Attempting to Be the Next Chip and Joanna Gaines By Installing Weaber’s Weathered Wall Boards for Our New Headboard for Our Bed

My wife and I put the labor in Labor Day Weekend, that’s for sure…

Though undeniably, it was my parents who were the driving force for us to be able to get our projects completed:

While mom watched the kids the entire time, my dad led the projects. I served as the right hand man to him, and my wife handled some of the smaller projects.

We replaced the headboard of our bed using Weaber’s Weathered Wall Boards in Nantucket Gray. Here’s a link in case you’re interested in buying a similar product for the cheapest price on Amazon.

At Home Depot, we bought 3 boxes at $25 each, plus the $5’s worth in nails.

After using every single board, we created a 6 foot long, 5 foot 7 inch tall headboard.

But before we could start nailing the boards to the wall, we had to paint the walls first, as my wife find the perfect new color to compliment the boards, which is called Icicle (SW6238) from Lowe’s.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the wall I was painting, my wife was tackling the guest bathroom, with the new color Refresh (SW6751).

She also found a really cool mirror for us to replace the one that came with our house when we bought it new in January 2015.

By the time the paint dried, my wife felt the tone was darker than she imagined it would be, so we bought a $15 painting to offset the color a bit.

My wife also repainted the wall decor of our dining room, to make it look a little less dusty. She just simply used a can of spray paint for the job.

And speaking of the kitchen, since my dad and I got the new headboard finished quicker than we had hoped, we got started on the next project, which was to install shiplap as a backsplash for the kitchen.

It might have been possible to have completed the project in time before my parents had to go back to Alabama, but my dad realized that when the marble counters were installed, they were uneven. That meant he had to customize the bottom boards to match, so that all the other boards above it would be even.

We’ll finish up that job next time. As for now, my wife is very happy with the fruits of our labor; so that means I am happy.


Dear Jack: We Built the Pullback Race Car at Lowe’s… Twice

5 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack: We Built the Pull Back Car at Lowe’s… Twice

Dear Jack,

Last night as a family we drove to Lowe’s, which we can see from our upstairs windows facing the backyard, to build a free pullback race car; as part of their Build and Grow program.

I was eager to serve as the camera man, since we just got our new Canon PowerShot G7 X as part of my upcoming 35th birthday. Meanwhile, you and Mommy took turns hammering in the nails.

We were all so busy doing our jobs that no one us happened to see the obvious warning in the instructions that one of the panels had to be facing a certain way.

Needless to say, we didn’t see that part in the instructions until the car was built. Therefore, your racecar didn’t propel forward after you pulled it back, like it was designed to do.

A fellow dad came up to me just then to discreetly explain he had made the same mistake and had to rebuild his.

Fortunately, the lady kindly gave us another car and so we started over. At least we knew exactly what to do the 2nd time around. After we built it the right way, you had so much fun testing out the race car’s pullback action!

I’m glad that Lowe’s has this program. And it’s really convenient that we live so close.

We used to take you more often to these events at Lowe’s when you were a toddler. I don’t know how we got out of the habit, especially now that you’re at the perfect age. Perhaps in the process of building and moving into a new house last year, we just sort of forgot.

Oh well, I have a feeling we’ll being going quite regularly now. And I guess we’ll be more careful to follow all the instructions; otherwise we’ll do the craft twice… even though, you didn’t seem to mind that at all.



Dear Jack: We Built the Pull Back Car at Lowe’s… Twice

Manspeak, Volume 2: Heroism

Subconsciously I view handymen and auto mechanics as super heroes. Because the only thing I can build is a Lego house and the only vehicle I can fix is a Lego car. While I’m not a “slow learner”, I don’t learn new skills quickly. It takes daily practice for at least several weeks before I master something new. So to see a man who gets daily exposure to these expected masculine events, I can’t help but have admiration.

Any laugh track infused sitcom that features a typical “dad figure” has had at least once episode where there is a need for home repair and the man of the house rises to the occasion (against the advice of others in the household, namely the wife). Of course, the man botches the job for the comedy highlight of the episode: On Who’s the Boss, Tony “fixed” the toilet upstairs but smashed a hole in the floor which he fell into, causing only his butt to be visible from the living room ceiling by his family below. On Perfect Strangers, Larry “fixed” the shower but it caused the shower head to shoot water across to the other side of the bathroom and blasted Balki in the face, who decides to just stand there with his mouth open and drink the water instead of move out of the way. And as for Home Improvement, “man hilariously attempts home repairs” was the theme of every entire episode.

The fact that under-qualified men continue to try to fix things when they don’t really know how to, is a universal issue. Why? Because it is a man’s job to fix things. It is literally the way men were wired. A woman says to a man, “Our garbage disposal isn’t working right. I think we should call someone to come fix it.” The man hears this: “You’re a man, capable of figuring out how to fix this, but instead, I’m going to call another man to get the job done because he’s more qualified than you”. Shrinkage follows at just the thought of another man walking in the door with his tools.

A man walks around with this hidden fear that he will not be successful in life. In all ways big and small. If he can’t successfully make the evidently simple home repair, he fears he may be seen as insufficient, incapable, and useless. When he longs to be the hero. And hiring someone else to do the job makes him feel unnecessary. May seem a little over the top, but being a man, I recognize the tendency of thinking in terms in worst case scenarios about this stuff.

This also explains the all too familiar (yet somehow not cliché because it’s so true) story of the man who won’t stop to ask for directions. It’s a man’s job to explore and find his own way if he’s lost. A major sense of accomplishment if he can do it. And just for the record, he’s not lost. He’s either taking the scenic route or the short cut (depending on how much time is delayed).

One of my proudest accomplishments regarding home improvement was when I turned down an aggressive salesman who knocked on the door one sunny Saturday morning. If I signed a year-long contract right then since his company was already in the neighborhood, his company would regularly spray my house for bugs for the low, low yearly fee of $545. He inspired me to immediately drive to Lowe’s and purchase a 5 gallon sprayer for $11. Needless to say, I now consider myself a professional bug killer.

Last week as I was getting ready for bed I heard my wife scream loudly from the stairs. My initial thought is that someone broke into the house. I ran over to the stairs to find the intruder to be a wolf spider. A very large scary spider that appeared quite afraid to end up lost and confused at the top of the stairs. I took on the form of the 1984 no nonsense straight-faced Bill Murray, racing downstairs to transform the vacuum cleaner into a proton pack with which I sucked up the monster with great force, feeling the vibration of the thump as it was crushed to death by my weapon. I was a hero. An ego trip shortly followed.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography: