Monday, September 3, 2007

Carpentry is clearly not my thing




So my husband, Tom, and I decided to do some minor home improvements over this holiday weekend. The plan was clear and concise: move the existing fence which divides our front and back yards forward to the edge of the garage, thus giving us room to expand our garden. Now in my head I visualize us easily(KEY WORD) moving this 12 ft section of fencing forward, and then placing a few(KEY WORD) new pieces of fencing along the side to join the two sections. After about 10 minutes of watching Tom unscrew cedar planks, I realized this was NOT going to be the fun-filled family activity I had imagined.

I think now is the time to mention that our daughters were SO on board this project. All three of them were ready to jump in and "help". That lasted about 5 minutes.

Back to the fence...so we get the original fence down, new posts set and I am feeling pretty darn good. We have been working on this project together for a couple of hours and so far we haven't fought over my inability to use a drill, or the fact that the six hammers we own have all gone on a mysterious vacation to the land of the lost. The only incident has been when our 8 year old, Emma, realized she hates manual labor and would rather clean the entire house than work in the yard. So we move on to phase two, attaching the fence boards(picket's perhaps?) to the frame.(I am fully aware of the fact that there are correct terms for all of theses things, my lack of knowledge will become abundantly clear here in a minute...) Tom and I have come up with a brilliant plan, I will place the boards, using a spacer between each one and he will follow along and drill them into place. We couldn't believe how fast this went, we worked together like a finely tuned machine. The fence was finished in record time...but wait, turns out putting up a fence is one thing, putting up a STRAIGHT fence is a totally different thing.

Tom and I stepped back to inspect our handy work, and couldn't believe what we saw, our fence was leaning, significantly, to one side. How could this have happened? We had a SYSTEM! I even used a spacer! Never the less, the fence had to come down. We could not leave it up so crooked, what would the neighbors say?

Not to worry, we had a new plan. We placed a string across the top of where we wanted the fence to go, this ALWAYS works on TLC, right? Again we use our patented plan of me placing and spacing and Tom using the drill. Keep in mind we have now been at this project for several hours and we have even lost the support of our remaining two daughters. Apparently cleaning the house is TONS of fun. So the fence goes up for the second time. We carefully follow our string as a guide, certain that we have mastered this trade. Heck, Tom could open a fence building business, we are that good. The last piece is in place, we are tired, dirty and it has been about 900 degrees today(OK really only 90, but it sure felt a lot hotter, and really who can trust the weather man?) We step back and our perfectly straight fence is...still leaning. WHAT!? So much for the fencing business. Luckily the neighbors on that side aren't home much, cause the fence is staying the way it is, leaning and all. We're planting something tall on our side. Happy Labor Day!

4 comments:

jammieburwell said...

Hi Sam - this is so entertaining. I really really enjoyed reading about your not so enjoyable labor day weekend project. Hilarious!!! We want more!!!

Hi to the girls (and Tom too).

Anonymous said...

you are soooooooooooooooooooo (not) funny. (muhahaha)

chloe said...

Mom it's me and you are not funny. Chloe,age 9(almost 10)

chloe burwell said...

mom why do you try to be funny