AFTER an hour of "just a little more white, two squirts of blue, a dash
of black, perhaps a tad more white," the paint-store clerk got my liter to the exact
shade I wanted. With a sigh of relief, he pounded the lid on. "Now what do I do if I
need more paint?" I asked. "Don't come back here," he begged.
IN A hurry to keep an appointment, we left our phone out on
the patio, where it got drenched by a spring rain. Home again, I drained the water
out of it and plugged it back in. It still worked, and I promptly forgot about the
incident. A few days later my father-in-law picked up the receiver to make a call.
More water dripped out. Looking perplexed, he turned to my husband.
"Nick," he asked in a serious tone, "have you been working on the plumbing
AFTER a two-week vacation, a man returned to his office and
one of his fellow workers asked him what kind of time he'd had. "I spent the
whole two weeks helping my wife paint the rooms in our house," he groaned.
"Does she do that often?" "Well," he replied, "when we
moved in a few years ago, the guest room was nine by twelve. Now it's eight by
WHILE I was working at a lumberyard, a customer asked where
we kept two-by-fours. I directed him to the pile, and asked, "How long do you want
them?" "Quite a while!" was his reply. "I'm nailing them to a
WE WERE staying at a country resort and became friendly with
the handyman. "My neighbour has a nice little cottage for sale, case you're
interested," he told us. Despite its run-down appearance, we fell in love with
the place and bought it "as is." The day we moved in, our new friend
dropped by. "You got a good buy, " he admitted. "Cottage needs
some work though. Roof leaks, plumbing's shot and the well runs dry in the
summer." Dismayed, I retorted, "Why didn't you tell us that before we
bought it?" "Weren't neighbours then," he replied.
"HEAR you've been having car trouble," said one
neighbour to another. "Yes," replied the car owner. "I bought a
new carburetor that saved thirty percent on gas, a new transmission that saved fifty
percent on gas, and a new set of spark plugs that saved forty percent on gas."
"So then what happened?" asked the neighbour. "After I drove about
forty kilometres, the gas tank overflowed."
PLANNING to do some repair work in our home, I went to the
nearest sawmill for materials. I was looking for suitable boards when the foreman
asked if I needed help. I told him that I had tried to find some boards without
knots in them. He looked quietly at me and said, "With out branches, where
would you expect the little birds to sit and sing?"
MY HUSBAND, Keith, an avid do-it-your-selfer with a library
of self-help books, tackled our two bathrooms with ceramic tile, and the job turned out
rather well. Shortly after, a guest commented, "I didn't know you knew how to
do this kind of work." Modestly, Keith replied, "I learned by tile and
MY HUSBAND and his father had started to perform some
miracles on a broken house appliance. They had the necessary knowledge and tools to
do the repairs, but discovered they needed an extra pair of hands. "Don't you
own a Workmate or something similar?" my father-in-law asked my husband.
"Yes, of course," he answered. "She's in the kitchen. Go and get
MY PARENTS, who are real do-it-your-selfers, were sprucing up
their basement. They picked out bright orange shag carpeting and then spread it over
our lawn in order to measure and cut it. Neighbours watched curiously. Before
long, the teenage daughter of one neighbour spoke up. "Our family has taken a
vote," she said. "I've been elected to tell you that if we have any voice
in this, we would prefer you leave your lawn the colour it is."
I LOVE to work with wood and decided to carve a rocking horse
for our unborn grandchild. As parts of the horse were shaped, my intentions became
clear to my next-door neighbour. "You must be about to have a grandchild,"
he called over to me. "Our first," I replied, beaming. "I have
six," he went on. "After the first three you'll buy something plastic at a
MY FRIEND Jackie, a busy mother of five boys, frequently did
maintenance jobs on her house. One day, after hours on a ladder painting the upper
windows, she complained to her husband that she'd felt dizzy. For her next birthday
she received some scaffolding.
IT WAS our first house, and we were avid do-it-yourselfers,
full of ambitious plans. We painted and wallpapered, rebuilt rickety steps and
repeatedly mopped and patched a leaky basement. One Sunday night we fell into bed,
exhausted from a weekend of projects. When I turned out the bedside lamp, a ghostly
silver light flooded the room. "Look," I whispered. "The moon is
almost full." "Don't worry," my husband murmured into his pillow.
"We'll empty it in the morning."
MY BROTHER and sister-in-law complement each other perfectly.
Ernie has absolutely no mechanical ability, and everything he touches seems to fall
apart. Rita, on the other hand, is adept with hammer and paintbrush. As Rita
was taking friends through the house, showing them her latest handiwork three-year-old
Peter trailed along. "I paneled this wall," Rita pointed out.
"And I antiqued that dresser and painted that chair." The impressed guests
ooh-ed and ah-ed. Finally Peter, who had been silent until now, pointed to the
ceiling. "And my daddy," he said proudly, "put in that light
MY HUSBAND'S parents agreed to let us use their basement and
woodworking tools to build a puppet theater. Time and again my husband would have to
rush away before he cleaned up the floor around the radial-arm saw. He never heard a
complaint, but always came back to find the sawdust had been swept up. One day, he
left more than the usual mess. Upon returning he found a sign taped to the saw.
Printed in a firm hand, it read: "Whatsoever a man saweth, that shall he
WHEN we bought an older home, my husband and I decided to
redo the whole house. The neighbours soon grew accustomed to the sound of drills,
saws and hammers. Anything we couldn't do ourselves we contracted out. My
husband painted the outside cream, with a brown trim. The next natural step to
complete the outside would be eaves troughing. A local contractor drove up while we
were both at work and started installing eaves troughing that matched the brown trim.
In mid-afternoon my husband arrived home from work. From atop the ladder, the
contractor called down, "It matches pretty well, doesn't it?" "Yes,
it sure does," replied my husband, "considering I haven't ordered any eaves
troughing." The contractor was supposed to have done a job next door.
MY HANDYMAN husband came in from his workshop complaining
that he couldn't fix the wheels on his garden tractor because the bearing wouldn't come
off the shaft. A little later he went back out to tackle the problem again.
When he returned I asked how things were going. "It's all fixed," he said
brightly. "This time I attacked with a vengeance. That's the tool I
should have used in the first place."