Tuesday, October 12, 2010

the sanding

Sorry for the delay in posting--I couldn't think of anything fiber-related to post, and it looks like my non-fiber posts seem to get more comments anyway these days, so here's a different tale.

This is an old house story. You may remember that our second story bathroom has a fabulous mosaic floor. It's not all in perfect shape but it's original to our nearly 100 year old house. In fact, if you walk a block up the street, you can even see the entry hall of an apartment building with a mosaic that matches ours exactly. I imagine the mosaic tile workers were busy 100 years ago in our neighborhood!

Over the last year, every time someone closed the door to the bathroom, there was an enormous grummmmfh rummmfh noise as the door scraped over the tile floor. This wasn't good. It was bad for the tile floor. It also meant that if you had dinner guests and one of them went up to do their business? Everyone downstairs knew just how long those guests were in there.

The Professor said that the only way to fix this properly was to rehang the door, which had obviously started to hang lopsided (dang gravity) and scrape on the floor. This, he said, would take hours to do properly and he'd put it on his fix-it list. After over a year, I noticed it hadn't gotten any higher on the list...there was always something more pressing! The noise and the potential damage to the floor was making me nuts. When no one is in the house but the Professor and me, I never shut the door. He shuts the door. Have I mentioned that the noise made me crazy?

I suggested sanding the bottom of the door. The Professor didn't think this was an option, but when my dad visited, he said it was definitely worth a try...obviously the rubbing was only a few milimeters in one direction or the other, because we could still shut the door. The Professor washed his hands of the situation, but handed me some sandpaper.

On the first day, my face got all red from leaning over as I rubbed that sandpaper back and forth on the bottom of the doorjamb. I improved on this the second day, when I set up a stool and sat on the stool as I worked on the problem. After a few days, I discovered:

1) This hurt my arm muscles
2) I got a tummy ache from leaning over that much
3) It was slow going

I called my dad. Wise man who is my father suggested that maybe I should hold the sandpaper on the ground, between my feet, and use the ground as my sanding block and the door's weight would help it to sand itself. This worked better. My face wasn't quite as red.

I held onto the door handles for dear life, clamped the sandpaper between my feet, and using my knees as extra help, sanded the bottom of the door jamb. After a few days, I discovered:

1) The next time I dance the Twist, I'll be ready!
2) I now also had little bruises on the insides of my knees.
3) This worked--slowly, and you can work up quite a sweat while sanding.

I also realized that while the door shifted downward, the mosaic wasn't flat either. The floor shifted upwards in places, too. Given the nature of the sanding and my low tolerance level for this sort of thing, I worked on the door for a few minutes every day. 5-10 max. I saw it as my "discipline. " Eventually, I hoped to learn something from it.

After a week or so, I put away the sandpaper. It's not perfect, but it's a lot better.

What I've learned?
(nothing deep)
You can go to the bathroom in my house and I don't have to hear that door rubbing against a 100 year old tile floor.

Now I just have to convince Sally the dog that she does not have to guard the second story bathroom any more by barking. This still scares the pants off dinner guests--sometimes before they get to the washroom! Worse, I don't know if they've managed to make it inside yet and shut the door because I can't hear the door noises any more!

I imagined (while red faced, sweaty, and doing a weird approximation of the Twist) that this was all sort of comical in the home repair department... At least, I try to see it that way.

It's either that, or it's some weird new exercise routine.

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Blogger AdrieneJ said...

Lady, you may have figured out the latest ab workout!

October 12, 2010 at 4:11 PM  
Blogger Willow said...

Move over, Jillian Michaels!

October 12, 2010 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger Freyalyn said...

Thank you for a big grin on a Wednesday morning!

October 13, 2010 at 7:18 AM  
Blogger annmarie said...

this was a lot of fun to read! thanks, from the bottom of my heart. it's been a long work week and I needed the laugh. :)
p.s. let me know when it's time to start dancing the Twist.

October 15, 2010 at 7:43 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Lol! And--you did it!

October 18, 2010 at 7:10 PM  
Blogger Donna D said...

Haha. I've noticed that off topic posts get more comments too, on my knitting blog and facebook page AND on my computer-work related page too!


October 26, 2010 at 12:31 AM  

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