Thursday, April 26, 2012

There Are Good Intentions, And Then There's Reality

I got up with every intention of beginning the sanding of the last leg of soffit work, the part on the back side of the house. (Last leg, yes, but then there is still an "ankle and a "foot" over on the West side of the back room above the awning left to do. I'm seriously considering pretending that part doesn't exist and just moving on.)

Cael and I kicked butt on this house prepping and painting project nearly every day for 3 months.

I forgot to put something down before he started pressure cleaning. Although, I found that moving sheets around as he worked and dumping the junk into a pile was not much better than cleaning up the mess. It was still everywhere, and it was nearly impossible to keep the stuff landing where it should.

It was cold out too! Cold and wet is no fun.

Glad that's done.

After that we went ahead and primed the walls, asap, for the sake of the neighbors, knowing it would be a while before we'd be anywhere near ready to paint. It looked horrendous. Then we began the scraping and sanding of the wood areas, the trim, soffits and fascia. 

This was our glory section. I mean doing it stunk on ice, but we got ALL the layers of paint off and let me tell you it was not fast, and it was brutal work and took many, many days. But we were pretty proud of this part because it was quite a feat.

There was the little problem of the chunk of rotten wood that disintegrated as Cael scraped there. The hole remains. We never got to figuring out how to fix it before he left because we had so much other scraping, sanding, etc. to do that we couldn't shift gears. I stuck something in there to prevent lizards and other unthinkable creatures from slithering, scampering or crawling in, and the method I used is a serious rig job. Embarrassing. I wonder if it will ever get fixed. Rather I doubt it will ever get fixed.

Then when Cael left for CA, I lost the will to scrape or anything remotely required for this job. After three months of doing nothing else, I had to rest from my labors. I have only worked on it for two days in the month since he's been gone. For shame! Although, I do claim a legitimate excuse, for the few days I was sick (I mean truly sick, not pretend-because-I-don't-want-to-do-gruelling-work-sick). Although, that's valid too.

Here is my challenge today. This job has to be done either before the sun gets cooking or late in the afternoon when the shadows start to fall back there. This side of the house faces the sun all day and a person (read: me) would have to work up a good deal of mojo to begin.

It has been scraped.

Now it must be sanded, wiped down, caulked and primed. Sigh. It's so hard. [Yes, I'm whining.] It's such dirty, sweaty, achey work. Not exactly rewarding either. No one wants to come over and admire the soffits you've been scraping. They also have the nerve to say things like, you're still working on that? Why does it take so long? 

It's a wonder I carry on.

So I took pictures of flowers and shells and stuff instead.

That makes sense, doesn't it? 

For the record, I did start the first load of laundry, did dishes, made Casey breakfast, cleaned it up and cleaned out the fridge and took out the trash...and picked up junk scattered about. 

So after months of hanging the laundry all over my back patio on old ladders and awning poles and patio furniture (the dryer broke and I'm too cheap to get a new one), I finally tied a piece of rope across and underneath one of my awnings. Brilliant, I am! We started having rainy laundry days for a while and I had to have some cover.

Why did I take pictures of clothespins? Um, frankly it's unexplainable. I guess I find them oddly intriguing. Probably because they remind me of being a kid on Honeysuckle Avenue. We didn't a have a dryer back in the 1960's either. Laundry on clotheslines and the practical genius of clothespins was a part of everyday life that makes for the stuff of nostalgia now all these years later.

My neighbor has every right to wonder about me though. I can be seen out there at all hours aiming my camera at any-and-every-thing. 

When I went in to pull the wet clothes out of the washer (thank goodness it works!) the lovely sound of coinage hitting the floor chimed in my ears. A dime had fallen out of someone's pocket, and I yelled to Casey that I had found a dime and was keeping it. I continued to tell her that laundry rules state that any money which falls out of pockets is the property of the one who does the laundry, and that if any more money fell out, it was mine too. She was like, "What?! That's not right." "Oh, yeah!" I said. Everyone knows this; it's a universal rule." She was indignant, saying if it was in HER pocket, it was HERS. Oh, contraire, I politely rebuffed. I proceeded to state that if it fell out of the pockets on my laundry watch, it was legally mine. 

"Wait!" I had $5.00 in my pocket," she said. You can't have that. I got it as tip money last night." I shook my head, respectfully and matter of factly, of course, and told her if it fell out, I was keeping it. We squabbled back and forth about this and I went out and started shaking all the clothes around which is a necessity, not an attempt to lure $5 dollar bills out. Lint is kind of a problem when you don't have a dryer. So is crispiness. So you have to shake it out. As I flung a pair of her black pants around, yes siree, I hit the jackpot! Out flew a neatly folded bill. I started whooping it up and yelling how I was rich and had struck pay dirt. "Too bad," I taunted. "It's the law." 

Casey did not believe I was really serious or that I would keep her money, however, I provided the evidence of my find, and as I unfolded it to wave it around in jubilation, it was a measly $1.00 bill. Bummer, I thought I had a five. I handed the wet bill over for her to inspect, and let her consider the rights of those who do the work in the house. I was gonna let her have it; I wanted a $5.00, and I figured there was still a chance for a windfall. Sadly that didn't pan out. However, after I hung all the clothes out, and came back inside, she told me I could have the dollar. 

She understood the sanctity of laundry law, after all. These are hard truths that kids must learn, and I was not above snatching up that dollar, after all, as I reminded her, I would no doubt end up spending it on her anyway. She concurred, and I went out to hang it on the line to dry with the rest of the laundry. 

Money laundering.

I took my camera and was out there longer than I should have been. She came out and I could feel her behind me staring. I turned to see a very curious look on her face. Why on earth was I out standing on a chair taking pictures of clothespins and the very clean dollar bill hanging on the line, she wanted to know. 

[I sigh and shake my head.] Casey and my neighbors have so much to learn. 

Me, I have so much to do...because when you take a zillion photos of flowers, clothespins and money hanging on a line, you have to also upload and decide which to keep and throw away, and then, if you are a serious procrastinator of projects, you write about it. Which I am. Which I did. 

Meanwhile, the sanding hour has long since past. Another load of laundry has been washed, the first one folded, the second, hung. 

The lawn has yet to be mowed (That was also today's must-do because I didn't do it last week), the grunge on the floors must be vacuumed (also not done last week) and we've got to eat! I'm in the mood for neither, much less spending the evening hour standing on a ladder holding a sander over my head and giving it all I've got as paint dust and chips rain down on me in the sweltering heat. 

If I end up out there, I will also be clad in reading glasses with safety goggles over top. I will be a sight to behold. Hopefully no one will... behold me, that is. At least there will be no photos. Casey and the neighbors don't do that sort of thing. Hallelujah for that!

All I can say is, does anyone know where I can get a manservant about this time of day? I need just a little more time to smell the roses.

I'll be at The Charm of Home 
and My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday. 
Stop by and join the parties!


  1. Wow what a project you took on!!! I am sure it will be worth it in the long run.
    Love your flower photos and clothes line. I agree with the money in the pocket thing. I tell my family the same thing. No one has yet to offer to do the laundry though! LOL!

    thanks for following my blog. I'm now following you too.


    1. Thanks, Sissie. No one here feels compelled to do laundry either. I just wish they'd leave money in their pockets more often. Thanks for following and for coming by. I do appreciate it!

  2. Beautiful photos of the roses! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

    1. My pleasure. I am thrilled by be able to take part in your party! Thanks for coming over to leave me a message.

  3. Children have so much to learn! We all have to learn the universal laundry laws at one time or another. It's just a fact of life. Love the clothes pin pics. And yes, you can trust that I won't turn you in for money laundering.

  4. My girls knew laundry law - the laundress gets paid now and then! They knew that if THEY found money, it was also theirs to keep, so they weren't averse to occasionally folding a load, warm from the dryer, with the chance of a nice clean $1 bill for payment. Or a coupla quarters. It's a crapshoot, but there's still a little luck in the world. If you're a laundress.


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