Monday, December 17, 2007

Making A List And Crossing It Off

Today, while on the way to the airport, I made a Christmas Things To Do list. I realized that this is Bob’s last trip until after Christmas and thought I had better try to get my messiest project done. I am a Messy. I didn’t realize that until I met Bob. It was during our first year of marriage that he told me that I was the messiest cook he had ever seen. At that time I still was under the illusion that being a Messy was a bad thing so I told him that I was hurt and asked him to retract. He kindly told me that he was sorry that I was hurt and that he would retract if he could but that would be dishonest. Now, I am not proud of being a Messy and I try hard to keep it under control but I realize also that this is an area where I am genetically challenged and it isn’t such a bad thing. However, I try to do my messiest projects when I know Bob is traveling. He is a good man and I must add a Neatnik . He loves me and has learned to live with my handicap but I am always sad to hear him sigh about it. That is why it is better if I can do my messiest projects while he is away from home.

I cannot really talk about the project that I worked on today because it is a secret—kind of. Actually probably not much of a secret but I am still pretending it is a secret. I planned on doing this project months ago while it was warm and sunny outside. This messy-to-make project involves using a hack saw to cut many pieces of PVC pipe. This summer when I tried cutting PVC pipe, it worked well because I could cut it on the picnic table on the back deck and the wind took care of most of my white chaff. Even though it was cold out today, we have a nice covering of snow everywhere so I thought it might work quite well as a disguise for my messy PVC chaff. However, I hadn’t planned on it being so difficult to cut PVC pipe in the winter. I guess the PVC pipe gets harder in the cold. Also without a vice or picnic table rungs to grip the pipe and with gloves on and a few other issues, I had a lot of trouble. One issue was that Bob has two hack saws and both are dull but one is duller and I mistakenly tried using the dullest one and after getting half way through the first piece, I was able to break the piece in two—with great effort. I had prepared to spend some time on the project so my radio was on loud enough to hear above the whistle of the wind and I heard Joni Erickson Tada talking about humbling ourselves and asking for help. It sounded like a good idea so I reviewed who I could ask. I couldn’t ask Bob because he thinks this is somewhat of a dumb idea. I couldn’t ask Kevin or Andy because their wives have large honey-do-lists for them. One by one, I eliminated, Greg Fantozzi and John Krieger and even some of the neighbor boys—for various and very good reasons. So I ventured inside to the basement to try again. Amazingly with a vice and a better hack saw and lots of pressure, I cut the pieces—all 140 of them. Did you ever notice how things go better with a system? I even vacuumed. For those of you that are not Messies, I do want to explain that Messies do not try to be messy. They really try hard to not be messy. Things just happen and sometimes we hurry.

My next step involved sanding all of the 140 pieces. I am not yet finished but I will show you that I am doing the best I can under the circumstances to keep the mess from invading our home. I am quite sure that I can finish in the morning. It is warmer when the sun is out even if the temperature is just as cold. I don’t know how to set the camera to photograph myself actually working so I will just show you my set up—imagine a ski suit and green wool cap. I can almost cross one more item off of my list. I am happy to report that the mess will not be noticeable to the ordinary eye.
Yes that is a boom box in the back corner and a space heater--all the comforts of home.

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