… she's not coming down 'til it all makes sense again…

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Work your plan…

Here’s me trying to show you the new tool belt:


Hadda have one after watching Charlie work, up and down that ladder, up and down and up and down… His tool belt must weigh about  60 lbs, which is funny because Charlie weighs about 70.  But I just felt I needed a tool belt after that, if I wanted to be a serious “worker man” so I got one already broke in, for a buck at a yard-sale. Mine’s only one-sided, which I have to be careful I don’t haul around too much weight in it and  th’ow out my sacroiliac…  It makes a huge difference though, when you’re on a ladder, to have a bunch of different bits and drivers handy.

Been painting and repairing the garden shed, yet again. Is this the color that I can live with for more than 4 years? I hope so… I feel like every wall in my LIFE is on a 4 year rotation, and I’m perpetually painting.  The only color that’s lasted with me is the dusky grape in the communal living space. It still looks right.. I think it’s been about 8 years for that, which is a record, but it’s actually been repainted, just the same color! It’s a sickness… So I figgered I love that color, and had a little extra paint left over, I added a little white to lighten it up for the tiny space in the building, and then painted everything, walls, trim, and floor, all the same light lavender/silver and ohmygosh I have just written the most boring paragraph known to mankind… Can I make it more boring, yes, because here is what I learned: In a small tiny space like the garden shed (8 X 12), painting everything one color makes it appear much more spacious, less choppy… It’s also the most fun I’ve ever had painting, because I could just slap the paint on all surfaces, in all the corners, no trimming out, no edging, no taping off… Plus, it’s the garden shed, so everything’s a little rustic and forgiving… I tried to keep it cleaned out while painting, but still ended up painting whole BUGS into the walls and floor.

This year has been hideous with the stink bugs again. I sprayed the Talstar-Pro, which really works well, but it takes a few hours for them to die. Meanwhile they divebomb your head and stick to your skin and spray their vile stink on your hands and hair. BZZZZZZHHHHHHHH…. sound like tiny fat belly aircraft carriers, loaded with purple stench..  Here’s a pic of my precious, precious SPRAYER OF DOOM, oh how I love that sprayer…   and the electric weedwhacker hubs got me at a yardsale. I’m scared of it, had it about a month now and haven’t tried it. Last time I touched a weedwhacker (about 10 years ago, really)  I filleted my forearm, took one look at the blood and flew around the yard like a deranged chicken, durn near passed out from shock.. I don’t do blood well.


Bean’s been painting with me, thank goodness, because there’s seemingly endless scraping and repair and primering and painting to do, so much easier when you’re not alone…  I’m also grateful to have someone to pass on Dad’s sage painting pearls of wisdom to her: “Now, the primer, see, the primer is thick and it dries fast, you don’t have a lot of time to work it. And don’t OVERwork it, get it in there, get it smoothed out, not too thick, not too thin, and move on..” (We use BIN123 for everything, inside and out, me and Dad…)  Here’s one of my favorites: “Now the paint, see, the paint, when you do it right, the paint forms a protective, unbroken SKIN over the whole surface, it seals water out. You don’t want to leave anywhere for water to get in and get under your paint.”  Everything I paint, I hear Dad in my head about that protective paint skin…  Dad’s like the Sphinx from the movie “Mystery Men”…



He loves those little switcheroonie sayings, like, “plan your work and work your plan”, and “if you fail to plan you plan to…what? FAIL!”

I think too the Maestro from “Money Pit” when I paint, I can feel his intense glare, and  hear his Russian accent:


” UP and DOWN, UP and DOWN! Strong strokes! PAINT! Don’t tickle. And don’t smoke!”

Mr. Miyagi’s always in my head too when I paint, I almost break my wrist trying to do it his way:

mr miyagi

“tut tut tut tut..all in the wrist, all in the wrist, long stroke, up, down, up, down…”

You see this is why I have to have the radio on when I work, too many voices…

Here’s the last sauce I made, fresh from the garden:


Cooked ‘er all day, added hot sausage towards the end, served over angel hair, was delicious, the end.

I used to love it when I was painting, and a kid comes out and whines “I wanna paint, I wanna paint!” So you stop what you’re doing and waste the next 20 minutes running around finding them a brush and a container and a rag… and they paint for 3 minutes and  say, okay, that was fun, I’m done, bye!  My kids always used to do that. I got smart though, I tell them now that they’re gonna paint for at least and hour if they start. They have a funny sense of time, they think an hour is eternity…

Here’s Mom and Dad, I made them do this goofy pose for my birthday, cause I saw it someone’s facebook. That person was 18 or 19 years old though…












Dehumidifiers I have Known

I was gonna write about all the dehumidifiers in my life…. and there have been many… so many dehumidifier stories, shocking, shocking stories of dehumidifiers, crazy, wild, mind-blowing… dehumidifiers… Ahhh yes, it all began with a the dehumidifier in mom and dad’s basement…

dehumidifier-shut-off-lgThey had it at their house, and then they moved it to their cottage, where it stayed for 27billion years, just chugging away, never finished with its work, (kinda like motherhood..) the cottage was never dry, EVER, oh sure, a room here or a room there became unpleasantly HOT and dry for a short time, but then it all sank back into the wet, dank, and slippery… (also kinda like motherhood…) poor, poor little overworked little 1980’s dehumidifier… sad, really…

Do you know the general life-expectancy of a dehumidifier? I had to look it up, but some  people somewhere have actually studied this and assigned a number to it:

“The National Association of Home Builders estimates eight years as the average  lifespan of a dehumidifier and three to five years as the typical lifespan of  consistently-used residential units under normal operating conditions. The  Association’s study based the estimate on surveys of manufacturers, trade associations and researchers.”

THREE to FIVE, and possibly at optimal conditions, EIGHT years. Dad has kept that goony old dehumidifier going for nearly FORTY YEARS. Maybe more, I gotta ask him to check the back panel for the manufacturer’s date, and then we’ll know for sure. Because you know, even though he has recently finally replaced that old thing with a bright shiny new model, you know he dragged it out to his garage to strip it down for parts, or keep it for sentimental guy reasons…

And then I was gonna tell you about my own dehumidifiers, because I have two… But then I thought, “dehumidifiers I have known…” and it made me remember one of those stories we read in our Literature anthology book in high-school, “Hoods I have Known” and I remembered the weird tone that story had to it, a dangerousness… I can’t remember the plot, it’s sketchy, and I can’t find it on the innernetz either, it’s weird, it’s like it never existed… But then I found at least which anthology it’s in, it wasn’t a literature text book, it was a small paperback, and I think we have it here in the house, I think Cassie may have absconded with it to her room… She has a bookshelf back there, with a kinda funny collection, some are hers, some are mine.. and it tickles me to see what she’s chosen, because some of them are actually books that I absconded with from my own mother’s bookshelf… but here’s the book:

on googlebooks, you can actually read a few pages of it, which was awesome, because I forgot how witty the writing was, I only remembered that the story made me afraid… Because I was that girl in school, I sat up front, straight and at attention, knees under desk, feet flat on floor, two #2 lead pencils sharpened and at the ready… I was frequently the “chosen one,” the one sent on errands or entrusted with the candy money, the ice cream money, the lunch tickets… Not so much “teacher’s pet”, more like the teachers knew they could count on me to get the math right, and to go straight to where I was supposed to go and come straight back to the room. I guess I was kinda boring in a way, but it made me feel important. And that’s what was so scary about the girl in the story, she had a certain “place” or “status” and she messed up, and all that was taken from her in one fell swoop… it scared me so bad that I forgot how friggin funny the story is.

Of course this anthology includes Flowers for Algernon, because it is an anthology, and by law, all anthologies must contain Flowers for Algernon. Creepy story, creeeeepy…and why? Why does that story have such a creepy vibe… maybe it was the cruelty… People can be just that cruel, and it’s disturbing when an author nails it like that. Or maybe it’s the thought that this could actually happen, sometime in the near future… and why not.

But both are stories of different skin. Being plunged into different skin. Drastic replacement of what you thought you knew to be your life, or your place. Or what other thought to be your place…

My dehumidifier is chugging along down in the gameroom… The gameroom is practically underground, with cement floor, and so tends to be damp and dank and slippery… I’ve actually owned the dehumidifier for about 3 years, but was too lazy to hook it up for 2 of those years, until now when it behooves me to actually breathe down there, as we have recently converted it into our bedroom.  So I let some of my dehumidifier’s predicted life-span waste away, while it sat there, forlornly, unplugged, un-used… there’s a metaphor in there…

NEW-MINI-LOVELY-DEHUMIDIFIERgreen dehumidwell, I didn’t know you could buy a dehumidifier shaped like a penguin. Nor was I aware that they had GREEN dehumidifiers. Mine are white and they are shaped like small hardworking soldiers. I would prefer a penguin.

Oh, and my other dehumidifier, I know you were wondering hahahahooohohohoooo, my other dehumidifier is over at the rental house. I’ve owned it for the same 3 years, and have been too lazy to hook it up. Yesterday we were over in that basement, replacing the washer and dryer for our daughter/renter. It is swampy and gross down there, very wet… And so “hook up rental dehumidifier” goes straight to the top of the to-do list. Scintillating!!

Ohmygosh, I forgot the most mind-blowing part of my dehumidifier tales: Dad’s new dehumidifier? It has a built-in pump. When the reservoir gets full, it has a little pump that pumps the water out through some kinda aquarium hose. Is your mind blown? Mine either, because I’m not sure I understand how that’s an improvement over just attaching a drain hose to it and letting it empty by gravity into a drain… Plus it’s another thing that can break down… and possibly shorten the predicted lifespan of your dehumidifier..  Dad’s real excited about it though. I’m just gonna let him enjoy  his dehumidifier joy though, I’m not gonna mention my reservations… That’s what family does for each other..