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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 again?"

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 eleven!"

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 house."

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 error."

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 her."

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 discount store."

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 bulb."

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 sweep."

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."

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Last updated October 02, 2015 by Becquet Enterprises