Monday, August 09, 2010

An all-over body ache

The best exercise program in the whole world? Simply lie down in the floor, and get back up. Repeat about 60 times in one day.

It doesn't sound like much, but trust me: the next day, you'll be ready to hunt me down and shoot me. You won't be able to, though. You'll be suffering aches and pains in every major muscle group. Shoot, even my hands hurt.

No, I was not trying to get in shape. I was merely trying to put in my laminate flooring. You may recall having read about the Mountains In My Kitchen, courtesy of a dishwasher past its prime. This past Friday I took off a vacation day to install said laminate.

I'd watched YouTube videos to see how it was done, and I swear, one of the guys said you could do a room in two hours.

Two hours! It took me two hours to get the blankety-blank underlayment cut around all the door openings and the first tricky pieces of laminate down.

There were times when I was about ready to give up. For instance, about noon on Friday, when I was starving, and I realized that I had moved the fridge up against the table, where I couldn't open the fridge's door. The table in question is a heavy marble-topped behemoth that I couldn't move if my life depended on it. The fridge was equally impossible, as I couldn't move it back on my workspace for fear of tearing the blankety-blank underlayment.

Lunch for me and The Kiddo turned out to be two peanut butter sandwiches each. It was all that we could get to. We couldn't even grace the peanut butter with a little jelly.

By 2 PM, I'd gotten maybe a quarter of the kitchen laid ... a far cry from the "two hours and you'll be done" pronouncement of the YouTube handyman that I wanted to hunt down and clobber by then. It occurred to me that the room he was talking about was (1) empty of all furnishings and (2) blissfully lacking in tricky built-in cabinets. I couldn't lay any more flooring until I had muscle ... so I texted The Husband about my predicament and then rested my aching back as I watched a half episode of Alton Brown's Good Eats.

The Husband moved the fridge and I worked on, with his assistance. We got the last of the tricky corners cut, and I started making real progress.

Only, I was starving, my back was KILLING me, and it was (by then) 7 p.m.

I started back afresh on Saturday morning, making real progress as The Kiddo decided that it was more fun to help than to drag around the house repeating the refrain, "I'm boooored." She learned the business end of a rubber mallet and how to measure and mark boards, while I learned that I really HAD been helping my mom all those years ago when I stood on the ends of boards as she sawed them off.

By 11 AM, I'd gotten as far as I could (the beastly table was in my way again), so off I went to grocery shop. I returned, got The Husband to move the table, and I started in on the floor again. This time, the end was in sight, and by 7 PM, The Kiddo was banging in the last piece of flooring.

Yes, I still have clean up to do (everything's moved out to the garage) and yes, all my baseboard has got to be put back in, but I am done. And in pain. And joyful. And -- oh, gracious! Look at the time! I can take two more ibuprofen tablets!


Piedmont Writer said...

Congratulations to you!!! Job well done. I'm very proud of you. Maybe husband will buy you a power drill for Christmas!!

Al said...

What a nightmare!
But worth it in the end!

Paul C said...

Home reno can be a pain and a glory. Entertaining account of your prowess.

Jessica said...

Grocery shopping after that ordeal? Urgh, talk about adding insult to injury!

I always swore if we ever redid our (orginal to the house) 1957 kitchen, I'd just go away on vacation and come back to it done.

Lickety Splitter said...

Whew ... I think I worked up a sweat just reading about that. I too am proud of you. You pressed through frustration and achieved your goal! Congrats and enjoy!

Tawna Fenske said...

Congrats on getting it done! Are you going to post pics?

And thanks for the reminder that I should blog someday about my hellish summer laying & grouting 2300 square feet of tile in 103-degree heat :)