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January 16, 2012: Tool Using Man

For the past month, I have listened from above as Pete has remodeling a portion of our kitchen. He’s built new shelves under the stairs, constructed new cabinet space, and cobbled together a very nice wood box for the fire wood. He’s now putting in new tiling. Previously, a lot of hard work has gone into re-doing our kitchen space. I’ve been tuning out the sounds of saws, drills, and the like. I told Pete today that the drill bit squeals, and he laughed.

The fun part has been going downstairs after a morning or evening’s work, and checking out the progress. I’m amazed that Pete can do what he does—I do wonder, how is it that he’s able to calculate where exactly the plywood pieces and the tiles themselves go? It must be that there’s some math involved here. I’d blindly start in one place, putting tiles in a pleasing pattern, going where no home improvement person has gone before. Beam me up—we’d both live to regret it.

I do regret that I have not been giving Pete more assistance. When we lived in Butte, Montana I grouted the tiling on a bathroom floor, and actually did a fairly good job. This job appealed to me because it didn’t involve any math or the use of power tools. It was also a quiet endeavor. I’ve instead been working on Raudi’s Story in the a.m. and working with Raudi in the p.m. The world continues to revolve around her and her pen mates.

Elevated wood stove
Elevated wood stove

Tools on porch
Tools on porch

Today we had a moose encounter up on Sybarite. She stopped and would not continue forward, even though I repeatedly wacked her hard on the rump with my crop. I was ponying Signy. Signy did not care that there was a mother and baby moose to our right. Raudi cared a great deal. She began chuffing. Rather than turn around and head back home, I instead got off her and walked her past the mother and calf who stood and watched us go past. Then I got back on Raudi. We resumed our lesson, moving at a brisk trot down Sybarite Road. We concluded our day’s lesson by doing some groundwork on Oceanview Road.

In the meantime, Pete was inside, working on the floor. It is dreadfully unfair that he should be working so hard, and I get to go outside and play. I realize this, and do feel considerable remorse. The best I can do is to continue to applaud his efforts. Pete’s turned this place (which has been likened to a parallelogram) into a livable dwelling, which is in the best l sense of the word, home.

There are some guys who can’t do any of this stuff. They’re undoubtedly way more introspective and infinitely more artistic. I’ve come to realize that my pairing up with this kind of person would have been courting disaster. If we lived here, the driveway would be full of snow and our vehicles would be unusable. The common refrain would be “I thought you (for example) had the studs put on the tires!” Not that either of us would think of doing such a thing ourselves.

Pete’s able to do what he does because he’s a tool using guy. A case in point: He got out just once today, in order (upon my request) to help me get the ice out of Tinni’s rear hoof. It was really packed in there. I spent 45 minutes, banging away at it with hammer and assorted hoofpicks. When asked, he took care of the problem in 5 seconds. I asked him how he did this and he said he got the hoofpick under the mass, and pryed it out. Duuh, I thought.

I am not, nor will I ever be tool using woman. I know this, and am of course grateful to be living with tool using man.

Next: 42. 12/17/12: Breast Cancer