Monday, June 29, 2009

The Painted House

Isn't it funny how summer wings along and before you know it, it is nearly July? I suppose between the garden, a trip south, and painting the dang house, my time did get frittered away.

Finally managed to finish painting the house on Saturday--although the saga is not QUITE done (still need to paint the door and mailbox...).

Initially the painting began late on a Saturday a couple weeks ago. I say "late" because I didn't make it to the hardware store to buy my paint until 1 PM. And when I got there, the helper person was in training to do paint mixing and, well, she needed help. Can't say I've had to wait an hour for five gallons of paint in two colors to be mixed before. I eventually wandered away with three gallons of a lovely gray color called "pigeon" and two gallons of this pinky-purply-fuschiaesque shade called "phlox". I got home with my hoard, and discovered the paint spray borrowed from friends was clogged with said friends' previously used paint. Of course, I discovered this as the paint began to explode from every available nook and cranny--except for the sprayer nozzle. In about two seconds flat I was covered in a half gallon of very expensive, highly viscous paint. I have to say, gray is not my color. Unable to resuscitate the device, I hauled ass to Menards in Rice Lake, WI, and became the proud owner of a new Wagner paint sprayer, guaranteed to spray 6.1 gallons per hour.

After getting home, figuring out the heiroglyphics that pass for instructions and priming the sprayer, I started to hose the house with the gray paint. So you could say, painting started at 3 PM. Lucky for me, about 15 minutes later a friend pulled up bearing a ladder and a brush. Yay for friends! Between the two of us we managed to paint two of the three paintable walls (the others are covered with vinyl siding) in about three hours. The new sprayer, which does NOT spray quite so many gallons per hour as advertised, did pretty well until it clogged up and began raining paint chunks onto the ground, wall, and me. We called it quits and feasted on pizza.

And then, it rained for days. And days. It was about five days before I could do anything. When the skies finally cleared, I was able to start doing trim painting in the front and discovered the previous white paint had the sheen of a high gloss plastic mannequin. But after two coats, the "phlox" triumphed and the white paint was subdued.

And then it rained, again.

Finally this Friday was nice and my friend returned bearing a taller ladder, which she also climbed and painted the backside peak of the house. I stayed lower and worked on painting the rest of the barnboard siding and concrete blocks that make up the lower half of the back wall. Got very close to done before the heat kicked in and the noon whistle blew. Saturday, I managed to paint between rain storms in the afternoon and yes, the house it DONE! (Well, aside from door and mailbox painting that I mentioned before). Only one tragedy occurred on Saturday: While finishing up the trim paint, I had Max and Phoebe (dogs) outdoors with me. All was well until some little pukey child somewhere in the neighborhood decided to start lighting firecrackers, which caused the dogs to freak out and begin running around the yard. This lead to a game of chase and wrestle--involving body slamming against the freshly painted wall. Keep in mind, this all happened in about 2.9 seconds so by the time I sqwauked out: "NO!!! GET AWAY FROM THE HOUSE, DAMMIT!!" I had two dogs coated in a layer of paint. Lucky for Phoebe, the gray paint blends in with her speckles. Unfortunately for taller Max, he has a large pink stripe above a large swatch of gray paint. I had dirt, sand, and dog hair stuck on my wall. A bit of touch up paint, and now it is just "texturizer".

All in all, I have to say it's worth it.

Monday, June 1, 2009

And it is June!

For a Monday, today was not so bad. Lucky me I work in the school district I live in, so I just drove 1/4 block with all my heavy heavy gear and rolled into work. It was so nice, I even got to come home and have lunch! Which made me remember that I hadn't put out some garbage OR hung the laundry that was waiting in the nice when you can multitask things. We finally had a little rain, in the form of a very lazy thunderstorm early this morning, so my garden wasn't completely gasping for water by the end of the day.

My new cottage garden in front is underway. I moved several hundred pounds of dirt, compost, mulch and peat moss into position on Sunday morning. Now it is settling in and will soon be ready for planting. I am lucky to have gardening friends who are cleaning out their gardens and are willing to give me some lovely plants--irises and lillies and phlox and coneflower and bellflower and daisies--oh my! I think I'll splurge on some annuals like snapdragons and begonias, maybe some purple salvia, and call it good for now. Oh, I do love Spring!