Did I mention that Mr. K and I were going to paint the deck? Yeah...sanity went marching off somewhere to get a drink so that we could tackle that task undisturbed over the weekend. I think if you look back at the photo of Mr. K demolishing the old hot tub, you can see that the deck was painted by the previous owners in a rather stunning shade of picnic-table red. Which doesn't seem all that awful...until you realize that the house is a very subdued pale gray. And until you stand out on the deck for awhile and realize that between the red deck and the green lawn, your retinas are taking a hike for parts unknown to let you fend for yourself.
So, because I have this whole happy-crappy, "Hey Kids--let's put on a SHOW!" thing that sneaks in every so often (the same thing that leads me to continue knitting happily on a sweater large enough to provide extra warmth to New Hampshire this winter, or small enough to leave Barbie feeling exposed), I jumped right on board with the "Let's paint the deck together ourselves!" thing. In other words, I'm an idiot. Let's not gild the lily here. But, in my defense, why do these things always look like such a cakewalk....until four hours later when you realize the cake is one of those nasty fruitcakes your crazy Aunt Helen used to make and someone is about to chunk it at your head?
ANYWAY. We definitely learned a few things over the weekend, most specifically how priorities can....well...shift. Particularly after several hours of paint fumes and giant fiery ball of sun and turning into mosquito chow. For instance:
At 10:00 am, it seems quite essential to make certain that every square inch of deck is smooth as a baby's butt, even if it takes sanding for hours with a postage stamp sized piece of sandpaper. At 9:00 pm, it suddenly seems perfectly reasonable to actually scatter grass and wood shavings on the deck, paint them down firmly, and call it "texture".
At 10:00 am, it seems important that all the paint be layed on evenly and smoothly, with nary a bubble or thin spot in sight. At 9:00 pm, it makes absolute sense to dump the paint on the deck, spread it around by scuffing through it barefoot, and call it "character".
At 10:00 am, it is essential to carefully ascertain the location of all the cats so as not to distress any of them unduly, or accidentally drop paint on them. By 9:00 pm, it actually makes sense to intentionally paint one of them and roll it in grass, to serve as a warning to the others. By the next morning, it is hard to remember why it seemed like a big deal if one of them inadvertantly glued their ass to the still tacky deck.
At 10:00 am, the idea of a warm day in the sun, alone with your thoughts and the simple rhythm of the painting seems almost meditative. By 9:00 pm you can't think of a single reason not to strip naked, for the dual benefit of dropping your body temp to a mere 200 degrees, and also traumatizing your neighbors because it would be entertaining to watch their faces. And, if the cat WERE to glue its ass to the deck, you wouldn't mind too much because it would be a captive audience and someone to talk to. (Note here: Mr. K and I were working on this together, but in different areas, plus he had the sprayer which effectively rendered conversation impossible. I didn't want to glue his ass to the deck, though.)
At 10:00 am, it is a smart idea to tape off the area where deck meets house, in order to keep the back of the house pristine. By 9:00 pm, you've invented your own skater tag (grafitti, for the unitiated) and created a mural on the back of the house with the paint sprayer because "it looked kind of plain."
At 10:00 am, you really focus on getting all those hard to reach areas so that the finished product is delightfully professional looking. By 9:00 pm, you realize that anyone who is going to look at the underside of the handrail really isn't "our sort of people" and therefore can't come over anyway.
At 10:00 am, it is easy to keep in mind how lovely the deck will be, and how much enjoyment you'll get from using it in the months and years to come. By 9:00 pm, it seems like a really good idea to burn the entire deck down and tell guests going out the back door to "watch that first step."
At 10:00 am, you imagine yourself cleaning up in only a few hours, and then concocting a lovely and healthy dinner to eat in the back yard, caressed by the warm summer breezes. By as early as 7:00 pm, you find yourself firing up the barbecue that's sitting in the grass so the deck can be painted (and so as to create the greatest possible fire hazard) and uttering the line above without even seeing the humor in it: "Yeah, yeah, I'm making dinner. It'll be ready when the weenies catch fire."
All that said, I never did get to the point of thinking the picnic-table red was actually fine as it was...which tells you something about how bad it looked. Here's how it looks now (the buildings in the background are Mr. K's two metal shops....filled with the male equivalent of yarn and patterns--tools and metal):
Here, with blue sweater:
Yep, I'm photographing everything on that damned deck. If I could take it everywhere with me, I'd do that, too.
Lastly today, a couple of photos of Ms. Gussie, doing her best to help me blog. She was in my lap when I took these and yes, I did look like a total dork contorting myself to take them, thank you.
"There must be one square inch of this chair that I haven't smeared my nose on...."
You probably can't tell, but that thing she's draped over? My forearm. While I'm typing. Determination, thy name is Gussie.