Monday, October 22, 2018

Blood, Sweat, and Candy Bars

The other day, Harrie was over at the Habitat House we're working on, doing the final stairs. I was helping because any day spent working on a fun project beats email and office work any day, besides I was pretty sure he needed a hand. Working with Harrie is fun. He's normally used to working alone so it takes him a couple of hours before he realizes he has another human to communicate with and starts using his words. I'm used to THE MAN using too many words when I'm his helper, so it's a nice change. Yesterday THE MAN used a few of those words laying on his back under the 4-Wheeler when I complained he had the good tape measure and I needed it. Since I don't have to share the scrapbook supplies, I can't imagine how he feels sharing the garage & tools. Poor guy.

Anyway, I've digressed.

So, I noticed Harrie was using his thumb nail to carve a groove in the laminate edging we were using to notate how big a piece we needed. Reminded me of how I measure paper when I scrap, so I was all over it. It also involved an iron and because I was too lazy to run around the house and find a sanding block, a rotary sander. At some point we needed some very little pieces made and I was carefully working on those in the bathroom. Our Electrician Mike was also working on the basement which involved turning off power to various things and most of the plugs I wanted to use weren't live, so was working in the bathroom, which is currently green sheet rock & a cement floor. Anyhow, I slipped with the sander and nicked my finger in two places, which immediately starting bleeding like a stuck pig.

Having watched many a dude who cuts themselves while working, I played it cool. I walked deliberately out the back door, up the hill, across the front porch and into the house where I found a paper towel and assessed the damage. Yup. It was a two band aide job. Harrie meanwhile had found his voice and was asking for me. Yelling down Harrie I'm bleeding I'll be right there, I quickly wrapped two band aides and headed back down to the basement the same way I came.

It's a pain in the ass working on stairs and you can't use them.

In retrospect, I was very glad that I couldn't use the stairs. Later I found the blood trail across the front deck & the blood splatter in the bathroom and thought wow, glad I didn't have to clean that out of freshly stained boards....Anyhow Harrie didn't ask what I had done and we spent the rest of the day on the stairs. At the very end of the day, we had a big chunk of the thick stair tread left over. I had assumed that Harrie had intended to use that as a shelf on the landing. I was incorrect. He said it was just left over. I looked at the board and thought, well let's try it. It looked like it might be too short. Randomly it was exactly the perfect size we needed and now we have a lovely little shelf right in the middle that looks like it was meant to be.

I'm telling everyone that Harrie planned it that way. ;-) I might even use the words "mad skills," "awesome carpenter," and "genus use of supplies."

Anyhow, the next day I spent hours on my knees filling in the nail holes with putty, cleaning the steps, adding more stain to any spots I missed when I first stained them & the nail holes. Then I cleared them. I haven't ever worked on stairs before ever. I have however played around with a lot of furniture pieces and I treated these the same way.

At some point in the afternoon, the homeowner came over to measure the windows for curtains. Her son was very interested in what I was doing so I gave him a brush and showed him how to methodically do the clear coat. Then I sent him upstairs to raid the candy bar stash in the fridge. He then went outside to search for any dropped nails or screws. I believe he has a collection. Friday's find was a two inch green deck screw with a star bit top. I recall as a kid when my stairs were built on the farm, so no doubt he'll remember this day.


  1. ooo I hope your finger is ok... I love how you write... the stairs look great!

  2. Oh, Mitra! You were very brave. I guess you sorta have to be when working with blokes called Harrie! And that little fella looks like he's having the time of his life. Stairs look fun, but filling nail holes.... I remember doing that for a WHOLE house that had floor boards in, for my mother and dad in law, before they got it stained and sealed. It was a BIG job!!!!

  3. I can't say I've ever left a trail of blood on the! I've bloodied up some paper before.. Love hearing about your work days. I always wonder if I'll ever learn how to use!


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