Tag Archives: tools

Two Hands on the Ratchet

On Saturday, our new couch/sofa bed was delivered. Our old one, an Ikea piece, was not comfortable for either my wife’s father or my mother when they came to visit. My father-in-law took thing into his own hands and offered to replace our existing one with something he found more comfortable.

Our curved entry staircase meant that the delivery men had to disassemble the new couch to get it into the playroom. The kids enjoyed watching the work and pieces of furniture gradually make their way into the room and then the assembly of the new sofa. This came on the heels of taking apart our old one. My wife and I moved it upstairs, but it, too, had to be taken apart in order to fit up our even narrower and more twisty flight from the second to the third floor. My kids jumped at the chance to use the ratchet to take the bolts out of the frame. The unscrewed all of the bolts, each with a hand on the tool.

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Filed under House Projects

I Broke the Weedwhacker, But I Did Not Break the Hedge Trimmer

A much lesser known reggae song, but it was what I was singing as I did yard work on Sunday, Father’s Day. I finally got to the hedge and the ivy that have pushed out copious growth since last year. I filled three trash cans and five yard bags with clippings, and the place doesn’t look like a scary Fragonard landscape. The ivy, however, did wreck the weed whacker. I ended up trimming it with the hedge clipper.

I started the morning getting up with the kids at the decent hour of 6:30. I made pancakes and hung out until my wife came downstairs. I then took a nap and awoke to have lunch with the crew. Yard work followed.

In the evening, my daughter and I planted two pots with purple pepper seedlings and seeds for lettuce, basil, and radishes. The radishes were a party favor from a classmate’s birthday party on Saturday. Around here, that is record time getting something in the soil. We then watered our garden where sunflowers and corn are doing well. We might get one large beet out of there, too. We then dropped one of the pots off at a friend’s house where we also deposited their half of the farm share.

I finished the day’s chores by picking up a dresser on craigslist. Our children’s clothing no longer fits in one dresser, and we had been looking for a while. I glued up the bottom of one of the drawers and put a clamp on it. Hopefully over night the glue will set and hold the slightly warped bottom in.

All in all, a good Father’s Day.

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Filed under activities

Those Are Pliers, and Those Are Channel Locks

This evening, my daughter and I did quite a few chores around the house as my wife, her father, and my son went off to do some grocery shopping. The first thing we did was set up the bread maker to bake a new loaf. She carefully measured out and poured flour, whole wheat flour, a sprinkle of a whole grain hot cereal, salt, yeast, water, butter, and molasses into the bread pan. The only one I had major assistance on was the molasses. We spent quite a bit of time getting the right amount of water. This involved teaching her how to read the two cup liquid measure. She filled it to the brim and then poured out microscopic drops, checking between each one, until she had one cup. I also taught her how to scoop and level the flour. Periodically through the rest of the evening, she asked to look through the breadmaker window to see what was happening; this was especially interesting when the paddle was mixing the dough.

We then worked on fixing the gates that keep my son from wandering into the kitchen unattended and hurting himself on the myriad unchildproofed drawers, tools, and appliances. One gate had become loose from the repeated opening by adults and shaking/swinging upon by children. The gate has never stayed open, so we rigged a magnet attached to a handle that will catch the gate and keep it open when we need it to stay that way. We then turned the other gate around to allow a door to more fully close.

Lastly, we went upstairs and used hex wrenches to tighten all the bolts on her bed and my son’s crib. Both pieces of furniture get their fair share of shaking, pushing, and knocking about. I noticed both were getting a little wobbly, so my daughter identified which size wrench to use, inserted it into the bolt head, and turned it to tighten each bolt. When she grunted and put her effort into it, she got them pretty tight, too.

It is a high priority of mine to have my daughter and my son very comfortable around tools. I want them to know which tools to choose for which projects, how to use those tools safely, and how to take care of the tools, as well.

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Filed under activities, Chores, Gender