home improvement, aggravation, and a touch of irony



Conversation I’ve had at least once a week for the past 2 1/2 years:

Guest in my home:  Um, I’m sorry, how do you turn on your kitchen sink?

Me:  You have to jerk that handle really hard to the right.

Guest:  Oh.  I didn’t want to break it…

Me:  Please do.  Then I could get a new one! 

Who ultimately broke my kitchen faucet?  Me.  In the frenzy of Sunday morning.  In the ON position.  And by the way, the shut-off valves underneath weren’t in particularly good condition, either, meaning that the faucet’s been dripping HOT water ever since, a waste that my sometime-environmentalist psyche can hardly stand.  [I shut the water off to the whole house overnight so the dripping would stop.]

The hero, once again?  Matt, who lugged bucket after bucket of hot water from the bathroom that night and washed every dish from the partially-full dishwasher, as well as the lunch and dinner dishes, which were still pretty much in disarray. 

The plumber is coming today with my new one!  I won’t tell you what that’s going to cost me.

How old do you have to be to be an apprentice plumber?  Because I’m totally signing up one of my boys.



This is Jonathan’s old dresser.  [It’s in the attic right now if you’re wondering about that yicky green carpet.  My attic would be an excellent location for a horror movie.  We’ll clean it up one of these days.]  We have two of these dressers, and though they’re a little old and rickety, I like them.  I don’t know the exact vintage , but I do know that they’re older than Matt.  That drawer front has been missing for about three years.  I was always planning to fix it or something, but….

I finally decided it was time to just replace the darn thing, and found a dresser at IKEA that would work — a little modern for my taste, but the price was right and it would look fine in the room.  All four of my children felt strongly that they should assist in the building of the dresser.  (If you’ve been living under a rock and are unfamiliar with IKEA, you should know that none of their furniture is pre-assembled.)  It was a video camera-worthy experience.  The older ones are actually pretty capable with a hammer and a screwdriver — Sam attached the entire cardboard back with thirty tiny nails.

I was feeling pretty good about my patient mothering, until we were building the last drawer and found that a critical piece was missing.  Here is Jonathan’s new dresser:


The great news is that after much consternation and whining (me), the kids found the piece about 24 hours later, so it didn’t take us three years to fix the new one.


8 thoughts on “home improvement, aggravation, and a touch of irony

  1. danielle

    sorry about your faucet! That is why we still live in an apartment I think…the fear of home-ownership. Funny about your dressers.

  2. robinbl

    I have so many things I wish would break so I could have an excuse to get a new one…
    I’m impressed you let the boys help. I don’t know if I’d let my kids do the same. I’m a little bit of a control freak when it comes to putting things together. I even have a hard time letting Andrew do things like that!

  3. kira

    Can’t wait to try out the new faucet…hope it doesn’t need instructions! The dresser story cracks me up. Thanks for the good laugh

  4. Sarah

    You need to send your kids to Home Depot kids club. Samuel goes every month, and now he is very adept at the hammer and the use of safety goggles! Make sure you post a picture of the new faucet. Also, what did you ever do with your front door?

  5. Emily

    Please post kitchen sink picture. And yes, whatever did you do with your door?
    I like that old dresser, too. I’m always drawn to the old stuff initially, and think the refinishing wouldn’t be that big of a deal–but it is. And sometimes the clean-ness and convenience and functionality of the new stuff makes it irresistible.

  6. sillyjillybean

    Liz I was laughing so hard about the dresser scenario as I would chuckle everytime I was in your house and noticed the missing drawer of Jon’s and remember the whole story of how the movers lost it. I hope the faucet/plumbing issue isn’t too terrible a cost. Plumbing can definitely be a nightmare when you can’t get water to turn off! We here in Medford are lucky and golden, it’s called 911-call EAGARS!

  7. liz Post author

    The front door project is still pending — the door company will only replace the entire thing (frame, molding, etc.) which is very expensive. I’m waiting for my neighbor/contractor to come over and look at it and tell me if he thinks he can replace just the door.

  8. Vicki

    I laughed so hard when I saw the photo of the new bureau without the drawer! I’m so glad you found it. BTW, the new faucet looks great and I’m one of those who had a lot of trouble with your old faucet.


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