From start to finish

so the title refers to this little project of mine – it refers to our bigger project and the fact that we will finish it – and it refers to our relationship and how we work with each other.
To those that don’t know Ron and I all that well it probably appears that I wear the pants. I’m an extrovert who loves to talk, can easily spend some time in the limelight and am high energy (yes I know kind of like the energerizer bunny or so says my siblings!). Ron is rather reserved, kind of hangs back in the crowd and just seems to casually go about his business. To those of you that know us slightly better you will realize that Ron has a wickedly weird funny bone and he is very task orientated which is a trait that I share. It woud surprise some to know that I actually like alone time and that I am not nearly as confident as I appear to be. To those that know us really well they see a good team that is very evenly matched (hm – makes us sound like a team of horses!). To those that know Ron well they will know that he keeps all items under control and that I’m all about the details. My high energy doesn’t burn out because I share it with someone who keeps me grounded while I keep him motivated. We work side by side on projects and only speak to each other occasionally while just staying focused on the job at hand.I prefer to start with the easy things and then, after success, work on the hard aspects whereas he wants to tackle the hard stuff first with full energy and then the easy aspects will follow later. We both have our successes and failures using this method but we balance well. We have worked on the “project” with some disagreements over the odd item but we have had no major fights because we compromise very well which is a reflection of 30+ years together as well as shared goals.
Our 25th Anniversary picture. It was one of the only “couple” pictures that I could find easily. I spent some time looking for a 1981 picture but no luck – need to scan one of those and the photo albums are still in boxes!
So you might wonder why I digressed to talk about the type of relationship that Ron and I have built. It all relates to the project – the project of course being the whole nine yards in this case. Ron has been so crazy busy at work this winter that most evenings are tied up with readings and emails and so consequently he hasn’t had a lot of time to do big projects. We have spent a fair amount of time on weekends getting at some basement and trim items plus the four exterior doors are getting plugged away at.
This picture shows the four storm/screen doors with their final coat of red paint. The other side has now been stained and varnished so they are awaiting the “paid” carpenter’s arrival. I guess I had better phone him again.
I spent some of the winter working on the doors, creating baby quilts and some wall hangings and trying to catch up on financial “stuff” (that never really gets caught up because it is always ongoing!). I am stalling on working on that back door that I keep talking about -the one I am not liking so much – mostly because I seem to have misplaced the four little rasps that are essential to the project. It again seems that I digress but not really as I was leading up to the fact that I was home alone on a Sunday afternoon two weeks ago and wanted a fun quick project that I could do. Not we could do but I could do.
So I went up to the loft of the garage and found the picture rail that we had salvaged from the Borden house (thanks again for the generosity of the Hosegood’s). I took measurements of the wall that I wanted to install the railing in and picked the two pieces that fit. One was a “lovely” green color and the other a pale pink. Inside they came and while I was barbequing supper I put the first coat of stripper on both pieces. By the time the evening was over I had the paint stripped and both pieces sanded. Working with old fir is always such a challenge – it is too easy for big slivers to land in your fingers! But I actually managed to not get stuck with any wood that night and both pieces looked decent.
The Borden house colors dominate all the wood salvaged from there. The pink doesn’t show up well but is actually harder to strip than the green!
I shall digress again to tell you that the wood sticking occurred the following Sunday while I was washing the floor in our bathroom. Who knew you should get danger pay for doing bathroom floors. I took one swipe over the floor by the baseboard and screamed. Yes that is what I did because man did it hurt. It went through the top of my finger, behind my nail and out the corner of my finger – the sliver was over an inch long. Ron assessed the damage to ascertain which direction to pull while I am saying bad words and repeating over and over “pull it”. He pulled it out and to the credit of old fir, it does tend to depart cleanly. Oh man – not the first time and probably won’t be the last time but each time it is a shock. Good thing my tetanus is up to date.
So then it was time to stain and varnish the pieces which is pretty easy and straight forward but it certainly changes the way they look. Once they were ready to hang on the wall I was then challenged to learn some new skills as I usually do the wood work and hand it over to Ron for installation but I decided this was my project and I wanted to do the installation as well. So I determined the height for the line and made the markings. Fortunately for me this is a drywall wall and the studs are where they should be and found relatively easy with the stud finder. The two pieces were going to be joined up so before the first one was installed it needed a 45 degree cut – I made the cut just fine on the saw and up went that piece. The second board had the reverse 45 cut into it – doubled checked that angle with Ron before I cut because that would have been a serious bummer to have cut it backwards.
The saw is not in an ergonomically correct position but for two cuts it worked. The challenge was getting my glasses to the right focal length and my head at the right angle for the 45!
The wood is old so each nail hole must be predrilled to prevent splitting when you nail. That went just fine with Ron’s Christmas present – a new cordless drill (I am an ortho nurse – I am very skilled with hammers and power tools!). Then up went the first board followed quickly by the second board. The nails were sunk and filler with stain applied. So a finished project which was then ready for the fabulous painting to be hung. Ron, fortunately, knew were the picture rail hooks were and so proceeded to hang the picture.
I love little projects! Start to finish time less than 2 weeks! And now I must quit typing and go put some time in on the “door” that I love so much!
PS I’m already about 2 fun projects ahead in the planning stages of my mind. Now just to make them reality!

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3 Responses to From start to finish

  1. Patti Erikson-Reynolds says:

    The plate rail looks great! As does the picture! And great “couple” photo of you and Ron.


  2. kagould17 says:

    Good post Bernie. Marriages, like projects turn out better when handled by a great team. A team that shares the same dream. I hear you on the saw position. I still have trouble with bifocals when doing close work. Stay well. Allan


    • bernieLynne says:

      Yes team work is essential. Glad we make a good team – I’ve seen it go the other way with some friends and family and it’s always sad.
      We have a new compound mitre saw and it’s got a fancy stand so life it much easier from that point of view now but sight is crucial.


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