Sporadically Handy


It is funny how what I write about can come from a fleeting thought or action. I just fixed the toilet in my bathroom. No TMI – it wasn’t stopped up, but it wouldn’t flush because the tank didn’t/wouldn’t refill with water.  Wouldn’t you know it stopped working shortly after my husband was out of town for two days? ~he does exist~

That’s how it always works. The minute he’s gone something happens, something stops working AND/or a giant cockroach comes out of the woodwork. I’ll try my best to ignore the bugs if I can hold out; the quarterly spray will kill ‘em. But if one gets in my space, I’ll beat it to death with a broom, put on rubber gloves and grab about 10 paper towels to get it or suck it up with the vacuum cleaner. I know – EWWW.

I have never pushed a lawn mower (other than out of the way), and I have never changed a flat tire but I am quite the handy-woman sometimes. 

I can paint super small rooms, I can move the heck out of some heavy furniture with those as seen on tv moving men things, and I can troubleshoot an ailing computer before throwing it out the window (I wish).  

Some things are learned by trial and error, and let's just say I have gutted the tank of many a toilet! Daddy and I weren't great fix-it partners, so that's how I learned. I would rather figure it out on my own than argue with him about how it should be done.

We still fondly reminisce about the time we were installing a ceiling fan - wires and all. I like being handy but I get annoyed by things that are mentally challenging (gross stuff) or physically challenging (two people jobs).

When my husband was deployed I bought one of those put together desks for our computer room (the super small room that I painted). The desk was rolled out of Staples on a dolly and put into my husband’s truck by two grunting big guys.  The way I got it in the house was pretty much piece by piece. By the time I had all of the pieces in the house, the kitchen looked like it was being prepared for a renovation. I asked myself, “What the heck did you get yourself into?”  

I got that two person job done all by myself almost.

My neighbor’s son and his friend came over and had to lift the hutch part onto the desk. That thing is so heavy that if and when we move, I just want to leave it here.  I’ll tell whomever, “That comes with the house. Take it or take it.”


The handy project I am most proud of was installing a portable clothesline.  The clothesline thing didn’t have to be put together, it goes up and down like an umbrella. However, I did have to “build” the hole, which involved digging, rocks, mixing cement, a lot of sweat and a few mosquito bites. It took about two years for the grass to grow back in that spot, but I have a portable clothesline. I keep it in the garage and the hole is so invisible now I have to go find it before I bring the clothesline out.

Here’s the thing…I just sent my husband a text to let him know that I fixed the toilet and my charge for labor is $75. Never mind that all I had to do was fill up the tank and jiggle one of the parts with a rubber gloved finger.

Sporadically Yours,

Kenya G. Johnson