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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.

vpp_pet_door

The Ideal Pet VPP Patio Pet Door XXL

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:

  1. Safety glasses
  2. A pencil
  3. Tape measure and ruler
  4. Electric drill
  5. Hacksaw
  6. Scissors
  7. 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…

DSC_0259 (1)

This entry was posted in memoir.

18 comments on “Horridscope

  1. Touring NH says:

    When I have days like that, I just go back to bed!

    1. If I hadn’t been up since 5:30am and already spent the day I would have done just that, Laura! Thanks!!

  2. Bill OKeefe says:

    Sounds like it was time for a nice glass of red!

    1. Why Thank You Bill! I must admit to pouring a small glass at the end of that particular day.

  3. jaknisell says:

    Oh, the joys of being a homeowner of an old house!

    1. Ah yes, Annie. You know all to well about that. I think I will pitch a tent when this house sells!

  4. Kathy says:

    Yes, I’ve had days like that. The myth about things happen in three’s that is how my bad days usually work.. The best thing about a bad day is the good day that hopefully follows. 😊

    1. So true Kathy! I also count the “threes” when it comes to bad things. That way I see an end in sight! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  5. So funny, and frustrating! Those ‘simple’ tasks take you into the vortex of never-ending results. You never know when it’s going to really be simple, and when it’s going to be like your day was!

    1. Thank you Susan. 9 times out of 10 projects that seem simple end up being way over my head…

  6. Martha, we’ve done a number of renovations, large and small. And one thing I learned the hard way is do NOT mess with doors; leave it to the pros. Doors get used a million times a day, and if they aren’t done correctly (and nearly perfectly), they’re a damned nuisance and every time they’re opened it’s a reminder of my screwup. I feel your pain, I really do. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. ~James

    1. Thank you James. You have confirmed my fears. Those things we think nothing of – doors, toilets, light switches. Until they don’t work!!

  7. cheryl622014 says:

    Oh Yes my heart goes out to you!!! We now have to re do our ceiling after the shower disaster. And my husband boxed the base of the shower in and wondered where his hammer had gone…..! yes…it really was in there….

    1. That is too funny! I hate home improvement projects. Perhaps this is all adding up to make it that much less painful when I finally sell this house?!

  8. Marie Keates says:

    Those are the days you wish you’d stayed in bed. I’m ever grateful that Commando is handy with a tool kit. Everything would be falling apart round here otherwise.

    1. Yes, Marie. I would “borrow” Commando if you lived closer. I am lost when it comes to tools!! Thank you!

  9. So funny, and frustrating!

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