This weekend we bought a little gift for the kitties.
Tuffets (def: a low bench or stool). We have two low windows in the living room that have no window sills to speak of. The cats love to look out of them when there is a nearby box or other handy perch. Which seemed a shame as summer approaches.
So we went tuffet shopping at one of my favorite places to find tables - World Market. I have found a dining table and chairs, side tables and hall tables and a coffee table all of unique design, sturdy build, and reasonable cost - they arrive "some assembly required".
The slat benches that I found were so perfectly dimensioned for the windows as to have been made for them: Two inches shorter than the bottom of the window and the exact width. I bought one for the window that seems to fascinate them most.
The Bearded One had it together within about 15 minutes and Ms. Flippers picked cushions from the selection that I had bought. Yes, I am one of THOSE shoppers. The ones that buy bags of _______________ (pillows, lamp shades, bath mats) (insert the word that best completes the sentence) and then returns what I don't want.
The littlest cat immediately took up a position on one of the cushions and refused to yield, even for her much bigger brother. It is a red letter day when she gets assertive enough to send him on his way.
This brings us to the meat of the story. The second bench:
Ms. Flippers and I agreed that a second bench would "balance the room" and so a second bench was purchased and the excess pillows exchanged for ones of the correct color. Then The Bearded One left for a conference in Houston.
Because I have been married to a very handy man for a long time and because we have done much renovation together, I have acquired some tool skills (I can, for instance, refinish an entire kitchen full of cabinets, hang drywall, and I AM "the varnish queen") so what trouble should one little bench be?
On Sunday morning before I left for choir I set out to assemble the bench. An hour later I was still struggling with screw driver and allen wrench...
Tool wise, I have been raised by an engineer, whose motto is: "Instructions? We don't need no stinking instructions!" (disclaimer: unless the item's pricetag is over $1,000,000). So did I look at the handy instruction book complete with graphic illustrations of the order of assembly? No I did not.
As a result I spent all of that hour attempting to put the 4 bolts into holes intended for screws - taking care to line up the pre-drilled holes using a turkey skewer (most of our tools are still in boxes). Did it occurr to me to LOOK AT THE INSTRUCTIONS?
Not until I heard the kids stirring and thought, "Do I want Stubble to take over the job, thereby making me feel simultaneously old and useless?"
Looking at the instructions I discovered that the bolts were to go into the second hole in from the bench leg - at which point they dropped right in. Within 10 minutes the rest of the screws were put in and the bench with its cushions was placed in front of the window.
Feeling pretty pleased with myself I began picking up the packing materials.
Then I found the little bag full of lock washers.