Sunday, September 28, 2008

Good Fences

Reading back over my first three posts, I fear I've perhaps left the impression that my parental apathy is worse than it actually is. Given, my children spend an appalling amount of time in front of the television while I get on with other things, but we do also have moments every day that experts in the 80's would call "quality time".
Living where we do, a lot of that time happens out-of-doors, and last fall, after Rusty and Jerome had escaped to a neighbouring farmer's field for a sniff and a roll in the cowpies one time too many, it became apparent that we needed to build a fence. The Captain was typically somewhere far, far away at that point, so this was not a project I was going to be able to start and then hand off to him when I got bored. But I do have a great and wonderful friend, a sort of Thelma to my Louise (okay, I've never even seen that movie, but I remember something about them driving over a cliff, and that sounds like something Thelma and I would do, likely by accident) and when the idea of fence-building came up, Thelma was in.
First up was a trip to good ol' Home Depot for supplies. So, down the highway I went in my rusty tin-can of a truck and met Thelma in the chain link section, with children in tow. This turned out to be the hardest part. Balancing 6-foot fence posts in a shopping cart with Firstborn and Rosemary's Baby up front, wanting to grab everything and wield it like Luke Skywalker with his light saber isn't easy, and those bags of concrete were not designed to be carried by women. Except maybe those freakishly muscular body-building women you can't turn away from when they appear on TV. But I'm not one of those women.
Several hundred dollars and a wobbly, nerve-wracking truck ride home later, I was ready to start phase one of building my fence, which turned out to just be digging some holes and concreting my posts into the ground. Not a difficult task, but oddly, not one of those posts is standing up straight today. I blame society.
When the fence fabric, the chain link that would eventually trap Rosemary's Baby safely in the backyard while I sat on a lawn chair reading craft magazines, was ready to go up, Thelma and her always perfectly-behaved only child did the drive out to the middle of nowhere (several days in a row) and we got to work. The end result, after hours and hours of swearing and pinching our fingers, is what the Captain now refers to as "that misbegotten fence". But it holds in dogs and escaping children (more on this another day--it deserves its own post). And the experience gave Thelma and I yet another reason to believe that we are completely capable when our military husbands so frequently bugger off and leave us to it.
Since that time, Thelma and I have successfully ripped down and put up drywall and sledgehammered a fireplace, and we patiently await our call from Home and Garden TV.
Frankly, I think we will be a half-assed home-improvement sensation.

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