Fencing & Toilet

Posted in Eternal Love | 2 comments

Chain link fence

If painting and roofing the house was not enough, Frank and I found other projects to tackle together.  Nearly every improvement done to our home, we did together, and it all made for some fun and wild stories.

The next improvement project that Frank and I undertook together involved a lot of measuring and Geometry.  Trust me; Geometry is the math you need for proper fencing.  Of course, first, you will need to find your property’s boundaries too.

Fencing

Frank and I decided that we would fence our backyard.  We did not want a privacy fence because we liked the feeling of openness, but with pets and a young son, we wanted to try to keep them safe.  After a little discussion, we decided to put up a chain length fence.

After looking at a survey map of our property, we knew where to dig to find the iron boundary stakes.  These stakes were buried about two inches under the ground but were easy to find because they have a triangular-shaped head on them.  Frank and I drove stakes into the corners of the decided perimeter and the spaces for gates, then we took the string and strung it from stake to stake.

Our next step was laying the posts even distances between the corner posts and gate posts.  Once marking the spot for each fence post, then putting all near their mark, Frank dug post holes.  These post holes were about a foot deep. Since all we had was a manual old post hole digger, I furnished Frank with all of the ice-cold sweet tea he could drink.

Watching Frank as he used that manual post hole digger, I thought about his inner strength in all crises, whether decision making, working, or emotional upheavals.  Frank was a solid, steady rock for all people.  An old soul in a young man’s body and a natural God-given leader.

After a couple of hours, Frank had all of the post holes done, so we broke for lunch.  Once we finished lunch, Frank and I went back to fencing, only this time I was his helper.  The first thing we did was to mark each metal post four feet from the top.  This mark would let us know how far to drive the post into the ground. My job was to hold each metal post in the center of its hole with a small level on the side, which would keep it straight.  While I  squatted down and held the metal pole straight, Frank put a small piece of 2×4 board on the top of the metal post then drove it into the ground by striking the 2×4 with a small sledgehammer.

We did all of the corner posts first, then Frank mixed Sakrete in a wheel barrel then shoveled the holes half full of the concrete. We did not shovel in the dirt from the dug holes because the concrete needed to dry.

After finishing the corner posts, Frank and I started the same process with the other posts. We were making lots of headway and only liked five posts when as I squatted on the ground with my head down holding the next metal post, I felt something hit the top of my head.

Startled, I quickly looked up at Frank then asked, “Frank, did you just hit me in the head with that sledgehammer?”

Frank had a look of panic on his face as he answered, “No, Nancy, are you okay? The 2×4 slipped out of my hand, and it hit you in the head”.

The look of concern on Frank’s face made me want to set him at ease, so I replied, “Frank, I am fine.  You know I have a hard head”.

A smile returned to Frank’s face as he said, “Yes, Nancy Lou, you are pretty hardheaded.”

The look I gave Frank made him bust out in laughter. I let him laugh a few seconds then told him, “Okay, Mister Dimples, laugh on because you know what we are going to do now? We are trading places. You will hold the pole level while I place the 2×4 on the top and drive it into the ground with the sledgehammer”.

Immediately Frank quit laughing then said, “Nancy Lou, you know I didn’t mean to let that 2×4 hit you in the head, don’t you?”

While laughing, I picked up the 2×4 by my side, got up off the ground, handed Frank the leveler, then held out my hand for the sledgehammer.  Frank gave me the sledgehammer and squatted down next to the post, and then he put the level on the side.  As I placed the 2×4 on the top of the pole and started to hit it with the sledgehammer, I heard Frank exclaim, “Nancy Lou, don’t hit me with that sledgehammer!”

All my strength diminished as I laughed out loud, so I dropped the sledgehammer to my side then sat down beside Frank on the ground. We sat there laughing for a while then decided we needed a break with some ice-cold sweet tea and a snack.  Later we finished all of the posts and filled each hole half full with concrete.

The next day, Frank and I put dirt from the holes on top of the concrete filling the wholes to the top then we put caps on the poles and ran the top rails.  Later that afternoon, a friend of Frank’s came over with a come-a-long to stretch the chain mess. They pulled the chainlink fencing tightly between the poles with the come-a-log as I placed the tie wires on to hold the chain mesh to the poles and the top rails. Early the next morning, Frank and I set the gates which finished the fence.

Putting up our backyard fence took place nearly thirty-five years ago, and that fence still stands today a reminder of a beautiful memory with my soulmate.

There are so many stories of things that Frank and I did together.  The ability to work together and sometimes read each other’s minds was priceless, but the main thing we had going for us as we worked together was humor and laughter. Even if something went wrong, we ended up laughing about it.

The next story will let you understand our mindreading ability with each other.

Toilet

Frank and I decided it was time to move to the inside of our home to do some repairs.  One of the two bathrooms in our house needed repairing because of a leak in the tile shower floor.

Frank and I pulled out the tile on all of the walls of the shower, and then Frank decided to get rid of all tiles in the bathroom.  Since the walls were half tiled, this project ended up being a significant deal.  While removing all of the wall tiles, we decided to pull the toilet and redo the floor in the bathroom.

Once we laid new linoleum in the bathroom, we put in a new shower.  Frank wanted to buy a new toilet, but I loved the design of the older one, so I told Frank that I could purchase new insides for the aged toilet then totally redo it. Frank agreed to let me restore the old commode, but he told me to be careful not to tighten the bolts to tightly because I might crack the porcelain.  Laughing, I assured Frank that I was not that strong.

After Frank left for work the next day, I headed to McCoys to buy new inner workings for the old toilet.  Not knowing the location of anything in McCoys, I stopped at the front checkout to ask where the toilet repair kits were.  Of course, I told them what I was going to do, which brought doubtful smiles to the men’s faces, but one of the men led me to the correct section.

Once gathering all of the things needed for refurbishing the toilet, I went to the checkout desk. The man who checked me out was quiet, but as he handed me the receipt, he said, “Lady, don’t tighten those screws down to tight or you will crack the porcelain.”

Taking the receipt from his hand, I told him, “I’m not that strong.” 

After getting home, I got busy taking apart the toilet, cleaning it up, and replaces all of the gaskets, bolts, and screws. I reset the base of the commode, tightened it down to the floor then placed the tank on the bottom of the toilet. A good feeling of accomplishment came over me as I put the bolts with washers on them through the holes in the inside of the tank then through the base of the toilet. Once done, I put the nuts on the bolts. Finally, all that was left to do was to tighten the nuts by hand then with a wrench.  

The washers were new and thick, so I wanted to make sure the washers squished down good, so I tightened with the wrench until the nuts would not turn. I was so proud of myself, had not cracked the porcelain, and all I had left to do was putting the new handle on the tank.  

A feeling of accomplishment overcame me as I put the new handle on to the toilet tank. As I tightened down the handle nut, I gave it the old one more turn with the pliers; then I heard a crack.  I looked at the tank of the toilet, and the porcelain had cracked down to the bottom. They say pride goeth before the fall, and my heart sank. 

Quickly, I grabbed my purse then drove back to McCoys.  Of course, the same guy was at the checkout counter.  I asked him, “Where are the new toilets?” 

He questioned me back, “Ma’am, did you crack that toilet?” 

 Smiling my biggest smile, I answered, “Yes, Sir.  Now take me to the toilets and make it quick, I need to get that toilet in before my husband comes home from work.” 

We both laughed as we walked to the back of the store.  After I paid for the new toilet, the man loaded it into my vehicle. Once home, I worked as fast as I could to get the old toilet out then replace it with the new commode. About thirty minutes before Frank came home, I finished and had everything cleaned up.   

When Frank walked into the house, he asked me, “Hey, Lou, how did the toilet refurbishing go?” 

Smiling as while walking into the room with him, I replied, “It went great, but I decided just to buy a new toilet. Do you want to see it?” 

Frank looked at me then started to laugh then said, “Nancy Lou, you cracked that old toilet, didn’t you?” 

I answered Frank, “Yes, I did. Better watch out, Nancy Lou is stronger than she thinks.”   

The old toilet did not go to waste because, for the last thirty-plus years, it has sat on my patio as a planter and the subject of many inquiring questions. 

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2 Comments

  1. Ahhhhh…the poor toilet! LOL….just sitting there doing nothing wrong and…BAM!

    • Dang thang! Lol. I still have it and it is now a flower planter.
      Thank you for reading and commenting, Kim.
      God Bless You and Stay Strong.
      Your Buddy,
      Nancy

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