You may know we just bought a nicely maintained ten-year-old house, but you’d be stunned at the number of strangers bearing tools we’ve welcomed into our new abode during our first three weeks in residence. This house is neither new enough to require finishing nor old enough to require rehab, but after ten years of renters, a number of things did need some attention, and a few still do. You’d think it would be annoying, this constant parade, but we’ve met some of the nicest people, and their level of expertise has been absolutely first class. The place is definitely shaping up.
Many tasks, of course, have fallen to David and me. I enjoy arranging things to our liking . . .
. . . and I can handle most picture hanging unaided, except this one, over the living room fireplace. This house was designed for the serious TV addict, so there are giant alcoves with black movable hardware for attaching your flat screens, so you can have TV invading nearly every space in your house, including the master bath. Gha-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a! No, thank you. So I had a few of my photos from France enlarged onto canvases, like this one from the Chapelle Saint-Hubert at Château d’Amboise. Getting the wire the EXACT right length to hang it on a picture hanger at the back of the alcove at the perfect height to cover the entire hole took about five tries. (We’re planning to add a stone fireplace surround, since we fell in love with all the stone in La Rochelle, but we’re trying to get a few other things done first.)
On the plus side, our cross collection is finally up . . .
Although some tasks seem like jobs for David (mostly because he’s done them before), if I get impatient enough, I’m not afraid to at least start a job myself. Usually I’m thinking, “Well, I know how to use a tape measure and mark a spot with a pencil, and I know how to check that something is level horizontally and lined up vertically, so I’ll just get it started.” But then, unless disaster strikes, I don’t see any reason to stop. So while these men, undaunted by the pouring rain, were doing this out behind our house . . .
. . . I, undaunted, did this last night . . . ALL . . . BY . . . MYSELF . . .
. . . No, I didn’t weave it! But I did hang it, to cover yet another TV cavern, this one in the master bedroom. Since you can’t tell from the photo, I’ll tell you that the rod is ten feet from the floor. You read that right,TEN. AND power tools were involved. Gold star for me. There may have been a bit of celebratory dancing and fist pumping, and someone may have yelled, “Women with power tools, YES!” once or twice. (Ah, the freedom to be weird when you’re home alone.) David had gone to a meeting, or he no doubt would have had something to say about me standing on TOP of a four-foot step-ladder wielding a drill over my head. I know. Reckless. But our huge metal ladder is in daily use for a project downstairs, and it’s no picnic to get that thing up and down the stairs. Anyway, I survived. I didn’t drop and break anything, and the job is done. Woohoo!
Flush with the excitement of my amazing DIY prowess, I decided to hang the coat hooks in the entry off the garage. This DID NOT GO WELL. Argh. Fortunately, I am an expert at failure. And even more fortunately, David arrived home shortly after I gave up, and got them up. In my defense, David says a design flaw was to blame. He found different anchors and screws that worked much better than the ones provided. Interesting that I assumed I’d done it wrong, and David simply figured out how to solve the problem, even if the solution involved materials not originally provided. Eb, one of David’s brothers, once said, “I know how to . . .” [fill in the blank with a specific task]. . . . “Tell David it’s impossible.” And that, people, is true. Even impossible things like having a year of adventure, including living in France for a while.
A few more thoughts for you:
When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself. ∼Isak Dinesen
When facing a difficult task, act as though it is impossible to fail. If you are going after Moby Dick, take along the tartar sauce. ∼H. Jackson Brown Jr.
A positive attitude, of course, isn’t everything, but it sure helps.
Wishing you success in all your endeavors!