Wherein my sanity is tested by toothpicks and popsicle sticks…

I’ve decided that getting the office painted and set up upstairs is the next logical project to take on in the house. I’ve also learned from my past experiences that instead of telling myself I’m going to paint the office on Saturday, it’s better to plan just to get the room “ready” for painting.

Here is the room as it is now:


Obviously there are some things that need to be done, starting with taking those hideous shelves down. What the hell, couldn’t they at least have used boards of the same length? I find that only mildly irritating. When I go to remove the shelves however, I am pleasantly surprised. You see this?


I saw it at a glance and said to myself, well my god, these people had the sense to drill a hole and put a dowel in the wall before they screwed the brackets up, and this from people who scotch taped over holes in the walls to patch them was some seriously first class work. And then…. sigh….

…this happened:


IT’S A GOD DAMNED TOOTHPICK. In. The. Wall. I have no idea what goes through MysteryMan’s head when all of the sudden he hears me yell, “Toothpick?! TOOTHPICK!!!” at the top of my lungs from upstairs. He says nothing, which tells me he is used to this behavior.

And, okay, maybe this is a generally accepted thing, shoving a toothpick or matchstick into a screw hole to tighten it up. Also using drywall anchors may help, but who am I to judge? So my blood-pressure drops back down out of the “your head is in danger of exploding” range and I take a look around at all the other things that need to be fixed in the room.

DSC01644 DSC01646 DSC01648 DSC01649 DSC01647

Whoa, wait a minute… what is that little tab coming out of the electrical outlet?

Oh, of course…



For what purpose? What possible reason could this be inside the electrical box? It sure as shit didn’t straighten the outlets themselves out so I’m at a loss. Three years after I took possession of this house, the previous owners still manage to drive me right to the brink of my sanity.

I need to go to Home Depot now so that my brain cells can recover.

9 Responses

  1. omg! was the previous owner a kindergarten teacher, or have a deep love of the fudgesicle? how else can you explain having a popsicle stick around?

    but at least they had the foresight to cut it. very hillbilly diy of them.

  2. You don’t live in Bremerton, Washington do you? This sounds like
    something the owner of our old house there would have
    done. LOL We finally decided the house was built out of
    stolen materials from the Navy shipyard. The thing that
    drove me crazy at that house was the wall board – it was
    not sheet rock – that would not take a nail. You could not
    hang up pictures in the living room.

  3. That is seriously strange! I mean, I guess you could say they were being creative and using what they had… but how odd!

  4. ROFL!!!! Well, like Aimee says, they sure did show some creativity! LOL
    My first house was previously owned by someone by the name of “Billy Wayne”, and we came to affectionately refer to it as “Casa Billy Wayne”., and all the ridiculous things we found as “Wayne-isms”.
    Mr. Wayne displayed some of the same “creativity” that you are experiencing. When we took down the ceiling fan in the dining room we discovered that, instead of using a ceiling fan bracket, good ‘ol Billy Wayne had secured the fan by ramming four 16 penny nails through the decorative ceiling mount into the ceiling. I about died laughing.

  5. Interesting… Reminds me of the business card for an auto dealership that we found used as a drywall patch in our bathroom wall. A more recent discovery was the reason why the dropped-down area of our living room had three layers of cedar baseboard. No, not for looks…it was really there because the floor didn’t extend all the way to one of the walls. There was literally a 3 inch gap between the floor and the wall where you could see straight down into the crawl space.

  6. The popsicle idea is brilliant. That’s exactly what I’m going to do with that outlet in the master bath when I get home. (No, I’m not kidding.)

  7. So Aaron, don’t keep us guessing! What the hell are you going to use the stick for?????

Comments are closed.

I'm not interested in a mediocre life. I'm here to kick ass or die.

(formerly DIYdiva.net)