Thursday, June 30, 2016

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Day 2

My Work Space

My Work

It still looks like it needs to be stripped! I din't know what kind of paint they were useing back in the fifties, but it came to work and it means to stay. I'm done with the major work but now its going to be about getting the  detail work done, the nooks and cranys that I will not be able to use the electric sander on - so real fun stuff, good times.

It really bothers me that the white stuff wouldn't come off! I stripped the hell out of that door and it didn't come clean. I expected it to be down to the wood and its not and it makes me feel like I didn't do the job I set out to do, I did a lot of work and I worked hard and it didn't really prove much.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

"It means more if you do it yourself" And Other Lies they Tell Us.

I went to Lowes at lunch and (thought) I stocked up on everything I would need to get my door taken care of. I got the stripper - not the one I found online, still looking for that, safety goggles and respirator mask and steel wool sponges.

I realized later i didn't have gloves or el cheapo paint brush. Later on I found I didn't have any odorless mineral oil in the house either. Trip #3.

I get home with all my new toys. I break out the mask and gloves and goggles

Not pictured, special chemical gloves.

And then I went to open the chemical. It wouldn't open. Not an inch, I could not get the lid to open. It had some sort of child proof bull shit cap on it and it was not following instructions. I went online and found that if I took off the plastic cap, the can could be opened.

I couldn't get it open.

I called gtech support. TS told me that due to changes in rules in the south, they had to change the amount of torque they use on the can lids and that they can be very hard to open. That is putting it mildly! Walnuts are hard to open! Platic packaging is hard to open! They both OPEN.

 He said he was a big guy and he couldn't get the cans open. He suggested some sort of wrench, I told him I  already used a crescent wrench and I couldn't make it work, he said that was the wrong kind and suggested a spugergumble wrench. I do not know what a spufergumble wrench is! It turns out its like an adjustable wrench only the mouth hangs open further - and I had one!

The last thing he said to me before I told him it was very bad customer service to have a product that the consumer can not open - on damn purpose no less! - He told me to go get a neighbor and have Him open it for me.I told him I was returning his product and buying one better designed and he better know this was a customer service complaint about their damn product.

I got my wrench and opened the can and went to work.

And lots of rubbing and scrubbing! Its thick like syrup and you brush it on and it just a couple of minutes the paint begins to bubble - you can hear the chemicals ripping and tearing at the paint - its fabulous! See image 1.

 And you wait. You wait a lot, its done section by section by section and It takes about 15 minutes for it to do its thing, the bubbles get larger an finally, you can scrape a layer or so of paint off the surface and then you scrape, scrape, scrape and then you steel wool it and then you start over.

.I think it would be the most effective on newish generations of paint to get the  whole  removing layers and layers of paint effect. My paint is mostly very old and to my shock, there aren't thousands of layers of paint on the door. There seem to be only three layers of paint. My red paint, the brown that was there when I bought it and a layer of white they may or may not be primer and I can't remove it.

I'm going to do what I can with the rest of the door and then surrender to my brothers electric sander to get the rest of it off and get it nice and smooth for painting. The goggles, mask and gloves were useful but hot and in the way. I wore the gloves and they were great and I tried to wear the mask but I couldn't breath with it on. The goggles were only vaguely useful.

Tomorrow - The Middle Of The Door!!!!

Monday, June 27, 2016


So this weekend I shopped for paint, I painted, I shopped for paint some more and I painted some more. My front door now looks like a Leprechauns quilt.

I went out Friday night and found a whopping six shades of green that I thought looked like contenders. HGTV Magazine raved about one shade in particular and the picture of it in the magazine looked like a real winner. I was very excited that my Local Lowes had all the colors I wanted, even the two that had been "archived" and were no longer actively in rotation.

Saturday, with great excitement, I put tests on the door! No backing out now, this door will be painted! ( and stripped and sanded and primed) but still excited!

Wow. less excited. Some of these looked so much better in their swatches! I had no idea 3 and 5 were so fugly! I would have never brought them home from the store had they looked that blah! Live and learn - always buy samples and test them out before you buy!

So two down quickly. That's good. 1 I liked, 2 seems to be a little cheap looking, I'm not feeling it, 5 is nice, still feeling 5, it's a contender, 4 reads a little camo.

I'm liking but not loving these shades. I need to love it. This door is going to be a big job and I;m not going to do all that work for "like". I went back to the store, this time a different store.

The top three are not all the same color. They are also not all neon, 8 and 9 or probably close to neon, but they aren't . 7 is by far my favorite. It has pop, its bright and its visible from the street. Its also a happy green - not all greens are happy, some are very sad and others seem happy but are disingenuous .

The new paints make the old paints look very drab and dark and sad and not at all what I was looking for. I don't want drab! I want Pop! and Vividness! I want a door that radiates zest! I want a door you can see from the street through the storm door. I want  a color that says Hi! I Am The Front Door! How! Are! You!

The presumptive  winning color is Key Lime, 27D-5 by Clark + Kensington, who are too precious to let me put their swatch here.

Below is my mud room, and it's now clean floor. "Why did you finally clean that awful space?" you ask, "Did you get tired of its crummy appearance?  Were you finally humiliated by it?"

No. Its a mud room and I don't spend enough time in the space to care about its appearance. I cleaned it because I spilled about 2/3 of a can of bright green paint "Lucky Charm Green", by Benjamin Moore on the floor  and it made an enormous mess that had to be cleaned up immediately - and it was, but now I had a very clean section and the untouched section and that looked weird so I cleaned it all.

Ace is the place that charges you a lot and then gives you too much paint in their samples, Lowe's is the place with reasonable sample sizes in screw top containers. Hurmph.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday Cats Blogging


Things I want to do soon

1. Get a pedicure. I am wearing sandals every day and I am walking around looking like a girl Hobbit! I'm afraid  if I don't take action myself that I'm going to find a farrier on my doorstep. It is definitely time to get the hooves worked on, I'm not going to bother with a manicure because between the animals and the garden, nice  finger nails wouldn't have a chance.

2. Pay the man to pull the hated, ugly shrubberies out of my front yard. I hate them, they are ugly and its time for them to go. I want to plant azaleas in their place.

3.Paint my front door bright green. Its been a stately burgundy for a while now, and while it is certainly okay, I've been admiring  the front doors they put on the flipped houses -  they inevitably  paint the front doors a  vivid, bright color and they all look really nice - I have to respect their door game. I'm tired of the tasteful red and want a color you can see from the street.

4. New porch lights. Mine are too small and only one side functions as a light.  I need new ones that are the right proportions for the house and that work, preferably dawn to dusk not motion activated. I all ready have one of those.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Before and After

Okay, shrubbery glamour shots!

Aren't those sexy shrubs? I think so! And , the  lens is filthy and needs to be addressed. I'm going to take the whole shabang in to be cleaned at a camera place soonest.

Okay, here is the house, the first one is in roughly October 2002

The second, this weekend.

The exterior really hasn't changed much. I think the last owners would be pleased that I've done such a good job maintaining the house almost exactly as they left it. The front door is a different color and the shrubs have grown, but it looks essentially the same.

So I'm getting new porch lights! The old ones are too small, are failing and  are frankly, ugly. I am torn between getting something with a Cute Cottage-y,/ English Garden style vibe , scratch that. I looked that up and its what I have now and I don't like that I have now. or  going Full Eames Era or maybe, going modern. Did I mention I want to paint the door again? Something visible from the street? Like a bright green or a bright orange? The flippers do it and I really think its a good look.

The other interesting picture I found was the back yard, again from October  2002.

That birdbath is long gone, the concrete pad still lives on though. It stood roughly in the back-middle of the yard. It is long like a bowling ally.  The yard is very shaded by the huge tree that was blown over in a tornado.

The bird bath is roughly behind the table,  on the ground, next to the hanging basket hanger. The fence nearest the neighbors is my addition, the back fence had to be replaced after the tree knocked the other one over. The neighbors had a large tree in the first image that fell over right before I moved into the house and justmissed the bedroom window.

Oh, because I can

Same squash, a day apart.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


I meant to post last night but I was caught in a tidying spiral  and I couldn't get out. I did manage to free myself and then I couldn't find the TV remote and I look d and look and couldn't find  it and ultimately freaked out because I thought I might have tidied it into the trash .

It wasn't in the trash, but it was hiding in plain site to be a bastard .

The promised glamor shots of the shrubs will be here tomorrow.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Garden 2016 Update 7

We have green tomatoes!

We have mostly sauce tomaotes, but there are at least a couple of slicers in the mix! I am also heartened by the sheer number of blooms, needless to say, everything that looks good and is producing, I bought at the store. The plant I pulled out last week and the plant I am going to pull out this week came from the hipsters with a greenhouse. Lesson learned damn it.

They did do well with my celery root though, and there was no way I was going to find celery root starters at Home Depot - where I am now boycotting because Mr. Home Depot is a Trump supporter!  that leaves only Lowes for my big box home improvement store needs, and I am officially angry with them too, because they cowardly pulled their sponsorship of an innocuous reality show about the day-to-day life of a Muslim family in America, because they got calls from bigots complaining about Islamist's on their TVs and thus it was removed from all of our TVs.

The bigots could have left it on my TV and just turned the channel to NASCAR highlights or whatever  it is bigots like to watch on TV.  But no, it had to be gone from all the TVs. Religious Freedom, Ya'll!

Anyway, back to the garden. The hipster provided celery root ( the only plants they sold me that haven't died yet, thank you hipsters!), I have two plants of the four I started with, this is the larger, but the other one is coming along quite nicely too.


After such drama with the pepper plants, I have some good news! They are all still alive! and a couple are producing!

They don't grow very fast, but they produce much longer than the tomatoes do, I am feeling a little more hopeful than I was a couple of weeks ago.

My container squash plant is trying to squash my peppers

The plants are going nuts! They are not however, giving me any squash joy yet, I have found a few female flowers with nice looking baby's...

 But they aren't getting fertilized  in time and they die, I am a little concerned. I pulled one of the plants in the new garden because it was a little peeky looking ( from being crowded) and while I don't need dozens of spaghetti squash anyway, I would like to get at least some - but if the plants and bees don't get on it, I'm not going to have any. Sniff.

Zucchini plant is looking very nice

My corn plants that are sharing space with the squash are doing as well as can be expected, I'm really happy they are doing as well as they are. I really had no idea the squash would be so exuberant.

This weekend was  officially Shrub Maintenance   weekend and I spent most of Saturday trimming and tiding. If you didn't see how bad it was before , you can't really understand how much better it looks now. I would have taken "before" pictures, but it was just too shameful.

I pulled suckers from beneath the tree that throws entirely too much shade on the old garden,I trimmed the hell out of the plants under the bedroom window ( love my hedge trimmer!) trimmed back the vines on the fence, and mowed the yard. I also did heroic work in the front yard that required the ladder to accomplish! -  but I forgot to take pictures because it was hot and I was over it, I will post those tomorrow because the yard looks so much nicer now. I also found a couple of pictures I took before I moved into the house almost 15 years ago and it will be fun to compare and contrast.