew I needed it to dry faster or it wouldn't get done today. I put a fan in the bathroom and that sped it up quite a bit. By evening I was able to paint, and I got the lights up before the Mizzou/Nebraska game started at 8:15.

Well we didn't get to start actually watching it until 9, because ESPN was running the Clemson game until it was over. By that time Mizzou had scored twice! Which really wasn't too surprising but it kind of looked like our defense finally started to come together.

They did. We won 41-6. We're used to being on the other side of that equation when it comes to Nebraska. We haven't beaten them three home games in a row since something like 1957. So that was kind of fun.

Sunday we went out to the Williams'. The girls went antiquing, and Ryan and I talked about camp equipment and beer and all sorts of stuff. We went out on the lake in the kyaks. I left my wallet, keys, cell phone and watch on the shore just in case. After a while we headed back to the house. The girls got back and we sat and talked on the back deck. Ryan wanted to go get the kyaks with the tractor, and I wanted to take another spin on the lake. So I went out. I've never come close to tipping out there, so I decided not to remove all my cell phone, wallett, etc this time.

Well you know what's coming.

I was relaxing with my feet up on the front of the kyak, rowing occasionally to keep myself from blowing down to the south end of the lake. And my feet being up probably made the kyak a little top heavy, and I dug in too deep with the paddle once ... and...

Well my feet hit bottom and my head was still above the water. So I turned the kyak upside down and drained it and started to work my way ashore when I remembered my cell phone and wallett.

I got them out. The phone was full of water, and of course the wallett was soaked.

I'll dry the phone out for the next week or so. Kristie has washed several phones and they've turned out ok if you let them dry, so I'll keep my fingers crossed. I have an old one of Vicki's that I'm using temporarily. I just put my sim in it.

Vicki's key fob dried out and it works. My wet wallett is still drying, but all the contents are dry and in a spare.

So that's what I've been doing instead of posting. That should about catch you up.


  1. Wet money still spends! (I wash dollar bills quite frequently :-)

    So, you are a handyman--let's just add that to your list of talents, shall we? The bathroom mirror/cabinets/lights turned out nice!

    hugs to V, C

  2. Handy enough to get the job done. When I went to the picnic and mentioned what I'd been doing, more than one person said "do you hire out?"

    Well I'm not sure you'd want to hire me. First of all, I'd be *very* expensive, because it's not like I particularly enjoy it. Secondly, I'm not really an expert at anything besides figuring things out. So it takes me a while to get things done. But as long as it's just our house, it doesn't matter.

    The money dried, the phone dried and it works. My watch died. Oh well. What are ya gonna do, stop living because you might bust a watch? ;-)