Posted by: Brenda Kula | May 22, 2009

All Lined Up


Now you’re probably thinking, what is this woman referring to in the title? Is it rows of flowers? Beds all lined up? No. You won’t believe what it is.

Robert is taking today off. So I took this opportunity to show you what he told me last evening. Take a look at this corner of what he’s built so far. Now take a closer look at the pencil marks. He has me sharpen his pencils just so he can make these very straight lines. But that’s not the only thing.


Robert works alone. So projects tend to move along more slowly. See these round whatever-they-are’s screwed into the deck wood? Now look very closely… What do you see?

If you haven’t figured it out, I’ll tell you. They’re exact. Each whatever-they-are’s point in the exact same direction. When he told me this, I looked at him askance. He told me that he has fired workers who were unable to get this lined up properly. Thus, Robert works alone.


Not only must each be screwed in along the pencil-drawn line, but they must end up turned the exact same way. Food for thought. A compulsive trait, you ask? Well, that’s Robert. And I don’t care whether he feels compelled to take the time to do this, because he’s an artist at what he does. There’s no doubt about that.


Here’s where we are today. He will come back next week.


I’m simply not going to laugh. Or shake my head. Though I did pause in his telling of this habit. Because if you look in my kitchen cabinets, you will see the coffee mugs all lined up in the same position with the handles turned and tilted the same direction.

People are complex beings.



  1. OMG! Is that just too funny! Ask Paul to analyze that!
    I’m so eager to see what you come up with to disguise the meter; mine just sticks out like a sore thumb, but I can’t figure out what to do with it!
    Nice photo of Clyde and Abi!

  2. My comment went pooof!!!

    I said: Complex indeed!!!


    Clyde is looking oh so adorable.

    Hugs, G

  3. The man is certainly worth the wait as he works.He is a perfectionist.We all are when we line up cups to face one way or my quirk is to line up spoons and forks etc.. its not a bad thing…certainly better than messy.
    Your furballs look so cute in the pic.
    I am anxious too to see what he will do with the meter.Mine is on a side of the house where no one sees.

  4. I am married to a Robert. The BellaFella is the same way. It’s a quirk I somehow find endearing.

  5. Your porch/deck is coming along beautifully. Even the kitty seems to approve. My old farmhouse has an enclosed porch which isn’t quite the same. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I wish for an open area to be ‘outside’.

    Good carpenters are rare but I believe they are all obsessive;)

  6. A place for everything and everything in its place. Yes I am quite compulsive inside my home. The garden, on the other hand, I allow to be a bit more au naturel in places.

  7. My Daddy was a carpenter, he is in heaven now with the Lord. He would have liked your Robert. 2 master carpenters…

    Tina~ Cherry Hill Cottage…

  8. Complex? That is a nice word for something else I am thinking. Okay, okay, complex it is:)

  9. As I said in my post today “Watching men at work…’s a beautiful life”. I just love it when our fellas make our visions come to life! Kudo’s to your fella 🙂

  10. You don’t notice a lot of details unless they are done wrong. So hats off to Robert. P.S. Does he line up the slots on your switch-plate screws?

  11. My dad (who is very meticulous) would be so proud! With that perfect alignment and those screws your deck will be beautiful and sturdy!

  12. And are all the labels on the cans in your pantry facing forward, with like items grouped together in rows? And are your towels all folded and placed in the shelves with the fold out, no edges showing? Mine are. I’m compulsive about weird things, but I can let dirty laundry stack up to the ceiling….

  13. You will be thrilled with the work he does and tell great Robert stories while sipping a beverage after dinner with your happy guests! gail

  14. Brenda,
    Your deck is awesome. I love Robert’s attention to detail! Hmm, the electrical meter–What about building a frame around it, and hanging a fake french door with a mirror instead of glass?

  15. looks great. My grandfather was like that about everything lining up and being just so. Wish I had some of that in me.

  16. Complex indeed! It’s rather nice to see someone who is that fussy about their work. (Says she who is a bit of a perfectionist herself!) Your flowers are beautiful.

  17. Sure wish there was a Robert around here. I think it’s great that he is so precise.

  18. I think Robert’s attitude towards quality work is SO refreshing! There is too much slap-dash work today, lack of professionalism and quality workmanship because we’ve sent it overseas and haven’t supported our local craftspeople.
    Good for Robert!

  19. If someone was building me a deck that looked like that the only thing I’d be saying is thank you! 🙂

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