Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Wonky Carpenter

This weekend my wonky carpenter was at work again.

Sigh. I love Tetsu and I love how he shows his love for me, but honestly, sometimes his masterpieces don't work out. …And I sort of know when they aren't going to work out and I'm sort of hesitant to get his help… Don't tell him.

This story starts out gross. My cats (maybe just one cat, but which one?) have an embarrassing habit of peeing in the kitchen. They have chosen a certain spot and I am forever wiping the floor under the cupboard. The cupboard itself is a hand me down from a recycle shop and it doesn't have any doors to it. For many years I just hung a lace curtain to hide the vases and candles and things that were stored there but once the cats started using it for their purposes I replaced the curtain with a laminated board that could be wiped down as well. Tetsu did not like my board. He claimed that it alone smelled so he removed my board and wiped down the things in the cupboard and the cupboard itself and then put down cat sheets. I did not think this was a good idea. What is the point of cat sheets? It just tells the cats that they can pee there after all. I wanted my board back but Tetsu had put it out in the rain and it was no longer usable.

As predicted, the cats liked the cat sheets in the cupboard and they actually went IN the cupboard to do their business. I didn't know who I was more upset with… Tetsu, for taking away my board or the cats (but which cat?) Finally this weekend Tetsu decided to tackle the problem.

"Tanya, what we need is a new cupboard because the old one smells and that is what is bringing the cats back to it."

That sounded like a good theory. Do I dare get my hopes up that we are going to make a trip to a furniture store to buy a real cupboard that even has doors on it? If truth be told, what I'd REALLY like is to spend a lot of money and have the whole dang kitchen renovated. The linoleum is curling. The dumb stainless steel counter and sink are an odd shape and that was why we've lived with the recycled-no-door cupboard for these 18 years. How I wish we would just splurge and make a new kitchen with drawers and cupboards and counters and shelves that all matched and not have the refrigerator sticking out blocking half of the cupboard and have the stove in an accessible place, not behind the garbage can. (I have a lot of frustrations with my kitchen.)

"Tanya, I am going to build you a new cupboard."

There went my hopes for renovation. And how do you tell your eager husband that you don't have much faith in his carpentry because everything turns out wonky and crooked. I mean, I love the cat house he built and the cats don't mind a little lean to. I love the shelves in my sewing room even though they have a definite slant. I love the ironing board that weighs a ton and can't be moved from its position. But those are not really convenience pieces of furniture. And not a lot of people see the cat house or the sewing shelves or the ironing board.

"Um… I really think I need something fairly level and with a lot of space in the kitchen, Tetsu…"

"I KNOW that! I'll get all the measurements right and cut it at the hardware store when I buy the two by fours."

Two by fours. There went my dreams of a snazzy, modern sliding drawers, pull down shelves, convenient racking system cupboard.

Tetsu was so happy. For awhile.

Saturday he spent a lot of money buying a lot of two by fours and having them cut to his measurements. Sunday morning before church we moved the refrigerator and took off the top half of the old cupboard (ah, he's only planning to make a bottom half…) Everything came out on the counters, on the tables, into the dining room and living room. The whole downstairs turned into a shambles! And gross it was behind all this furniture that hasn't been moved for 18 years. No dead mice but yuck.

Off we went to church. The actual carpentry was going to be done in the afternoon.

Sunday afternoon Tetsu spent out in the yard hammering and whistling. I spent the time upstairs doing machine quilting. At 3:30 Tetsu called me to come help him bring in his HUGE, VERY HEAVY, VERY CLUNKY contraption of two by fours now hammered to look something like… a farm shed? This is going in my kitchen? Good wife that I am, I did not say a thing and helped drag it into the kitchen.

"Wha…! Wait! …Why doesn't it fit?"

Somewhere along the line Tetsu had miscalculated. He had made a very sturdy (if not too attractive) cupboard/shelves that would NOT get into the previous space and there wasn't anything he could do to remedy the situation.

"Tanya, how about if you used this in your sewing room?" (as if my sewing room doesn't have enough stuff in it already!)

"Well… maybe… There's my design wall… if it doesn't interfere with the blocks I put up there…"

Tetsu wanted a bit more enthusiasm for his handiwork. His mood started to go downhill from there. We LUGGED the shelves upstairs and deposited them along the wall and Tetsu went back outside to see what he could do with the old cupboard that he had thoughtfully washed with the hose earlier that morning. However… due to maybe too much water the wood had sagged (he wouldn't admit to that. Tetsu said it was already broken when it got out of the kitchen) and he spent a lot of time reinforcing it with left over two by fours. I went back up to the sewing room and tried to fit a couple of baskets into my new shelves… They don't fit too well but that is beside the point.

Another hour went by and Tetsu was ready to bring the newly repaired, old cupboard that no longer smelled (because he'd washed it) into the kitchen. I came downstairs to help.

"Wha…! Wait! …Why doesn't it fit?"

Déjà vu.

The extra two by fours had changed the measurements of the old cupboard.

"Just go back upstairs and do your sewing." growled Tetsu and so I did.

Around 7:30 he had gotten the old cupboard (newly reinforced, newly repaired) into position with the upper half back on. Everything looked the same as before. In fact, it doesn't look like ANYTHING has been done to the cupboard. Two days of Tetsu's hard work and there is no difference. I put up an old laundry basket and a piece of plastic tablecloth in front of the cupboard to keep the cats out of it …because it STILL doesn't have any doors.

No pictures today. This is still a touchy subject in our house...

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