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July 28, 2005: A little girl power

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I wrote, back in February, about attending a Ladies Night Out at a local hardware store where, among other things, we learned how to take apart, and put together a toilet. Last week I got a call from them, since I'd put my name on a list to be contacted. They were holding another one and was I interested in attending? Definitely. This time I heard about it enough in advance to let my mom know, so the two of us drove down together last night, meeting my knitting mom and one of her daughters there as well.

There was just about as large a crowd as last time, and it appeared they used the same caterer. Plus, when we had filled our plates and found our seats, it turned out they had some of the same demonstrations as last time as well. But that was actually okay. The guy who taught the session on how to put up crown molding touched on door and window casings this time, something I'd missed back in February, and that was actually pretty informative. Then he walked us all through how to cut and measure and bevel and level molding strips, all with a sense of humor and a grin.

They had two other sessions after the one on crown molding - one on compound miter saws, and one on fence building. While the compound miter saw certainly looked very cool, my mom and I both agreed that we didn't really need to sit through an hour on something we're not likely to ever use, so instead we headed off to where they'd built the beginnings of a mock fence, complete with huge wooden posts embedded in heavy buckets (since it was indoors). Then a guy who resembled Bob Newhart, both in physical appearance and in mannerisms and voice, talked about building fences, while a younger man quietly and efficiently began attaching joists and boards to the fence skeleton behind him. They talked about the pluses and minuses of using wider versus narrower fence boards. They talked about how to set the supporting posts, and how many cross beams you would need in our area (we need more, because of the wind). They showed us some really cool tips on how to keep the fence boards level, and went over the pros and cons of painting versus staining. They answered questions and the Bob Newhart look-alike made quiet, respectful little jokes and by the end I think we would have been hard pressed to not be ready to go out there and build our own fence.

One of our friends had to leave early, so she left me her raffle ticket, which then promptly won a really nice cordless drill. So I picked it up for her and passed it on to her mom, and I'll admit there was a little part of me that was hoping maybe she would already have one (she's got quite the selection of power tools), but alas, she did not. Several people asked me why I didn't just keep it for myself, but you know, it was her ticket, not mine, and it just wouldn't have felt right. Besides, I ended up winning a tool apron and a t-shirt later, and my mom got a hat and a t-shirt and a saw blade (which we figure my dad would be thrilled to have), and last time I won a very nice cutting board, so it all worked out nicely. The grand prize was a compound miter saw and the woman who won it was just flabbergasted about the whole thing. I think that is the coolest part about these events, however. The smaller door prizes are usually shirts and hats with vendor names on it, but there are also useful things like drills and sawsalls and hefty power tools and all with the expectation that we will definitely find a use for them because sharp objects that run on electricity and can do serious damage to even the sturdiest of walls are really cool toys to give to grown women.

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