Wednesday, September 25, 2013

More Exterior Siding Shots, In Case You Thought I Was Done or Something

Since Dad went home from his whirlwind tour of house painting at my place, I've kept plugging along on the project in between music lessons, college rugby matches, and keeping the local Lowe's in business single-handedly.

I also had a hard time facing the white blank square of a new blog post, so I just started it with a purty picture. Namely, these mums I picked up for the front door. I love the spicy smell. I wish blogs came in smell-O-vision. At least for this photo. 

I'm out of practice writing for pleasure, and that's a weird place to be for me. It's like forgetting how to eat chocolate, or why you like napping. How does that even happen? So it's just the mum shot and me typing along hoping I still can do this. I think it's the VOCs from the paint. 

I promised some progress photos last time I posted. Here we go: 

Please ignore the drought-condition hideousness of my lawn. Can you believe this siding is almost 75 years old? 

I think the change is pretty astounding. The house now looks like it fits on its foundation: 

The green highlights the colors in the brick, rather than fighting with it like the mauve-y beige did. The paint drips on the brick are from someone else's previous job, and I'm trying to decide whether to remove it, or camouflage it with brick-colored paint. 

Just to give readers a reference, here's a (slightly wonky) photo taken in April 2011 right before I closed on the house:

And again: 

The deck still drives me bonkers. From the street level it really blocks the view of the front door area. Previously this house had brick front patio steps to match the foundation. Why, why, why did they tear that off?

I did get some paint slapped on the shutters, but haven't had time to mount them on the windows yet. The honey gold is perfect with the green--it's somehow both light and rich, and I can't wait to see them all painted and up. That funky (and not in the good way) black box on the little table pictured below is my mailbox (lying down flat). I have a new one on order, and it will hang just under the house number plaque. I kept everything small, simple, traditional, and black, because it's a little traditional Cape Cod. 

As good as this all looks, it's still in progress. I've moved around to the south side. The paint there is positively baked. 

I also tore off a storm window on the front of the house by myself, and it went.....well. I'm not sure where I got the idea I could be up a ladder, holding onto a 30 lb. aluminum and glass storm window with one hand and prying it off the face frame with a crow bar in the other hand. The last stripped screw gave way with a sudden pop, and then there were a few moments I'm glad cameras were not rolling and that my mind vacated the situation. If it had been there, I'm sure it would have been saying "Holy ;qalweirjoaidnf;alskenr! Crowbar bad glass ow #$#%$#%."

I ended up with the storm window dumped/dropped/flung off the frame, me still on the ladder (I think that was the most important upside to all of this), and the storm window on the ground UNBROKEN (I taped the panes). I have no idea how that happened, only I am glad it did. I also barked the skin off both sets of knuckles, got a bruise on my hand, and a small cut on my left arm. 

Here's a cell phone shot I took shortly after. It looks eerily calm compared to the desperate moments I had on the ladder just seconds before. 

I sat down for a few moments just to ponder in silent awe my stupidity and then concluded that this was a four-handed job. Um.....DUH. I also sulked a great deal, because I want to do this stuff on my own, and can't. Sigh. I need to scrape and repaint the face frame of the window. I've got a new storm window on order, and most important, with emphasis added, a handyman lined up to install the new one. Because I don't have four hands. And I'd like to survive the summer. 

Which just frees me up for more scraping on the south side of the house. That I can handle-- physically, if not psychologically. 

Are we done yet? 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

And Then the Cavalry Arrived

The house painting project had gotten out of hand in so many ways. A too cold May followed a rainy June, which segued into a busy July, a dangerously hot August, and oh, shit. It's September. It's September and all I have to show for it is a home that looks like the neighborhood meth house and the frustrating feeling that while I was spending my time elsewhere (kids, school, laundry, errands, work), I was about to massively fail at a fairly major project. It was on both my mind and my shoulders in a heavy, oppressive way.

But then, the cavalry arrived.

Every girl should have her Dad as a hero. Mine sure was this last week.

He drove up from his home in Missouri, put on his work clothes, and got down to business. I've never been so relieved to have help.

With us working together paint started going on the front facade of the house, just like that:

And fleshy beige color began to disappear:

Going, going, gone:

We worked so hard that I didn't even get an "after" picture; I wanted to move the ladders out of the way, and my hands were so crusted with paint I didn't trust myself with the camera OR the cell phone.
I promise to post some soon.

I'm deeply grateful for the all-out effort and the hot, hard, heavy work (with nothing but some coffee and peach pie for payment). But even more important, if such a thing is possible, is making me feel less overwhelmed. I realize now I'd gotten to the point where I already felt defeated, and it was affecting my efforts. I got my confidence back in those four days. I'm under no illusion that this is going to get done soon, but I'm tackling the south side this weekend now that I've got the fight back in me.

Thanks, Dad.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Remember Me? I Used to Write a Blog Around Here.


I think I may need to reintroduce myself. I'm Laura. I used to write this blog. I still do, at least today.

What's been going on?

I've moved my oldest (across town, admittedly) to college. The cell phone photo is probably so bad because the relative humidity that day was about 1342 percent. In an un-air conditioned dormitory.

I've been weirdly sad. And also glad that he's going to school in town, so I can see him more often than most parents of college students get to do. I'm conflicted about that. Sad and grateful at the same time is a sort of jumpy stomach sort of feeling.

I bought a big-ass stack of paint cans.

No, that's not even for the entire house.

DIY warrior weekends:

The suck, it goes on forever.

I have been scraping, sanding, and caulking approximately since Truman left the White House. Or at least it feels that way.

It's hot here; my grass died.

It's hot here; I ran another 5K; I felt like dying.

Better (longer, more grammatical) posts soon.