For my regular visitors, if you find that this blog hasn't been updating much lately, chances are pretty good I've been spending my writing energy on my companion blog. Feel free to pop over to Home is Where the Central Cardio-pulmonary Organ Is, and see what else has been going on.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Ready for summer... Ow!

Today, Dh and I headed out to do some price comparisons.  We need to get a new mattress for Youngest.

We came home with a BBQ.

We weren't intending to get one yet.  Our balcony still needs to be renovated, for starters.  But it was a great deal, and we were in the unusual position of actually being able to take advantage of it.

Getting set up was a whole 'nother story.

First, there was getting it out of the van.  Dh, who was banished from touching the thing, considering how badly he injured his back the last time he helped carry something up the stairs, parked as close as he could to our door.  The weight wasn't an issue, but the size sure was.  I couldn't get my arms around to pick it up.  I was able to flip it on its side - after checking to make sure there were no "this side up" signs - and got it off, but just barely managed to keep a grip on it.  I got Eldest to come out and give me a hand, but discovered it was far easier - and more stable - to just keep rolling it on its side.  So up the stairs I went, with Eldest hovering around to make sure I didn't miss a step or something.  Flip, push, flip, push, flip, push, all the way up the stairs.  It wasn't until I got to the very top, where Eldest went the rest of the way to hold the door open for me, that I caught a corner on the hand rail and almost dumped myself back down the stairs again.  Just a moment of imbalance, but enough to make me quite uncomfortable! *L*

Then it was time to maneuver it through the door, where one of the cats was waiting with her crack eyes, looking ready to pounce at any moment.  I kept on flipping it through to the balcony, with Eldest ahead of me every step of the way, making sure I had a clear path.

Any bumps, bends and dings on that thing are purely my fault!

Once out on the balcony, both girls came out to put it together.  Youngest was right at home screwing all the parts together.  After a while, Eldest headed back in to see what we had in our freeze to BBQ and start them thawing.  Then she went looking for our old BBQ utensils.

That's where things got really fun!

First, there's getting to the storage closet, which is under the stairs.  Getting to the door first requires moving the coffee table, couch and armchair.  I knew the utensils were in an open box near the front, but Eldest couldn't find it.  I left the BBQ half done to see if I could spot the box.

Oh, Lordy, lord.  What a mess!

It seems that, in between putting away the AC from last summer, then taking out and putting back the Christmas stuff, everything's been completely switched around in there.

First order of business.  Move the coffee table farther out, so we could move the couch farther out, so we could open the door wider.  Then I start grabbing boxes and handing them to Eldest.

Then we fight with the Christmas tree box, which had popped open, trying to get it out without having more fall out than already had.  Meanwhile, one of Dh's roller blades kept falling down from where I'd put it.  After the third or fourth time, I gave up and handed them to Eldest.  I wonder if these would be garage sale material? *grumblegrumblegrumble*

Then there were more boxes, the hand truck, and the package of foam sheets I use for blocking large crocheted items.

Then we had to get the AC out, which is in several pieces.  Thankfully, the main body of it is on wheels.

Finally, we lugged out two boxes of boxes - remnants of the U-haul boxes we'd used during the move - plus several larger, cut down boxes.  I spontaneously decided to beat my inner packrat into submission.  Those will be either passed on or recycled.  Either way, they're not going back into storage.

Finally, I'm at the very back of the storage closet.  Just a few last boxes under the lowest part of the stairs.  The utensils weren't at the very back.  Just second from the very back.  On the bottom, under another box, of course.

All that for a few pieces of stainless steel!

Then we had to put it all back in again.

Throughout this process, I bashed my head on the underside of a step, smacked it again on a bike helmet hanging from under the stairs, and stepped on the hook end of a bungee cord.

Did I mentioned I was bare foot?

While maneuvering a box back in, I slammed my hand against the door handle, right on one knuckle and the adjoining finger.  Not badly damaged, but that hand was rendered near useless for the next while.

Oh, and I stubbed my baby toe on the couch, too.

Great fun!

The good news is that not only do we have our BBQ utensils again, but there's more room in the storage space, and the AC is right by the door, ready for when it gets hot enough to break it out for the summer.

After all that, it was time to continue putting the BBQ together.  Youngest had done a bit, but the pictographic instructions really needed two people to translate. Some of them made very little sense at all!

At one point, I squatted down to hold something while Youngest screwed it in place, and I couldn't do it.  My knees simply couldn't handle the position.  So I warned her that I was letting go and tried to get up, only to find my knees wouldn't straighten, either!  After some creative maneuvering and much pain, I got them straightened out.

That was just one of the times I had difficulty with my knees.

By the time it was all together, I was aching from top to bottom.  There was no way I was going to be doing any cooking!  I even left hooking up the propane tank - still nearly full from our old BBQ - for someone else.  Dh ended up putting it on for me.  He and Eldest ended up going to the grocery store to pick up hoagie fixings, which she cooked for us for supper. :-D

I'm still hurting, but as badly anymore.  I gotta say, though, I'm not looking forward to lugging those boxes across the street to the garbage/recycling room!  Just thinking about it is enough to make my knees tell me to f*** off!

We're all set for the summer, though.  I'm really looking forward to trying some new techniques on this Q.  It's got three burners, which means I can do off-heat cooking of larger items, like whole roasts.  It's got the side burner, too.

This is going to be a tasty summer!

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