Doing it myself.....using my head.

I decided I'd better assemble the RubberMaid tote I bought yesterday at Home Depot.  I saw one on an upper shelf all put together and decided yeah, that's perfect.  The purpose of this tote is to house the earthquake preparedness stuff outside the house...away from something falling on it.  With what daughter Sutter, and her husband, Sean, have learned about readiness in the continuing shakes in New Zealand (they live in Christchurch), I've tried to pay attention.

But before I did that I decided it was a better idea to pull out the recliner lounge from the carriage house (which carries nothing on wheels but my bike, two more bikes I'm going to donate for recycling, and one wheelbarrow with a leaky tire).  So with a paper about demographics in real estate for the 2010 decade and fresh sun tea, I took a snooze, cuddling up with my SF Giants mega fleece blanket, relishing the clear but breezy, cool, skies.  Heavenly.

Napping was great, the paper was excellent, the tea lovely.  But all good things come to an end so I decided to assemble that bin.

The biggest solo, build-it-myself project I've ever done was a few years ago.  I bought a gas patio heater with a light.  You know the things...when you sit outside at a restaurant at night it's nice to have one close by.  I knew it needed assembly.  I could read that in the catalog.

What I didn't expect was a phone call from the shipping company asking when it could be dropped off.  Well, anytime is fine.  I figured UPS would leave it on the porch.  No lady, you don't get it.  This thing is on two pallets.  When can we drop it off?  Ut-oh.  What had I done?  Delivery day. The thing was on a flat bed truck that also held a fork lift.  Ut-oh again.  This was serious big stuff.  The driver off-loaded the pallets and drove the fork lift with the huge boxes up the driveway into the back yard.  I had him put them in the way of everything so I couldn't ignore it.  Buh-bye to the guy with the fork lift.  I think he was cracking up as he drove away.

I did it.  I put the patio heater/light together.  It looked like the picture.  There were four sheet metal screws left over and I had no idea where they lived.  I figured the manufacturer got a kick out of throwing in extra parts to humble us peons.  Nonetheless, a glorious victory!  It took me a half day to lay out the parts, and two full days of working a most challenging puzzle.  I don't use it much but it's like this giant trophy I gave myself.  

Now today.  A measly RubberMaid tote...that should be a snap.  Minimal parts, 4 screws.  Follow the instructions.  Get a hammer and screwdriver, plus my reading glasses and a magnifying glass to be sure I read the pictures correctly.  I have the perfect work bench.  The glass patio table.

The instructions said nothing about having a helper or needing more than two hands or that I would have to use my head as a tool, not just as a thinking device. One hand held the screwdriver.  One corner was  wedged between my boobs, and the top rested on my head as I secured the straps into the lid and bin with my other hand.

I started at 5pm.  I gave up at 7pm.  It's together but it just won't stay together when the lid is lifted.  Either side pulls out of the slots and the rest implodes. It's hysterical!  I built it three times! These are Candid Camera moments.  Today I guess they'd call it America's Stupidest Videos.    Plus it's not watertight although it's represented as being so.  And bugs can get in it. Not good for an earthquake bin.

Tomorrow it's back to the Depot.  I had to take it out of the huge box in their parking lot in order to get it to fit in my car and bring it home.  That's how they are getting it back.  Aaarrgh!  Then I'm going to a local hardware store and buy a better box.  And if necessary I'll have them assemble it and deliver it.  And it won't take a fork lift.

I can rest in the simple joy of what I did next.  I picked mega lettuce from the container garden.  The tediousness of rinsing the leaves, picking off the stems, patting them dry with paper towels and wrapping them  for give-aways, was calming.  Plus I relished the glory of a small victory a few days ago.  I changed the outside porch light, solo, by ladder, working a ten foot ceiling.  Nothing broke: not the bulbs, not the fixture that got cleaned, not me, and not my ego.

Live richly,



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