Tuesday, June 9, 2015


First, I need to mention that this post is sponsored. Sponsored by my mother-in-law who took the three middle kids over night. And to the beach. Fed them ice cream and treated them to a breakfast on the patio in the morning. And apparently took them shopping because I do not recognize Malachi's shirt here. Thank you. I'd also like to thank Fiona for taking a timely nap, right now, and my brother-in-law who is taking Cyril to some store to look for parts for the outboard motor he is refurbishing. So quiet time = brain space and maybe a post. It also means I have only myself to blame if this all goes South. Or North, if you live in the southern hemisphere. Do they say that? I don't' know.

But to today's topic. I've always been, or thought of myself, or pretended to be a bit of a hacker. Not computer hacker. Although sometimes I can get mine to turn the screen a real pretty blue for a long time. I don't know how to make it go away so its kind of a one-way trick and not one that impresses anyone that needed to use said computer. Soon. But that is what Shane is for. Among other things.

No, I'm more of a life with kids hacker. And mostly out of necessity. Need to keep the kids in the yard? grab those garbage cans, your neighbors too, and a rope, maybe some plywood for good measure and you won't have to check on the kids for hours. Neighbors and spouse might not be thrilled, but  children make everything worthwhile. If you live in a neighborhood with and HOA, this one will not work. E-mail me for some other options. Or have your husband build a fence. Though using this  hack  has shown to have the added benefit of hastening things to that end. If a real fence is what you're after.

I get my skills from my dad. He can make pretty much anything out of anything else and has always been a bit of a visionary. Water conserving toilets? Saw it coming. He was putting bricks in the tanks of our toilets 30 years ago. Sure we had to flush an extra 5 times but that brick make all the difference on the water bill. Sometimes we would come up with workarounds to his hacks and then,

"Hey, who took the brick out of the toilet?!"

And reminding us with each flush.

"Hey!! Stop that. You know water doesn't grow on trees!!"

Also, if he says 'a real pretty blue' you can hear his light accent from growing up in Hungary. Maybe he was foretelling my future  of blue screens. Visionary, I tell you.

So now you know where I get it from. Though I don't do welding or build log cabins or plumbing or wiring and a host of other things Shane has implored me not to so while he's at work. I'm kind of limited to objects I can move myself and duct tape. Or  taping two objects I can move myself together. With duct tape.

But it has been a quiet time in project land for me lately so I was thrilled when I found a small project the other day which  allowed me  to learn some new skills as well.  Shane? Oh, he'll get over it.

We have been having some unusually nice weather here the past couple weeks. As in, I am wearing shorts. In June. In Seattle. This never happens. I'm thrilled. However, Kateri's window had somehow developed a tear in the screen so I told her to keep it closed to keep the bugs out. Which is impossible at night after and 80 degree day.

I know you can get new screens at the hardware store, but that requires a trip to the store, and  probably with multiple children so why not just fix it yourself?

My first thought was my old go-to, duct tape. But I must have been doing a lot of projects lately because we were out. Even the kids' fancy Christmas rolls of it were empty.

So I thought of other patching material we might have around the house. Or yard. I remembered the $.99 strainer I picked up at the thrift store for the kids outside play. It would be perfect!

 Now I just needed a way to attach it, without the help of my favorite tape. Then I remembered the dark grey speck of something someone had accidentally gotten on an often used light switch. Three months ago. That was some pretty strong stuff. And I knew where to go to get some. I called my supplier.
                                       "Cyril, will you go in the garage and get me some J.B.Weld?"

Cyril mixed it up for me and we played with some different patching layouts for a bit. Then smothered the weld on and put the hand-cut custom made patches on top. But first we put down a layer of aluminum foil (have you ever heard a British person say aluminum? Is sounds like it comes from  something magical. Like a unicorn or something. FYI IMHO). The foil kept the screen from fusing to the table and interfering with  future card games, drawing, or sewing projects which Kateri currently uses her workspace for. We are responsible workers.

Then, since the screen and the patch were bent in different directions, we decided to use some books we found on Kateri's shelf to weight them down while the patch dried. Which takes a few hours. But will last a lifetime. Just ask to see the light switch sometime. Also, make sure to put more foil on top of the patch or you will have a book blocking your view. For a lifetime.

The next day, we  trimmed the patch a little and replaced the screen and, Ta-Dahhhh!

No more bugs.

I called Shane in to witness our work. He outwardly pretended to be nonplussed. But really he was SO plussed he was speechless.

Its nice to be able to show him all the clever things he never dreamed about me doing when we got married. But now I can show him and he is so thankful and realizes what a true gem of a wife he has.

I told him I would do it differently if I had to do it again. Learn as you go and all that. Shane complained of a mosquito bite the other day and I found another rip in a screen in the kitchen.
But we'll just keep that one closed for now. For some reason I can't find the JB Weld.

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