The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

Kitchen Reno -Day 6-7 – Divorce Time

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I really don’t know how to start this post. The past couple of days have been so horrific my blog site doesn’t have enough storage to hold all the words needed to tell the story.

As things were progressing along very nicely, it only stood to reason that Nat would hit a road block somewhere along the line. He began in all innocence to start the drawer assembly on the Waste/Recycle Bin. The variation of this cabinet contained only 2 drawers, but 3 drawer fronts. Each Instruction Booklet included in each cabinet comes with several variations for that sized cabinet. The Waste/Recycle Bin (believe it or not) has 9. We just happened to pick the variation from Hell.

Sunday turned out to be Nat’s day of rest. Really didn’t do him much good, because once (Easter) Monday rolled along, he fell through the Rabbit Hole and it was not releasing him for love nor money. With the 2 actual drawers assembled, he began putting on the cabinet fronts/faces. There was one small upper drawer and one deep bottom drawer where the recycle bins would sit. This bottom drawer was deep enough that it required 2 fronts that had to be joined together, to make it look like there were actually 3 drawers in this cabinet. Totally confused now!! You should have been here when dear hubby was trying to get his brain cells wrapped around the steel bar attachment, the catch/hooks, the other rail bars for the drawer and which screw went where he had to deal with to attach the 2 fronts together. I’ll tell you right now he had jumped further ahead than he should have.

While Nat was quietly working away, I was in the office, minding my own business. Within an hour or two he came into the warmth of the house, sat in the chair beside the computer desk and stated “Something’s not right with the drawers”.  We returned to the garage and sure enough, all 3 faces were colliding with each other. The Top drawer was too low and the bottom drawer was too high. As I reviewed the Instruction Booklet, it became apparent that the top drawer railings were in one hole too low. They should be placed one notch above in order for the drawer front to align with the very top of the cabinet. It would then allow the bottom drawer to fit properly. So long story short, we moved the top drawer up, but the bottom drawer was now out by a 1/4″. Again, back to the instruction book. I insisted that Nat take the bottom drawer apart, which was a huge task in itself. Finding out how to remove the drawer front/faces took another 15 minutes in research. With a lot of struggle the drawer was unassembled and the parts laid out to where they were supposed to go.

If you only knew how much I’m shortening this posting. With every move Nat took and every twist and turn we both took, it involved me going back and forth from the garage to inside the house to the computer to do research, either on the Ikea site or You Tube. Up two steps to the house, down two steps to the garage. Shivering and shaking from the cold, this went on for several hours Monday afternoon. With my logic and Nat’s constant questioning we somehow got it figured out. It would have helped, however, if Nat had a bit more patience and took the time to totally read the Instruction Book where (to me, at least) it was clearly marked out which variation you were to deal with. He, on the other hand, was going by the pictures starting from the first page – God knows, a different variation altogether. You have no idea how this can screw things up in a big, big way!!

Cold, tired, frustrated and even mad at each other – he didn’t get what I was saying, and I really didn’t get was he was saying. Back and forth, back and forth, up the stairs to the office, down the steps to the garage and pleading with each other “just let me finish, will ya?” He was so confused by now but his heart was in the right place. How can you get mad at any man that is trying so hard to save time and money on a huge project that is pretty much your own doing? I did, at one point, promise to divorce him if he didn’t at least stop for the day – it was all too much.

We had planned to have our own little Easter supper Monday night. We both retreated for the day and I baked up a turkey breast with smashed little red potatoes and another side. Sitting at the table in silence anyone could tell what we were both thinking about. I could still see it in Nat’s eyes he wanted to get this one particular cabinet done. Thank God, there was a hockey game on and we were in for the night.

Tuesday morning it was apparent from our droopy eyelids and baggy bags underneath, that neither one of us got any sleep. We were both thinking about the same damn thing – the cabinet from hell. Not to brag, I knew I had figured the whole thing out and it was one little picture in the Instruction Book (the section for the right variation) that caught my eye and it came to me in the middle of the night!!! We both told our stories of what we were thinking. Nat was ready to take the whole Waste/Recycle Bin back to Ikea, bite the bullet and get another one. He felt he had drilled so many extra holes and cut the steel attachment bar that nothing was going to work no matter what. By now I’m thinking “no bloody way, we’ve gone this far”, and I told him to just follow me to the garage and listen to what I had to say.

We headed out to what is now the Ikea Storage/Work Arena wherein I checked the Instruction Book to make sure I was right. I then proceeded to explain to him – including showing – what was wrong. The position of two bloody screws was all it took to make us both go out of our minds. Fix those, add your spacers, rehang the steel support and other drawer rails and you’d be all set. He would have to wait, however, as we had other plans for this morning.

Monday night we decided to head into the big City Tuesday morning. We were so low on fresh fish, chicken and other Costco items, we needed to stock up so we we could at least eat before we killed each other. With confidence in my step, I even told Nat to stop in at Tim Horton’s on the way home. Damn, it was chocolate glazed donut time for me and whatever Nat wanted for our lunch. “Nough said!!

It’s all logic. That’s the Ikea Way. Follow the little man, look at the coloured parts, read the numbers, avoid the “Xs” and flip to the page in the Instruction Book as it shows. How hard can it be?? BUT you really have to study the Instruction Books a couple of times and think things through in your head. It’s Imperative!!!!! Nat has a tendency to pick up and just get going. This is why he’s not a game player. Easily frustrated when he doesn’t get it right, conflicted logic from that of Ikea, and no preplanning. I give him a lot of credit when it comes to regular cabinetry building – he knows exactly what he’s doing. The Ikea Way, however, is such a time saver and makes sense to me. But then again, I’m a games player – logical games, card games, math games, puzzles, etc. I can’t get enough.

After our lunch, Nat returned to the garage and Voila!!!! Waste/Recycle Cabinet done. So, along with the catch/hooks being fixed, the spacers added, the 2 fronts clamped together we had bloody lift-off. Oh God, Thank God and pray to the heavens above.

It goes without saying that Nat wasn’t going to stop now. I couldn’t talk him into taking a break if I hit ’em over the head. NO, he wanted to continue on with the second cabinet with 4 drawers. A lot easier but still had one (albeit) small variation. I had finally convinced him that he had to compare each Box ID Number with the Purchase Order so he knew exactly which cabinet he was building up and what variation he was looking for. This cabinet had 3 small drawers and one medium bottom drawer. No face connections, but just enough you had to be careful where each one of those catch/hook things went on. As stated before, it made a difference in the alignment of the face fronts from top to bottom. You really have to learn to trust the Ikea Way at some point in time, even though Ikea can screw up now and then. Trust me, read everything, look at every colour coding, check every up/down arrow and page flipper drawing to make sure you’re on the right page!!!!

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Author: Twila

Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, with 5 sisters and a brother. Now retired, my husband and I travel, play golf and am slowly renovating our new (old) home. After my kidney transplant in 1999, we've learned to enjoy life to the fullest. Nat and I have driven across Canada, taken an Alaskan cruise and drove home via the Northern United States. We've also been to Mexico, the Caribbean, the East Coast of Canada and Cape Breton. We've done the "Snowbird" thing, having lived in Destin, Florida for a couple of months of the year. In 2007 we changed our travel plans in order to move into and renovate our new "old" home, but hope to someday get back on the road again. We also love returning to Scotland (Nat's origin of birth) to visit his family and tour the Highlands and surrounding Isles.

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