For Starters, I’ll Fix a Couple of Things

Yeah, one is The List—tonight I’m starting to write down/compile the broad generalizations and a few specifics of what I plan to do in the way of self-betterment during this school year, whilst continuing in my role of Chief of Support Staff and Household Administration chez Sparks. I’m looking to make my schedule, and especially my partner’s, as easefully manageable as I can, without feeling like there’s no room for spontaneity or getting through-and-around the surprises that life promises to bring. That’s the first scheduled item, really, making a schedule. How’s that for an awe-inspiring bit of tautological joy!

Meanwhile, the daylight hours have seemed better spent on home-maintenance and daily prep tasks than the dangerously hunched position I’m trying to avoid by slouching too long over the computer most days. While it’s a fairly natural consequence of being a daily blogger, the wholly sedentary life is not conducive to great health in the long term, let alone to the satisfied sleepiness one ought to feel at the end of a reasonably active day. So that’s part of the plan, too; I want to be sure I don’t procrastinate about getting useful stuff done around the ol’ palace here until it requires professional intervention at great expense, and doing it myself a tad sooner will get me out of my chair more often.

It’s obvious that I’m neither an abstemious sort nor averse to acquiring, using, admiring, and otherwise indulging in Things & Stuff, or stuff and nonsense, if you will, but I’m also not wholly against being frugal and economical in a few ways. First among them is to look for opportunities to improve, repurpose, upgrade, and use to the last atom those things I have that aren’t of particular aesthetic or sentimental nature.

Things in that vein? Shoes. Yes, I have an admittedly stereotypical tendency to swoon and squeal over all kinds of fabulous shoes, but for the most part, I limit my actual acquisition of them to ones that are reasonably comfortable for walking, resistant to the kinds of weather in which they’re worn, and not horrendously expensive for the amount of mileage I can get from them. But when I find those great shoes that fulfill and surpass my requirements to the degree that they become favorites, I will treat them with great gentleness and give them spa treatment days at the local cobbler’s shop, spending as much again over their lifetimes as two more pair of shoes might cost.

Photo: Once, my shoes were like this.

Photo of Lifestride ‘Hart’ shoe, courtesy of eBay.com.**

When I travel, despite my being a veteran planner-organizer-logistics manager, and not too bad with those skills, I still over-pack and under-plan; this summer, every time we got on a plane I knew I would find a day or three ahead for which I had not brought precisely what I wished I had. The temperatures and the weather were consistently different, on this summer’s trips, than what was predicted, so I was often a little warmer or colder than expected, and my shoes not quite what the weather demanded. Our Halifax visit was downright hot for some of the time, and warm for most, but our one day of real exploration on the coast was very blustery and rainy. I still had my old flat Mary Janes** along, and the support was still quite serviceable, but the straps were shot and the rough terrain we were visiting promised to yank them right off my feet. Thankfully, I’d discovered that the best air-travel substitute for an alarm-ringing belt was a wide band of hook-and-loop tape, so I tore my “belt” in half  and used the shorter pieces to wrap my shoes around the instep and secure them. Added traction, into the bargain. The end of the useful life of the shoes in their original state, but it did the trick.

Photo: Velcro Magic

Looks goofy, but it works, in a pinch.

Most of the fix-it stuff around home is far more mundane, of course. Lots of dish washing today (by hand and by machine), some  house cleaning and tidying, a bunch of online and phone and postal transactions, and the fixing of a thing or two that’s gone a shade too long unfixed. Occasionally, it’s even time to haul out my hand tools, but anything heavy-duty gets handed over to the pros nowadays. Today’s busyness included repairing a minor bit of mess that required an uncommon set of those tools:

Photo: One of These Things is Not Like the Others...

Sing it with me now: “One of These Things is Not Like the Others…” What do pliers, screw anchors, screwdrivers, a hammer, and poultry shears have in common?

Our bedroom drapes were hanging strangely. Not sure why it took me quite so long to figure out that the right side of the curtain rod had lost its moorings; the screws securing the bracket on that end had pulled right out of the wall and were hanging there, looking rather forlorn, and doing pretty nearly nothing to keep the drapes from falling on the floor. When I went to move the bracket farther along, I was quickly reminded that the header behind the wallboard prevented any kind of useful anchors from sinking all the way through in the way that would successfully grip the drywall and help keep the bracket in place longer. So I got out the strongest bypass cutters I had, which happened to be my poultry shears, and lopped the plastic anchors down to half their length. A little harder to start in the drywall, yes, but they fit snugly against the hidden header and were sunk far enough in to grip both the wall and the screws’ full length. Funny, how much better the drapes hang when they’re properly supported. Oops. But that’s how home maintenance goes. Dribs and drabs, bits and bobs.Photo: Fix That Curtain Rod, Dang It!

Then, sleep, and on to the next day’s tasks. At least our bedroom curtains close properly again! So—well, good night, then. We shall see what tomorrow brings.

2 thoughts on “For Starters, I’ll Fix a Couple of Things

  1. It must be synchronicity, Kathryn! I have been wielding a hammer towards the walls and objects in my tiny abode lately! And, as of two weeks ago, I am a proud owner of a power drill! I would have gone on to declare that I am not afraid to use it, but the drill is still sealed peacefully in its original packaging. I don’t even know whether or not the batteries come with my purchase. I think a power drill is battery-operated, isn’t it?

    I finished my first handiwork yesterday afternoon. After watching the YouTube tutorials and going over a thorough questionnaire with a Michaels sales lady, I hung a picture frame on the wall, almost proportionally above my three-seater couch, for the time in my life! And, it is still there! However, I worry a bit as the nails look a tad too dainty for this rather heavy wood-and-glass frame. When you come (I hope you do very soon) to my place for lunch, I might have you sit on my other couch, unless I decide to hang a second heavily-framed print on that side of the wall, which I am keen on doing so. In that case, I would trust that you have excellent health insurance coverage?

    Shall we set a lunch date now?

    PS. I am very serious about having you over for lunch. I am only kidding about the potential bodily-harm once you are here. I have other chairs in my place!

    • I *am* looking forward to having our lunch date(s)! And to seeing your newly-installed living room art. If it should decide to bonk me on the head, at least I know the rescue squad is there to help; a certain doggy-person to lick my wounds and a certain kitty-one to knead/massage and comfort me until I am cogent enough to slither upright again! 😉 Having hung as many pictures as I have over the decades, I know that even the best-secured ones still depend on the vagaries of the wallboard, a wiggle from a wind-slammed door, you name it! 😀

      One way or another, I’ll talk to you soon! I s’pose it’s not too shocking that despite all of the sleep (actual or anesthetized) I’ve had in the last five or six days I’m feeling pretty tired today, and fairly over-socialized in a way, for having ‘met’ dozens of medical personnel since Monday. Haha! So I’m drinking my gallons of fluids and expecting to nap like the best old crazy-lady stereotypes can do, and expect to feel ever so much more perky by the beginning of the week.

      Love to you!
      Kathryn

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