When D.I.Y. Goes Horribly Wrong …


Exhibit A: Successful project

Well, we can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way, ya see? …

Our D.I.Y. projects are picking up speed, but — just like all D.I.Y. projects (as many of you probably know) — one leads to another. For one reason or another.

We started with an easy one recently. See Exhibit A (above) — cute, easy project: I bought a chair! I’d always wanted a “reading chair” like this, and finally got one. This is in our teeny-weeny little den, and hardly fits, but I don’t care. I love this chair. It’s right behind my writing desk, so it’s great for anyone who wants to come visit me. (!) Mostly one of the younger kids sits here with the laptop in the evenings, even though they have a full desk right next to mine.

So we were on a roll.

And that one was soooooo easy.

So maybe we were getting cocky, but we actually thought we could handle something bigger. This one would involve a hammer.

I wanted to put up a white board in the kids’ “homework/paper center.” Now, the first irony is that I took a picture of the homework/paper center earlier this week for a blog post I was doing over at Health Bistro. The post (and original photo) is right here. I was writing about how organized I was, you know, and how I was giving tips, for God’s sake, on how to be organized. Like me. [*rolls eyes*] …

But don’t take me too seriously. Because just two days later, the “homework/paper center” looked like this:


Exhibit B: Um ... fail!

It’s now become D.I.Y. project 214. …

What happened is that I bought this very cool white board that I wanted the kids to use.  With two teens, now, we’re having a harder time keeping track of everyone. (Because, you know, when they’re older they often forget to tell you there’s a dance, or there’s a thing after the football game, or there’s a Saturday football practice, or whatever. …)

Anyway, this cool white board was going to go up on the wall right among the plastic bins that hold their school stuff, so I asked Superman (God bless him) to nail it up there for me. He was being all great and honey-do-ish and did it for me while I was at work so I’d come home and be surprised. (Yay.) But I came home and … heard … water? or a whishing? … hmmm … Of course, I was mostly happy that the white board was up! The white board is up! Hoorah! We’re more organized! And I got all sidetracked being happy about the white board being up that I didn’t even investigate that weird water noise. (I guess I just thought it was a toilet running, which we can sometimes hear in our very-thin, cheap-housing, not-even-made-of-brick Southern California homes.)

So anyway, we were all happy about our white board, and might have just gone on being giddy, except after dinner, my littlest son kept looking into the kitchen and saying, “What’s that sound? It sounds like water.” …

hmmm …

Superman got up to investigate, saying, “Yeah, Mom thought she heard something earlier to, and — oh sh** — ” [fill in your husband-swear-words-of-choice]. He stopped short with his hands on the wall near our new white board, as it was practically sliding off the wall as the paint and drywall and everything else began slipping down toward the floor … Ugh. He quickly got most things moved away, then got the hammer to investigate. Not that we needed the hammer much, as the dry wall had pretty much turned to putty, and came sliding off if you even slightly scraped it with your finger. Ugh. Wet dry wall. … Sliding. … Nothing like it. … So …

D.I.Y. project 213 became BIGGER D.I.Y. project 214.

After a long evening involving a trip to Lowes in the dark, confused stares at copper pipes and fittings, a lot of drywall hammering, traipsing through the bushes to turn off the main water line in the dark, teenagers complaining that they couldn’t take scheduled showers, young one looking worried like our house was going to flood — not to mention nails, stir sticks, and some kind of epoxy that took a degree in science to mix — we were finally able to go to sleep. The next day, the epoxy didn’t try exactly right and we hired a plumber.

D.I.Y. became H.S. (hire somebody).

The plumber did a very lovely job with some soldering tools and more copper fittings, and now we’ll probably just have to get some chicken wire (Project 215) and dry wall (Project 216) and find that color of paint again (Project 217) and fix that wall.

Gosh, good thing we needed a white board.

We’ll be sure to enjoy all $300 of it.

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9 thoughts on “When D.I.Y. Goes Horribly Wrong …

  1. Superman???????? Well, I’ve seen Superman leap tall buildings, run faster than a train, stop bullets with his chest (while laughing no less) , bend steel bars with his bare hands and even see through doors and walls. I have NEVER seen Superman attempt to hammer a nail into a wall in the attempt to show his family that he really was useful. There is a reason superman never did that; trouble is always on the other side of that wall!!! I guess there are 2 things superman can’t see through…1-lead and 2-drywall (less than an inch thick to boot).

    Yes it’s true, I attempted to do a very minor “handyman” sort of project and all he’ll broke loose. I mean who puts a pipe right behind a very thin piece of drywall??? Don’t these home builders know that this is going to be someone’s house where a very inept husband will live one day??? Plus my stud finder I had thrown away after Laurie and I married-she didn’t need to find any more studs after marrying me, BADUMP UMP!!! {ok collective groans from everyone now…} C’mon that is only the 2nd time in my life I’ve been able to use that stud finder joke.

    I said it before, on a prior blog post from my beautiful and very understanding wife Laurie, that I am not a capable handyman. It is embarrassing to admit, but almost like a drug addict, admitting it is the 1st step to being healed.

    Gimme those Ikea projects where it’s like a “paint by numbers” thing and I can do it-well, after 4 hours and 4 beers and a whole lot of cussing- but it’ll get done and stick around for a while!

    I should have known, too, that this would come up as some sort of public thing as since my wife started blogging our lives are a rich source of material for this page-I wouldn’t have it any other way though! However this one could severely jeapordize my standing in the “Man/Husband” brotherhood. I felt a sharp pain in my stomach when Laurie and I were admiring the fine job the plumber did and she says that she is writing a blog post about it. I fretted that it’d be highly embarrassing and almost objected, but realized this story had to come out; a sort of PSA if you will. I knew Laurie would handle this situation with her usual sensitivity and skill.

    So, I guess, if there’s a lesson to be learned from this I still haven’t figured it out. I’m sure I will continue to try to fix/repair and improve things in the years to come-to duly impress my wife and kids-only to have to call out a professional to come fix/repair and impove on what I have done.

    Oh, and in the “It ain’t that bad” department, Laurie told me that the plumber said they get calls like this all the time-he didn’t need to say that they were all the results of hapless husbands, but…- and it really wasn’t that bad of a deal. I know, I know but I felt erred about it anyway!

  2. I love your chair Laurie, it looks very inviting there! It is so true about one project leading to another – owning a home is always a “work in progress”, whether new or old. I don’t think Chris should be so hard on himself though – I have a very handy husband and things still happen to us (forget a part at the store, get something the wrong size, color, etc). Sometimes it is just out of your control – besides the darn builders should have had the pipes further back in the wall, it looks so close that even a thumb tack would have hit it! If you hang that white board just right, you might be able to cover the hole and not need to patch and paint 🙂

  3. Ha Debi, thank you for that. I’m not being too hard on myself. I feel that I am helping to keep the economy rolling. These local service businesses have been staying afloat due to me!!! Seriously I have to laugh at myself because even I find it funny.
    Yes the plan is to get a big white board and cover up that hole, then it’ll be just like brand new. Though I am concerned that if I put ip a BIGGER white board that the upstairs tub will come crashing down. I’ll take that chance though; gotta get back on that proverbial horse…

  4. At least now you can guilt the kids into using the white board. I mean, all the trouble you went through just to put up a white board to help make things easier for them. Never let a crisis go to waste…

  5. Woke up at 3am, couldn’t sleep…this is the funniest thing I’ve ever read! Not just your piece Laurie, but Chris’ wonderful, lengthy response. Thanks for sharing and Chris, no shame! These things happen!

  6. Thanks, all, for the support-group-like comments. Chris and I were commenting this morning on how frightfully EASY it is to already be walking by that big hole and not even NOTICING it anymore! Egads. We may have that hole in our wall for the next three years! (Similar to how our powder room sink base has been off for about three years — we hardly “see” it anymore.) Oh well. We’re not exactly the paragons of home improvement. We may just hang that white board over the hole and call it a day! 🙂

  7. And this is why I never, ever, ever, ever do a DIY project. NEVER! I create enough disasters just walking than to add to it. LOL

    BTW love, love, love the chair!!

  8. Oh my gosh – you and Superman had me cracking up!! Loved your blog Mizwrite and Superman’s comment… I actually laughed out loud at the studfinder joke 🙂

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