I am Woman, Hear Me Roar … With Power Tools! By Valerie J. Patterson

I believe I completely know how Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor must have felt each time he held a power tool in his hand.  Sunday evening the bubbly hubby and I decided to finally open our screened-in outdoor living area so that we could take advantage of some of the cool evenings that have followed tremendous heat and high humidity days.  Ordinarily, Steve has this done in early May, and usually has dinner made and the outdoor table set for a nice little evening free of bugs and whatnot.

I love our outdoor living space because I can sit on our very generous swing and place a table in front of it, my laptop on top of the table, beverage of choice beside it, and allow the creativity to move my nimble fingers across the keys, their steady tap-tap-tap beating out the rhythm of a great mystery to be solved by my favorite heroine.

But I digress.

My swing turned 13 years old in May, and so did the cushion, which accidentally got left out in the elements instead of being securely tucked away for the winter.  Sadly, it needed replaced.  Not an easy task, I assure you since I wanted something very comparable to the original cushion.  So, Steve and I went shopping for what seemed like the eighth or tenth time, having taken back the cushion we bought in May because–while it looked nice in the store–it did not quite suit the character of the swing.

While we were out Steve said he wanted to buy a power/pressure washer so the cleaning of the outdoor living space would move faster and more thoroughly.  We finally settled on a washer about the same time we settled on the new swing cushion, which not only suits the character of the swing, but also passes the “Can I nap on it comfortably?” test.  We’re driving home and I asked, “Will you be power washing tonight?” Even though it’s 90+ degrees and humid as can be.  I’m anxious to use the swing and new cushion.

He shakes his head affirmatively, “I have a new toy, er, new tool to test, so I very well may power wash tonight.”

As we empty the trunk of our purchases, I caution that perhaps it’s not the best time to power wash given the fact that within seconds of being out of the air conditioning everything sticks to skin, and it’s as hot as a pizza oven outside.

He nods, considering my comments, but I can tell by the glint in his eye that he’s going to get that power washer out of the box and be outside before I can make the same cautionary comment.  And I’m right.

Sitting on the sofa in the house–where it’s not only cool and comfortable, but also humidity-free–I listen to the whir of the power washer and wonder what all the excitement is about power tools.  Changing into a pair of old capris and a tee, bare foot, and ready to get soaked, I open the side door and stick my head out.

“How’s it going?” I ask as I look around and notice everything is white again and spotless.

“This thing works like a dream,” he responds.  “I don’t think I need to repaint the banisters after all.”

I notice that he’s cleaned the screened walls, the banisters, and the flooring, but all the furniture is outside on the lawn.  “Can I power wash?” I ask.

“Sure, just put something on your feet.”

I grab his sandals from inside the door, slip my feet into them, and follow him out to the lawn.  He hands me the power gun, which isn’t as heavy as I imagined, and instructs me on how to use it.  I aim it at the first patio chair and squeeze the trigger.  A 46-degree jet of water shoots out and obliterates the winter grime covering the patio chair.  Instantly, I hear the tool man’s guttural, “ooh-ooh-ohho-oh” in my mind and nearly belt it out myself.

Steve turns the chair over and I do the underside before he flips it back over for me to do the topside again.  Instantly–and I do mean instantly–the patio chair looks brand new … like I just brought it home from the store.

I grin.  I can understand why Steve jokingly–or was it–said he had a new toy to try out.  I move onto the next patio chair, then the table, then my ornamental flag my friend, Sharon gave me eons ago.  Hah!  What do you know?  The flag looks as good as the day I first set it out!  Now, I’m ready to power wash everything in sight!  Let me at it!

I go back into the screened enclosure and look at my old friend the swing.  “You haven’t done this yet?” I inquire?

Steve shakes his head.  “Not yet.”

“Good.”  And I unleash my jet stream of water and soap onto the swing.  Last winter’s grime is no match for my, er, Steve’s new power washer!

I release the trigger, lower the gun, and stare at the now clean swing glistening with droplets of water.  I look toward the sky and unleash my own version of the tool grunt.

Yes, indeed, I am woman.  I use power tools.  Hear me roar!

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16 responses to “I am Woman, Hear Me Roar … With Power Tools! By Valerie J. Patterson

  1. OMGosh. I can SO picture this, Valerie, and I LOVE it. 🙂 In fact, I think I have to print this blog for my husband (who doesn’t use computers) to read. He’s going to love it, especially since he knows the lure of pressure washers. We got our deck furniture all set up Mother’s Day weekend, but haven’t been able to use it much due to June Gloom, er rain and colder weather. Congrats on getting your space all set up for the summer. Will the humidity drive you indoors or can you use the screened porch all summer long?

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Thanks, Laurie! Very glad you enjoyed this piece. Sadly, yes, the humidity will drive us indoors most days. It’s a very shady enclosure, but there are days the humidity drives the temps deep into the 90s and beyond! When it’s sticky like that, no amount of shade can combat it. This week has been gorgeous weather, and we’ve been out there from after work to near bedtime. No phone. No TV. Just peace and quiet! I live at the near top of a steep hill that overlooks a valley. About the only noise we get is from the train across the valley. The engineer blows the horn three full blasts and that’s it for the noise. The enclosure is my slice of heaven! 😛

  2. That’s what I need to get that grimy outdoor furniture of mine clean. The ‘jet’ setting on the hose nozzle just doesn’t get the job done.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      You’re exactly right, Linda. The pressure in the garden hose is just not enough. That’s why Steve wanted the power washer. It works wonders! I was amazed at how fast it zipped off the grime.

      Thank you for reading, Linda! I appreciate that a lot. 😛

  3. Great story!!! My husband is a pressure washing fool and sometimes I worry he’s gonna wash the whole house down!

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      That’s me! That’s me! 😛 I tell ya, I don’t know how we’ve lived without one! Steve says the siding on the house is next. I say, let me at it! 😛

      Thank you for reading, Jillian. Tell your husband to keep on power washing! He’s got my seal of approval! 😛 😛

  4. Like Laurie I got a visual from your post. We have two pressure washers though I didn’t know you could put soap in them or maybe we can’t in ours. One is a commercial that both Jack and said and Rick (son) says that there is no way I have the strength to use. The other one I’m going to try. I hope I enjoy it as much as you do.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Yes, do give it a try, Lavada. It’s fun to blast off the dirt and grime! 😛

      Our pressure washer has two soap tanks, one on each side. It also has 4 different nozzles for different degrees of pressure. Steve used the Zero Degree nozzle the other day and literally wrote my name on our concrete sidewalk. When I saw that, I asked, “What on earth would a person use zero degrees for?” It’s not likely to be used on anything you want to keep around! lol

      Thank you for reading, Lavada. Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

  5. Valerie J. Patterson

    UPDATE: Finished off the outdoor space yesterday by purchasing two throw pillows for the swing. Liked them so well, I took a nap out there last evening. It was a very cool and pleasant evening last night. I was out there until bedtime, at which point, Steve asked, “Are you planing on sleeping out here all night?” 😛

    I was up very early this morning with plans of going out there to get some writing done after a couple chores, but it was already hot and humid by 7:30. Blah!

    I hope all who have their fathers still with them, celebrate Sunday with them. My own father is gone, so the day will be somewhat difficult for me. We’ll be taking Steve’s dad out for dinner, and that will keep my mind occupied. Happy Father’s Day to your husbands and your fathers!

  6. So love to read your blogs, Valerie. This one made me laugh so hard. I wish AJ could get as enthusiastic about power tools. He bought a lawn mower a couple of weeks ago and on arriving home it sat in the box, unopened and not even peeked at, until we almost couldn’t leave the house for the height of the grass – probably six days later. He has many other attributes though and is cooking lunch as I type this. I suppose his power tool of choice would be the oven 🙂

    • I can relate to AJ. Right now all three kids are out mowing the lawn trying to get it done before it rains. It’s sprinkling now. Talk about a slap stick comedy. Rick is on the fast one, Kris is on the other one and when I went out there she said, “Mom, this isn’t cutting anything.” She had that right all you could see from where she’d been were lawnmower tracks. So we trudged back to Rick and he said “did you pull out the yellow knob.” Huh, what yellow knob. He got off his mower and was walking back to Kris’s and Linda came up from the barn looking harried. She gave Rick a sort of woe is me look and said, “Now you’re going to be mad but I can’t get the quad started”. The last I saw all 3 were heading for the barn. And, now I can hear the lawn mowers so I think they are back in business. I’m going to need to learn how to do some of this stuff but maybe later if we’re going to retain Rick’s sanity.

      • Valerie J. Patterson

        Lavada, what jewels you have in all 3 kids! And, I think Rick will be grateful that you’re thinking about his sanity! 😛

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Tricia, thank you for your kind words and for reading. I’m especially glad you enjoy what you read! I like that AJ’s power tool of choice is the over! Steve’s a good cook, too. I love his garlic chicken. Absolutely incredible! 😛

  7. Your post had me laughing. What is it with men and power tools? Mine’s the same except he will not let me near any of them, including the power washer. What a brilliant tool it is. First time he used ours, the patio chair disappeared across the garden and into next door’s such was the force! Wish he’d let me try it, though. I’m itching to get my hands on it!

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Loved the patio chair story, Kit! I had images of doing just that when I tried the power washer, too. It’s an amazing gadget! Dirt and grime fear it! 😛 Now, as soon as the hubby turns his back, get that power washer out and give it a go! You’re gonna love it! 😛

      Thanks, Kit, for stopping and reading and commenting. Hope your weekend is warm and sunny!

  8. Power tools are really nice because they can make your life easier if you are doing lots of do-it-yourself handyman at home. ;“**

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