Well, At Least I Didn’t PAINT!

(Photo credits: Teri Lathrop)

Help!! I need to lose 10lbs, and look smokin’ hot in one and a half days!!!

I’ll bet you think Dan has been deployed for six months and I’ve put off my diet till now, don’t you?? WRONG…. this is a much more dire situation. Besides, I usually panic a week ahead of time before he returns from a deployment. This time he’s only been gone two weeks. Just enough time to have piles of laundry and a small disaster.

Ok, I guess I should start from the beginning and not the end.

Ya know how every time your husband is packing for another TDY, TAD or whatever they call it… and you get all these awesome ideas of what color to paint, or wall to plaster, or room to re-do? Ok… I know it’s not just me so half of you reading this better have your hands up. Well, this time Dan got out of the car at the airport and actually made me promise NOT to paint anything! I mean, really? Just because we had that one door incident and a teeny, tiny plaster fiasco in the living room? I relented and promised not to paint a thing, even though I had some really great swatches in my purse just dying to be used on my bathroom wall. However, I did NOT promise not to thatch the ceiling in the living room with bamboo sheets!!! YAY me!! I’ve been looking for enough time for him to be gone so I could do that! Just because he said no a while back doesn’t mean “no” now. Right? I don’t really think he gave it much thought when he put his foot down a few months ago, and if he would just give it a chance… I’m sure he’ll love it!! Seriously! I’ve seen it done in restaurants, and cottages… it’s beautiful!!

He’ll be happy I did it.

So I kiss him goodbye and drive directly to the hardware store. Well, I can’t believe my ears when I arrive and they are completely sold out and another shipment doesn’t arrive on island until AFTER he gets home. What a disappointment! So I left the hardware store and figured there was no better way to lift my spirits than to go paddle boarding. I called up a friend, we loaded our boards, and headed off to the beach. Now that I’m actually writing this, I may actually be able to blame my friend for what happens next. You see, when we came home it was a pain to carry the board to the other side of the house where we have the gate and surf board rack. If only I had a gate on the right side of the house where the hose is, I could rinse it and put it on the new board racks I am envisioning next to the amazing new outdoor shower I’ve always wanted. YES!! We both agreed this was an awesome idea. I can do this!! How hard can it be to cut a few boards and pop a gate in? Just think how happy Dan is going to be when he sees everything I’ve done!! Oh my!!


This is so much better than painting or stapling bamboo to my ceiling!!! Ok, so I may not be able to do the shower thing by myself, but I’m sure once he sees how perfect it is, he’ll come up with the idea himself. I can see us now… coming home from the beach and just easing thru the beautiful new gate to our little outdoor garden shower. Orchids and tropical flowers lining the new fence and stone walk way…. I’m just giddy with excitement.

First things first, I go to the garage and search for the chainsaw. I KNOW we have one… why the heck does that man hide his tools from me? Can’t find it but I DO find this other electric saw thingy and grab a long extension cord to go with it. I get my gardening gloves and I’m ready for action.

Well, once I walked to the side of the house where I envision my amazing tropical outdoor shower with lava rock and bamboo posts along with a new surf rack, I realize there are a ton of plants and trees along the fence that just have to go. They just don’t work with my vision. Awesome that I have this saw thingy… this should be a breeze! Wahoo… I am on the job now… hacking, cutting, shoveling… and for some reason this saw thingy may not be meant for big trees. Well, if Dan wouldn’t hide the chainsaw I wouldn’t have to use this tiny little… oops. What the heck?? How does metal just break off in the middle of a tree trunk? This saw thingy is obviously faulty! Stupid tree. I kick it and push and it still won’t break in half where I’ve made the big cut. Now I have to go back to the hardware store and have them fix it.


The store only took a few minutes from my project and besides, I saw some great new orchids at the store that will look fantastic near the tropical shower. The guys at the hardware store suggested I not use this for my trees and suggest I wait for my husband. Hmmpf… they obviously don’t know anything. I am on a MISSION and come hell or high water, there will be a gate on the right side of my house and a little tropical area to shower after the beach. So off I trot, and son of a gun, if the whole fence didn’t just about fall over on me when I was pulling off this man eating, jurassic park looking vine. Uh oh…. well, the fence was old anyway. And ugly. I want a new one for my tranquil setting.

Really, this is a blessing. Of course I don’t really feel like tearing the fence down the rest of the way, because then I’d have to load it in the truck and haul it to the dump, and that doesn’t sound fun. Annndd… it’s really hot, and I may possibly have gotten in a little too deep. I just want to sit in the pool and think about it. With a glass of wine. YES!! What a great idea. A nice cool soak in the pool and a glass of wine helped me think more clearly. Obviously I couldn’t do this all by myself. I called my neighbor over to see my dilemma, and after he quit laughing, he said he could help but it would take at least a week. WHAT??!! NO WAY … I only had 4 days at that point. So I looked on Craigslist, called a bunch of guys who had ads in there for fences and had them come out and give me quotes. I found a couple Tongans and they were coming in the morning to take care of this mess.

Well, you’re not going to believe what happened next! There I was, lying in bed watching the news, and I hear a gushing of water! O ~ M ~ G!!! I walk outside and there is a geyser coming out of the ground!! Apparently someone hacked the water sprinkler pipe in half. Now I’m thinking I’ll just have to turn up the TV really loud when he gets home and feign shock when we both discover the madness.

Good thing the fence guys are coming tomorrow.


Now I’m not going to say Craigslist isn’t a good place to find workers, but maybe I should get referrals next time. The fence looks great on my side, but from my neighbors point of view it looks, well… less than great. They did a crap job… the nails go straight thru, the wood is cut crooked, and the metal posts are a total eye sore. Crap… now I have to figure out how to fix this mess. Ok, list for the store: a bottle of wine and orchid for the neighbor, something lacy for me, diet pills, beer for Dan and an air freshener for his truck. Well… I had to take a load of junk to the dump and now the truck smells like hot, old, rotting, trash. Brock suggested I not open the windows when we went into the dump area but I had to ask a question.

Now, God bless that sweet son of mine, because when he heard the sprinkler was broken he said he could fix it! He has actually done this stuff with Dan and knew what to do. Off to the hardware store we went, and crossing my fingers now as I type, but I think that boy has learned a thing or two. And if he didn’t learn plumbing skills he has definitely mastered bribery. He had the audacity to bribe me with, “I’ll fix your sprinkler if you don’t tell Dad it was me who…” What?! Fine…I give in. Besides… after telling Brock the whole story about the gate, I’m beginning to think this WHOLE mess could have been avoided if Dan had only let me paint the bathroom. Really… let’s look at it from THAT perspective. I mean… I probably shouldn’t start off with that, especially after Dan just spent 18 hours traveling. But if all else fails, I may have to resort to it being his fault. Of course it didn’t help AT ALL when Brock said, “So… let me get this straight. We have a new fence, Dad has a new saw blade, we are repairing the sprinkler pvc pipe, you/Dad still have to FIX the neighbors side of the fence and you STILL don’t have a gate??”

Seriously, BROCK?? You don’t have to point out the obvious. NO, my gate was apparently going to cost several hundred dollars more and I had to use that to pay the speeding ticket I got yesterday going to pick up your sister! So, we obviously don’t need to mention that in our little welcome home to Dad. Let’s focus on the positive. I have NOT wrecked his truck. I have NOT painted. I have gotten you kids to school on time and you are both in one piece. And… YOU fixed the sprinkler…yeah!

I’m gonna have a burger and a beer and forget the diet now!! And if Brock tells Dan about the ticket, I’m gonna tell Dan about the “fire tornado” he tried to create in the backyard when the cup of acetone melted on the wooden table.

I am betting next time… the man will let me paint.

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