Fresh Paint

It seems the longer the chore takes to finish … or the more time I have to think about the work I’m doing … the easier it is to draw a correlation to Life. It happened earlier this summer when I had a lot of protected time on the tractor.

This weekend it happened again over painting. Well, technically it was over pressure washing. The prequel to painting.

The old barn has been many things over its lifetime, including a serial season marker. My first forays upstairs were the summer we got Patches, a rescue Calico meant to be a barn kitty. I spent many hours upstairs, alternating between reading Charlie Brown books to her and roller skating. Of course, once the hay was put up for the year, no more roller skating. Patches only lasted about 4 weeks as a barn kitty before finding her way up to the house, into the house, and staking out her favorite napping nook in the middle of my bed.

It’s been a few years since the barn’s been painted. {sigh} It was time. [Normally I’m a big fan of painting. But the barn’s two stories. And to get to the peaks is a real pain in the neck. Literally, a pain in the neck.] Because it’s been a while, scraping needed to happen. But then I had a brilliant idea.

I’ll say two things about pressure washing: 1. It’s one of my most.favorite.chores.EVER. and, 2. It’s way easier and way more fun than scraping old paint. Okay, three things. I <3 my pressure washer. I use it every chance I get. And sometimes I’ll even make up excuses to break it out.  Love, love, love.Photo Aug 15, 12 47 30 PM

So, Saturday pressure washing day. Let the barn dry out the rest of Saturday, paint on Sunday. The red paint on the east side trim came off like a champ. The red trim on the west side just cleaned up nicely.

Photo Aug 16, 1 06 49 PM

The white paint on the west side, that’s a different story.

Toward the peak of the barn, no problem. Cleaned up as pretty as you please. Toward the lower half of the building, however, it began to bubble and then to flake away.Photo Aug 15, 3 13 03 PM

 

Perhaps I had the water spray dialed in a little too much. But then, the barn’s only had about 15 layers of paint brushed on over the years; who’s to know what condition the wood is actually in?

And that’s when it struck me how pressure washing to clean the side of a building but ending up blasting away old layers of paint is <wait for it> a metaphor for life.

Sometimes you have to be a little … bold … to reach certain places that need to be cleaned. And what the Safety Committee doesn’t know… The Safety Committee would likely frown on my “creative solution to a challenging problem.” The 11 foot extension pole might pass inspection, but they’d probably freak out at my best monkey impersonation hanging out the second story door to reach the tippy tip of the peak (at least there isn’t any photographic evidence of that).Photo Aug 16, 1 49 49 PM

Pro tip: whenever possible, identify someone to hold your ladder.

 

Several people very dear to me, people in my inner sanctum, are in the midst of what can only be described as “significant life events.” Events of such a nature that most of us don’t anticipate, don’t think to prepare for, that we aren’t ordinarily equipped to deal with. And yet, in each separate case, I’m witnessing my friends meet the difficulty, acknowledge it, make adjustments, and move on with life.

In a manner of speaking, they’ve let the pressure washer of the event strip away all the inconsequentials that subtly build up over time. It hasn’t been an easy thing, or without some pain, but they are prioritizing the people and things in life most important to them. As I watch them “dry out in the sun” I know that their hardwood, what makes them them is in good condition. And they know it, too.

Photo Aug 15, 3 16 19 PM

In a short while, they will be ready for a fresh coat of paint, of a new layer of protection otherwise known as Priorities. Even now they are beginning to gleam again.

It also struck me that paint can be used in more than one way. With the barn, we paint it to cover the wood, to protect it from the elements. But paint can also be used to hide away imperfections, to create a false front, as it were. Put enough coats on, and no one will ever notice.

Hairy Beasts...working hard...

Hairy Beasts…working hard…

How many times have I been guilty of a check up from the neck up, plaster on a smile and head out the door, because it’s so less messy than to let a vulnerability show? Or to share that sometimes the inherent challenges of my Old People aging really weigh on me–I mean, really weigh–and that I feel overwhelmed more and more frequently? How many times do I think, “I don’t want to be strong; I don’t feel up to adulting today, ” and then say “FABulous!” when someone asks me how I am? Slather on a coat of  pretty glossy, water resistant stain and call it good.

To paraphrase my friend Tyson, too often people notice the pretty things and fail to appreciate things just as eye grabbing in the other direction.Photo Aug 15, 3 16 29 PM

So, here’s to pressure washing, flaking off old layers, ditching the debris, drying out, and (an authentic coat of) fresh paint.

Photo Aug 16, 2 36 16 PM

How to be a Hairy Beast: Greg Louganis style

When the water in the creek is now stagnant, and only about two inches deep, what’s a dog to do?

Move to the pool, of course.


Schwimming and diving! SQWEE! Woof! Whatevs. Happy beast.

Oh, and for the record… it is Wet Dog season all.year.long.

{sigh}

“It’s ALIVE!”

“It’s ALIVE!”

Say that in your best B-grade monster movie actor over-the-top anguished voice. Because it is. Alive. The List. The To-Do list. Farm work. Chores. #daylightsburning

Finishing up the hay finished that project.

Number three on the revised list, it’s a living, breathing thing, mind, number three on the revised list was to cut the grass on the neighbors side of the north fence line.


This is a significant project for two reasons:

  1. Neighbor lady is widowed Old People. It’s just the right thing to do.
  2. Over-ripe grass on a hot summer day on an electric fence is a fire hazard.

It is hard work, this fence line. The ground is uneven and rutted. Normally I do this job with Willy the Weed Whacker (22hp push), but alas, ole Will wasn’t up to the task this year. So, Percival the Push Mower got a chance to get out of the shop.

  

First outing for Percy in over a year. Acquitted himself quite well. Don’t tell Willy, but Percy gets this contract going forward. Far fewer tangles and sputters.


Seven days on the big tractor, no problem. Three hours with the push mower, I’m stiff getting up from the chair tonight. Uffda.  But for all the sweat and manhandling of the mower, I must say it’s quite gratifying to look back at the finished work. And to not worry about grass on the fence line starting a fire.

#babybeast would like to report schwimming x2 today. She’s a very happy dog.

Favorite things #67

I do so love this time of year!


Happy grass. Happy dog.

And the lower field feels like lazy shaded comfort.

all.the.dot.things. and #trueconfessions

So, my self-imposed task for April was is to take a photo and summarize each day in six words. Or less. So far this month I’ve been mostly winning. Earlier in the month, I had a day (twice) where it was super late by the time I called it a day, so I posted the pic and words first thing the morning after the night before.

Friday last, I was whupped. It was a long, productive, albeit frenetic week. I figured I’d post Sat morning. Except that I slept in. Well, not really, not exactly, because Hairy Beasts. They simply don’t care what day of the week it is, when it comes to their morning routine. 5:00am. They get up, and go out. Then sleep till 6:30 (which is when I would get home from the pool, if it were a swimming day). Then they go out for their run. So, technically, there is no sleeping in,  but they are willing to go back to bed after they run. Does that count as “sleeping in,” if I’m back in bed by 7am?

Anyway, Sat was busy. Daylight’s burning and #chores wait for no one. Same deal Sat night. Tired girl; I’ll post in the morning. Sunday, same as. And now it’s Monday night.

#trueconfessions: I’m a little bothered that I didn’t post daily. It feels a little…weird…to summarize a day after the fact. Disingenuous, somehow. But it occurred to me out in the field tonight, spot-spraying weeds in the lower field, there really aren’t any rules here. No one else knows the map laid out in my head for all of this. Or if, in fact, there is a plan. So. Four days in one post. :)

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Open hatches are meant for #babybeasts to jump up into. Right? Aren’t dogs supposed to ride in cars?

I got to see two of my peeps who make my heart happy. do we all have cute cheeks, or what? When it’s a good thing to be cheeky…

And this happened.

April 24

Cheeky #babybeast. Cheeky friends. Double promise.

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Saturday was a good day. A productive day.

 

First load of gravel for the summer. Unloaded the truck Sunday.

And the sky was in proper, fetching form.

April 25

Manual labor. And happy little clouds.

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Sunday, after church, was schlepping day. All the over-wintered geraniums are now in their summer spots out in the lower fields. A broken-beyond-repair-by-me chair is no longer taking up floor space in the family room. (yay!) There was more stuff, but we don’t need to discuss my sock drawer.

It was a gorgeous afternoon, for about 20 minutes in the late morning. before the mist misted in. You can’t tell from the picture, but that black dot near the middle is a bald eagle. I was out at the back fence line and couldn’t get to my camera. My phone will only zoom so far. There were actually two eagles out, but I couldn’t get both in the same frame. In any case, there are at least two eagles the neighborhood knows of that seems to have moved in. I’m glad. They’re such majestic birds. And they’re welcome to as many pigeons as they want.

April 26

Schlep all the things. Watch birds.

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Annual Board retreat today. Lots of talking. Good, productive conversations. Short sentences, because it’s way past my bedtime. I use fewer words when I’m tired (can’t you tell by this post?!?) Spot-spraying previously mentioned.

 

I’m a big fan of the ladybug, even if it’s decided to camp out on the weed I’m spraying.

 

This is how #babybeast “helps.”  She’d rather have been swimming.

April 27

Caught  up on posting. Goodnight, moon.