Dirty Job

Because I know everyone is wondering, I’ll start by letting you know that after a doctors appointment, massage, and a handful of muscle relaxers I can now turn my head exactly two degrees to the left, but only if I make a really stupid face and swear. Since both of those things are fairly common occurrences anyway, it’s like being back to normal with slightly less range of motion. Actually, this is a lie. It effing sucks, not just because of the pain, but because all I can see are all of these wasted hours that I could be doing my actual real job or tearing a bathroom apart, but instead I’m just sitting around drugged up trying to negotiate a truce with the right side of my neck.

Ugh. So frustrating. But I’m done whining now and plan to live vicariously through this post of things I did this weekend, one of which resulted in my current inability to see anything to the left of my body. Okay, now I’m done whining.

My three goals for the weekend were, in order of importance: to be able to pull my car into the garage, to locate the top of the workbench in the shop, and to make some progress on my door projects.

So I guess let’s start with how I essentially own a three-car garage that was incapable of holding even one car.


Yeeeah. I’ve been avoiding tackling this mess for three reasons. 1.) There is some serious disgusting in there in the form of dead animals and garbage bags full of old food that were in the garage when I bought the place. 2.) I had nowhere to put the not-digusting portion of the mess and I don’t organize things unless I have somewhere to put them. And 3.) I had no reason to clean it up since the doors didn’t function and there was no point to parking inside during the summer anyway.

However most of those excuses were eliminated when I got the garage doors fixed, so I finally had to sit down and have a little talk with myself that went something like, “Girl, did you or did you not decide to buy a farm in the middle of nowhere all by yourself? You did? Well guess the hell what, it’s not all laying in the grass and frolicking through the cornfields. Sometimes you have to dig deep and shovel up a dead bird (or three) and the entire contents of someone else’s refrigerator that has been decomposing in your garage for a year. Suck it up and get to work.”

So I did.


I made my yuck-face the entire time, but I got it done.


(Climbing inside the dumpster and jumping on the cardboard boxes to crush them is high up on the list of ways I potentially injured myself this weekend.)




Other than shoveling the shit out of the parking space, there was also a little electrical work that needed to be done in order to actually be able to pull my big yellow beast of a car in there. Notice my not-at-all hillbilly way of getting power to the garage door opener…


Yeah, so the whole floating-extension-cord thing had to go. There were already outlets wired in the ceiling joists, so essentially all I needed to do was move one of the outlets closer.


Drilling through that joist is also high on the list of literal pain-in-the-neck projects. Suffice it to say my drill bit was dull and it required several minutes of doing stupid things on top of a ladder.

And, while I was at it I hung a couple of lights in the workshop as well…


I know, I need to tack those cords up out of the way before I take one out with a wayward 2×4. Also, you can see why locating the actual work bench may be difficult in that disaster.

Anyway, back to the project at hand. The end result of my Saturday efforts was that I smelled like a dead animal. Oh, and I could actually do this…


Every time I walk outside I have a holy-shit-that-is-an-actual-car-in-my-actual-garage moment. All of the houses I’ve owned have had garages, but I’ve never actually parked in one of them. I mean, I physically lived in one for eighteen months, but the car still had to stay outside. So this is a bit of a novelty, and I think I’m going to quite enjoy it when I don’t have to scrape three inches of ice off my car in the morning.

So that was the garage part of the weekend. Meanwhile, back at the batcave…


I sprung for some utility shelving when I picked up the fluorescent lights, and as you would expect from $77 made-in-china shelves they were a bitch to put together. Let’s just say I used the hammer, uh, liberally.

And now that I mention it, this is probably the third project that may or may not have resulted in the inability to move my head. Lucky for me it absolutely resulted in this…


Well hello there, workbench.

Check this out. I can almost guarantee you it will never look this clean again…



In fact, it was looking too clean for comfort when I took these pictures, so shortly thereafter I attempted to check item #3 off my weekend list.


The basement door is basically done until I can lift enough weight to get it in the house and install it, so to keep myself busy (ha ha) I started on the laundry room doors. Those of you who follow DIYdiva’s facebook page got a little sneak peek on Sunday, but here’s the progress.


I really wanted chicken wire in the “windows” but I also need to obscure the view to my laundry room for obvious reasons that include an allergic reaction to folding clothes, so I came up with the idea of using frosted glass with chicken wire over it.

Uh, turns out I did not invent this concept, actually, but the legitimate stuff is $45/sf and would cost more than the doors to purchase (which is a dangerous thing for me to know since I’m assuming my late night paypal transactions will only be exacerbated by the addition of muscle relaxers to my evening routine) so I’m probably still going to try to fake it for less.  Regardless, I’ve got a little more wood work and some painting to do before the doors are glass-ready, but I will say they are coming along pretty nicely.

So that was my weekend, and I’m sure hoping all of that work can hold me over for at least a week while my neck and I try to work out our communication issues.

27 Responses

  1. But why (WHY?) are the doors on that one cabinet hung upside down?

    The space looks fantastic now – best wishes on your neck!

    1. I know, RIGHT? I can only guess it was done to drive people insane from trying to guess why it was done.

      1. One little paint stir stick through those high handles and kids would have a harder time accessing whatever was stored inside that cabinet. Maybe the doors are upside down for child-proofing? A hillbilly could also keep their ‘shine in there safely. Just saying.

  2. Just an idea; it may be a hillbilly idea but here goes. What about frosted glass spray on a piece of glass with chicken wire to act as a stencil? Don’t know if the wire would be too thin and the paint would spray under it. Just a thought.

    Good luck…the garage looks awesome. This city girl is drooling (but not over the old food and dead critters). Happy Frolicking, and feel better soon.

    1. Uh, Mary? You’re talking to the girl who is still using a pair of channel locks as a front door handle… no idea is too hillbilly around here!

  3. I haven’t parked in my garage in ten years. Kudos to you!

    My neck spasms take two to three weeks 5yo resolve with meds and massage, and treo to the DAYS to resolve with acupuncture and cupping. So, so worth it.

  4. Bugger. That is my brain on teething baby sleep deprivation, exacerbated by the ever-helpful autocorrect.

    Point was that two visits to my acupuncurist, with needles and cupping, resolves spasms. Almost magic.

  5. We used a translucent contact paper on the glass in our doors. We made Shoji doors. I have just started reading DIY Dive. Love it. thanks.

  6. What about just putting the chicken wire in the windows like you want and then instead of glass, attaching a rod at the top and bottom of the window (on the laundry room side) and sewing some fabric to fit into the window space? It would be pretty simple and probably a lot cheaper and just as cute. You’d just have to sew two side seams, and a pocket at the top and bottom to slide the rods through.

    1. Why not just staple the fabric to the laundry room side for now? If can easily be replaced later….

  7. So sorry you’re not “back to normal” yet. Gads of work did get done! Other comments have great ideas for doors and I really like the idea of stenciling with glass frost stuff even if you don’t use chicken wire.

    1. Or just hang a roller shade on one side so you can pull it down when you don’t want to see the laundry room.

    1. Ah, my baby. She’s a DeWalt 10″ sliding arm compound miter saw. I can’t even explain in words how handy the sliding-arm part is. This is probably the second most-used tool in my collection, after my drill.

  8. Amazing work! I worked on cleaning my deck building mess out of my garage this weekend, but I haven’t gotten as far as getting my car back in yet. You definitely beat me to that punch.

    Also, I agree about those metal shelves. We used a hammer to put ours together too. And fiance, bless his heart, insisted on building 11 sets of them between our garage and basement. I total empathize with you those things.

    1. When I read this I literally said “Holy shit, eleven?!” To the computer monitor. Your finance is a keeper!

  9. I am missing something, namely the appeal of chicken wire over frosted glass 🙂 Is this something artistic, or does it have a function that hasn’t occurred to me?

  10. I followed the garage link and saw your cat’s photo, bringing to mind your recent cat photo – so you got to keep the cat? Awesome! who needs men.

    1. Oh, that cat has been around longer than the last two men. He’s definitely my little buddy… totally thinks he’s a dog and would do anything for a belly rub.

  11. Don’t think spraying over chicken wire will work…wire too thin. What about a stencil to mimic the wire and glass etching, if you want the look? Love your tough self talk to tackle the floor of the garage. Try and relax and get well, please.

  12. These type of days can be so rewarding and yet, so not at all at the same time. We’re attempting to convert our 450 sqft shed/out-building into a big living room. Much of the work, after three years of neglect, is simply cleaning out all the crap that’s piled up over time. I haven’t found any dead animals yet, but I’ve found several snake skins. Oddly enough, haven’t seen that pesky mouse in a while…

  13. I realize when you say “clean” you mean the surface of the workbench. ‘Cause those cabinets do not look at all “clean” to me. I guess, though, allowances can be made for hillbilly workshops! Good job on getting the car in the garage. That same goal is on my fall to-do list. Fingers crossed we don’t encounter any dead animals on our clean out!

  14. Bicycle neglect is no laughing matter. Do you know how many bicycles get neglected each year… how many wind up all rusty… how many end up in the land fill? That bicycle needs some love… and I’m sure some oil too. Poor bicycle.

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