Friday, November 20, 2020

Sputniks


This is the flower of a Fatsia japonica growing at the back of our garden. Dave bought it several years ago and we weren't immediately sure what to do with it -- it lived in a pot for its first year but started looking yellow and peaked so, in desperation, we stuck it in the ground back by the shed. It has flourished there and now it's blooming up a storm.

The blossom reminds me of buttonbush, a wildflower from my home state of Florida. They used to grow wild at the lakefront where I grew up, and my brother and I called them "Sputniks." These are the English version, I guess. (Or Japanese, by way of England. Our globalized world!)

Yesterday was pretty quiet, for a change. I got a bunch of stuff done that's been on the back burner -- I finished another Newbery book, wrote my review and worked on some reading lists for the kids. The Newbery was called "Up a Road Slowly," from 1967, and I thought it was just OK, although some people on Goodreads have called it one of their favorites. It was written in a weirdly formal style and was vague in its setting, both time and place, which bugged me.


Here's our latest domestic conundrum. The cabinet door below our kitchen sink is sagging like crazy. It looks like it should be an easy fix, right? But it's not just a matter of tightening a screw -- there's something wrong with the hinge. I think it needs to be removed and re-anchored in the cabinet wall. It seems ridiculous to have to call a handyman, but both Dave and I have looked at it and we don't really know what to do. I may get in there this weekend with some Gorilla Glue and see if that solves the problem.

When in doubt, use Gorilla Glue. That's my motto.

49 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I'm truly hopeless at home improvement, so I'd just call the handyman.

gz said...

It is a matter of tightening and slackening the relevant screws to get the right angle. Unless it has broken or pulled out of the cupboard carcase. It is fiddly...and even a new hinge has to be tweaked to get it right!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

The Gorilla Glue might **** up the hinge. If you pay for my return rail fare to London I will come dowwn and fix the door for you. By the way, what the hell are you and Dave doing growing giant coronaviruses in your garden?

Jennifer said...

I like Up a Road Slowly. I really likes it when I read it as a kid, but I reread it a couple of years ago and I understand what you mean about the oddly formal writing style.

Ursula said...

If your Gorilla Glue is anything like Super Glue be careful. You may find yourself compromised. I won't go into detail. Let's just say it involved a kitchen knife to separate my left index and middle finger to restore them to their former usefulness. Luckily I am right handed.

GZ's advice eminently sensible, like YP I'd err on the side of caution. Take the whole thing off and inspect what's happened in the hole. The hole now, possibly too big for the hinge to get a grip. The good thing about Polyfiller that it doesn't set immediately. So you can cut your losses before you yourself go unhinged.

If it's of any comfort I am currently doing battle with a drawer and its front come loose. It won't play. Possibly because you'll never see me go anywhere near Superglue again.

U

The Padre said...

Well Shoot, Wish I Lived Down The Street - Well, Olga Girl Wishes I Lived Down The Street - My Best Advice From Here In Colorado, Watch A YouTube Video Or Two Regarding The Replacement Of A Hinge While Sipping A Beautiful Martini

Cheers

VRP said...

Take the hinge off
Get a match stick or toothpick to fill the holes, use Elmer wood glue to keep the wood in place, may need to sandpaper the area to make it smooth again.
Let it sit for 24 hours.
Attach the hinge... may take a little muscle but you can do it. I am a 74 year old woman...if I can do it you can to.

Ms. Moon said...

So my friends L&L decided to take their French doors off the hinges to scape and paint them for the first time in living in their house for many, many years. They proceeded to do that, discovered that one of the door frames was wonky which lead to the discovery that the house has shifted and needs jacking up and repairing underneath it.
Sigh.
One thing can lead to another, can't it? I always say that if you move a doily on an end table, next thing you know you'll be repainting the ceiling and replacing the windows.
So. Just leave the hinge alone.
(Not really. I'm pretty sure that's an easy fix. And the advice about Youtube is good. They have instructional videos about EVERYTHING. Glen uses them all the time.)

The Bug said...

That flower DOES look like the Coronavirus! Yikes! We have a lot of little fiddly projects that need glue (I even made a list on my phone so I would remember them all), but I'm a little afraid of glue because I'm the kind of person who can't draw eyeliner on straight and I get flour all over the kitchen when I bake.

Sharon said...

What an interesting flower. I can see why you used to call it Sputnik. I've got a couple of little problems in my apartment that keep bugging me but I hesitate to have someone working in my place at this time of viruses.

Moving with Mitchell said...

The flower and your photo of it are beautiful. Although, it looks a bit like coronavirus, don't you think? Or maybe everything looks like coronavirus right now. I'd offer help with cabinet door if I were there. I don't think glue is a good idea, though. But good luck! Anyway, it looks better than our kitchen did a year or so ago -- when our cabinets suddenly fell off the wall.

robin andrea said...

My first thought when I looked at the flower was coronavirus. I see that I was not alone in that. Wish I had some advice about that cabinet door. Hope whatever you choose to do goes well.

Red said...

I think you should be able to move the hinge up o down and set it in a place where the screws will anchor in the wood.

ellen abbott said...

when nature finds a form that works she uses it over and over. that is a cool little flower. is there foliage on the plant cause it doesn't look like it in the picture. when we first bought the country house I repainted all the rooms just about. in the kitchen I took off all the many cabinet doors that fit perfectly (in my memory), numbered them, made a chart, painted them, put them back up and several are now a little wonky. maybe I should have numbered the hinges too so they all got the same hinges in the same place.

Catalyst said...

I'd avoid that Sputnik bloom. It looks like a Covid-19 whatchamacallit to me.

Ellen D. said...

Yep, you are growing coronavirus in your back yard! I agree with the others!
I have turned little household projects into big household projects when I have tried to fix them. Be careful!

Tasker Dunham said...

My first thought was coronavirus plant too.

Allison said...

Youtube is helpful. We had to fix a door in the RV, and learned how to do it with the help of a video. That's an interesting flower and I wonder why it blooms this time of year.

Margaret said...

I've had to adjust the screws in my hinges and tighten them several times. Now I have a magnet that closes that door.

Sarah said...

I like Fatsia Japonica. I used to have one in a pot but it died. It was only later that I realised how big they get and how unhappy mine must have been. There are two either side of a church path near here and they look really striking. Their leaves and flowers make me think of big ivy.
We had to call in Pimlico Plumbers to fix our fridge door hinges so no shame there! Has it got the slow close hinges? Sometimes they pop off of their housing and are quite easy to clip back on. Though if it was quite easy I expect one of you would have fixed it by now so I will stop my 'helpful' suggestions!

Unknown said...

Looks like the hinge has pulled out of where it should be screwed. Horrible job.
The flower in your garden looks very like the buttonbush bloom. They must be the same species.

Alphie Soup said...

My first thought about the top photo was NOT corona virus. It was garlic with an opening seed head! Photos on my phone are matchbox size. Close up I see it is a lovely, delicate bloom.
Good luck with the cabinet door, there's always some damn thing that needs fixing.
Alphie

Sue said...

Never hurts to call a handyman. I'll never forget the time the plumber told my daughter that he'd see her again next time Mom tries to fix something!

Debby said...

I would suggest looking at the hinge. If it appears not to be damaged, I'm going to guess that the wood has been damaged allowing the screws to come loose (I know a lot about loose screws.) Take the hinge off, putty where the holes were, getting the putty deep into the screw hole on both the door and the frame. Let dry. Sand smooth. Screw the hinge back on the door, and attach it to the frame.

Steve Reed said...

Yeah, that's my inclination, too!

Steve Reed said...

I think it's pulled out of the particleboard. I'm thinking we need a handyman with a drill. (Which we don't have.)

Steve Reed said...

It DOES look coronavirus-like, doesn't it?! I didn't even think of that.

Steve Reed said...

Yeah, I often worry about reviewing these books as an adult. I'm sure my reading perceptions and expectations are different now than they were when I was young.

Steve Reed said...

You are not alone. I find that every time I use Super Glue I wind up with it on my fingers.

Steve Reed said...

Yeah, I wish you were local too! I could use those skills!

Steve Reed said...

You're already WAY beyond my technical ability. LOL!

Seriously, since we rent, I think I'll just call for a handyman from the management company. I wouldn't want to attempt a repair and screw it up.

Steve Reed said...

Ha! It's true! Sometimes it's best to just not go there. Fortunately in this case we can just call the management company. There's a benefit to being renters!

Steve Reed said...

Glue is not without risk, it's true! LOL

Steve Reed said...

Yeah, the Covid risk does add another layer of complication to the situation.

Steve Reed said...

It's so funny how everyone saw coronavirus in that shape -- which I totally understand, but I saw it in terms of those flowers I knew as a kid. Funny how we perceive things.

Your cabinets FELL OFF THE WALL? That's always been a nightmare of mine. I should look back at your blog and find those posts!

Steve Reed said...

I honestly didn't even think of the coronavirus. I hope I haven't traumatized anyone. LOL

Steve Reed said...

Yeah, I think we'd have to take off the door, reposition the hinge and reattach it -- but that would require a drill, which we don't own. So handyman it is!

Steve Reed said...

The flowers on our English ivy look very similar. It IS an effective shape, I suppose. I wonder what insects could possibly be pollinating it now.

Steve Reed said...

A REALLY BIG Covid whatchamacallit!

Steve Reed said...

Yeah, we're thinking we need the experts!

Steve Reed said...

A much more contemporary reference than Sputnik!

Steve Reed said...

You know, I've tried them for other things (mainly computer-related) and I'm not crazy about instructional YouTube videos. I just don't learn that way. I prefer written directions.

Steve Reed said...

Oh, and yeah, I wondered the same thing about the flower! What insects are out now? But we have a couple of winter-blooming plants, so some pollinators must be out and about.

Steve Reed said...

Something like a magnet would be good to hold it straight!

Steve Reed said...

This one is definitely not slow-closing, unless that function is also broken! LOL

Yeah, our Fatsia definitely suffered in the pot.

Steve Reed said...

The leaves look totally different, though. I think it's just a similar flower type.

Steve Reed said...

Oh, but that's true too -- it does look like a kind of onion or garlic. Alliums have those round seed heads. I had the same reaction to the cabinet -- it's always SOMETHING!

Steve Reed said...

Yeah, I think the handyman is going to be our answer. Unfortunately it often takes weeks to get someone in. But we don't pay for it -- the landlord does.

Steve Reed said...

I think that is exactly the problem. But anything involving putty and sanding is automatically out of my wheelhouse, as they say. LOL