Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Words to Live By

We have been laying tile in a 40' x 20' room. My hands hurt. My knees hurt. My bend-over hurts. And we only have half the room done. Once we got near the front door, we realized that the tile was too tall. The door would not open. So, in the middle of tiling, we had to stop and take out the door and raise it up. That was a pain in the butt, but not literally. The door came all apart when we tried to take it out. You know those questions the wife asks: Honey, did you get all the screws out? Then the husband gives the wife the "Do you think I'm stupid" look. Of course, it turns out that he was stupid. There was a screw or two holding the door in place so that when you beat on it, it stuck tight. The wife was smart enough not to point this out. It could've happened to anyone. It did make for a mess, but we gotter' put back together and put back in place. All's good.

While the door was in pieces (not like when you see them whole and ready-to-hang at Lowes), I was reminded of working with my dad years ago. You see, this is not my first house or my first door. We built on to our house in Questa. My dad loved to come over and work with me - it was his summer project. One day, he brought us this wonderful old Dutch door from an estate sale. It was big and heavy with lots of funky things and funky latches. The top half had a small window. I really liked it and thought it would make a great front door. I worked all summer on that door - stripping the paint, sanding, replacing broken bits.etc. We eventually hung it, but it was never quite right. I remember opening the top half during the day to let in sun and air while the kids did school. But opening the whole door was tricky. Usually, I had to motion and yell through the little window for people to go to the side door if they wanted in. We truly tried to make the door work. One day, Dad came over and saw me working on the door again. He said these words to live by" Ya know, you can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit.

Thank you, Daddy. The door came down and was given to a neighbor to fret over. We replaced the door with a ready-to-hang door with a big window. It was not nearly so funky as the Dutch door, but it worked so much better. And all was good.


Becky said...

Well, I suppose you could, but it wouldn't taste very good.

Jo Castillo said...

Lou, don't you know our Dads could have told some stories. Would have been fun to see them together. Maybe someone made chicken salad for me that way, I don't eat much chicken. Hmmmm.

Andy said...

Lou, I laid 12" square tile in our kitchen a few years ago...ripped out the old plywood floor, did all the right stuff, etc.

Tiling is not for people that don't do it all the time. For the next four days I felt like I had the flu.

Seriously. Every stinkin' cell in my body ached. I was physically ill.

Good luck...

Bag Blog said...

Yep, it would not taste good, and that old door would never have worked right.

Our dads could have been bad together. Did I mention that Dad kept a bottle of Wild Turkey under the seat of his pick-up truck?

I'm already dealing with some sinus problems and feel like someone set a weight on my chest. Maybe it is the tile laying! But it's like we are in the last kick and we have to finish.

Buck said...

So... I'm reading this and my last girlfriend came to mind: the ONLY woman I've ever known who had her very own tile saw, which was quite an impressive piece of power equipment. She bought it several years before I met her and used it when she laid tile in her entry way, kitchen, and spa room (I don't know how else to describe that room, but it was primarily occupied by this big-ass hot tub and hordes of ferns and other green stuff).

I think about that woman every single time you write a building story. Your skill sets were/are very similar.

How in the hell do you "raise a door?" Cut more off of the top opening? Trim the door itself? (I know: I'm an idiot.)

Bag Blog said...

You can buy a door in its frame ready to put in an opening. It takes a bit of balancing the door to get it so that it opens and closes the way it is suppose to. The door we bought was metal so there was no taking it off the hinges and trimming it. We had to take it completely out of the opening - frame and all. Then we put down a piece of backer board that we had been using under the tile. It raised the door just right to swing over the tile.

You let go of a woman who had a hot tub and building talents!?

AirmanMom said...

Thanks for the update. Hang in there!

Moogie P said...

You are amazing.

Jesse said...

I was 11 that summer, and when ever I asked to help out with building the house, I'd be sent over to strip paint off that old door. I'd work on it for a little while and then sneak off. It was a neat door, though!

Bag Blog said...

I don't know how amazing I am, but I'm certainly sore.

It was a cool door. We probably had you pulling nails out of old boards too. Child labor!

Buck said...

You let go of a woman who had a hot tub and building talents!?

Yeah, I did. It's a long story but the Reader's Digest version is she wanted to get married four months into our relationship and I didn't. That's waaay too fast, and I told her so. The resulting dialog (dialog? heh) wasn't pretty.