Monday, March 31, 2014

A Rainy Weekend, YouTube and a Hammer

"First window done! I can do this! Well, me and YouTube!"
I was in the funk of all funks last week. Don't know why. I know it happens to everyone, but I work hard at keeping funk storms on my radar so I'm prepared to react. I didn't see this one coming and I saw no way out once it hit. So, for a few days I let it rain down on me. And it poured. Then, like a wet dog, I shook myself dry and moved on. Enough was enough!

One of the things bothering me was that there were a few projects to be done in my house that I classified as a little over my head. I had purchased 2" wide, plantations style blinds to replace vinyl mini blinds that had seen their best days. And they were sitting in boxes, piled on the dining room table next to a miter box I also purchased to cut and install new oak trim over my kitchen cabinets. The previous owners had trim up there that simply did not match the cabinets and it drove me bananas every time I looked up. And since replacing the cabinets are not on my calendar or in my budget right now, the least I could do was make myself happy with the right trim. Agree? Well...

The term "easier said then done" might apply here. But I've recently discovered the greatest video "how-to" source available...YouTube! So, I will beat funk with fortitude and take on my own projects. Now, I'm not great with written directions, but visually show me what needs to be done and I've got a chance. Literally, go to and type into the search box whatever you need to learn, and it's there! "How to make bread?" There. "How to do needlepoint ?" There. "How to hang and shorten 2" wide Levelor plantation blinds?" There! "How to use a miter box?" Freaking there!!! I kid you not!

So I poured some coffee, turned off the TV, fired up the laptop and took notes. First the blinds. I watched the 3 minute video twice to make sure I understood. Then, I took my tool bag out of the closet, plugged in my drill and took aim. And as it turned out, installing the blinds, not so difficult. However, shortening them reduced my language to that of a trucker...with Tourette's Syndrome. I said words I didn't know I knew. On my knees, hair hanging in my face, glasses riding down the wave of sweat from my brow, I was trying to thread a small string through an even smaller hole. And this was to be repeated several times.

On the video, the "guide string" slipped right in. In my hand, the string fabric spread and held onto the outside of the hole each time I tried to push it through. Several attempts later, sheer frustration set in. I realized I had to get a hold of myself before solving the problem. So I stood up and went into the bathroom to wipe my face and pull my hair back. I picked up the hair spray to help contain the mess on top of my head, when I had an epiphany!
The dreaded Miter box...

I ran back to the blind, pulled the string end straight and sprayed it with hair spray! No more fabric spreading. It slipped right through! I can't believe something so simple, made me stand up and do the "Happy" dance in my living room! I can't believe that something I do everyday helped with a problem I hope never to have again! Finished four windows and a door in twice the time the instructions said it would take, but I'm okay with that. Now to address that yellow box that has been staring at me for days.
... is amazing! Perfect 45 degree angle!

First, I will admit that math is my weakness. I don't like it. I don't always understand it. How I mange to balance a budget each month is always a mystery to me. But that aside, I knew to replace the existing trim, I would have to cut two pieces of wood on a 45 degree angle to meet in the corner. And the angles had to be opposite cuts to fit exactly. What else could I do but go to I typed in "miter box" and all sorts of video's popped up. I watched several before attempting to make the first cut...and then did it wrong. But it was a simple fix and, in half an hour, I solved an issue that had been bugging me for months while waiting for someone else to do it!

Can't even see where I patched two pieces together!
In spite of an almost 48 hour downpour outside, it was a beautiful day inside! I had accomplished something that I thought I couldn't do on my own. I felt invigorated, to be sure. This was hard work. I realized I hadn't eaten all day and in a spirited moment, decided to make something  that I hadn't cooked since my sons lived with me. Fried chicken!

Cooked in my perfectly trimmed kitchen!

I was inspired! As the chicken was cooking, I started cleaning up my tools. I looked around the room in search of my next project, when it hit me. I sat my Ryobi tool bag down,(a bag I carry with as much pride as my Coach), went to my laptop, opened YouTube and typed in "how to take a wall down". May need a bigger saw...


  1. I might have some projects for you at my house!

    1. You have a man at your house! (But I'm really good at blinds!)

  2. I might have some projects for you at my house!

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