Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fall Projects aka That Time The House Nearly Killed Us All

So, the FFG household is abuzz with fall projects. 

Sunday kicked off bright and early when Hubby and The Boy marched out the old washer and dryer and installed the NEW washer and dryer, and while that might SOUND straightforward, the statement itself doesn't come NEAR actually capturing the angst, the straining, the smashed fingers, the dented drywall, the blue flames of profanity that were muttered into shirtsleeves to spare the children (by me, not Hubby) upon discovering that the pedestals from the OLD Whirlpool set that look EXACTLY like the pedestal bases that they NOW sell for $500 bucks won't fit on the NEW Whirlpool set since some sadist made sure that almost NONE of the screw holes match, and the ones that do are only accessible by disassembling the entire pedestal which seems to be made of 17 pieces of sheet metal that have each been honed sharper than a Ginsu knife.

This is ALL eclipsed by the excruciating agony of dropping and losing forever the impossibly tiny, custom-so-that-none-of-the-bajillion-screws-in-your-kitchen-junk-drawer-will-work screws that attach the electrical cord that you MUST have or apparently the ENTIRE machine will burst into a flame ball and take out the entire house, and of COURSE the guy at Lowes barely conceals his horror upon encountering a sweaty, crazed, breathless, angry, menopausal female in his appliances department shoving a miniscule bolt into his face and shrieking about the end of days.

Of course, while you continue to hyperventilate and breathe into your purse, he steps back and smugly informs you that they are machined in Germany, and he chuckles under his breath when you ask if he could give you one off of a floor model, and then his chuckle turns to bald-faced fear when you start to shriek louder and throw yourself against the stainless steel Maytag french door refrigerator on sale this week and he somehow comes up with a makeshift replacement just to get you out of the store before you scare the customers.

When it was over, the washer and dryer were in place with no hint of the human suffering they had caused and Hubby refused to acknowledge me unless I called him Sisyphus.  

Barely recovered from that, and apparently still crackling with the frustrated adrenaline generated from planning the painful and untimely demise of the Lowes guy, I unpacked the flatscreen TV mounting bracket that had been patiently waiting for us to have a lapse in judgement, and today was the day.

I tapped nail holes into the wall above the fireplace with the precision and pace of a sewing machine, looking for the elusive studs, having flung the "piece of s*** studfinder" across the room 45 seconds in. Hubby, with a mixture of exhaustion, resignation, and abject fear that I would turn my wild-eyed frenzy back on the good people of Lowes, looked on while I sank the lag bolts, spinning the ratchet like a spider monkey on crack.

Of course, in the light of day, I can now clearly see that we all risked our lives installing a hulking, aging, 54" 80 lb. monster TV over the fireplace.

Along the way, there was a near fall from a teetering stepladder which I'm pretty sure was straining to accommodate 40 more pounds than it was ever designed to, gritted-teeth cursing of the TV manufacturer, the mounting hardware manual writer, the builder, and anyone who had ever smilingly demonstrated the project in 10 minutes on HGTV.

After the fourth attempt, we heard a satisfying "click" which we all determined was either success, or an indication that the entirety of the fireplace structure was facing imminent collapse. Holding our collective breath, we gingerly released our hold on the hulking bastard of a TV one finger at a time, wincing as we carefully stepped back to either admire our handiwork or watch the house implode.

And there it hung, in all of its majesty, silent and magnificent.

Dusty, sweaty, tear-stained and beaten, we all were barely able to summon a feeble "Yea!" when the infernal thing blinked to life like the Eye of Sauron, pulling us all into its hypnotic trance and dissolving all bitterness that we had harbored into sheer awe of the 8 square feet of blaring, shiny, subconscious-boring media stream.

But those feats of strength were only warm ups for the hell that is to come. The ONE thing I have avoided, nay DREADED since moving here 11 years ago. I am painting the rest of the house. Loyal friends might remember the wailing and gnashing of teeth that occurred when I painted the master bedroom earlier this summer. Like David, I am gathering up my meager tools to slay Goliath. I swear I can already hear the barely-perceptible-but-I-can-hear-it-so-don't-call-me-crazy trash talk coming from the highest pinnacles of our 18 foot ceilings.  I can already taste the chalky castoff drywall dust that will infiltrate my every pore as the never-ending walls stretch out lonely and desolate like a Kansas prairie.

I've committed to putting on one gallon of paint per day until I'm done, which I estimate will be around Valentine's Day 2015. I'm trying to keep my courage up, though. Counting the slapcoat I slung on the wall before the EofS took it's permanent place above our fireplace, as of today I've actually painted 2 walls (if you don't count cutting in the edges, or putting on a second coat, or painting the trim, or removing the electrical plugs and lightswitch covers, or cleaning up the drips, or actually finishing it.) Two walls down, and 19 miles of drywall to go.
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