Locked and Loaded

I figure that with today's episode I have two ways to tell this story:

  1. I screwed up
  2. I saved the household money with my do-it yourself approach to fixing a problem here at Tidy Husband HQ.

Obviously, I am choosing number 2 to share my latest tale..

This story started out without problems. It was after a late dinner when I looked out at the weeds/grass in the back forty and succumbed to the fact that I better get out there and deal with the problem, because that's why BW has me around in the first place.

So I made her an offer: "You do the dishes, and I will cut the grass and then we can meet up later once all the chores are done". She seemed okay with this arrangement and so I got up to grab the keys for the back shed



I looked everywhere I could think of where I may have left the keys last time but without luck. I have been known to leave these in my pockets and they end up in the wash but I checked both washer and dryer and came up empty. I scoured the house, I emptied drawers, I re-traced my steps and then finally I had to admit it: I LOST THE KEYS.

So then I did what any guy would do when he loses the keys to a lock: I hit the lock with a hammer. I soon realized my efforts with the hammer would be useless and so now what does one do?

I know, I will ask youtube.

According to my research there's about three ways to get a lock off something:

  1. A drill, or saw or dremel tool – I choose not to go with this option because of sparks and the fact that our woodshed is, well, wood. I didn't want to have to call 911 because I wanted to cut the grass.
  2. Bolt Cutters. Looks good, but these locks look pretty sturdy
  3. Try picking the lock.

Number 1 was out, and I didn't have bolt cutters at what now has become almost 9pm, but I did have an extra locked lock I could play with (why we are saving a locked lock with no key is beyond me, but that's for another post) but I had a hacksaw, but and the outcome with the saw was about the same as the hammer. Boy, these locks are tough.

I then spent the rest of my evening trying to pick the lock I had with a pen lid and a paper clip, and despite the fact that twelve year olds on youtube can do this, I couldn't.

For those who are still reading, I have tried a hammer, a hacksaw and picking tools and still my lawnmower is in the shed and the grass is getting taller and taller and taller. The neighbors have started to picket the house.

Of course, while I was doing all this, BW was inside reading a book about sex (I kid you not) trying to ignore my increased anxiety about getting the stupid shed opened. (some days there's not enough prozac)

Then she suggested the unthinkable:

"Hire a locksmith", she suggested. Talk about a blow to the male ego, folks. When she said that I realized this : she didn't think I could fix the problem

Can you imagine? Me paying some $100 or more to fix my mistake? And this is when I haven't even exhausted all my options such as calling my friend to help. I mean really, BW, how could you even think that?

I will show her! I said to myself as I drifted off to sleep dreaming of unlocked locks and fresh cut grass (I really need a hobby)

This morning I awoke with a fresh start and fresh perspective. Also, I had these:


These little 22 dollar wonders worked, well, wonders:


At first I thought I had bought the wrong thing because my scrawny little arms barely made a dent in the lock and for a quick second I thought that maybe BW was right, but then I had another stab and used all my 162.8lbs of dynamite to push and push and squeeze until finally the hardened steel lock gave way to my arms of steel.

(when the lock did finally give way I fell right over because I was leaning so hard and almost knocked myself out on the shed door, but I would appreciate it if you didn't tell BW about that part. I have an image to keep..thanks so much)

There, problem solved.


Well, almost.

Then I realized that when I was buying the bolt cutters I should have also bought new locks to replace the old ones.. so back I go to the store to get new locks:

new and I bought these fancy ones at the dollar store for even greater savings. The only trouble with dollar store locks is that not one key works on both like the previous set, but with a sharpie that's esaily fixed:


As I mentioned at the start of this story there's two ways to look at this adventure and I am going to go for the positive spin where I saved the day with my newly formed bolt cutting skills.

I saved BW money today!

Note to BW:

See BW? You were of little faith, but I did fix the problem and for much less than a locksmith would cost. It was $22 for the cutters and two dollars for the locks. Add a bit of tax and my mistake (I prefer the term 'learning adventure') saved us over seventy dollars at least over taking the easy way out and calling in the pros. You can take me out to dinner to thank me for my hard work with the money I saved you.

Love, TH.

PS. I cut the grass.

Counting The Rings

If I ever have to ask myself how long have I been married?, all I have to do is count how many times I have painted the garage floor because here at Tidy Husband HQ it's that time of year again. Dear readers, I present to you:

Paint the Garage Floor 2015

Here's the before photo:

garage before

and the after photo:


I never knew I was such a good painter until I got married, and when you get hitched they warn you at the altar about all the "in fitness and in health" stuff but there's also some stuff they don't mention – like the painting.

Guys, if you're getting married you will be painting and consider this your warning:

Beware of the List

I have also learned that it's best to not let your wife know you are planning on painting the garage, because once the cat is out of the bag it will be in BW's head and then it will get on the list and you will be asked over and over like a four year old: are we there yet? Is it done yet? When are you going to (insert job here). The questions, OMG.

This can be hell. I am learning to keep quiet until the very last minute prior to the task. The element of surprise is your friend with the list

You don't know about the list?

The list is the devil. It hangs on the fridge and even if you do stuff you don't get any recognition but you're greeted with the question: "What are you going to do next?"

But now that I've got a couple years of marriage under my belt (along with some extra pounds) I have a few tips and tricks to share to cope with the list:

Feel free to use Tidy Husband's patented method to do as little as possible around the house:

  1. If you have a list, keep it to yourself until you are ready to do the job and then spring it on the wife. This works much better than pre-annoucing your intentions. Keep the romance, and keep 'em' guessing. :) The element of surprise works just as well with painting as it does with roses.
  2. If you do have stuff on the list, I have found that sometimes you can promise to do stuff on the list and the promise will be enough to satisfy her. It's rare that this works and will get you out of the task completely , but sometimes saying you will do (you just didn't say when) it does buy you some more time on the couch with your feet up.
  3. See item number 1. This is your best tactic. Number 2 can backfire and all that happens is the list grows in the meantime.
  4. (bonus tip). You can sometimes 'forget' to do a task because she didn't put it on the list and then you can use the "I didn't know" excuse. But eventually this catches up to you too, so at first I would try number 2 above if this doesn't work. At very least, it will buy you a bit more time.
  5. (bonus tip numbe 2). If you have a friend that's handier you can tell the wife that you're waiting for the friend to 'help you'. The reality is he's helping you avoid the task altogether. There's no help coming from your friend because he has his own list to deal with too.

(This last tip is pure gold. BW has wanted a pantry built in the kitchen from the day we met. I promised she would get it as soon as 'my friend' would help. She's still waiting for a pantry)

I guess in a way by painting the garage every year – this is the same as re-stating my wedding vows:

I promise to love, cherish and respect (and paint the garage)

Happy (garage painting) Anniversary, BW.

PS. I'm not telling you what I plan to do next. It's not going on the list that's for sure.

MailBoxes, Etc.

As the sun sets on my fourth July 4 weekend and BW heads to bed early after too much partying I thought I would take the time (and the quiet)
to document some of the highlgihts of this weekend’s events:

Item Number One: The Mailbox


Earlier this month BW came in the house with a letter from the USPS that our mailbox was no longer servicable and that if we wanted to continue to get mail we would have to get a new one.

Funny, I don’t see why they would say that:

old mailbox

I don’t see anything wrong with our old one that came from Sears Roebuck back in the 70’s. Except for the fact that it doesn’t have a flag and has survived being backed into by many.

So. As is with all the tasks BW made it my job to get the mailbox fixed.

As I have mentioned before I’m not handy. Not ‘fix the mailbox’ handy to be sure.

So I Googled “buffalo mailbox install” and sure enough there’s a guy who will come to your house and bring and install the mailbox for you. How cool is that? In fact, there’s more than one guy who does this but this guy was cheaper and the first guy didn’t show when he said he would.

We splurged and got the fancy two storey mailbox with doors on each end so you don’t have to make the extra four steps and step out on the street to get the mail.

Actually, the brand of the mailbox is ‘step 2′ which is probably becaus that’s how many steps you save when you check your mail.

New Mailbox. Yay.

Lastly, speaking of mail if you get mail and there’s not enough postage it is at the discretion of your mailman they will deliver the mail anyway and hope you pay them back as they pay for your mail out of their own pocket!

I found this out when I went to the post office and I was asked who my mailman was (small town, it’s possible I guess). I replied that I did and that’s when I learned about the money. I would have paid right then and there but BW doesn’t let me leave the house with any cash so it wasn’t until a few days later I managed to catch up with our mail lady at the end of the driveway.

Item Number 2: The Company

BW’s Mother and Sister came to visit for the weekend and it was a very good time because the company, but also the food!

There was pie:





and Ice cream and cookies and OMG THE FOOD

I have to tell you I was a little worried about the pie. We were on the tail end of the season and the ladies went picking berries early Friday morning and came home with a pretty big haul. Enough for two pies.

(It’s a good thing they didn’t stay longer. The pie a day diet is not good for the waistline).

Item Number 3: The Work

Ever hear the saying “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”?.

Well, in my case it was “there’s no such thing as free pie“” and I had to earn my keep around here and wash MIL’s car from head to toe:

car washed

Things I learned while doing this:

  • She has a lot of pens.
  • grandchildren eat lots of popcorn in the back seat
  • Black velour interior and grey dog hair don’t mix.

But all this hard weekend labor was worth it though because pie! and they were round too – my favorite kind!

And that’s our weekend. Not too shabby.

BW and I just polished off the last of the empanadas for dinner and I just checked in with my MIL and they are home safely in their nice clean car so it was fantastic long weekend for all.

Hope all six of my readers had a great holiday weekend too. (hi dad!)

Rainbow Bright

It started out like a normal day, until my phone beeped at me:

haircut: Time to leave - 12:52

“ooh, I forgot about that” I thought to myself – even though though the hairstylist called yesterday to remind me.

You see, BW and I go to the same hairstylist at the same time on the same day. Yes, we’re that couple.

It’s just easier that way. Besides, BW has a tight grip on the family finances and so she pays. :)

So, off we went to our favorite hair salon.

My haircut is pretty straightforward. I always tell my stylist to just dial me back to 3 weeks ago and she whips out the number 3 clippers and she’s done with me in about ten minutes.

And Then Things Got Weird

You see, I am not really all that up to date on the intricacies of what goes on with you ladies when it comes to get your hair done so imagine my surprise when I turned around and saw this.

“Umm… BW – you know you have styrofoam taped to your head?”, I asked.

She said “Put that photo on Facebook and I will kill you”. [1]

And then I asked her what exactly was all that stuff on her head?

She growled at me some more so I dropped the questioning for the time being.

Pick a Color, Any Color

Then she asked me about colors: What color did I like better – green or blue? pink or red? Do you like mauve?

I answered her: Blue. Also, my favorite Beatle was George. And pizza is my favorite food. (all good things she should know about me)

Seeing how this was going to take a while, I dashed over to Tim Horton’s for a coffee.

Whatever was going on back at the Salon looked expensive and it would take some time and so on the suggestion of the stylist that all this girly stuff was going to be a while, off I went.

When I returned BW was still in the back so I plopped down on the chair and took the opportunity to catch up on some back issues of Cosmo.

Finally, she was done and she’s so beautiful!!!

or… maybe colorful would be a better word:

haircut 100

I will end this little story with the lesson I learned today when wanting to keep happily married:

Regardless of how the end result of your wife’s haircut looks like:

Do say: “You look beautiful!”

Do NOT say: “You look like My Little Pony!”

  1. you never said anything about my blog so I figure this is fair  ↩

Swedish for Crap

ikea dresser

New furniture is a pretty big deal in this house because a: it does not happen often and b: I hate putting the stuff together.

Take for example our fancy new dresser in the photo above. Want to know how long it took me to put this together? About five hours.

Five Hours!. To put furniture together.

I was happily using our previous dresser but BW’s been on bit of tear lately when it comes to home improvements.

First, she decided I needed to re-paint her office.

Second, she decided that our carpet was old and had to be replaced with laminate floor throughout

Third was solar panels on the roof must be installed.

And now this dresser. I had tried to convince BW that our old dresser was fine thank you very much and for a while I thought I had talked her out of this last project and saved me some work and I actually managed to postpone this task more than once, but it all came to a head this week and here I am with Allen key in hand.

The good news is I finished with no extra parts.

The bad news? See that blank space in the photo? That’s where the 2nd dresser I have to assemble goes.