Saturday, January 7, 2012

mrs. fix it, part 2

**i took pictures to go with this blog, but i am having issues getting them from my phone into the blog, which is why this blog is being posted a few days later than it actually happened. eventually i hope to resolve my problem and add pictures...

so today
. . . i planned to spend the day at home. in my pajamas. doing a few small projects, but mostly huddled up with my computer and new slippers. this was my plan. of course, it was thwarted...

my problems today actually started yesterday. with cleaning the sink. and fixing the plumbing. because during those moments when i couldn't work on the sink, i decided to recover our dining room chairs.

we got our dining room set from rollie's parents a long time ago. i love family heirlooms. they complete me :) this dining room set belonged to rollie's maternal grandmother, who i never met. we got the set from his mom, who got it from her mom. i feel lucky that we got it, because it probably should have gone to rollie's sister--you know, from mom to daughter to granddaughter--but since rollie's sister already had a dining room set, this one found its way to our house.

i love this dining room set. i love the reddish color of the wood. i love the curvy cut out chair backs. i love the way the ends of the table drop down so that it can be really small, (even though i never use it that way.) but when we got it, what i didn't love was the color of the seats. the seats were a rose colored tapestry with little blue accents. they were pretty, but they were pink. sort of. and at the time we got the set, pink was not on my list of decorating colors. i was into black and white and red! i wanted a fabric that would sort of go with the style, but not look dated. and what i found had a sort of black stripe with rows of reddish roses in between.

i loved that fabric, and it has been on those chairs for a lot of years. but over time it has faded. and i was just not loving it in this house. but i left it, because i had told diandra that when she got into her own house, she could have the dining room set. of course, i told her that before we bought this house, when i thought that we were going to downsize and not have enough room for it. but now it is in our new dining room, and it looks so good with the wood floors and the paint... so i talked to diandra and we struck a deal, and i'll be keeping the dining room set. for now. i think.

so, it was time to recover the seats! i remembered this as being a quick and easy project. i looked at my pile of fabric and found a piece that i thought would be perfect! so last night after rollie went to bed, i took the old fabric off one of the chair seats and got it ready to recover. but then i got tired and went to bed.

those chair seats were going to be my first project this morning, because rollie was playing basketball which meant i had to put the sink project off until later in the day. and doing the chair seats first had the added benefit of letting me stay in my pajamas. (in case you are wondering about my sudden attachment to wearing my pajamas around the house, i asked for flannel pajama pants for christmas. and i got some! and adorable "hello, kitty" slippers!! and now, that is all i want to wear. they are comfy, cozy, and cute.) so i unfolded the fabric... only to discover that it wasn't one big piece. it was several smaller pieces, none of which were big enough to cover the chair cushions. this was not a good start to my saturday...

i was bummed. i slouched on the couch for a while, but i finally got dressed and announced to rollie that i was going to do some errands. i had decided to go to lowe's to ask someone about my plumbing issues, but the bigger problem was going to be finding fabric. there are just not a lot of fabric stores around anymore. i had seen one storefront across from the mall that said "rugs! fabrics!" but most days they have a "going out of business" sign outside, which i figured meant a limited selection. but i was desperate, so i went in...

... and the angels sang! there were rolls of fabric everywhere! in every color! but you know how i am about making decisions... i knew i was in trouble. and it got even worse, because as i was walking around i remembered that i had been looking for a shower curtain for the downstairs bathroom, and i needed to recover the headboard on our bed... i was like a rat in a maze--a rat who couldn't make a decision. i put rolls of fabric into my cart. i took rolls of fabric out of my cart. i sent pictures to rollie--which is what saved me! after over an hour, i finally found my way out into the parking lot, with fabric for my dining room chairs AND a shower curtain :) the decision about fabric for our headboard will just have to wait for another day.

then i went to lowe's. i don't go to lowe's very often, because home depot is just around the corner from our house. and lowe's is at the long beach town center, AND the parking lot at the long beach town center is like the seventh level of hell--especially on a saturday. but that one last plumbing fixture was bugging me, so i decided to brave the parking lot in hopes of finding an answer to my problem.

i found the plumbing section and a guy in a red vest. whose name was NOT steve! i showed him the picture i had taken of the underside of my plumbing fixtures and he said, "oh sure! you just have to twist this piece here to tighten your fixture."

now. was that hard? no, it was not. i guess if you know what you are talking about, the solution is easy. and now i had a solution! i made a quick detour through lighting to get a new glass globe for the old ceiling fan that manuel had installed in our downstairs bedroom, and rushed home. i had a solution, and i was anxious to finish up my plumbing project. but when i got home, i was once again thwarted, because rollie was taking a nap. rollie often takes a nap on saturday after playing basketball all morning, which is fine, but today his nap was interfering with my projects!

you know how patient i am (not!) but i tried to wait. first i distracted myself by playing with my new fabrics, but i didn't want to get started on a project and then have to drop it when rollie woke up. so next i decided to change the glass part of the ceiling fan with the new one i had just bought. i took the old one off and tried to put the new one up, only to discover that it was too big. this did not make me happy! now i am going to have to brave the long beach town center parking lot again to return the stupid, non-fitting glass part of the ceiling fan!

unless it accidentally breaks first...

i finally decided i could fix the faucet by myself. i mean, i knew what to do, i just had to figure out how to do it all by myself. i poked around rollie's workbench until i found the spray stuff that would loosen the rust. because of course there was rust! the faucet had been loose which meant water was dripping underneath it sometimes. i squiggled underneath the sink and tried to maneuver the spray into position... and managed to knock the long pointy part off. which meant i had to squiggle out from under the sink to retrieve it, reattach it, and try again. which i did.

(can i just say here that it is no easy task to get positioned under our kitchen sink! there is no room to turn over or around, which means you have to go in on your back. which kills so many muscles that i can't even list them all! and then your torso is elevated about six inches from where your legs are trying to just stay out of the way, which is torturous to your back! and THEN to get out, you have to hold your torso up off the floor while trying to get your head clear of the sink, garbage disposal, and all that tubing, which makes your abdomen scream like an angry toddler. now that i think about it, it is probably pretty good exercise...)

after spraying the loosening goo, i waited a few minutes, grabbed my pliers and tried to twist the tightening piece. it wouldn't budge. but the pliers fell out of my hand and landed on my face. fortunately they didn't hit my eyes. unfortunately, they did hit my expensive glasses. i decided maybe i shouldn't be wearing my expensive glasses while laying under the sink holding a pair of pliers in my hand. so i took them off and attempted to twist the tightening piece again. and again, i dropped the pliers. fortunately this time they didn't hit my face--they hit my shoulder, which was a little too close to my unprotected face for my comfort.

i decided i needed safety glasses.

but i didn't have safety glasses! i know rollie has safety glasses, but he was asleep. so i used my sunglasses instead. i have a pair of those fit-over sunglasses that i can wear over my regular glasses. they are big and ugly, but i have customized them with swarovsky crystals, which makes them cuter... they are still pretty big, though... i was really hoping i wouldn't drop the pliers on them, since the only other pair of sunglasses i have do not have swarovsky crystals on them, and since we live in the land of eternal sunshine, i kind of need sunglasses. but i figured if i was going to drop those pliers again, better to wreck my sunglasses than my eyes...

i worked under that sink for about half an hour. i was getting nowhere fast. it finally became clear to me that this was not a one woman project--i was going to have to wait until rollie woke up. which he finally did. and no sooner did his groggy little head move his recliner into the upright position, than i was right there telling him about my morning... the fabric store... lowe's... the plumbing stuff... how we still needed to hang the bathroom mirror (oh there is a story there too, but i think i will save that for another day.) all the poor man wanted to do was watch a little basketball and let his brain wake up, but he could see that i was in "let's get it done" mode. so he came downstairs, gathered a few tools, and watched me head back under the sink.

we finally got that thing tightened! finally! i was the muscle under the sink, but rollie knew which tools would get the job done. if he hadn't handed me some sort of socket wrench with a bendy handle, and firmly held the faucet in place while i used that tool to tighten it, we would still probably be dealing with a wiggly faucet. or paying someone $500 to replace it!

i came out from under that sink today, and i felt powerful!! i felt awesome! i made rollie high five me, and i said, "WE ROCK!" (yes, to diandra's chagrin, i actually say things like that...) and so, now our kitchen sink is clean and shiny AND the faucets work properly...

...and it looks so good, that now i hate to use it.

1 comment:

Carroll said...

I love your love for the dining room set. The decision to give it to you was based on the fact that I had already given Brenda my original dining room set which was my Mom's before the set you now have. It all made sense to me because she isn't into antiques and I know you are. So it's just one of those things that I felt was a good thing, So happy that you love it. Makes me happy.
I loved your story about the plumbing issue. While not funny to you, and your patience was wearing thin, it was most entertaining. You attempt things I would never do. So good for you. Can't wait for the pictures of the newly covered chairs,
Love you Julie!