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Still Waters: Hammers away

Posted: Friday, Feb 15th, 2013

A hammer can be a girl’s best friend.

I’m not generally handy with hammers and other implements of that nature. More than 20 years ago when I was involved in building the self-help house in which I still reside I bent many nails. I tried to be a useful member of the team of five families building their houses together but I think when it came to hammers and nails I might have been more of a menace than a help. All of our houses are still standing, no thanks to me, so at least other members of the families did something right.

I have since discovered other uses for hammers.

Hammers can be useful in the kitchen to break up the ice in the freezer, for example. I like to buy cubed ice, which over time becomes blocks of ice, so I take the hammer and release the ice and a bit of frustration at the same time. I just have to make sure I don’t bust up the box of frozen pizza at the same time.

In making graham cracker bars, which require some of the graham crackers to be crushed, I found using the hammer immensely helpful. Before taking the crackers out of the wrapping, I pulverized them with the hammer. Instant graham cracker crumbs were the result. Again, it was also a good way to release frustrations. I know a grinder would have worked too, but it wouldn’t have been as much fun.

I also use the hammer with reckless abandon in affixing artwork and other things I want to look at on the walls of my house. Being the only human in the household now, I can nail stuff up anywhere I want. I have lighthouse hangings, pictures, plaques, calendars, photos and even a pillow attached to various walls of my residence.

My little sister is very creative with Perler beads, and she has made some wonderful artwork for me. I decided I wanted to be able to look at them rather than keep them in a drawer or something, so I tacked them up on one side of the kitchen wall. My mother attached magnets to the back of hers and placed them artfully on a magnetic board. That works too. In fact, it’s probably a better idea. It may seem a bit cruel to put a nail through a Disney princess’ head.

My latest artistic brainstorm involved nailing T-shirts to the back bedroom wall. I was going through some of my clothes I couldn’t wear anymore. Some of them I can donate to be used by someone else. Others were too worn out and went into the rag pile or the trash.

Some of the T-shirts had sentimental value, and I couldn’t part with them. I also wanted to put them where I could see them and enjoy the memories they brought back. For example, we as a family got Disney T-shirts and put all of our names on them when we went to Disneyworld as a family about 10 years ago. That T-shirt was the first to find a place on my wall. I have since tacked up a couple of other T-shirts and am still looking for my Class of ’78 T-shirt from Moffat County High School with our graduation motto and theme song, “Come Sail Away.”

I know no one will likely be hiring me as an interior decorator anytime soon, or ever.

But if they do, they’d better have a hammer handy.

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