My horoscope today should have read: “Do not even think about touching projects that require tools. In fact, stay away from trying to ‘fix’ anything remotely technical either.” Needless to say, I didn’t get the memo.
Alice and I were impatiently awaiting the installation of the new doggie door that arrived from Home Cheap-O. It was a pristine, model VPP XL patio door conversion kit from Ideal Pet. My sister had told me about picking one up and installing it herself in about an hour. A search online showed the vinyl version was about twice the price and for my particular sized door and particularly
fat robust dog the VPP XL was our best choice. I called my local big-box store and had a lovely conversation with Linda in customer service. Not only did she not have it in stock, she had never seen this invention and was as sold on it as I was. With free shipping and no sales tax (thank you New Hampshire) it arrived at my door on Tuesday.
This panel fits into the sliding door track and butts up against the existing door. It allows pets in and out at will while curtailing the annoyingly unwanted pests. I looked at the instructions and instantly knew I was over my head. A friend who knows his way around tools and doors was pressed into action to help with the installation. The list of necessary tools included:
- Safety glasses
- A pencil
- Tape measure and ruler
- Electric drill
- Possible bits and pieces I don’t even know the names of – hardly “Ideal”…
“Well that didn’t take long,” he quipped when I wandered to the kitchen to get out of the way.
“Wow! That was quick!” I rushed back to see nothing done.
“It will not fit in this opening. I can try to rig something up but it will look like Hell and chances are the bugs and weather will have easier access to the living room than Alice.”
Put everything back in the box – it never goes back the same way. Bits of cardboard and packing materials fluttered around the back deck. OK, so project number two was to fix the leaky toilet in my bathroom. The salesman at the hardware store had suggested a simple rubber gasket and assured me this was an easy job that “even” I could do without tools or help. I have tried. I downloaded a YouTube video, studied it and the scant directions on the gasket but it was beyond my ability. The minute my helper sat down and opened the tank he sighed. “How old is this toilet?”
“As old as the house but it just needs this little gasket thing.”
At that point a bolt let go and water cascaded out of the tank. We mopped it up and shut off the water valve; just another sign that I should have stuck with cooking or gardening today…