Wednesday, July 14, 2010


This was originally posted in 4 parts back in August under AS A RESULT OF DAD'S BATHTUB ADVENTURE (# 12-15). I had originally posted it in July with daily short quips on my face book (as presented here).  That is when my daughter, Patty, decided that I needed to start a blog. AND HERE I AM! 

My father is 99 and he had an accident last week. It seems that he fell butt first into the tub while trying to pull his pants up. He wasn’t hurt, but I had to call 911 for help getting him out of the bathtub. So, I have been trying to design a way to put a removable handrail across the opening to the tub.

BLOW-BY-BLOW day 1: The first problem I encountered was, "How am I going to fasten the end of the pole to the walls?" The guy at the lumber yard sold me 2 wide L brackets. Didn't take this lady long to realize that if I screwed the brackets to the wall and the pole to the brackets; then I would have to crawl over or under to take a bath. NOPE that's a deal breaker.

BLOW-BY-BLOW day 2: Well, I cut the wood pieces yesterday and only dropped the circular saw once (a personal best for me), Then I jigged U slots in the top of each board. Is till have all my fingers so will consider it a success. Next, I painted the side of each board and the railing. By this time it was afternoon and sweat was dripping off my nose onto the boards. Time to quit!

BLOW-BY-BLOW day 3: Ok, I now have both sides of the boards and the bottom of the railing painted. Only knocked over the paint can once and dropped the paintbrush twice. In typical Karen style it would be easier to describe where I didn’t get paint on myself; lets just say I now have a basecoat most everywhere! Once I sand the ants off tomorrow, I should be able to put the finish coat on.

BLOW-BY-BLOW day 4:   Ran into a snag today…My stud finder isn’t working…no surprise to me….mine hasn’t been working for years!

BLOW-BY-BLOW day 5:  I put the final coat of spray paint on the boards and rail
(only spraying the cat, slightly). And I’ll be right back right after an announcement from our sponsors……CpC (cats protecting cats).  Buy this special outfit to protect your cat from
unnecessary spray painting accidents….$40.00 all profits go to the cats in West Africa.

BLOW-BY-BLOW day 6:   I would start off with CUSS words but I don’t want to offend anyone (so I am saying them out loud as I type). I finally got the stud finder to work (need new batteries – don’t we all). I searched for 20 minutes only to find that nearby studs were 6 inches away from where I needed to anchor the boards. BACK TO THE (MacGyver) DRAWING BOARD!

BLOW-BY-BLOW day 7: Ok, I redesigned the rail brackets. This required using the circular saw and jigsaw again (which, with me, is an accident waiting to happen). However, both cuts went off without a hitch. It was when I had to use the sander that things got interesting. Apparently, I had left the sander on the last time I used it and just pulled the plug. So when I plugged it into a different outlet it jumped off the sawhorse shelf and raced across the garage floor…..toward the cat (who was lounging on the cement floor watching the "Karen" show)! I don’t know how she did it, but somehow she sprung off the floor, spun around in mid air and almost left skid marks leaving the area. I stood there watching the CATastrophe unfold. I had started to laugh when the sander came to the end of its tether, jerked and started back in my direction. Oh, S#@%! After coaxing my eyebrows down off the ceiling I managed to pull the plug on the errant sander. The cat is nowhere to be found.

BLOW-BY-BLOW day 8:  Yeah!  I found the studs, drilled holes in the NEW boards (and the saw horses holding them).  By the way, did you know that if you put a board on a cement floor to drill it and, WELL....... accidentally drill through the board to the cement and, WELL...... the drill bit gets so hot it melts?  Just thought I'd mention this just in case someone (not me) might do that.

BLOW-BY-BLOW day 9 : I drilled holes (and only 3 too many) in the walls at each end of the tub where the studs are, (I love that word) and screwed the boards to the walls (only loosing 1 screw down the drain).  Now, to test my invention I only have to slip the rail into the U slots.  

BLOW-BY-BLOW day 10 (the finale):  Once again an old adage bears true.  "Necessity is the mother of invention. " We now have a sturdy, fully functioning (removable) handrail across the tub opening.  Am I great or what!  Of course, the fact that it doesn't look like a professional job does not spoil the victory!!!!!