A Week Off Work? Time To Go To Lowes

Sadly, the week ended today. What did I do? Clearly not blog. I’m in taper mode for next weekend’s marathon, hence not much running. For that same reason, only one bike ride. While last weekend revolved around Mardis Gras parties and parades, that leaves Monday through today unaccounted for. If you were to check my next credit card statement, however, you would quickly discover what I spent my time doing: Various household projects.

Each day followed a similar pattern. At the start, I’d sleep until I felt like getting out of bed, usually between seven and eight. Then have cereal and coffee and play with the kids for a while. Next, off to the store for whatever materials I needed. By the time I returned, I might have an hour or so to work until lunch. After that, more work before cursing and making another run to the store for whatever I discovered I was missing. Upon returning, I might work for a bit more, before quitting for a relaxing evening.

Those are my size ten and a halfs

Those are my size ten and halfs

Specifically, most of the projects were repair or maintenance: Everything from adjusting a sticky deadbolt to putting weatherstripping around a door to a failed experiment with some new blinds. The one which brought me the most satisfaction involved the back deck. Shortly after having it installed, I realized the dryer vent was blowing lint all over one area of the deck. To fix it, I would have to cut a hole in the deck and run that flexible dryer vent stuff under the deck so it would blow into the yard. Problem was there’s only about four inches between the deck and the ground. Not thinking I could fit in that space and not wanting to pull up all the deck boards, either, I just left the problem until this week.

What changed my mind? Seeing Bear Grylls crawl through a cave without a light in Man v. Wild. If he could do that, I could crawl under my deck to re-route that vent. It was tight, I had to squeeze under with a small shovel and clear space as I went, but I made it. Now my dryer blows into the yard and my deck is lint free. To celebrate, and to enjoy the nice weather, we ate out there four times this week.

Life is good

The other big project was true home improvement: A sandbox for the kids. I initially planned on making it four feet by four feet using some leftover landscape timbers I have in the shed. I did not have enough, though, so went to Lowes looking for an alternative. All they had in two by twelves was twelve foot sections. My new plan was to buy two lengths and cut them in half to make a six by six sand box. Problem: I have a mini-van, which is not big enough to hold twelve feet of lumber. That shouldn’t have been a big deal, Lowes will cut wood to length for you. But guess what was out of order that day? Yup, their saw. I’d brought Mac with me and already told him what the wood was for, so there was no putting the project off for another day. We just had to drive home with the lumber hanging out of the back of the van and the rear door tied to it. “Daddy, you forgot to close the door!”

We made it home where Mac would not let me start the project until he went inside to get his own tools. After working his little plastic saw as hard as he could, all he could say was “Daddy, my tools are not working.” I asked if I could try and he stood amazed as the circular saw made two quick cuts. A few more cuts, some screws and a bit of paint later, we had the frame done. The next day while they were at school I leveled it in the yard, borrowed a truck and bought half a yard of sand, and just about had it finished when they got home. We had one wheelbarrow’s worth of sand left in the truck. They helped me shovel it into the wheelbarrow and then dump it into their new sandbox.

That made for a great week for all of us.

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One Comment on “A Week Off Work? Time To Go To Lowes”


  1. […] the grass, I’ve laid all the flower beds, I paid for the deck, I built the patio, I built the kids’ sand box, I added all the decor. Still, even with all of this, I haven’t spent a lot of money. The big […]


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