Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Twenty-One Days Until TEOTWAWKI - Day 13 (Networking)

I know I did the whole “one, two, skip a few” thing last week, and I apologize.  It was Deus Ex Machina’s last week of involuntary summer vacation.  He started his new job this week. 

Our goal was to finish up that room, and we were successful.  We moved our bed into the room this past weekend, cleaned up and reorganized the office – which is an office again!  Joy!

I didn’t have a lot of time to blog last week, because we were hanging ceiling and sanding floors. 

We have a real bedroom again.  I feel like we should have a party or something to commemorate the end of the Room Renovation Era. 

I’m a multi-tasking kind of person, which drives Deus Ex Machina crazy.  He likes to start and finish ONE entire project, before he starts on a new one.  I like to do as many things all at once as I can fit into the schedule.  So, like, if I’m going to leave the house, I want to do ALL of the things I need to do while I’m out so that I only have to make one trip. 

The living room floor is hardwood.  As a suburban kid, I grew up with wall-to-wall carpeting, and it's taken me a while to get over this belief that carpet is the best flooring.  Sometime ago, I decided that we needed an area rug on the wood floor in the living room, and I found one on a Facebook yard sale site.  It was an Oriental-style rug, but it's not wool.  It's some cheap, synthetic fiber that was really hard to keep clean - especially with our dogs.  In fact, we couldn't even vacuum it with our very expensive Dyson vacuum cleaner, specifically designed for pet hair, because the fibers of the rug wouldn't let anything go.  So, it always looked dirty.
Worse though was what it was doing to my floor.  A while back, I lived up the corner of the rug, and I realized that it was sanding the floor underneath it.  I decided I wanted to pull up the rug, refinish the floor (again - I've already done it twice since we bought our house, using a hand sander, which is a big, time-consuming chore). 
Then, we started this room renovation and installed wood floors, which needed to be sanded, and I figured, if we’re going to be sanding the floor in the back room,  we could also do the living floor.  There’s no point in renting a sander twice, right? 

So, while we had that really awesome sander and two gallons of professional grade polyurethane,  I decided to do the living room floor, too. 

My house has been torn up and topsy-turvy for a long time, but it was even more nutty, ridiculously cluttered, and barely livable for the past week.

Doing all of that work would have been really difficult without the right tools.  We rented a sander, but there were other tools that we needed or that just made the job a lot easier.  We have a skill saw, but a table saw is better for cutting the floor boards and the tongue and groove pine.  We also could have used finishing nails, hand-hammered (like we did when we installed the cedar tongue-and-groove wallboards in our bathroom), but a nail gun is so much easier and faster.  We’re very fortunate to have a neighbor who had what we needed and freely lent those tools to us for the duration of our project.   So lucky!

I have a friend who runs an organization called “The Resiliency Hub” up in Portland (the original Portland, which is on the East Coast J).  The goal of her company is to assist others with preparedness – not in a Doomsday Preppers kind of way, but rather in a we could all benefit from being more resilient. 

Her primary focus is on permaculture with an emphasis on transitioning urban and suburban areas into edible landscapes.  And a big part of what she does is community building.  Like me (and, yes, networking or community building is one of the strategies I always recommend when it comes to survival - humans are pack animals.  We need each other, in spite of our strong American propensity toward individualism), she advocates for a strong community.

One of the things her company offers is a “tool library.”  It’s a shed, basically, full of … well, tools!  Garden tools, kitchen tools (like pressure canners!), home improvement tools.  All sorts of stuff that people donated.  Members can borrow – like at a regular old library – anything they need.

In a TEOTWAWKI situation, it’s important that we know where we can find opportunities, like that, because most of us won’t be able to afford to buy our own, and for a lot of tools, there’s no need for everyone to own one. 

I mean, using that pneumatic nailer … COOL to the nth degree … but we have no place to store one, first, and second, how often does the average homeowner need to use a nail gun with a compressor?  It was cool, but we’re probably not going to head over to the big box home improvement store to buy our own. 

We are very blessed to have a neighbor who had what we needed when the need arose, and that our relationship is such that he was willing to loan it to us.


  1. All great ideas and we have borrowed and swapped tools as well. And sometimes rented since we don't have a cool program like that here in Boise. I wish we did! Good for you getting so many projects done I bet that feels great

    1. Yes, it does feel good! My house is so awesome and airy and bright and OPEN! It's the same house it was two weeks ago. It's amazing how much a difference it makes when things are cleared out and less stacked on top of each other.

      One thing this experience with trying to fit everything into a smaller space has solidified for me is that I could never be one of those people who hoarded things and lived in clutter. It makes me feel boxed in and claustrophobic, and I am so UNproductive. I just suddenly have more energy. Is that weird?