That.just.happened.

I’m going to preface this post by straight up admitting this is entirely a “toot your own horn” post. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a cocky person at all, but I do enjoy feeling accomplished. Now onto the good stuff…

We’ll do a small background on this story starting with in November 2011 I moved into my Pawpaw’s old house (he had passed away earlier in the year) & saying “it needed some work” was putting it mildly, but hey it beat the trailer I had been living in on a rented lot that didn’t have a fenced in yard. The house itself was in fairly good shape as far as stability & not having leaks & all of that but an old man had lived there alone for several years which meant minor or no upkeep at all not to mention borderline hoarding of random junk in the bedrooms. I loved my Pawpaw dearly but I can’t justify keeping the boxes to every coffee thermos ever owned. Actually getting to move into the house was a long & lengthy process which I may post about some other time but that’s a story for a different day.

I’m not crafty or skilled at anything really & I’m okay with that – I’ve just honestly never really had the experience for one thing but I’ll give anything a shot once. When I first moved in I was with my ex who thought he was a handy man – keyword there being “thought.” Don’t get me wrong he was decent at somethings but he never knew when to admit he couldn’t do it or that we should probably have someone else do it. Point being – most things that got fixed around the house were done by others & not either of us. Needless to say though when we split & he moved out – so did the tools unfortunately. Luckily my parents only live a few miles up the road though so I still have fairly easy access to tools when needed (the few I know how to use anyway haha) but I do need to invest in my own set even if it’s just the basics.

Moving on – 3 weeks or so ago the handle on the gate lock broke which wouldn’t be a major deal except I have 2 dogs that I love dearly & I enjoy the convenience of letting them out into the yard without constant supervision. They don’t typically go towards the gate but they are aware that’s where we go out for car rides so that was a problem. Living up the holler my entire life except for a couple of years taught me a lot about rigging stuff up to make do until you could fix it which has come in quite handy. So I found a small bungee cord that had hooks on it & TA-DA I had a makeshift latch that would work temporarily … but that got old quickly. It was annoying to hook & unhook it all the time especially if I was carrying stuff. I know, I know – this isn’t a major ordeal but I’ll tell you – having a working regular gate latch is a wonderful blessing. I made an unsuccesful trip to Lowes one night to try to find a replacement handle where I found out that this old style of gate latch could be hard to find. My lovely boyfriend Tate stopped by a little Mom & Pop hardware store (which I prefer over big stores anyway but sadly enough there aren’t any close to home) where they had a slot for it but it was empty. We waited a few days & he tried again only to find out that the store had tried to order it but the supplier was out. The lovely people however referred us to a fence company who they said should almost definitely have it. So I made the trip down there after work yesterday evening to find a lovely old man who looked the item up in a binder (not a computer) & wrote my receipt up by hand (not a printout). He was so friendly too & even gave me some bolts which I had told him I didn’t think I would need but I wasn’t sure – it made my day! So I head home with my new gate handle ready to do work!

[Side note: This was going to be a short post, but I should’ve known with my love of talking that wouldn’t happen. Also I’m going to have to apologize to Tate because I’m always telling him he’s the longest story teller ever but it appears he’s got quite the competition haha]

I’m not sure how it slipped my mind that I would need tools to get the job done but it did. I should hang my head in shame for that one! Let’s also add that my Dad is out-of-state on a golf trip & my mom is worse than I am when it comes to tools but again luckily they just live right up the road. So I go there & track down a wrench to get the nut off the gate. I get back to the house & attempt to remove it only to realize I need another wrench to hold the bolt still while I remove the nut. I’m beyond blessed with close family & luckily my cousin also lives right up the road so I borrowed a wrench from him as well. So here it is 6:30 now & raining & I’m out there trying to get this damned old rusty nut & bolt off the gate but by golly I did it. I did it so well I snapped that bolt into 2 pieces * insert arm flex here * haha Like I said – it was old & rusty but still I was a little impressed at myself. So I finally got the old hardware off & I go to install the new latch & not 5 minutes later TA-DA a shiny, new, perfectly operating latch! I definitely felt accomplished & I had to laugh at myself too. My pawpaw had always told my dad that I was the boy he never had (because Dad was blessed with 3 girls, no boys) & it made me laugh because I knew my pawpaw would’ve been proud of my handy work on the new latch. Also neither of my sisters would’ve even attempted or thought about replacing the gate latch themselves. Before anyone starts questioning why Tate didn’t replace – he was still out running some errands after work so I had all that done before he got home.

Not to keep further honking my horn but I also figured out how to remove the drain/stopper from the bathtub. That’s not really that impressive because the screw was right there in the middle of it – but we had entirely missed it when we looked before. Regardless, I realized there was a screw there so I tracked down a screwdriver (one of the few tools I do have) & popped that right off there. Then I removed some of the hair/gunk/whatever the hell that was that had been stopping up my drain & then poured some clog remover (I don’t remember the name of it) down there in hopes that this would finally help the horrible drain issue. 20 minutes later hot water ran down that baby smooth as ever. That plug hasn’t drained that good since before I even moved in there so I was pretty excited about that. No more standing in inches of water while taking a shower! Or waiting 30 minutes for the tub to drain after a bath. Okay so maybe 30 minutes is an exaggeration but not by much.

So to sum up this novel of a post that was only going to be a short update I feel pretty accomplished after all my handiwork yesterday. While I get that it wasn’t extreme or extensive by any means – I’m proud of what I did & now I’m ready to attack more issues in the house which could be good (or dangerous haha) only time will tell. I hope everyone has a lovely evening & I’ll leave you with a picture of my lovely work!

-jess

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