Friday, June 24, 2011

A walking tour of the new deck, sort of...

I figured I'd take my camera out with me and do a little walk-around on the new deck, so you all could see it in all its glory. Gypsy decided that she absolutely had to be outside with me because apparently, something might happen in her absence. So, you get to see her walking around, barking at nothing (because she thought I was talking to people and not a camera). You get to hear my nasally, wheezy, doped-up on Vicodin voice.

All that's left is for him to add some fencing around the bottom, to protect the Chihuahuas from absently running off the end and some of the patio stuff (an Adirondack chair and bench, the patio table, and the other porch swing).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Deck is finished and a pre-blog story about construction and the Disabled Guy

So, the deck is done.

But first... the pre-blog story...

When we first moved into this house, it had a three-season porch on the back of the house. It was added on to the house decades after it was built. There was a door at the end and one would have to walk all the way into the porch to get into the house through the kitchen. Because of the whackadoo who built this place, there was no room for our fridge in the kitchen. And since the disabled guy lives here, we put our laundry appliances on this enclosed porch instead of down the narrow and harrowing basement steps.

Eventually, somewhere between the shelves and clothes dresser he built, DG decided to cover all but two of the windows (the walls were all windows) and put a wall up in that porch. He'd have to turn a window on the house into a doorway, but that was his plan.

If you've followed this whole deckscapade (see what I did there?), you know that DG uses vise grips and other clamp-like things to hold stuff in place. Well, back then, he didn't have as many of those things as he has now (which is dozens). So, he used to hammer a scrap piece of wood and use that for his bracing/holder/whatnot and then he'd just fix the hole it left after he was done. No problem.

A quick bit of background about me- for those who don't know... I have pain issues (I bitch about them liberally on my fibro blog). Back in those days, my pain problems were limited to Carpal Tunnel syndrome and I would randomly lose the strength in my hand grip. When I worked nights as a security guard (aka: uniformed receptionist that walked a pre-determined route twice a night), I was in charge of a rather large switchboard. During the day, the office lady wore a headset because she fielded thousands of calls. We didn't get that many, so our switchboard had the handset. But, being that it was a switchboard, we didn't have to literally hang it up. We had to hit the "disconnect" button and we could set the handset down on the desk. Well, my carpal tunnel problems- I was known to be in mid-disconnect and I'd lose my grip on the handset and it would scuttle across the desk and off the end. All because of my hands.

So, DG gets all up on this little stepladder to try and drill a block of wood in place. But he can't do it. He gets me to come out there and hands me the drill. He tells me to use the drill to drive this long screw into the block of wood and into the wall behind it. He'd hold the block of wood in place for me.

I held the drill in both hands, poised over the Phillips-head screw. I said, "Do you really think this is a good idea?"

He replied something like: "It has to be done, might as well be you."

I actually did put the drillbit into the screw, but I stopped before pulling the trigger. No, I said. I wasn't comfortable doing it. What if I lost my grip on the heavy drill and dropped it, breaking it? Or what if the drill started spinning and I lost control of it and it slipped off and hit the disabled guy's hand? He's on blood thinners. If you've ever tried to stop someone from bleeding while they're on blood thinners, you'd know that's not all fun and games. Even if it isn't serious. And I told him so. "You take the drill and I'll hold the block of wood." He said fine and we switched places.

Now, another factoid about me- I'm short. I'm actually perfectly average for a woman (five foot, four and a half inches). DG is around five-ten. And he was standing on a stepladder. I'm standing on my tiptoes, arm stretched as far as it can go and I'm holding onto the block of wood. I can't look up because I'm pressed against the wall (between the stepladder and the wall, actually). DG is behind me, getting ready to drill the long screw into the block of wood.

"Hey," I recall saying, "Don't drill into my fingers. I can't see what you're doing to move out of the way."

He replied, "I won't." And we both chuckled.

The drill fired up. I could feel the block of wood vibrating with the impact. Now, this all happened fairly simultaneously.

DG said: "Oh shit!"

The wood made a strange sound (of the drill smacking into it and skipping off it).

And I felt a searing pain in my index finger.

Then I let out a shriek.

That's right. The disabled guy jammed a Phillips head drillbit, which was spinning under the force of a power drill, into the tip of my index finger. I had a flat wart on my finger too, right on the smushy pad- when they fingerprinted me for the security guard job, it looked like a smudged snowflake.

Blood gushed from my finger and I let out the appropriate amount of swear words and I did that automatic "hand shake" one does when they hurt their finger. Blood arced up against the wall and onto the ceiling. I was swearing, crying and laughing. DG was apologizing and laughing.

And we discovered a new and rather effective way to remove simple warts.

Why did I bore you with all this?

Because today, he finished the deck. And it is glorious. He's just got to put fencing along the bottom so our over-excited Chihuahuas don't run right off the edge. I know, that was a tad redundant- "over-excited" and "Chihuahuas".

I was outside with the dogs and didn't take my camera, so there are mobile phone photos of the completed deck. If you're in the Facebook group, you've seen these photos.

The deck!

The opposite corner

The other end...

Then, it poured down rain for about an hour. The sun came out and he went outside to put one of the porch swings together. He said he'd need my help, but I had just gotten home from the store. About a half hour later, he came in to tell me he was ready. When I got outside, the entire A-frame was already put together. It turns out that he can use those clamps and such to hold the frame up while he was able to put everything together. So, all I had to do was help him move it to where we wanted it and then put the bench on the frame.

He of the gimpy leg, me of the "wide-spread pain"- we lifted the frame and shuffled along a few feet to put into place. Then we took the bench and lifted it up. That's right, him with one arm, me with my "grip losing" hands lifted up the solid wood bench. Now, if you've seen his photos or the videos, you know his arm is fairly muscular and strong. There isn't much he can't do, even with only one arm.

I was holding the bench with one hand and I lifted it up so I could slip the chain-link over the hook thingy (it isn't a hook, I don't know what its real name is). Just as I got the link up, DG lost his grip on his chain. He didn't drop it, but it slipped. I didn't drop my end either, because I'd just gotten the link up over the hook thingy, but it did drop a bit. My left hand was suddenly and searingly painfully twisted into the chain. (it splits into a Y). I let out a string of swear words and lifted up the bench. I got my hand loose, still swearing, and shook it (no blood!). Then I quickly lifted the chain up over the hook thingy for DG so he could let go of his end.

I immediately iced my hand. Currently, there are three odd-shaped bruises forming. The part that caught the chain-tangle is that smushy, fleshy bit in between the thumb and index finger. You know, right where the utensil sits when you eat. Or the spine of a book while you read. Or the key chain when you pick up your car keys. And in my case, where the mouse for my computer rests against my hand when I'm mousing on the computer.

If the bruises darken to a lovely shade of black and/or blue, I'll take photos.

People want to be our friend... only because we're #7

DG doesn't spend much time online. Even when he did, it was mostly playing online games or reading NASCAR stuff I searched for him. So, when I come across a funny video or an article, I'll show him, or read the pertinent parts out loud. When it comes to article-reading though, I have to translate English into Disabled Guy Stroke-English, which means mostly changing words like "pertinent" to "important".

I was reading this article from and of course, started reading parts of it out loud to him. When I was done, I said, "We're on that list. People want to be our friend because we drive pickup trucks."

DG: "Why?"

Me: "Because, like the article said- everyone has to move sometime..."

He replied: "Ah..." and I figured that was that. But moments later, he said, "How do they know we drive pickup trucks?"

Me: "Who?"

DG: "Those people."

Me: "What people?"

DG: "The ones who wrote the article."

Me: "They don't. I said it. The article-writer has no idea who we are."

DG: "Oh. So he doesn't read your blog?"

Me: "Its your blog and no, probably not."

DG: "Then why would he want to be our friend?"

Me: *sigh* "He doesn't want to be our friend. Number seven on the list of 'friends people need' is the guy with a pickup truck. And that's us. We're guys who drive pickup trucks." (he drives a full-size Chevy Silverado shortbed. I drive a mid-size four-door Chevy Colorado. Plus, he has a utility trailer).

It took him a few moments to process this and then he said, "Fine. I don't want to be his friend either."

In deck-related news, last night at almost 9 PM (it was still light out), I went outside to check on him. He was almost done. He had three railing posts left to put in (then the railings). I asked if he was going to stay out and finish since he was so close. Nope. He was coming in right after he attached the railing to the posts.

He ran out of the screw-in post anchors. Three posts short!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Disabled Guy doesn't want to hear about our logic

If you're in the group on Facebook, I already posted this there. But, I figured I should post it here for those of you who aren't in the group or on Facebook or even my parents. I know my parents aren't on Facebook.

I had some time to kill before I started dinner (which is cooking as I type this), so I went outside to discuss the deck with DG. I suggested he move his tools from one end of the deck to the other, where it was closer to his work area. Luckily, he was in a good mood and even went on with the video after I went back inside to get my camera.


Friday, June 10, 2011

The Disabled Guy... HE KNOWS HE'S DISABLED!

I'm a fairly active member over on the Regretsy website. And the regular readers here know that the lovely woman who runs the site helped us when we needed to raise money to send our daughter to New York City with the high school orchestra.

Also, I've been on the Internet now for approximately eight years, give or take a few months. I have called the spouse "The disabled guy" for pretty much that entire time. Now, I don't expect someone to automatically know all this stuff. I mean, if you didn't know me, it wouldn't make much sense, right? But, if you lurk for more than ten minutes anywhere that I'm a regular participant, then you'd know who I am and that I call him "the disabled guy". Big shocker- he knows he's disabled!

Regretsy is "NSFW" (not safe for work) because of the swearing that is not only common, but encouraged. (also, sometimes the day's featured items are mature in content). Today's first post was about a dress that is designed to look like a urinal.

This is a screen cap of my comment-

I thought I'd get a few pity "thumbs up" because when you're a regular, some people just like what you say, even if it sucks. But, an hour or so later, I went back and discovered some replies to my comment. The first one had been "hidden due to low comment rating".

And then some others got involved...

And then I came back and left these two comments (we have a 1000 character limit on comments).

Why did I tell you all this? Why did I make you read all that crap? Because, after all that, I went outside and did a video with the Disabled Guy. This video also shows him working on the deck. MONTHS AGO someone asked me how he does woodworking with only the use of one hand and I said he uses clamps and vise grips. Once in a while, he'll ask for help. In fact, just the other day, he had to get me to come outside and help him move a huge board that had some other boards attached to it. It was one of the support beams for the deck and it was too long for him to maneuver by himself. So I helped. Took me all of forty-five seconds and he was back to work.

But enough of this typing and reading crap. You came for the video. And here it is... since it he was speaking quietly, I added the captions so you could "hear" what he was saying. He was also talking quietly on purpose because I was doing the video.


EDITED TO ADD: The Regretsian who originally asked if the disabled thing was relevant is okay and says she's (I'm assuming "she" because of the "Krissy" part of the name) started reading the blog. So, heeeey! Welcome. I hope you enjoy the insanity that is the Disabled Guy.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Disabled guy, holey gloves, hummingbird

Today we received the letter with the results of that doctor visit we had a few weeks ago. Don't you like how I say "we"? Well, I figure that I deserve some acknowledgement because I'm putting up with the bullshit too. Back to the letter.

I stepped outside onto what was left of the deck (he's tearing up the part near the door, which means I don't get to leave the house- unless I go out the other door, but don't tell anyone about that). With great flourish, I opened the envelope. He grabbed the deck for support, his eyes wide with expectation...


The Disabled Guy... STILL DISABLED!

I KNOW! I was shocked that he hasn't miraculously and suddenly recovered the use of the half of his body that was paralyzed by a stroke that happened sixteen years ago. So was he.

He said, "I saw a hummingbird." and before I could answer, he said, "It was over there, then over there, and then it went by my truck and then... *poof* it went away."

I asked, "What was it doing?"

He replied, "Humming." Then he asked me for a bottle of water.

I said, "You're awfully bossy for a guy who can't get into the house." Then I stepped inside and closed the door.

He merely looked at me, eyes narrowed. "Fine. I don't need your stinkin' water."

I brought back a bottle of water for him because I'm just that nice. I even opened it so he wouldn't have to take off his work glove to do it himself. Then I waited, because he tends to just guzzle the whole bottle. When he was done, I took the bottle and shook out the last remaining drops of water on him.

He exclaimed: "HEY! Stop it!" then he looked down at his arm, where the water hit him and said, "Great, now I have a clean spot."

I replied, "It won't last long."

His jaw dropped, "What's that mean!? Bah! Go back inside." And he waved his gloved hand at me. There are large holes in his glove. "My glove has holes in it. It's a holy glove!" and he laughed, very pleased with himself.

I said: "Oh, you're very clever today."

DG: "I am, I know. My holy glove..." and he waved his hand again, "Begone!"

So now apparently, it isn't just "holy", it is also magic.