NaNoWriMo Day Five and Six (AKA Spackle Woman, Maid of Mortar rides again)

Today’s Word Count: 3,532
Total Word Count: 11,709
Words to Go: 38,291

Well, that was a weekend and a half. Saturday’s writing session was interrupted by my decision to finally fix my office door. See, the previous owners of this house replaced all the door handles with new brushed nickel ones, but they didn’t chisel out the proper recess for the strike plates (the section that goes on the door frame and covers the hole where the latch bolt goes). They just screwed ’em on and that was good enough.

Except that it meant my office door was getting harder and harder to latch, especially as this house settled over the years. Finally I couldn’t latch the door at all, which meant that the J Crew could come in any time they liked.

So on Saturday I brought up a chisel, a mallet, a drill, and some wood filler and decided to fix the situation. I took off the strike plate after checking to see where I’d need to put it in order to allow the latch bolt to enter, chiseled out a new recess in the door frame and enlarged/lowered the hole for the latch bolt, closed up the old screw holes with filler, marked out where the new screws would go, drilled pilot holes for them, re-installed the strike plate in its new position and screwed it into place.

Et voila, my office door now latches. Even better, I can now lock it, which will allow me to do stuff that I don’t want the cats interfering with.

And then there was Sunday. I got my words in, which is something, but man…

A section of our front walkway is subsiding, forming a tripping risk. Ramón decided that we could fix this ourselves and spent the year collecting bottle jacks and all the equipment we’d need to raise the subsiding slab and put gravel and expanding foam under it.

Sunday was The Day. We spent the entire afternoon excavating holes on either side of the subsiding slab, attaching clamps to it, setting up the bottle jacks, attaching the clamps by chain to a 7’ length of 4×4 wood, putting the 4×4 on the bottle jacks, and raising the slab.

Well, we did raise it, after much sweat, toil, and swearing. Unfortunately we also raised the slab next to it (something that we can’t see is connecting them) so it didn’t made a damn bit of difference. I finally convinced Ramón to let me call the pros and have them come out and fix it. I mean, we already dug the holes—all they have to do is grind off whatever bit of concrete is attaching that one slab to the subsided one, drill holes in the subsiding slab, pump expanding foam in there until the section raises to the proper level, and they’re done. We’ll fill the holes back in.

Ramón muttered that we were getting too old for this shit. He also said, “This looked so simple on YouTube.” I reminded him that everything looks simple on YouTube. And I may have wanted to do a swan dive into a bucket of rum and coke afterwards but restrained myself.

About Nicola Cameron

Nicola Cameron has had some interesting adventures in her life -- ask her sometime about dressing up as Tietania, Queen of the Bondage Fairies. When not writing, she wrangles cats, makes dolls of dubious and questionable identity, and thanks almighty Cthulhu that she doesn’t have to work for a major telecommunications company any more (because there’s BDSM, and then there’s just plain torture...).

Posted on November 7, 2022, in Crystal Blade, NaNoWriMo. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. My dad decided to fix a piece of recessed sidewalk. It worked but left a one nice gap between the one slab and the other. Well I was taking my mother to ortho doc office, this was about 20 years ago, and I stepped into the gap, or rather onto the side of the gap and face planted down onto the driveway, tore up my chin and lip on left side, scratched gouged my glasses out on bottom left and bruised my cheek. Had to take mom to Doctor’s office looking like someone beat me up, when actually it was the sidewalk.

    • Yii. But that’s exactly why we want to get this fixed — we’re afraid someone will trip over the slab next to the subsided one and fall.

      • You wouldn’t believe the stares I got while I was sitting in the spacious and very communal Doctor waitron room for a larg group of or rather a variety of different orthopedics doctors ranging from back to feet and hands, knees and hips, each in their own pods , but all the patients waiting in one large central waiting room. I was the main entertainment that day with my oozy bloody bruised face. All I needed was a Callopievand a tin cup and I could have made good money.

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