January 20, 2012

A frustrating day

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing goes as planned? Where everything seems to go wrong? That was me, today. Some things turn out to be far more difficult than they really should. Either that, or I'm just an idiot.

Ninja was supposed to be over around 10:30. I haven't seen him since Christmas. The plan was to put up shelving, then go to lunch together. I had a few of my Dad's jackets for him to try on, and some mail had piled up. At 10:40 I texted him, asking where he was. He was still at home, waiting for his Dad to get off the phone with the IRS so he could move the truck/trailer, so Ninja could get out of the drive. He finally made it to my place about an hour later.

We decided we could still put up the shelving before lunch, so headed over to my Mom's.
My mother's closet, prior to construction
While not exactly the plan, this is a fair idea of the concept Mom is going for.
Source
The first order of business was to determine how far below the shelf the closet rod hangs. The rod has to be 82 inches high, to fit a second rod underneath at 41 inches. Turns out the rod hangers we'd purchased did not fit the shelf we'd purchased. The lip of the shelf was not large enough.

I should note that I had my mother's carpet cleaner, along with a bin of hoses that goes with it, in the back seat of my car. I'd brought the cleaner home yesterday, but had yet to figure out where I could store it so never even brought it into the house.

Not knowing which we would be able to replace, we had to take both the shelf and hangers back to Home Depot. This involved moving the bin of hoses out of the car and onto the back porch. I then organized my trunk, allowing me to fit the shelf in the car by laying the back seat down. We drove up to my Mom's store to pick up the receipt for the returns. About the time I pulled into the parking lot at her store, I realized I'd dropped the hangers into the bin with the hoses when first trying to rearrange the car to fit the shelf. I sent Ninja in my car back to the house to get the hangers, while I ran upstairs to get the receipt.

The trip to Home Depot went smoothly. We decided to leave everything in the car while we figured out what we needed, which ultimately turned out to be the hangers my Mom had originally picked, which clamp on to the shelf. I'd talked her out of them, thinking the bigger hangers that screwed on would be more stable and support more weight. We returned the bigger hangers, purchased the less complicated hangers, and put the $3 difference on a gift card.

Once back at the house, we started putting up the shelf track.
source
It's been a while since I've done a project like this, and it wasn't until I drilled the first hole that it occurred to me I really should line these tracks up with the studs. The first track went up smoothly, after determining the stud was almost exactly where I'd originally planned to put the track. It wasn't until I drilled the first hole for the second track that I remembered the stud finder starts beeping at the edge of the stud. Yeah. The drill bit bounced right off the edge of the stud, into the space between. Now I had 2 holes to repair. The rest of the strips went up easily, although I could not find a stud anywhere near where the third strip belonged. Luckily this strip is in the corner, where the two sets of shelves will butt up against each other and my Mom will not be hanging clothes. The strip is well anchored, so it will bear weight. It's just not anchored into studs like the other two.


While on the final strip, the hammer fell from the stepladder, leaving a huge black mark on the wall. Luckily I'll already have the paint out to fix the extra holes in the wall, so can fix this at that time.

With the strips up, we were in the home stretch. We put the brackets on the strips, put the shelf up... and discovered the brackets were too long. They stuck out past the lip on the shelf, leaving the shelf tipped upwards and preventing the shelf from locking into place. We would have to go back to Home Depot and get different brackets.

By this time, both Ninja and I were hungry. We decided to combine trips and get lunch while out near Home Depot. We also decided poor Bronte would be distraught if we left her again, so we brought her with. Bronte loves car rides, and is accustomed to sitting in the car while my parents stopped for a quick bite. We parked away from everyone else in the lot, so she wouldn't get overly excited with people passing by, and she had a nice little nap in the back seat while we took care of business.

There is an IHOP right across the parking lot from Home Depot, so that's where we decided to eat. I made this choice with trepidation, as I've had poor service in this particular IHOP before. To make a long story short, nothing had changed since my last visit. It is rare that I leave a restaurant without leaving a tip. Yup. That happened today.

Ninja and I went across the parking lot to Home Depot, returned the brackets, and went back to the storage section to find the right size brackets. Half an hour later, we left Home Depot with a set of the exact same brackets we'd come in with. It took me that long to figure out how to slip the tips of the brackets through the lip of the shelf, to make them work. There were no shorter brackets available.
Shelf/closet rod one of three
My brother has a saying, that any project requires three trips to Home Depot. Today proved that saying true. My mother wants two shelves on the back wall, giving her two closet rods to hang blouses on. Do you see the white spots in the picture above? Yeah, those are the result of our attempt to hang the second shelf.
Instructions for shelf kits
The smaller shelves were anchored with 5 clips and 2 bracer bars. We never got as far as the bracers. It turns out there is a broken lathe in the back wall, at the exact height we wanted the shelf. I drilled the hole for the anchor clip, then couldn't figure out why it would only go about halfway through. I pushed in, it would bounce back out as if it were bending. I finally saw the problem, after putting the other anchor clips in. There was nothing for it. We pulled the clips and made plans to return to Home Depot for shelf tracks, like the other wall. I'm actually happier with this solution, as the tracks offer more support than these shelf kits did. The third Home Depot trip will happen with my Mom on Tuesday.

As if the project wasn't frustrating enough, the closet had a final parting shot. Scroll back up and look at the original picture of my Mom's closet. Do you see the double rack against the back wall? That stupid thing fell to pieces when we tried to put it back before leaving. We had to unload the whole thing and put the rack back together, before loading it up again. Ninja and I cleaned up, packed up, and congratulated ourselves on getting out without an emergency room trip or other major mishap. The project just seemed prime for major disaster.

My treadmill setup, including Netflix on the iPad
I've been running on my treadmill for 3 weeks now. I don't know if I change my stride, if it's the speed I'm running, or what the issue is, but running anything more than a mile on the treadmill makes my calves sore. I assume this means I'm building muscle, and that I will be able to run farther the longer I use the treadmill. Much like learning to run in minimal shoes, I'm adding mileage slowly. This does mean, however, that I cannot do long runs inside. I keep an eye on the weather and plan my longer runs accordingly. Now we have snow on the ground this is a bit more difficult, but there is a park near my house that plows their path. I'd planned to run 6 miles there today, but the closet project took too long. I thought I'd at least run 3 on the treadmill, but made the mistake of sitting down at the computer when I got home. I was immediately sucked in, and only resurfaced with time enough for a single mile before heading out to meet Superman for dinner. One mile is enough to keep my streak going, but I'd really hoped for more.

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Improvements I can make

1. My food plan has been shot to hell the past several days. I'm binging again, which may be a direct response to the snow and cold. Regardless, it's a vicious circle when I eat this way. I overeat, I gain weight, I beat myself up, I overeat more... I have to find a reasonable and achievable way to break the cycle. I'm coming to realize (again) that I'm not particularly interested in losing weight. I am interested in feeling attractive, strong, and capable. That, and fitting in my jeans. I can't do those things if I continue to eat this way.

2. I snapped and got mad at Ninja simply because he didn't do what I wanted, today. What I wanted was for him to turn around on his way home, because he forgot the jacket he was supposed to take. Yes, I was thinking he would be cold without a decent winter coat, but getting upset like that was unreasonable. Then I transferred the frustration over into a conversation with Superman immediately after. I have a tendency to get frustrated with Ninja when he doesn't do what I want, which seems out of proportion to the reaction I have when other people do not do what I want. I'm not certain why this is, but it is not fair to him. He's a grown man now, and if he thinks the jacket he has will suffice for another week, I have to believe it will. If he gets cold, he gets cold. It is extremely unlikely he'll freeze to death.

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Positives from today

1. Superman's infinite patience, as I've been short tempered and easily annoyed all evening. I'm not sure why I'm such a pill, since everything has gone my way since arriving at dinner.

2. It supposed to snow tonight, but there is no snow in the forecast for tomorrow or Sunday. This means I can run the park both days. Sunday in particular will be sunny and in the 40s, which is perfect running weather.

3. While I haven't yet found it a home, I actually have a carpet cleaner. Given time, I may be able to eliminate all the spots 10 years of cats and kids have created on my poor carpet. Yeah, I know, I'm a dreamer.

4. I'm finally starting to feel almost healthy. I haven't taken any cold medicine in over 24 hours, and my sinuses are almost completely clear. Cross your fingers I haven't just jinxed myself into another bout of illness...

1 comment:

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

That's a whole lot to deal with but at least you are recognizing things such as the eating and working on a game plan.

What is your incline set at for the treadmill? I wonder if that is your issue with your calves?