Tag Archives: Women

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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Odz n Enz by Valerie J. Patterson

I decided to finally voice my thoughts and figured this was as good a place as any.  What follows are musings and ponderings I either don’t have the answers to or have just been considering their plausibility.  Feel free to weigh in with a comment or an answer or a musing of your own.  Today is a bit of a thought free-for-all.

****    Last Thursday I was the guest speaker at a function for the 20th Century Woman’s Club, which is a charitable organization that–among other things–provides stuffed bears for children who are admitted to the hospital as well as providing funds for the upkeep of local playgrounds.  As I spoke about my book, The Lincoln Room, which is a ghost story, a section of the lights went out.  Everyone suggested the hostess slyly turned off one of the switches.  However, a closer inspection of said switches proved all were on, but the lights were still off.  Toward the end of my talk, the lights came on and remained on during the meal portion of the event until someone asked a question about The Lincoln Room after which the lights promptly went back out.  Definitely one of the odz in this blog today, wouldn’t you agree?

****    Why are a man’s dress pants called trousers while a woman’s dress pants are called slacks?

****    How come when women go to see a movie they sit side-by-side, but whenever two or more men go to see a movie they put one or more seats between each guy?

****    It’s hard work being a woman.  I mean just whose idea was it that women had to shave their legs and armpits?  Down through the ages, how did it come about that women had to have smooth legs and hairless pits?  Think about it.  Did Carl Caveman come home from the quarry one day, take a look at his wife’s hairy legs and decide then and there that she’d be more enticing beneath the bearskin without the hair on her legs?  And what about those pits?  After dragging the wife home after a dinner party of dinosaur eggs and tiger meat at Rocky Boulder’s cave, did Carl Caveman look down and suddenly become disgusted by Candy Caveman’s hairy armpits?  What served as the first razor?  A piece of sharpened flint?  Or perhaps Candy Caveman decided to heat up some tree sap and drizzled it on her legs.  Layering some banana leaves next, she waited a given amount of time and then ripped away, pulling out that offensive leg hair in the process.  Just how did this tradition come about?

****    Why is it that when a guy goes into a store to buy necessities he spends three bucks on a deodorant stick?  Yet, when a gal goes in for the same thing she spends half the national budget and comes out with a little gift bag containing half a dozen bottles, a few tubes, and some gadgets that resemble weapons of medieval torture.

Worst of all, we do this to ourselves in our strive to look younger, more attractive, less wrinkled and to walk around the mall with the same man who just spent three bucks on a deodorant stick, threw on a pair of black jeans and a polo shirt, and ten minutes later is asking if we’re ready yet.

****    Why are cats automatically drawn to the one person in the room who dislikes cats?

****    When did comic books stop being comic books and become graphic novels?

****    Why does most lipstick taste like something you’d find on the bottom of your shoe that you’d never in a million years smear across your lips?

****    I’ll leave you with this little tidbit that definitely fits into the odz category: I often put my blue tooth earpiece on just so I can sing in the car and not have passersby think I’m talking to myself.  😛  😛

I look forward to your thoughts and comments.  Until next time, I hope you are well and enjoying the first buds of spring.          Valerie