Painting All Day and a Full Moon

The plan was to get started as soon as I could.  I needed to sand some more, so I figured I needed to wait until everyone was awake, at least.  But I didn’t wake up until late myself.  It was 8:00 before I was really moving about the house.  And I was the first one up.  Coffee, breakfast, water, making plans, all that happened before I got out there.  I sanded with the disc sander, then with the corner sander.  Then I taped.  Then I had to decide what to do with the windows.  Tape them or scrape them?  I decided to try a third method and scrape/wipe as I go.  And I realized I didn’t have a small paintbrush, as I had thought.

After a trip to the hardware store I began the actual painting–meaning dipping the brush into the primer and spreading the white stuff on the trim–at 11:30.  We have a small extension of the house in front of the deck.  It has an additional small piece of roof.  I decided to just do the trim on this section, not including the upper windows above this small roof or the windows off to the side on the same side of the house or the soffit along the roof proper, and I am glad I limited my ambitions.  After two hours of slapping on primer I was maybe a third finished.  I took a break for lunch and kept going.

I painted and painted.  I was not looking forward to the cross pieces on the windows.  They would require the most time and the most care.  The thing is, I don’t even like those things.  They are not necessary to the structure of the windows–one pane would do fine–and the house isn’t so old that that all those panes were the only option.  Plus, they block the view.  I have to bob and weave to see the sunset or to follow the harrier hovering over the field.  I wish they weren’t there and now I have to paint them with care.  I saved those for last.

These are tall windows I am painting at this point, the size of doors.  I decided to leave the two actual doors for later since I need to take them off to really paint them.  I’ll get to those when I paint the upper windows.  Still, that means four full length windows with ten panes each.  Painting those would be a bear I imagined.  I painted one, ten panes total, and it was late.  My family had already eaten dinner.  I wanted to keep plugging away.  I didn’t want to leave it for tomorrow since the oil-based paint needs a day to dry.  But since the remaining window panes had been covered by storm windows (which I removed before starting) they didn’t need primer.  I painted the bottoms where some water had leaked through over the past few years and I was done for now.

I was at it for eight hours.  That is a good day’s work.  The problem is that I still need to put the final coat on, the actual paint.  That will take me another day.  The other problem is that I still have most of the house to paint.  The other problem is that I am just working on the trim.  The siding will need to be painted as well, it just didn’t need it so badly this summer, or so I thought until I spent a bunch of time right next to it while painting the trim.  I have many many hours of work left to get this all done.  I understand why other people hire someone to paint their houses.  A team of people with the right tools who know what they are doing and have the time to just hammer it out?  That would get it done way faster and way better than me.  It just happens to cost thousands of dollars.  I’ll do it myself, at least this time.

I can’t quite figure out why one would use paint instead of stain these days.  Stain seems better for the wood and requires far less work to maintain.  Our last house was stained and (granted is was a little smaller) took me only a few days to refinish.  That was easy.  This is not.  Scrape it all off and stain it next time?  Sounds just as hairy.  Maybe next time I have to get this done, however, I will be better equipped.  I will know what I am doing and will have the tools and equipment.  I might be faster.  Or I could just pay someone to do it.  I hate to succumb to that but whew, this project is a beast.

Anyway, night has fallen and the air is cool and I have some peach ice cream under my belt, and I mean that last one literally.  I am not sure how much I will get done tomorrow.  We plan to head to the Addison County Field Days.  All this playing certainly gets in the way of painting.  One can’t do everything, however, and I, humble homeowner that I am, am simply doing what I can.  At the moment I plan to just enjoy watching the full moon peek out from behind the clouds.  That is enough for the time being.

A Little Sweat and a Little Work Done

Yesterday was a hot one and we didn’t linger at home.  We visited a bunch of friends on the lake, swimming and eating outside and generally making a time of it.  So I didn’t get much done on my first day off for the summer.  Today I did manage to get a bunch accomplished.  The sun shone and the day was warm.  It was a good one for getting things done.

The first thing I managed to do, after making a couple of perfect over easy eggs for my daughter, was to go for a run.  I haven’t run in far too long and I am finally sans pain.  I only put in four miles, but I felt just great.  If I can keep that up I will be golden.  I managed to sweat only lightly while on the road, but when I got back home I headed straight to the garden.  I discovered that something has been yanking up our corn again.  I thought that problem was solved but it looks like it will require some more trickery.  I also ate a few ripe strawberries.  And pulled some weeds.

I took a shower a little later but was still sweating when I was done with that small task.  So I headed to the garage to stack firewood.  We need to move what we have closer to the door to make room for the new stuff we will get later.  We need to wood that is most dry to be most available.  Plus, once it all gets consolidated there is more room for the lawnmower.  We need to be crafty to fit it all in.  I did what I could but left a bunch for later.  Then it was lunch time.

Since I had only two chocolate chip cookies and two cups of coffee (hey, it had cream in it) for breakfast, I was hungry.  We have tons for lettuce from our share at the farm so I stacked six big fat leaves of it under a veggie burger.  I also added some mayo.  That did the trick.  Oh, and pickle.  And a handful of dilly potato chips.  And another cookie.

My son and I took a trip to town for some errands.  I needed to get a few tools and supplies to get started on scraping paint from the house, and I had this lid to a compost bin that I had purchased way back in November.  It was the wrong size and I figured out I didn’t need it anyway.  So I finally brought it back.  I even managed to save the receipt the whole time so it was a quick transaction.  Then the kid wanted to play on the play structure.  I can’t blame him.  The thing is pretty impressive.  After sailing on a couple of ships, swimming in the shallow water and avoiding a bunch of sharks, I picked out a ceramic pot and we hit it.

I used the pot to repot a plant.  Duh.  We got this plant almost seven years ago.  It was in a plastic pot inside a wicker basket.  It looked good for a while, but we overfilled the pot so many times that the basket was wet all the time.  Eventually the bottom rotted out.  Since the plastic pot just fit inside the basket, I had a bumbling time extracting it.  The extraction involved flying dirt, rotted basket smear on the white T-shirt, and a pinched finger.  After the struggle, however, the new pot served its purpose.  The plant is still a little hurting, but I am hoping it will recover with the fresh dirt and some room to grow.

I managed to get a few other random tasks accomplished as well (cleaned those seedling pots finally) and made up a good dinner.  The dinner used up a good pile of produce from the farm–bok choy, kale, mini turnips–and some other veggies.  All that spiced and flavored with vinegar over brown rice–it was a winner.  My daughter even ate it, although my son pointed to the steaming bowl of vegetables and declared “I don’t like that” as soon as he sat down.  At least he ate the rice.

More projects tomorrow.  And maybe some reading.  I need to yank some weeds from the garden, and maybe plant another round of greens.  If it’s hot, however, swimming (somewhere) will be in order.  We’ll see about the weather.

Ready to Get to Work, Now the the Weekend is Here

I had a busy week. I put in a few long days. I made phone calls at night, did paperwork after the children went to bed, and rose early to get letters out. I am ready to put down the job for a day or two. Unfortunately, I will have to do some work this weekend to make some deadlines. Actually, I already missed the deadlines but I want to be less late.

We did not finish mowing the field last weekend and the tractor still sits at its edge, waiting to be fired up. The garden is only partly turned. The wood pile is smaller than a week ago, but remains at the edge of the lawn. The front storm door still needs new glass. The compost piles need some work.

So I have plenty to do this weekend. I look at the wood pile every day and it calls to me that it wants to be inside, out of the rain. I need to listen to it. And we need to get the tractor back. It ain’t ours you don’t you know. With the dump run, a trip to the market and the cooking I’d like to do (my boy requested waffles for breakfast, and we need to use those apples in a pie) I will be busy.

How am I going to fit the running back in? I will start rising early next week and getting the miles in. I am hoping the week isn’t as busy as this one, so I can give up a little sleep. Once winter sets in those outdoor projects either need to be done or need to wait until spring. Then I will have some time to run. I will just need to stay motivated once the air gets icy.

We will get the field cut. I will get the wood in. Maybe I will get the garden dug and mulched. I might even manage to come close to those deadlines. I imagine I will do all right if I can rustle up some hot coffee and some waffles. And if I can bake up a pie, I can probably even get that broken storm door fixed.