NVDT Totally Random – And Then After I Tried To Cut My Thumb Off…

I have read a number of blogs where people complain of stasis, not getting anything done, couch potato syndrome, Covid Fatigue. I hear ya. Me too. But I decided to get off my ass, dust off my tools and shine my DIY Merit Badge for January ’21 if for no other reason than to prove 2020 was over. I can’t change career politicians, the price of gas, the stock market or bad behavior, but I can change what I complain about the most…

Scene 1 – On one wall of my kitchen I had a dark broom closet / pantry that was beyond useless. The door opened into a wall, no light, no way to build slide outs because of the door frame. A fridge in the middle and another tall useless random cabinet. When I was finished I had twice the storage that matched my other cabinets and 61 inches of granite countertop.


Next came my cluster fuck of an office, music room. I couldn’t move, everything was an arm’s reach away, computer off axis with keyboard, cables a spaghetti infestation. What was I thinking, piling shit on I couldn’t get to or use? So I fixed it. Because I know better.

Next was the BIG DEAL – To make the original side of the kitchen match the new side. Let’s talk countertops to backsplash gotta go. From the old cabs to the microwave hole. (The microwave isn’t returning but going in with a single oven.) I even learned enough about cutting granite I made a window sill out a slab of leftover. Since the last picture I’ve installed a new vent hood and re-done the switches and receptacles, waiting on oversize wall plates. Also waiting on oven replacements at the end.

Had another wall going to waste, the one next to the door that leads to the garage. Never been room for a “breakfast nook” so it was dead air. Got out the speed load hex keys, hit up IKEA and then the hardware store for matching pulls. Instant furniture that almost looks like real furniture. After all this I have more than doubled the storage in the kitchen. In fact I have more storage than I have shit to put in it, which is a good thing.

Last but not least I got up one morning to go somewhere and the damn garage door flashed the “I’m Done” code, so I replaced the logic board. Which of course required a drive across Dallas because the usual suspects couldn’t get me one inside of a week. The only available one came in a faceplate that wasn’t a direct replacement. No biggie, board swaps are screwdriver work. But it got me to wondering. How much logic does a garage door need, anyway?

My Little Stiff Tool

Why DIY with your wife is more fun than doing it by yourself.

I felt the second tug on the bottom of my painting sweats, couldn’t look down from the ladder. “Yeah?”

“I need your little ‘stiff’ thingy for a minute.”

All of them ran through my mind. I landed on the most offensive, to me. “Little?”

“Yes. You know, your little ‘stiff’ tool?”

“Yeah, I know my not-so-little stiff tool. Just for a minute?”

She was oblivious. “Yes. Where is it?”

“I try to keep it with me. Hate to lose it.”

“Don’t be silly. You don’t have enough pockets for all this junk.” She was shuffling through the tools that shouldn’t have been on the end table. “I don’t see it down here.”

I got to a place where I could put the paint brush down and look at her. Jesus. The girl always got more paint on herself than anything she ever painted. I can still find thirty-year-old pink all over an aluminum step ladder from the time she and our daughter decided the steamer trunk for all nine thousand Barbies needed to be pink.

“I’m not sure what ‘stiff tool thingy’ you mean.”

“You know, the one I used to get caulk off the fireplace the other day.”

“You got ‘caulk’ off the fireplace with my ‘little stiff tool thingy?’” Still nothing. Oh well. “You mean the painter’s tool?”

“I guess. Only men would have a tool called ‘stiff’ that scraped up after their ‘caulk’ mess and had another name, too.” I wished I could have seen her face for that one.

It was killing me, but wisdom said leave it. “Painter’s tool. Just remember that. My little stiff tool thingy is a Painter’s tool. ‘Stiff’ is just how hard it is.” Still nothing. I eyed the tool bag on the floor next to the ladder. “There it is. Yellow tool bag, on the floor. Right next to my Big Johnson.” How could that have been  more perfect?

“Well, it says ‘stiff’ on the handle. And ‘stiff’ I can remember.” She gave me that devil girl look. “Barely.”

“I’ll be happy to fix that for you.”

“That’s what you said about this fireplace. Two weeks ago.”

“I didn’t know what I was getting into, or how much work it would be.” That was just stupid. Wide, wide open.

“So that’s what you’ll tell me? You didn’t know how much work I’d be? And I’ll have to wait two weeks?”

I wanted to say, “You could consider it foreplay,” but I don’t have a death wish. “I’m a part-time handyman, except on weekends.” I put on my best Barry White. “But you know, baby, I’m a full-time lur-uv machine.”

She walked away toward the kitchen, hair streaked with paint, my “little stiff tool thingy” in hand. “No you’re not.” She turned, looked back up the ladder and smiled. “But I knew there was a way to get you to finish this before Sunday afternoon.”