One Day I Will Rule the World

World Domination, Babies and Middle Eastern Dance

March 28, 2010

Hannah likes olives

There is never a home improvement project that we discuss or even undertake that doesn’t seem to launch twenty other undertakings.

For example, at our last house, we had this dinky little island and everything in the kitchen was laminate or thermofoil. And we really wanted to make the island bigger. We’d say, “it could be pretty easy – just build out a foot and a half on each side. That extra foot and a half would become open shelves on one side and a side cupboard on the other side, then we’d replace the island’s countertop – no big. But actually all the surfaces with all that thermofoil… maybe while we were doing that we could also replace the laminate back on the island. And the cabinet doors and drawer faces… just on the island.

And then, we said, well we definitely need to replace this lino, it’s gouged to hell because some previous owner owned a dog and if we were making the island bigger, we’d just be making it harder for us to take up that linoleum down the road, so we should probably redo the floor first. But if we’re redoing the floor, we’ll have to take up all the baseboards and we’ve hated the baseboards since we moved in – so we won’t want to reinstall those once we’ve replaced the flooring. And on it went while we never did any of it.

Well anyhow, these days we know that we do this and we try to make our home improvement as granular as possible – even if it means that after installing the new thing, we will be re-installing things we hate around it. We’ll replace the things we hate at a later date.

My birthday falls not long after Christmas, and this year we had kind of overspent and we were still recovering from closing costs of buying this house and I said, “don’t get me anything special – for the next couple gift occasions, just get me a nice interior doorknob. We need new doorknobs throughout the house, and I would like it if we just had a nice doorknob for our bedroom. And next gift occasion, maybe we’ll get one for the bathroom or one of the kids’ rooms or something.

But naturally Ian said, “well it’s the front doorknob that desperately needs replacing.” And he was right, of course. It only opens if you turn it clockwise, it grazes and scrapes fingers from being placed too close to the door-jamb, it’s fitted poorly to the door so after a month of use or so it comes a little loose and slides to the side so that you could actually peer into our house through a crescent moon shaped sliver around the door handle. And the kids are always struggling with it and find it difficult to get into their own house. So I agreed that we should buy an entry doorknob – knowing that meant spending more – but it’s just the first doorknob project. The rest will be reasonably priced.

Then Ian went looking for reproduction victorian style doorknobs. And found one that  he fell in love with. And I agreed that it was very nice – but it was rather more than we could really afford. So we agreed to put it off until after his birthday and make it a joint birthday present. But it would be so worth it, we agreed. It would be well-made and it had a thumb-latch so the doorjamb wouldn’t graze fingers as they turned. But then we got it and discovered it wouldn’t work with our current door because it needed at least 5-1/5 inches between the door handle and the deadbolt holes and our door was already drilled (having already been installed) with a much shorter distance.

We spent a lot of time researching doors and looking at the kind of doors we would really like. But the kind of doors we would really like are old wooden doors with a small upper window and long panels down the rest of it. But it seems those doors are not great for energy efficiency. Who would have thought? And doors mimicking that style in a steel door are ridiculously expensive. Seriously. Ridiculous.

So we looked into buying a door off kijiji. Had a stupid time trying to find a door that would fit this stupid doorknob because the doorknob is stupid-grand and our current frame is for a 32″ wide door and we don’t want to have to reframe a door and so if the door has any kind of window in it, that generally doesn’t leave room for grand knobs at the side. So then we almost bought a $300 door, but no. And then we almost bought a $200 door, but realized last minute that it also wouldn’t fit the doorknob. Ian said, this doorknob is probably made to fit only $1,300 doors.

But then we bought an $80 door off kijiji. $80 because it didn’t have a window (so there wasn’t one to interfere with our doorknob) and because it was dinged and needed to be painted. Perfect.

But then we needed to pick a paint colour.

Oh, and we’ll need to replace our weather stripping since the door is about 3/4″ too short, so it needs a good sweep and weather stripping to stop that gap.

Oh, and the holes drilled in this door are actually wrong for this doorknob in its deadlatch distance from the side. But we can buy a new deadlatch mechanism and swap that out on our doorknob.


We seriously, seriously thought that this could be a granular replacement. Yes we wanted to replace the door, but thought that could wait because we’d be able to take the nice doorknob off the crappy door and just move it to a nicer door down the road.


Don’t even get me started on the colour-picking for the painting of this door. I spent 45 minutes at home-depot today making three paint-dudes put their heads together to try to re-tint the colour we originally bought to something darker. I made them add more pigment and re-mix FOUR TIMES today. FOUR.

Time for cute Hannah stories.

Tonight she said to her dad, “I wanna paint a picture.” And Ian said, “no it’s going to be bedtime right away.” I was heading up the stairs to go get something and she ran after me shouting back to her dad, “Jus’ a second. I’m gonna ask mum.” And she said, “Mum. Hey mum! I wanna paint a picture.”

I sat down on the stairs and looked at her and said, “and what did Dad say?”

This two-year old strings together sentences that are right at the limit of her communications repertoire, but that can’t keep up with the machinations of her mind. And she looked down at her feet a little and said, “Well, uh… dad-” and then she looked straight at me and feigned perfect innocence as she told me, “dad didn’t say anything about it.”

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