When a Two-hour Job Takes Twelve

storm doorWe’ve all been there–somehow, a project that was supposed to be easy, turns out to be not so much. For us this week, that project came in the form of what we now refer to as the storm door from hell.

We needed a new storm door for a good couple of years now. Twenty years of Rottweilers banging on our back door had taken a toll on the one that came with the house, and it was literally falling apart. So my husband ordered a new one. It didn’t occur to him to ask me how to measure for it (in my previous life as a graphic artist, I designed advertising and related materials for the home improvement industry). It apparently didn’t occur to the salesman from whom he ordered the door to ask either, even though DH mentioned that he’d never done this before. The salesman assured my husband that it would be easy to install, and should only take a couple hours.

You can guess where this is going. Yup, DH got the hinge frame in, the door hung, and… it was too wide. He’d ordered a 32″ door, and we needed a 30″ one. Worse, it was a special order door, so there was no returning it, even if he hadn’t already drilled holes to mount it. He’d also chosen a very nice, top-of-the-line, most likely to be Rottweiler-resistant one, so it cost a bit too much to just toss or give away (or sell cheaply). The other thing is, when my husband decides to do something, he is nothing if not determined…

We ended up going back to the store for lumber, and bolting another frame onto the exterior of the existing one–fortunately, there was room inside the brick edge. There’s a gap around it, but it’s on the back of the house that few ever see.

But we weren’t done yet. Even after we got the frame right (this took several tries), that door fought us every step of the way, it seemed. My husband had to go buy a larger drill bit to install the handle, and even after that, the handle didn’t go on right. There was a big gap at the bottom of the door, and the expander was barely large enough (this had been the case with the old door, too). Because of the way we’d had to frame the door, my husband had to chisel out sections of the old door’s frame to install the brackets for the closers.

But finally, we got it in there, and it is a nice door.

81Y7zQElrfL._SL1500_What I read this week: I’m Too Young for This by Suzanne Sommers.  Here’s the description from Amazon: Why Wait to Feel Good Again? If you’re in your thirties or forties, your body is changing, and so are your moods, sleep, health, and weight. Tired of being at the mercy of your hormones? Armed with the knowledge in this book, you don’t have to be. Perimenopause can be enjoyable if you know what to do. I’m Too Young for This! details how you can get your body and mind back on track, safely and without drugs.

I’ve read a few similar books, and this is definitely worth looking into (and I am). This book is written in conversational, easy-to-understand language, with a bit of humor too. Recommended for any woman in this age group or older, or the men who want to know what’s going on with them!

I am also reading a fantasy novel, but didn’t finish it, so will blog about it when I do.

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: Writing went well this week. I kept up with my workshop, figured out my ending, and wrote 1700 words. Still not a lot, word-count-wise, but exceeded my goal, so that’s a win! This week, I want to do the same, preferably more, but I don’t want to push it just yet.

And now for the obligatory puppy picture, because you can never have too much cute:


What about you–what have you taken on that should have been easy, but wasn’t? Have you read any good books lately? Do you think Isis is ready to get her driver’s license? If you’re participating in ROW80 or set your own weekly goals, how are you doing with them? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

18 Responses to \

  1. I’m sitting in Starbucks laughing my backside off about the door, because it sounds like every home-improvement project I have ever attempted. Finally Mary made two rules: 1. No power tools and 2. No paint. I get it from my father, who didn’t know which end of a screwdriver to use.

    You had a good week! Have another, if you don’t end up spending too much time teaching Isis to drive (parallel parking is usually the hardest).

  2. I’ve known projects like that. Yow. So glad it’s done and that it really is a nice door. 🙂 I’m going to have to check out I’m Too Young for This, because I really am too young, lol. You had a fabulous week. Way to go, Jen! Here’s to rolling out another great week.

  3. Sounds like some of my quilting projects. I spend as much, or more time, taking the darned things apart than I do putting them together while the other ladies at the quilting session whip out entire quilts in a few hours. That dog is too cute in the car window. LOL

  4. We never would have attempted a door replacement!!!!! Our tool kit consists of one hammer, one screwdriver, and a pair of scissors. And I’m really good at changing most light bulbs. But I can still appreciate your perseverance as well as your success in getting that writing done in spite of it all. I do tend to underestimate most jobs — even writing — because no matter what, I’ll throw energy and time at it, until that goal is reached. Hope that door keeps the rottweilers outside.

  5. John, my husband is actually pretty good at this kind of thing… usually!

    SJ, thanks! Do check out that book – lots of interesting stuff in there!

    LOL Catherine – some of my sewing projects turn out like that, too!

    Beth, I am terrible at estimating the time it will take to do a job! In my day job, I just stretch it out to the longest likely, then double that–and it’s usually accurate!

  6. Editing: editing always takes longer than I think it should. I’m good at getting the first draft out, but then after that things go steadily downhill, time-efficiency-wise.
    And if your puppy goes missing, it wasn’t me, really it wasn’t!

  7. My experience has been that home improvement projects always take four times longer than you expected. A one-weekend project turns into a month-long misadventure, a two-hour install takes way longer than planned, etc. At least it’s done and you have a shiny new door. Yay!

    And keep those cute puppy pictures coming!

  8. Installing doors of any kind are nothing but a pain in the ass. Door frames are never square and those pre-hung ones are never square or level and they are just a royal bitch to install. I feel your pain.

    Now, on to the good stuff, love the puppy. Keep the pictures coming.

    Have a great week, Jennette!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  9. Just about everything that has to do with our garden … although renovating is always a good candidate too, just like your door. 🙂 I don’t even want to go into how far off the mark we were with how long the renovation of this place would take when we bought it! *g*

    Congrats on the steady progress, despite doors. 🙂

  10. LOL Buffy, my editing is the same way! And sorry, DH is always with the puppy. 🙂

    Denise, our next-door neighbors have been working on a weekend bathroom remodel for three or four months! I guess a 12-hour storm door replacement isn’t so bad, huh?

    Patricia, NOTHING is square or level in this house! It was moved here many years ago, and one end is 5″ higher than the other! So…. yeah. LOL!

    Ruth, gardening is one thing my husband actually makes go pretty fast! I’m happy to leave that to him, too–and thanks!

  11. Looks like several of my quilting tasks. I commit the maximum amount of, or maybe more occasion, using this very factors a part than I truly do adding all of them with each other while the other girls in the quilting session mix away entire quilts within a period of time. Which pet can be far too cute from the car or truck screen.

  12. Gulvafslibning, that happens with a lot of my sewing projects, too!

    Erin, it’s nice now that it’s done. And thanks!

  13. So glad to hear that your writing went well this week Jennette. Not so glad to hear about the door dilemma though. If I lived closer, I would have sent my DH over to help since he used to hang doors for a living. There is a knack to it, although having the wrong door size didn’t help. Yet, it looks good! Let us know how you like Suzanne Summers book. 🙂

  14. A few years ago, we had a fence post that snapped during a storm. The back section of our privacy fence was held up by the neighbor’s tree, which said neighbor mentioned she wanted to cut down.

    So yours truly went to Lowes and bought two fence posts – one slightly longer than the chopped off one that now barely held the fence together, the other the recommended three feet longer. I figured out a way to rig the posts, even lay some concrete, to make the fence stand up.

    I did not have the drill to make that work, and I did not know enough about fences to know that you can only use one post and have to dig out ALL the old concrete. Hmm…

    I called a fencing contractor. Sure, a bigger drill would have been much cheaper and probably made my temporary fix work, but I’d already past the point of “In over my head.”

  15. Home improvement is never ending. Sigh. But I’m laughing here because I read these two sentences as if they go together: “…the men who want to know what’s going on with them!
    I am also reading a fantasy novel.”
    Did you mean to do that?? Hahaha 🙂
    Hope you have a great week!

  16. Maria, thanks!

    LOL Karen, your hubby could have helped, that’s for sure! The book was really interesting and an easy read for the lay person.

    Jim, sometimes you just have to give in and call in a pro. Sounds like the right time to do that.

    LOL Coleen! I did not mean to do that, but… yeah, so true! 😀