Home improvement

Hubby and I have a rule of thumb for deciding if we do a home improvement project, or if we hire it out. If the labor is less than our deductible at the hospital, we hire it out. If it’s more, we do it ourselves. UNLESS, the outcome could be deadly. We pay for roofers, brake repairs, and any thing involving the septic tank.

So that is why today I am knee deep in pink primer. We are redecorating our Utility room. We are taking up the contractor grade linoleum (I think it’s really wallpaper, it’s that bad) and putting down ceramic tile. But first the walls have to have the wall paper removed, then they have to be primed and then they have to be painted. As much as possible has to be done before the washing machine is removed to do the floor, because once it’s out, we are on a time crunch. I can be pretty laid back about finishing home improvement projects, after all it’s been 4 years since he dug the foundation on the pool house, but when it involves my washer, I tend to get a little touchy.

I have one wall primed, another is ready to prime, and then next one is about 1/2 way done with getting the wall paper down. There are 6 walls in the odd shaped room. Of course, hubby is off the hook until I get all the painting done, AND all the laundry caught up so we can do without a washer for a few days. In the meantime, I have to keep up with the other household jobs, keep up with the kids schedule and not lose my sanity. Luckily I have two weeks off to get the bulk of it done. I also have several other projects to do once he gets started on his part.

It’s going to be a long winter.

Now you’re probably wondering how did we come about our rule of thumb:

Well, it could be the play closets. The kids both have long dormers in their rooms, but with small closets. We decided to knock the walls out of one of the closets in each room, and make them into larger play closets. The kids were 4 and 5, so Granny graciously agreed to take them for a week, so we could get the project done. Should have been enough time, but Hubby was afraid he’d break sheet rock. When he was a child, his parents bought an old house and renovated it. With four children, money was tight, and Father-in-law had to be very careful with supplies. Hubby picked up this fear of breaking sheet rock, since there wasn’t money to purchase new. Fast forward 25 years and we are doing these closets, and Hubby keeps yelling at me to not break the freaking sheet rock. I am holding the sheet rock on my back and backing up to the ceiling (the ceiling was at an angle) and he was screwing it to the wall. He was convinced I was going to break a piece. I was convinced I was going to die from the pain first. We are finally done with the first closet and I am putting up spackling and he is cutting the sheet rock in the other room, when I hear him yell in pain. It’s 3 am, I am exhausted, covered in sheet rock dust and he has to go to the emergency room, because he has sheet rock dust in his eye.
Word to the wise wife. No matter how tired or grungy you are at 3 am, when you take your husband to the emergency room, be nice to him. If you are grumpy and tell him he can see out of the other eye and you are tired of leading him like an untrained dog, the emergency room personnel are going to ask you a lot of leading questions like:

  • “Have you ever hit your husband or children in anger?” No, I thought I haven’t hit him in anger. If I had hit him in anger, he’d have my hand print on his face right now. OF course I have never hit him.
  • “Have you ever thought of doing your husband harm?” Of course, I’ve thought of doing him harm, we’ve been married for 11 years. He’s fairly irritating at times, especially every 28 days. I have not only thought about it, I have fantasized about it. What wife hasn’t.
  • “Are your husband or children afraid of you?” Yeah, right. Terrified. That’s why they never listen to me. That’s why I have to repeat myself all the time. Terrified.
  • Finally they finished cleaning out Hubby’s eye. He had an eye patch and a cool story to tell the kids. I had a few pamphlets on anger management and a strong desire to find a different hospital. Still not sure how I went from the one holding sheet rock on my back to the one with anger management issues, but luckily we did finish the closet. The kids loved it. Hubby and I realized that home improvement projects need a visit to the emergency room added to the cost estimate, just in case. And we only work till midnight. But if I have to do without my washing machine for more than a week, I assure you, I may need one of those pamphlets. 🙂


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