Maintenance 101 Chapter

I’m calling this Maintenance 101, but my level of maintenance is really about 10!

We are never too old to learn–at least somethings. So, I decided to see if I could learn how to do simple maintenance around the house. I mean, other than calling someone else to come and maintain it.

Start Simple

I needed to replace the tiny bulbs that are behind the faceplates along the steps. These are imbedded night lights so you don’t fall down the steps at night. First, you need to remove the two screws. It requires a Phillips head, so I managed to find one. I needed to get comfortable on the steps since I was “working.” I put the screwdriver on the screw head and turned–nothing happened. I guess I needed to change my position to get a better angle. That didn’t help either. I never knew removing a screw was going to be such a challenge. After a few whines and curses, I managed to twist my arm at a weird angle and remove the screw. I was sweating by this time and I still had three more to take out, remove and replace the bulb and put in the four screws again.

I am no longer sitting on the steps cursing, so you know I did remove all the screws. Do you know that it is almost as hard putting them in as it is to take them out? But I was successful. There is now light on the steps!

A Little More Complicated

Every time I opened the pantry door, it squeaked and creaked. Closing it was even louder. I guess I could have lived with it, but it makes it impossible to sneak a snack when the door shouts to the whole world that I am trying to find something to munch on. Besides, it drove me crazy when I was cooking.

How do you fix a creaky door? I had a few ideas that would not be productive, but might make me feel better, but I decided I didn’t have the strength of the Hulk at that moment.

A better option was to try WD-40. I have heard of its magical powers, but I have yet to use it. My first dilemma was trying to figure out what WD-40 meant. Google helped me with that. It means Water Displacement–Formula 40. I now know what the WD stands for and I know it works, but what is water displacement?

I grabbed the trusty blue can and I aimed the nozzle at the hinges in the front–just a little gunk dribbled down. I threw open the door and MAGIC–there was no sound! Number One insisted that I spray both sides of the hinges. I wasn’t sure why, but I did it. Just to let you know–it didn’t make it any quieter than it was.

As I jaunted down the hallway–so proud of myself,–I opened the garage door and CREEEEEEAAAAAK! I thought to myself that I had magic in my hand and I could solve two household maintenance issues in one day. I sprayed BOTH SIDES of the hinges, moved the door and only SILENCE ensued.


We had company coming and we had just purchased a patio set and of course, the chairs needed to be assembled. So, rubbing my very arthritic hands, I grabbed a new tool. The Allen wrench. This torture tool is also called a hex key–I think the reason they call it that is because it hexes your hands and makes them hurt even more. How do you really hold the Allen wrench. It is L shaped. Do you hold it by the short end or the long end? Both ends have the shape that will fit. Now, when you put the chair together, there are 4 bolts that need to line up. So, just because you have two that line up, it doesn’t mean the other two will line up. Again, the hardest part is getting into the comfortable position so you can work. Do you kneel? Ouch–that is a no. Sit? Maybe–but only on a rug. Stand–man that hurts the back! So, I did manage between sitting and standing, cussing and crying to put FOUR screws into SIX chairs with ONE lousy Allen Wrench. They look good.

Just remember to sit carefully when you come and visit because now you know who assembled them.

And there was light!

And there was light!

Sturdy as .....????

Sturdy as …..????

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