Monday, June 4, 2012

4 Trips

I made four trips to Home Depot yesterday. Good thing Home Depot is very close to the house.

One hinge to the main gate to the back fence had come off, and I needed some long bolts, washers, nuts to put it back on -- the big wood screws weren't going to do it any more. Also, one corner of the back fence had come loose. Plus, there was one other thing Kelly said we needed from Home Depot, but I couldn't remember what it was. I carefully made out a list of what size bolts, nuts, washers, etc. I needed.

Trip 1: Kelly went with me. Bought the hardware just as I had listed. Remembered when we got there that what we had forgotten we needed was a new water filter for the refrigerator. But, there are several different filters, so we always have to take our old filter out and take it with us. We'd have to get it next time. We also picked up a few plants and some lawn fertilizer and a bag of Ironite for the oak tree that's turning yellow that we're trying to save, but know is hopeless because it's a variety not meant for North Texas (we didn't plant it.)

Trip 2: I needed to drill holes through the fence to insert the bolts in. My father-in-law bought us our Craftsman drill as a housewarming gift back in 1987, and the drill chuck or whatever it's called that tightens the drill around the bit had fallen off the cord, and we couldn't find it. The drill bit was not even spinning. I went back to pick up a drill chuck. Didn't remember to take the old water filter. Kelly stayed home to plant the plants.

Trip 3: The drill chuck the guy sold me was too small -- he insisted it would be the right size. But, I made it work. Drilled the holes and inserted the bolts and realized all the bolts I had bought had a round flat head on them -- there was nothing to hold on to with a wrench when I was trying to tighten the nut. The nuts I bought were the nylon locking nuts. Decided I was hungry, and it was lunch time, and that maybe I'd have a better disposition if I ate first. (Kelly said, "Just leave it and I'll call Jose." Jose was the brother of the guy who came out to cut down one of our sickly trees and trim up the other. He said his brother Jose would be glad to come out and fix the fence. "Just leave it and I'll call Jose" only strengthened my resolve to finish this job myself!) At first I thought my problem was the nylon locking nuts -- that with regular nuts, I'd be able to tighten them even with the round flat-head bolts. But, on the way up, I decided I still wanted to use the locking nuts, it was the bolts with the flat round heads that were the problem. So, I'd buy new bolts with ends that you can get a wrench on. Still didn't remember to take the old water filter.

Trip 4: The fence repair team of Stan and Ollie (Kelly and Nelson) were making good progress, though by this time it was well past noon, and starting to get hot. One of us was on one side of the fence holding the bolt, the other on the other side of the fence tightening the nut. We finished with the gate and went over to fix the back fence that had come loose in the wind. (Mind you, this is a pretty new fence.) It appears the fencers had only used nails to piece together the corner, and they had come loose. We were installing a couple of L-brackets to hold the corner together. Got the holes drilled and punched through the bolts -- and they were too short. Needed 8 more bolts, 1/2-inch longer. This time I remembered the old water filter.

By 2:00, both parts of the fence were fixed and strong. A little blood on me and one mashed finger on Kelly. Kelly was a little sunburned, too, from being in the direct sun for so long. By 2:30, the water was running clear from the refrigerator, we had dried off, changed clothes and were cooled off enough to take a nap.

And, we never had to call Jose.