I Am Woman, Hear Me Screw

I Am Woman, Hear Me Screw

Mind out of the gutter folks (for now), I participated in Habitat for Humanity (H4H) last week and I hung and screwed in drywall for 6 hours. 5 of my friends and I took to the challenge of Women Build in Brampton and we had a blast!

I first did the Women Build two years ago (last year I couldn’t go because of my concussion). I spent a day framing a house with people I had never met. I pounded in nails for an entire 7 hours and really never got out of the tub for the following 3 days. Despite the pain, I felt great knowing I was helping a family make a go of it.

I wanted to participate because my grandfather (now 98) did them for many years. As did my dad. They were the electricians on the job and my grandfather was even presented with an award for the neatest panel (or something like that). If you have ever seen electricians work, they are notorious for their haphazard way of stringing wiring through joists. My family are just like me. Nice straight lines and sweep up afterwards.

Grandpa was ‘inspected’ on site in Thunder Bay more than once while not wearing his hard hat (which sat proudly in the back window of his car) or steel toed boots while standing on the top of the ladder alone in a home. The inspector always just shook his head and gave him a stern warning, I’m sure he knew that he was never going to teach an old dog new tricks, but he had to try.

Now that my friends are joining me–we have caught the Habitat bug for sure–I am hoping it will be an annual outing. But the outing was not all roses and ratchets. You knew I would find something funny in the day and share. So here goes…

Put your mind back in the gutter because, did you know that drywalling can be sexy? Really, driving is sexy, starting a motor is sexy, so it goes as no surprise that I also found drywalling sexy. The sexy side of drywalling, aka the things that made me laugh all day while I worked my ass off, are as follows:

  1. You need to counter sink those screws. Good and tight is best.
  2. Always remember to mark your stud so you know where to screw.
  3. Leave 1/4″ off the measurement to give some wiggle room. Nobody likes the fit to be too tight. You need room for the compound to work it’s way in there and do its job correctly.
  4. Start from the top and work your way down. Working from the top will support what goes on down below.
  5. Screwdriver… that’s just fun to say.
  6. Always put the smooth side against the smooth side and the rough with the rough. It doesn’t work as well if one side is rough and the other is smooth.
  7. Always double up on protection if there is danger of noise. Use two layers and bang away.
  8. To score properly, take your tool and run it lengthwise along your material. You don’t even need a guideline if you have a steady hand and the right pressure.
  9. Best to put your screws about 8″ apart.
  10. When the woman who did the job yesterday didn’t screw tight enough, there is still time to make the job right.
  11. You can never have a drill too powerful.
  12. I love when you finish the job and can say that the closet was good for me too.

Women Build 2015

If you care to support me in my campaign for H4H the link is below. The link is open until the end of the month and it would be great if you could help.



  1. That’s so cool that you volunteered for H4H. In my own experience I’ve learned that even though I should be genetically engineered to be an expert carpenter I can’t always tell which is the right end of a hammer. I can however lift and carry.
    And give me some vodka and orange juice and I’ll make you a mean screwdriver.
    Christopher recently posted…Maybe It’s An Omen.My Profile

  2. That’s fabulous. I’ve always toyed with giving it a shot, but I’m so NOT handy that I’ve never had the guts.
    Cassandra recently posted…Throwdown Thursday: Science SchmienceMy Profile

  3. Why does it not surprise me that your post about volunteering for H4H reads like pornography? Are you using code to advocate for same sex marriage in #6?

    Sounds like you had an awesome day. Helping others always feels wonderful and doing it with a group of friends must make it even better. I have too many physical issues to even lift and carry, but I could probably handle the “coffee girl” job. A couple years ago my kids went to Appalachia, to one of the poorest counties in the U.S. and built a wheelchair ramp for a woman who had cancer and lived in a trailer. They got a lot out of helping someone like that, and it turns out that my son can use power tools like a boss. They loved it.

    You look very cute in your hard hat, carrying on your family’s tradition. I’m glad you managed not to injure yourself!

    (Just an FYI: I did not receive “new post” email for this even though I’m subscribed. I learned of this post via ‘comment luv’ over at The Pink Noam. Hopefully it’s just a fluke.)

  4. I must admit, in the list of adjectives that sprung to mind to describe drywalling (tiring, difficult, backbreaking), “sexy” was not one that immediately occurred to me. By the way, great photos.

  5. You look dangerously cute in your hat!
    Jay recently posted…Celebrate Good Times – Come On!My Profile

  6. Sorry. I read through this twice, and while I enjoyed it immensely, I still don’t believe you got through it without a trip to the emergency room. Or at least a band aid. What aren’t you telling?!?!?

  7. You have a talent for seeing the world in a way that amuses me. xo

  8. Shoot, they’d have to put me on some sort of desk duty, I wouldn’t even be able to handle coffee girl. I’ve never been very good at volunteer jobs. I wasn’t very good at working with the kids at church. I couldn’t handle being the water/tea girl when I volunteered in a “tea room” for a few hours. I was demoted to bread girl and still managed to suck at that. Last year I volunteered at a sweets counter at a fall festival thing and I was horrible at it. Obviously I have yet to find my volunteer niche. Good for you though. H4H is really cool. 🙂
    kdcol recently posted…Swag bag scrambleMy Profile

    • I’m certain you were not as bad as you are making it out. The benefit of H4H is that I didn’t much have to deal with the public. You were all about that in your volunteer gigs. Maybe you should try the isolation idea I am working with. You might find it rewarding

  9. Damn girl, could you be any more awesome? Funny, attractive and handy with tools to boot. If I wasn’t happily married and straight, I would totally steal you away from your husband. But tell him he’s got competition just to keep him on his toes…
    Gina W. recently posted…“And suddenly– Boobs!”My Profile

  10. […] has single-handedly wired houses for Habitat for Humanity well into his 80s. He even received an award for ‘Best Looking […]

  11. Shoot, they’d need to put me on some kind of work area obligation, I wouldn’t have the capacity to handle espresso young lady. I’ve never been great at volunteer occupations. I wasn’t great at working with the children at chapel. I couldn’t deal with being the water/tea young lady when I volunteered in a “tea room” for a couple of hours. I was downgraded to bread young lady and still figured out how to suck at that. A year ago I volunteered at a desserts counter at a fall celebration thing and I was horrendous at it. Clearly I have yet to locate my volunteer specialty. Bravo however. H4H is truly cool.

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