Saturday, May 17, 2008

Don't Try This At Home

The other day, I decided that I couldn't wait even one more minute to set up my new rain barrel. Spring rains are here in force, and I'd already missed too much precious rain collection from my gutters to waste another minute. So, off I trotted to Lowes to get a new hacksaw and a flexible downspout segment, so I could saw off the current downspout and attach one that would reach over to my rain collector.

Feeling brilliant and very environmentally self-satisfied, I trotted off home, Patrick in tow, to make the installation. Sawing through the aluminum was a little tough, but nothing my trusty new toothed friend couldn't handle. Within about fifteen minutes, the small portion I needed to remove was ready to snap off. It was then that I noticed that the previous homeowner hadn't attached all the segments of the downspout to the side of the house. No, no - they were stacked, one inside the other, like nesting dolls, up to the top of the house, where they fit around the gutter offset, but were not screwed to it. I noticed this because as I went to remove the portion I was getting ready to replace, the whole thing moved somewhat, and I saw that the hooklike piece of metal holding the portion just above me was loose. Then I looked up.

I looked up, in fact, just in time to see the segment that was merely resting inside the gutter attachment (rather than being screwed to it, as it should have been) falling to the ground. It landed, sharp edge down, on my big toe.

Of course, as usual, I was only wearing sandals. Thankfully, the ground was damp, which is the only reason I was even wearing sandals, since I'm a barefoot girl. The cushioning of the sandals was probably what saved me from a trip to the ER, since otherwise my foot would have been on the concrete walkway stone, and my toe would have been even more crushed than it already was.

As it is, I'm probably going to lose my toenail. My poor toe is so swollen that it's making the nail bulge somewhat, and the entire top half of my toe is still bright red, three days later. Fully half of the nail is dark purple, as is the nail bed. I can actually almost walk normally today, which is a big improvement.

However, since I REFUSE to be defeated by a downspout, yesterday I got up there and reattached the freakin' thing to the house, and added on the new spout so that the rain actually goes into the collection barrel. Ha HA! I WEEN! At this very moment, it is raining outside, and my newly planted garden is getting a drink while the huge repurposed olive barrel collects all the rainwater from our gutters for the dry future ahead.

My toe is vindicated. Squashed, but vindicated.


Susiewearsthepants said...

OMG! I am such a weenie that I would still be crying. I agree that you will probably lose the nail. Also, you sound like you are somewhat mechanically inclined. I can't believe you did that by yourself. Good job.

Kristin.... said...

You go girl! I am not so much inclined to climb up houses, or use hacksaws. No siree. I'm afraid of heights. I am related to Lizzie Borden (true story!). I don't like blood, or squished toes. I too would still be crying, hard. Hard enough for your rain bucket!

Swistle said...


Creative Kerfuffle said...

OUCH! that hurts to even look at.