Saturday, May 05, 2012

Lady of the House Productions Presents...

Liz Against the House - a video trailer about my adventure in house painting preparation. What? Doesn't everyone make movie trailers about such things? Well, if you enjoy watching others work, stick around til the end of the post...

The house had nearly beaten me. For three months, prep work to paint this aging little bungalow we call home had been ongoing. My son was home for a few months and together we busted our butts to pressure clean, scrape, sand and prime our vintage bundle of love, day after exhausting day.

He wielded the pressure cleaner.

This part was my job. Not sure which is worse, pressure cleaning or cleaning up after it.

Then my son had to leave. :( Now mind you, we had worked on this knuckle buster (literally) almost every day for all those months. Tedious and brutal. We scraped all the soffits and wood surround the house. 56 years of paint layers were in need of our tireless efforts. We obliged.

Then somewhere around the 3 month mark, I lost the will to scrape. I lost the will to sand. I lost the will to clean, caulk and prime. I wanted to look at pretty pictures on the internet and do fun projects with a much quicker payoff and a more satisfying outcome. Rather than just tear down and put back what I already had, and which, if I had my way, once done, should never have to be bothered with again, I wanted to create something new and fun and quicker.

After Cael left, and the temperature rose steadily (doesn't make for good scraping and sanding), life got in the way and I found every reason not to go out and finish the last big section of this prep work.

There may have been a little of this going on...

and this...

...until yesterday, that is. I don't know what it was, but suddenly, IT was back from wherever IT had taken a hiatus to for the past month. IT is My Mojo and it came bounding in the front door ready to work and drug me straight outside to open the garage door (For some reason, opening the garage door, maneuvering the ladder out and hauling everything around to the backyard is the hardest part of the project). Yet, just like that my "will" to sand and scrape was back. I was gonna get this thing off my list once and for all!

So I thought it would be fun to make a "quick" (yeah, right) video to satisfy my craving for a little creative fun and so that I might have something to show for my day's sweat and filth and achey muscles. After exerting the bulk of my muscle (stop laughing!),  there wasn't time to paint the primer onto that section of the soffit because the caulk had to dry. Unfortunately that part, which I did today, is not recorded in the adventurous movie trailer you are about to witness.

Just hold's coming!

So I took my little camera out with me (it has video) and I set it without any thought to what I'd do with the footage, and I turned it on a minute or so at a time, kind of haphazard and, sorry about that, but without much care. I placed it in hanging planters, on the ground, on the ladder shelf, held it and did whatever I could think of to get a few shots. I found out today when I went to edit it that I needed certain shots I didn't have, but oh, well, next time I'll plan ahead. What's done is done. Before I started, I took a "before" photo of myself because I knew how I would look "after"... I did this to remember, lest I forget, why it is I may have lost the will in the first place.

I slathered on the Coppertone and I was ready to head out. (The added benefit of this work is that you do work up a decent tan.) Oh, happy day. See how happy I am. Yes, indeed, happy, happy, happy to get out there and sand above my head while standing on a ladder...and being covered with paint dust and other particles...what some of it is, I am not sure and I do not want to think about it, thank you.

I really had to offer a "before" because the "during" and "after" are embarrassingly unflattering to say the least. You'll see.

Having no experience at the photo in the mirror shots, I chopped myself off and couldn't get focused.

Tried numerous times, gave it another shot, nothing worked. (oh, whatever!)... 
...then I gave up and went out because I had a lot of agonizing work to do. Oh well, who cares and anyway, "soft focus" is actually a valuable commodity after a certain age. You get the idea. There I am and it only gets worse.

Please note, I had to go up and down the ladder every few minutes for 4 hours for one reason or another AND YET I STILL do NOT have buns of steel (not even thighs of steel.) What a rip off! I have been working my arms until they ache for months and yet I STILL have FLAB WINGS too...the kind my kids walk by and flick so they can watch them swing. It's hopeless. 

So, I ask you...How can this injustice go on despite my gung-ho efforts and my achey, exhaustive and determined work ethic? I still have cellulite and granny arms! I think that once you stumble over the "50 milestone" (after all, it is one rather large rock), you might expect that first you will hear a rather loud thud as you fall to the earth from whatever lofty place you may have once enjoyed in your youthful former glory, if such a glory actually ever existed (I'm finding whatever you were unhappy with during youth becomes something you only dream of having later and wish you would have appreciated while you had it. Enjoy it while you have it ladies!) Now the muscle groups have given up. Early retirement, I guess. They must have their job confused with government work. (oops, did I just say that?)

For the record, along the way, during my trek up and down the ladder, and with a killer neck ache, a sore arm, back and legs... I sat down because I had to rest, and I offered myself a treat. That's how it works around here. (and maybe it has a little something to do with the lack of buns and thighs of steel.)

Sorry, I didn't think to photograph it until after I sat down outside on the step in the afternoon heat and was already eating it. Not a very nice presentation. This is the hot fudge sauce I made the other day, and boy is it good. I'll try and post the recipe this weekend.

Here are the tools needed for the job, minus the ladder and the rag. 

The bowl, spoon and its previous contents were absolutely vital to the job.

After I had sanded all my flabby arms and tender neck could stand, I caulked.

While sitting and enjoying my ice cream and hot fudge, I pondered the view looking across the back yard from the South side of the house where I was working.

Oh, and how did I look afterwards? Well...perfectly lovely, as you can imagine.

See why I showed you the "before"? I couldn't show my teeth because my face was so white it made my teeth look yellow.

Nice, huh? Can you believe I am showing you this? Have I no shame? Apparently not.

This was the skin on my chest.  I shudder to think what all that actually is.

I still have no real before and after shot of what I was working on. It's just not very eye-grabbing or exciting. It's hard core maintenance. Well here, I have bits and pieces.

I have this from the front of the house:

Oh, and in order to have a somewhat finished product to show, here is a section of the soffit with the primer on it. This I painted today... I know... you want to run right out and try this project yourself, don't you.

I know what you're saying...

You are probably "Oooohing and ahhhhhing", right? You are so impressed and inspired. I just know it. 

Wait... What?! You're not? This doesn't do it for you?
Well, listen kids, sometimes you don't get eye candy. Sometimes you have to eat your broccoli, despite the fact that it stinks to high heavens and really doesn't taste good. So it goes, and so I will continue doing this "broccoli" job, although you can count on me to sneak some fun and more visually pleasing projects in here and there. With this awful section of a terrible job I didn't want to do behind me, I feel justified in getting back to a few creative projects the rest of the weekend.

Okay, enough rambling on and on...

"The Lady of the House" Productions is proud to present 
("proud" might be a tad overstated) 
the trailer for the epic adventure:

Liz Against the House 
(you know, meaning something like Liz Against the World) for it has actually been a battle in many, many respects.

 This is a 
"Just For The Fun of It" Film

If you enjoy watching someone else work, here you go, all condensed and under a minute. Yep, that's all there is to it. Doesn't do the 4 hours justice, but so be it. It is just a hint of the action and adventure that is my house painting project. Enjoy.

Gosh, you know what...maybe I should use music like that while I work next time. Might inspire me to epic things.

Until next time... eat your broccoli, but don't forget to enjoy a little ice cream too!

I'll be at


  1. Oh my goodness, my arms and buns and thighs are aching at the thought of all of their hard work. And isn't it infuriating, how hard one can work and have so little to show for it? I feel your pain, those paint chips all around made me shudder at my bad memories of a similar experience. And don't think you're alone in the loss of your mojo...mine disappeared for a few years. A break is good for the soul. :)

    Thank you so much for the kind words about my pallet crate, I made some really simple pallet wall art too, if you're looking for a really easy pallet project to ease you into it. :)

    1. Karah, thanks for coming by and leaving me a message. I have wanted to make a sign for my kitchen for over the stove for some time and that word art project might be just the thing. So many great ideas you have. Good thing YOU got your mojo back. :) We need your inspiration!

  2. Hi Liz! Stopping by for the first time and really enjoyed this post (probably because I wasn't doing all the hard work but instead being entertained by someones else) :) Looking forward to perusing more of your posts and getting to know you a bit.

    Kindly, Lorraine

  3. So sweet...thank you, Lorraine. I hope you enjoy looking around and come back again. Thanks for leaving me a comment. Nice to know when someone's been by.

  4. Hey Liz! I have to tell you that I adored reading your post today! After you left your sweet message on my blog, I just had to pop over for a visit...and found myself just loving the way you write! Your words and antics and moans and groans drew me in and had me giggling. I totally hear ya about the grandma arms and lack of steely buns. They've shown up on this 54 y/o body, too....and they won't leave! lol! Rest assured, girlie - you look fabulous - paint chips and all. lol! Good luck with the rest of your painting. Keep the big picture in mind. It'll look gorgeous once you get it all done!!!! If I lived closer, I'd be there in a jiffy to help you! :) Have a restful Sunday!

    xoxo laurie

  5. So sweet, Laurie! And I'm so glad you came by and took the time to read. Bless your heart! I'll be back to see you as well! You have a great Sunday too!

  6. GIRL, you ARE my hero!! LOVE the video, very inspiring...the music...the camera know how to get a dirty job done!! So glad you came by, thanks for linking up, this was great fun!! I hear you on the bat wing arms...eck...

    1. Love to play the my own mind usually. Thanks for being my audience, and a fine one at that! As for bat wings...clearly there is no cure. So very glad you were here!

  7. Hi Liz, wow I'm amazed at the work you've accomplished. That is quite an undertaking and how sweet of your son to join you on the project. I can't wait to see the end result. Weren't you so thankful for the ice cream sundae break? Happy Sunday!!

  8. Hi Kitty, Yes, you are so right. The ice cream sundae break made for a little joy amongst the pain. It was wonderful having my son here for much of the work. He scraped some things that I could not have gotten to on the highest soffits and other work I would have long since abandoned. It's always a relief when someone pitches in. I hope I ever finish. I'll share the end product someday, if I can decide about paint color. That may mean leaving it the same white and green it is now. Decisions, decisions. I'm no good at them.

  9. Oh my girl you are something else to tackle this. You are so funny. Thanks for sharing your creativity and thoughts with the newbie party.

  10. Thank YOU! Glad to be able to be a part of it! And thanks for coming by!

  11. Liz.. all your hard work really paid off in a big way!! You certainly do have a flair for telling your story... very engaging! thanks for visiting my site and it is great to make a new blog friend!!

    1. Hi Schotzy, so glad to see you here. Thank you for coming by and commenting. I appreciate your kind words. New blog friends, indeed! I hope you'll come again!

  12. Hahahahaha! Love the epic trailer. Too funny. And I'm so with you and the Mojo thingy. I'm waiting to get my "It" back so I can move forward on my master bedroom. It's in limbo. And my husband has been such a patient man ...



    1. Well, when you least expect it, maybe your mojo too will show up and drag you to it. Maybe your husband will get some mojo for the job before you do, or is it something you would rather he not get his hands on? :) Thanks for stopping to comment. It is much appreciated!

  13. Oh Liz I LOVED the video. I hate working over my head, my arms just can't take it anymore and my neck aches so I truly feel for you! I have two ceiling in our house that I need to repair and trust me, it is going to take more than mojo to get me to them.

    1. Hi Ingrid, thank you for empathizing! Now get in there and get working on that ceiling. I'm with ya! Still, I agree that even mojo can only go so far.



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