Handywoman for Hire

My husband constantly complains that he “has to do all the work around the house.”  My daughter, Christina, has wanted her curtains up in her room for months.  As an 18 year old, the fact that her bedroom windows face east is particularly upsetting seeing as she doesn’t have to be at work until 3:00 pm.  So last night in an extreme fit of “We are woman – watch us hang curtains” rebellion, my daughter and I took on the task of installing blinds and decorative curtain rods and curtains. 

But first we had to spend five minutes in the garage looking for the proper tools. And the reason it only took five minutes was because it would be a cold day in hell before my husband would let ANYONE fondle his various tools without his direct supervision.  So armed with a hammer, multiple screw drivers, drill, and various picture hanging tools, we were off!

We started in the empty guest bedroom because we were having company stay with us and since there was nothing on the windows, we figured our guest would not appreciate being the only source of entertainment for the neighborhood.  According to the directions, we were supposed to drill a hole to put in the plastic thingy and then screw the blind hanger thingy into the wall.  Yeah, this didn’t work.  First of all because there was STEEL in the walls and when we put the screw in crooked, we couldn’t get it out.  Well, to rephrase that, we DID get it out –it’s just that half the wall came out with it.  I definitely made sure Christina knew that this was 100% completely her fault should her dad come upstairs and check.  Following this we decided to place the hanger thingy a tad higher so the blind would hide the new hole in the wall.  Except the plastic thingy would not go into the wall.  And we discovered that when you forced it, the hammer would just smash it into pieces and it would be worthless anyway.  After that happened four times (we are nothing if not consistent) we immediately decided we didn’t need to follow the directions and would just improvise.  This was done following the message Christina brought to me from her dad which in essence said – “If you don’t use the expanding plastic sleeves for the screws, the blinds will fall down and I will know”. Assuring Christina I would take complete responsibility for the decision, we still decided to forego the plastic thingys and used a big nail to start the hole and then the screw went in fairly easy.  Once we had one done, we were pretty much confident we could do the rest but we were tired after 45 minutes of handy work so I asked my son, Michael to help.  Now, Michael is definitely better than Christina and I when it comes to home improvement tasks, but being 16, he is also quite surly and not a fully engaged participant in our endeavors.  This means he finished the first window and then proceeded to put the second window hanger in the wall upside down.  Then he quit when this was discovered because “it was too hot and I have a headache.”  Thinking it would be better if they matched, I put the other hanger in upside down as well.  This did not work.  So out it had to come and while it was a bit crooked, it worked.  Two blinds over both windows. Hello! We are SUCH the handywomen – hear us roar! 

Onto Christina’s room.  It only took us an hour and a half to put the blinds up in the guest bedroom; we should be able to do this fairly quickly, right?  Again with the reading of directions and applying hardware to the wall.  This one went fairly easy except when the nail got stuck in the wall resulting with a carefully phrased request for my husband to come up and get it out. Again dispensed with the plastic thingys – we were so much more experienced this time!  And we were very careful to make sure we placed the decorative curtain rod high enough over the window so the bottom of the curtain barely touched the floor. We even used the end of a hairbrush as our ruler to make sure it was even.  Unfortunately we didn’t think about the horizontal dimensions.  When we placed the curtains on the rod, they looked like it had a monster mouth retching away from the wall in a fit of escape.   Which my husband was kind enough to point out that we needed to put the rod hangers farther apart.  Really?  You think?

So off came the rod holders and we did it again, this time farther apart and following my husband’s pencil marks on the wall, the curtains hung perfect.  Only one more window to go! Try as I might, I simply could not figure out where the rod holders should go to match the other window and also make sure it wouldn’t be crooked.  When I hopped off the metal step stool, my foot slipped.  After walking around for five minutes, I realized I had scraped the skin off my big toe and was leaving little blood spots all over Christina’s carpet.  Ah, something I was actually good at!  Cleaning blood out of carpet was so much easier than hanging curtains.  Following a second nicely worded, could you please come help just this one more time, my husband came upstairs (with a band aid, bless his heart) and again marked the wall for the hangers. 

Mission accomplished!  It only took us three hours to do four windows.  Granted, we had blood involved, two of the four windows were a bit crooked, we had a ton of hardware left over, Casey growled every time we used the drill, and halfway through the ordeal Christina said, “You’re going to blog about this, aren’t you?” but it was done. For some reason, I think this experience was harder on my husband than on us. So I was thinking that maybe this weekend Christina and I can install the ceiling fan in her bedroom.

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