And you Thought Kinky Costs a Lot!


My partner Sara says—insists, actually—that I have a unique ability to focus—that I single-mindedly approach tasks—any task, large, small, or poop-related—with a singular vision, a keen work ethic, and unbridled enthusiasm.  I am, if nothing else, someone who will get the dog shit picked up.  I will do it well.  I will do it quickly.  I’m even a cheerful poop-picker-upper.

It’s true.  I’m genuinely driven and ambitious, a perfectionist probably.   I have goals and aspirations.  I like lists, but I like checking things off my lists more than the process of actually doing each chore and allowing myself to be present and comfortable in the moment.

It’s also true my new “Rumble with the Tumble” series (part 1 here) allows me to redeem this behavior—to redefine more than merely my relationship with the stairway down which I tumbled.

It was down this nemesis stretch of steps I fell.

Basically, the painting part of this project affords me the chance to reform my single-minded, task-oriented, get-the-job-done inclination and to focus more on the moment, to focus on process, rather than completion.

In other words, when it comes to “Rumble with the Tumble,” we’re killing two bad behaviors with one stairway, so to speak—redeeming a doer and conquering a klutzt in one fell, DIY swoop.  (Forgive the pun.  It was unintended.)

The fact of the matter is I was overly focused, in criminal terms, even as a college student.  As a sophomore I was once driving to my friend Lori’s house—a place I had never been before—following carefully the directions I’d been given—directions that involved turning right at the first street following a series of three stop signs.  As I neared the bungalow where Lori lived with her parents, as I was preparing to make the right onto Lori’s road, a police man pulled me over.

“Lady, you just ran three stop signs.  You didn’t stop.  You didn’t look.  You didn’t even slow down.”

Elbows on the steering wheel of my green Pinto, head in my hands, I knew immediately why I hadn’t stopped.  I was smart enough, however, not to tell the officer I’d been too busy counting to stop—so focused on tallying the number of signs, I forgot to follow through with actually stopping or even slowing down, for that matter.  I don’t remember if I was actually cited by that officer for my failure to stop or if I was merely issued a warning.  I believe it was the latter.

However, to this day, I still haven’t learned my lesson, as two weeks ago I had another close encounter, not with signage this time, but with a water hose.  Again I didn’t slow down.  Again I didn’t stop when I damn well should have.

You see, Sara had wanted a no-kink garden hose for a long while, when she recently broke down and spent the big bucks to purchase one.

Our kink-free hose is on the left.

In case you didn’t know, you nearly need to sell off your first-born or sacrifice a limb to guarantee a kink-free, lawn-watering experience these days.  You might have thought kinky costs a lot, but apparently kink-free costs even more.

At any rate, once we had mortgaged our house and were able to bring home the hose in question, Sara spent a blissful evening watering her garden—free from the hassle of hose-kinkage and a subsequent slowdown in water flow.  She literally couldn’t stop commenting on her long-awaited, good-gardening luck.

The next morning, however, Sara went grocery shopping, while I decided to lessen my partner’s domestic load by mowing her designated section of lawn.  I moved all garden furniture out-of-the-way.  I wore a hat to protect my face from the sun.  I was careful.  I was excruciatingly careful.  But not careful enough, however, for Sara’s gold-plated garden hose was still strewn across the grass.

Yes, you guessed it.  I mowed the hose in question—mutilated it—

In two places.

Amazing how easily a kink-free garden hose can be cut.

Mind you, Sara was good about this garden carnage.  She forgave me.  I only spent two nights sleeping in the shed—newly sacrificed—but still kink-free—hose as pillow.

Seriously, Sara had forgiven me within an hour.  We mortgaged my mother’s home this time.  We purchased a replacement hose.  It was equally kink-free.

Sara loves me almost as much as she loves her hose these days, but she still insists I need to slow down—to not focus so singularly on completing a task that I sacrifice all manner of garden equipment in the process.

So, I hope my current DIY stairway transformation will allow me to do that.  So far I’ve made some progress.  So far I haven’t fallen.

1.  Sanding

2.  Scraping

3.  Priming

4.  Measuring

5.  Taping

6.  Painting

Note that the center circle is decoupaged.

Now, however, Sara’s complaining that I’m TOO slow.  She’s mocking me about my new-found focus on process—insisting that in three days I’ve not even completed a single step.

I say, she better be careful, cause I know a lawn that could stand some mowing.  I know a high-priced hose that doesn’t kink.

Have you ever inadvertently destroyed a possession precious to someone you loved?  What other items at the home-improvement store are over-priced?

93 thoughts on “And you Thought Kinky Costs a Lot!

  1. I once murdered my step-moms favorite fern that I was baby sitting while she was on holiday – does that count? I say Sara is a saint – I would have left you in the shed 🙂

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  2. Kathy, do you remember the day of Tyce and Alex’s wedding? The day that I borrowed my date’s (already) borrowed truck to pick Susan up at mom’s house? The day that I was told, “be careful when you drive it, it’s an extra long bed”? The day that I heard “extra long” and so I never assumed “extra wide”? The day that I smashed that extra long, borrowed twice, truck into a parked car? So yes, I have destroyed a possession of a friend of someone I sort of knew.
    But I think we should talk about the Herbie Curbie at Susan’s house. The Herbie Curbie.that you single handedly reduced to a long, plastic blob, slithering down the driveway like a ribbon of green molten lava with two wheels and axel sitting all alone at the end of that river. Lets talk about that day.

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    • Okay, yes, we are alike in this regard. It must be the doubly destructive DNA wound around and through our endless-misadventures. Yes, it’s the DNA, I say–the DNA.

      However, I have to confess that I don’t remember the garbage can (Herbie Curbie) I destroyed. Was there fire involved? I swear, I am a COMPLETE blank about that one. You will have to remind me.

      And Tyce’s wedding day–well, that will go down as a family classic, for sure. I suppose I should blog about it.

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  3. Kathy, lets talk about the Herbie Curbie at Susan’s house. The Herbie Curbie that you single handedly reduced to a long, slithering, blob of green molten lava-like ribbon of thick goo and the two wheels and and axel standing all alone at the end of this river, as if placed there as an afterthought. Lets talk about that day! LOL! love you!

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    • My sister has posted more of the story, but I’m going to have to get in touch with my other sister to find out the details. I can’t believe I don’t remember it! Wonder what that says about me?

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  4. Kathy, I loved reading this story! As someone who loves to count, and to internally create, I can truly relate to your predicament. Because we love our inner worlds so much, we’re sometimes not as enamoured with the outer world and simply being present in it. After nine years of meditation I am starting–just starting–to realize that the gift of Presence actually opens up a wellspring of love & well-being that our inner creativity and organization only skirts. Wishing us all many present moments and insights about why we’re choosing other than this, here, now. Love, Kathy

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    • You have explained perfectly my experience! Thank you! I will have to make sure Sara reads your comment. I probably need to do more meditating myself–especially considering that I now do none. Sad–I know. Love to you, too, my friend!

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      • Meditation abounds in slow. I would imagine that you may have experienced new-ish feelings while doing your art slowly.

        Me, too–in-a-hurry girl. My mother talks about me as a toddler “dashing headlong into life” and usually giggling. Those headlong dashes one time apparently resulted in a bloody crack to the skull when I ran square into the corner of a brick wall because I was looking back and giggling at Mom instead of watching where I was running or listening to her pleas for me to slow down as she became aware of my trajectory. Love the metaphors there!

        My recent forced slow-ness has been a revelation and I LOVE it! I may not get as much done, but I remember more of it, and I have that slow, meditative time.

        Meditation doesn’t have to be done with a yogi, I’m convinced. Being in the moment is meditative and calming for me and has cumulative effects. Gardening is like that for me, so too the mosaics. I just Ommmm along….

        LOVE your stairs. When will you be hiring yourself out and do you travel for your work?! >:-D

        Regarding the coals in the dustbin–hahahahahaa, but I bet you’d seen movies where folks were standing around the dustbin trying to get warm. Nobody pointed out that the Curby had changed material, that’s all!

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      • Though I have never actually traveled for the sake of art, I’ve more than once taken on art projects in the context of travel–sometimes even in extreme locations like Haiti. I completed a couple of great projects there, one for Habitat for Humanity Haiti.

        My friend Kathy also mentioned meditation. I suppose I need to start doing some–but maybe that’s what art is for me–the chance to slow down and focus in a more reflective than frantic way.

        Sorry, but your description of yourself as a child made me laugh. I think I must have been similar.

        Thanks for this wonderful, thoughtful comment, Laurel. Hugs to you!

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      • Kathy’s comment was what got me thinking about ways to meditate that don’t include sittin’ with legs crossed with hips that freeze up making standing a pain! So, I was wandering around tryin’ to say that it seems to me that you DO meditate in your own ways.

        Just fine to laugh at little-me. I may have cracked my head open, but apparently I was a happy kid!

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      • I have a photo of me when I was just starting to walk. I had been running away from my parents and when I turned, my pants twisted a bit to make it look like I was still running forward. I should post it. It makes me laugh! My parents always seemed to think that was me–they seemed to land on that captured moment as a significant picture.

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  5. Yes, there was fire involved! You dumped the coals from a grill into the Herbie. You all were using it to keep warm on a cold January moving day when she lived on St. Christopher. I was absen,t somehow but heard about the story later.

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    • I’m going to have to ask Susan about the event, as I remember NOTHING about it. But it sure sounds like something I would do. Folks are now asking, having read your comment, for more of the story. I may have to ask you to do a guest post about our family’s misadventures in these instances. You tell the stories so well!

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  6. OMG! I LOVE Those stairs! They look great! I can be a little too focused too, however, I suffer from project ADD. I start one thing, almost to completion, then get side tracked and start another, and then another. I still finish them all, but in segments!

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    • Hooray, Jamie–so happy you like my stairs. I still have a long way to go, but, at least, I’ve made a meaningful dent. And about your project ADD–at least you eventually finish. Sounds like you can develop enthusiasm for multiple projects–that’s a good thing.

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  7. My dear Kathy, I am truly astonished that you manage to produce such beautiful and creative art projects just because you need to get the task done. Surely there’s a happy medium (in either sense) somewhere in your doing life?

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    • I think that may be part of what I like about art projects. It’s easier for me to appreciate the process with these kinds of projects–so a good place for me to practice more balance. I’m so thrilled you think my work is beautiful. Thank you!

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  8. Oh NO. Poor hose.

    I once broke three wine glasses in a single dish-washing session, within five minutes of one another. That’s what happens when you try to wash dishes while drunk.

    Love the steps so far.

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  9. Oh my gosh, Kathy, I LOVE the stairs so far. What a happy place to travel up and down. I hope you’ll post more pictures when you’re done.

    One of the tests of a solid relationship, to me, is that MTM loves me no matter what I destroy. Sara feels the same about you. I’m sure of it.

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    • Oh, I will definitely post more photos–both of the completed project and more of the process involved, as well. I’m so delighted you like it so far. And you are right about the way Sara loves me. So happy to hear that you and MTM share a similar bond!

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  10. Your energy and creativity astounds me! Sorry I’ve been AWOL – moving and now flying to maritimes to see my family, so will be gone a while longer, just reading this in airport. Enjoy summer and the artwork enveloping your staircase!

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  11. This is fabulous, Kathy! I am sure I have destroyed many things in my rush to accomplish, but I am learning to slow down and enjoy the journey. The stairs look incredible already! Counting the days until I can see them in person.

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  12. So, are you ready for a left field question? I spent all of my insomnia induced free time last night reading back posts on your blog and I noticed something about your art that has me curious. I see over and over again the use of three circles. What is the significance of three for you? Please feed my inner nerd!

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    • I’m happy to feed your inner nerd, Sista, but I’m not sure. I’ll just tell you my off the cuff associations. I was born in the 3rd month of the year. There are 3 girls in my family of origin. I think of the 3 aspects of God–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Other than that I have no idea. I’m not like Sara, who has a favorite number.

      Was wondering who did all of that reading overnight. I woke up around 3:30 or 4 and noticed all of hits since midnight. At any rate, I miss you. Hope you get some sleep soon! Hugs to you, my dear!

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      • I really miss you guys. I know it sounds crazy, but I really grew close to you and Sara. I feel like I’ve known you two my whole life. It was me last night, doing my best to drive up your stats, lol. Nah, I was just so intrigued by your art I had to feed my sleepless nerd last night (when, truly, I should have been working on that memoir that I’ve been avoiding–Bad Writer!)…..This blogging thing turns us into stats maniacs, doesn’t it?

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      • Memoir avoidance is all too easy, I’m afraid.
        We feel the same way about you and Jim. Kind of amazing, isn’t it?
        And, yes, the stats. Isn’t if funny that I noticed that in the middle of night, when, by the way, I was also awake?

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  13. I just came back from a visit to my daughter and son-in-law’s home; almost made it out of there (after a week) without incidents. No such luck.
    I managed to break a pot cover (glass) and scrape some paint on the bumper of my son-in-law’s brand new car. Thankfully, grandma is still welcome back anytime. Yikes!!!

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    • Oh, I empathize, my friend. I hate it when I damage other people’s stuff–makes me sick. I hate being a klutz. I’m a notorious dropper-spiller-tripper. Good God!
      Glad you’re welcome back. It’s wonderful to be loved, isn’t it?

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  14. Hahahahahahahahahaha! Poor Sara!!! Sorry you had to sleep in the shed….sigh. At least you did have a pillow. You’re running out of homes to mortgage, so she’s probably right. I will say, if she likes her garden hoses like I like my bikes, I understand the willingness to sacrifice your home!

    I can not WAIT to see the steps completed!

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    • Your comment gave me a good laugh. Guess we are runnng out of houses to mortgage.

      I didn’t know you biked. Such great exercise. Sara used to do long distance riding, but I can’t persuade her to do it now. I think it would be fun.

      Great to hear from you, my friend. And thanks for the chuckle!

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      • OH MY!!!! Tell Sara to start riding, then she can talk YOU in to riding. Then we can ALL go on a long distance bike ride together!!!! We can put training wheels on your bike. For insurance purposes. 🙂 Thanks for “being my friend”. I think there’s a song …. I hope it runs through your head all day today and you think of Sophie…and Rose….

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      • I won’t have to be talked into riding. I’ve tried to tell her we should get bikes and ride together. I think it would be great fun–and great exercise. I ride a stationary bike at home–what I call the bike to nowhere–so I guess it does have training wheels, so to speak. LOL For insurance purposes–YES! (You got me laughing again in response to that!) Hope you have a great weekend!

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  15. Oh, Kathryn…thank you so much for the laughter! You’ve gone and made me laugh out loud! ha ha ha! I thought you were going to say you tripped over the hose and fell…so when you said you ran it over, I was relieved, but cracked up at the same time! Well done, my friend, well done. Love and blessings to you and your precious Sara. xoxo Julia

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    • So happy to have made you laugh, my dear. There’s one part of the story I left out, as it seemed to make the story too complicated. But I turned the mower off purposely before I went over it. I knew it would cut the damn thing. But apparently I didn’t wait long enough for the blade to stop spinning. Damn blade!

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  16. Kathy, I am really enjoying this escapade of yours. I think your stairs are looking amazing. Can’t wait to see what develops next! Sarah is a real peach for forgiving you so quickly. I’m sure you count your blessings every day. (Btw, how do you do all this DIY stuff wearing all those bangles? I’m stupified!)

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    • I don’t know, Monica. I have just always worn bracelets on my right wrist. They’re like part of the arm itself.

      So glad you’re enjoying this series and think the stairs are progressing nicely. Sara asks now if I think I can finish by 2014? She may be forgiving, but she sure can mock me mercilessly. Thanks for reading, my friend!

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  17. I once broke a tortoise ornament my mum had brought back from holiday. I thought it was stone and I was only about 8 at the time, so I sat it on my lap and started playing. I leaned over and felt something click. When I looked at the tortoise I had beheaded it! The neck had snapped because the material was actually a lot softer than I had first thought. I put some cello tape around it and put it back on the mantle. A few weeks later my mum realised but luckily I didn’t get in too much trouble.

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    • Poor tortoise. Love that you taped it and put it back on the mantle. Kids are funny. So happy to hear your mom forgave you. Just hope the decapitated, but duly taped, tortoise did, as well.

      Thanks for reading. Hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friend.

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  18. Kathy, your creative talents never fail to impress me! Those steps are going to be gorgeous! It never would have occurred to me to decorate steps the way you’re doing, but what fun they’ll be when they’re finished. Can’t wait to see the end result.

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    • Oh, Terri, you’re so sweet to say that. They are coming along. Hope to post an update about them on MOnday. Sometimes I come up with these ideas becasue funds are limited. The only unlimited variable in the equation is imagination. In other words–I’m poor! LOL Necessity IS the mother of invention.

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  19. This is hilarious. I love it! My spouse wasn’t willing to spring for the kink-free hose, so Sara’s one-up on me.

    I’m so excited about the steps. You’ve got a LOT done, in my opinion. Can’t wait to see more.

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  20. And here I thought that kink free would have cost less than kinky. Shows how much I know! 🙂
    Those steps are starting to look really great. I can’t wait to see the finished product. I hope you’re enjoying the process of painting them.

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    • So far painting the stairs has been a TON of fun. Who would have guessed? And I suppose you never know with kinky, what the cost will be! LOL Hope your weekend is going well, Jackie. Great to hear from you today!

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  21. And here I thought you would just paint the stairs a boring, plain, monochromatic shade of white. Ha! I should’ve known better. Looks great so far!

    Glad you weren’t too hosed by your mowing mishap.

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    • Ha, ha! Hosed–no. Yes, you should have known better, Mark. But wait till tomorrow’s update. The stairs are coming along quite nicely. Hope you’ve enjoyed your weekend. I know they mean a lot more now than they used to.

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  22. Don’t tell Sara please Kathy, but I laughed as I read this story! But oh, poor Sara, I can totally relate to her need for a kink free hose!! Watering the garden is meditation in itself, did you know that? The last thing you need is a kink in the hose! You and Sara should switch roles, just so you can try it out. Let Sara mow the lawn and you hose the garden, then you’ll understand. Then you might actually see the hose as you mow in future.

    As amusing as your writing is Kathy, (at Sara’s kink free hoses expense!) try to be kind to Sara’s hose….. 🙂

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    • I have to admit to using the hose a number of times since then, and I have to admit, I’m in LOVE with it, as well. Believe me, I will NEVER mow over another hose. NEVER! Glad you laughed, however. This was meant to be funny. It certainly wasn’t at the time, as I felt like a real heel.

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  23. Too funny, Kathy! I know you must have felt awful when you realized the lawn mower had severed Sara’s new hose, but at least you got a very amusing blog post out of the situation. 😉 It totally sounds like something I would do, even though I tend to lean away from the physically klutzy side in favor of being Overly Daft most times. Haha.

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    • That’s how we always look at accidents these days. “At least I can blog about it,” I say. I DID feel dreadful about the unfortunate carnage, but glad you got a laugh. Hope summer at the harbour is going well, my friend.

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  24. A great post – DIY and humor! I was laughing as I read it which made Willie curious, so I ended up reading it aloud.

    I’m also the poop-picker-upper in our house. Although not as cheerful as you. We call it “poo patrol” and the poop-generator (i.e. Rosie, the dog) is a very enthusiastic participant. Pity she can’t do the picking up as well . . .

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    • Oh, Lisa, you have made my day–or night, at least. I’m awake with a sore throat. Have always thought of you as the first person to laugh at what I wrote, back when I began blogging–my very first subscriber. Delighted to hear you got another good laugh and glad that Willie got to share in the amusement. Congrats again on your snow!

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      • After the cold weekend, I have a head cold and sore throat too . . . Hope you feel better soon.

        I was telling Willie this morning how well your blog is doing. Over 110 000 hits – and each post gets lots of comments. Congrats, it’s well deserved!

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  25. LOL! I love your sense of humor. I suppose kink-free is a lot like other reduced products (sugar-free, fat-free, salt-free, etc.). You pay more for what you don’t get.

    I love what I’ve seen so far in regards to your DIY stair project. 🙂 (As you can tell, I am slowly catching up because I tend to be single minded with purpose, too.)

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    • So glad you got a good laugh out of this one. You make a great point. We pay more for what we don’t get. Too funny. Bless you in your efforts to catch up. You are such a dear and faithful reader. Hugs to you, dear Robin!

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  26. I’m so sorry about the hose, but happy that you were able to replace it quickly! Your stairs are coming along very nicely – how pretty!! I love how a small change can give a house a whole new feel! My husband and I recently removed the carpeting in the upstairs hallway and all the way down the stairs – revealing a beautiful, original hardwood surface underneath (our house is from 1928). What a difference it made (the carpet was N-A-S-T-Y)!!

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    • We have done similar things in our house, which is actually 20 years older than yours. Our second floor was covered in the most god-awful, brown, industrial carpet this side of Mississippi. I know how it feels. Congrats on de-carpet-ing your hall!

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  27. My partner swears I am the most accident prone girl he has met – and a few things of his have unfortunately crossed my path in the last 18 months .. like his laptop .. and the rear tail lights of the troopy …. his DVD player ( which to be fair was made in the 90’s ) You are not alone ! Xx

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  28. Pingback: Lovely Day « Strega Jewellry's Blog

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