Friday, July 17, 2009

"Clear The Mechanism"

Every other Friday it happens. I sit here at work on the eve of my four days off and start planning the attack on the house.

First I check the weather: Saturday and Sunday, sunny; Monday, mostly sunny; and Tuesday, partly sunny. High of 86. Okay, weather's a go.

Next I check my schedule for prior commitments: Saturday morning is committed to sleep until about noon. After that it's an afternoon of hanging out with my mama, browsing antique stores, and eating either a late lunch or an early supper on the occasion of her 82nd birthday. I'll try to get some photos of my camera-shy but cute little mom. The rest of the weekend is open.

Then I mentally review my supplies: paintbrushes still Saran-wrapped (yes, I cheat and don't rinse em out); ladders not in use by anyone else; miscellaneous tools all lined up on the porch; plenty of Gatorade in the fridge; but two paint cans almost empty. Make a mental note to buy a gallon of cream paint and a gallon of yellow paint.

And then the craziness starts. I start to review what needs to be done. The front of the house looks weird with only one window black and cream, and the holes (from a stovepipe and a dryer vent) on the side porch need to be fixed, and the new porch needs to be painted, and the house under the front porch roof is still white (but I can do that on a rainy day), and the upper part of the house all around needs painting but maybe I should wait to borrow Floyd's ladder and do that all at once, and the downspouts need to be put back on the house but I don't know if I can manage that alone, and all the rest of the windows need to be painted, and I need to see if that storm window in the back of the shed might be the missing storm from the kitchen window, and...and...and...and all these thoughts bounce around in my head like a ping-pong ball for an hour or so while I plan and re-plan and re-plan again. Until I remember Kevin Costner's character in "For Love of the Game". He's standing on the pitcher's mound trying to get a no-hitter in his last game ever and he takes a breath and thinks, "Clear the mechanism," sighs, and pitches a perfect game. So I sigh. And I clear the mechanism that is my hamster-wheel brain.

At last, I have a plan: Saturday, after sleep, is a play day. Sunday will be a long slog of working on the front windows, as much as I can get done in one day. On Monday, if I'm not sick of working on the windows, I'll finish up the front parlor windows and move on to the west side of the house, where a small section still needs a second coat of yellow paint and some other work needs to be done before I can call that side of the house completed. (Except for the high part.) On Tuesday, I'll work on the east side of the house or declare it Side-Porch Day and make some headway on that long-neglected porch.

Stay tuned for before-and-after photos, but not necessarily of the above-mentioned projects. Sometimes my mechanism doesn't clear just because I tell it to.


  1. Ha! I painted my whole foyer by covering my paint tray, roller, and brush up in plastic between attacks. I didn't know anyone else did that....

  2. Plastic wrap works great on brushes, I've even used plastic shopping bags for my paint rollers.

    I hope you have a very productive
    4 days off.

  3. I'm so glad to hear you say you were allowing today to be a play day. I'm one of those crazy fools that always tries to squeeze something in. Your Mom's birthday should be celebrated every waking minute. Good for you.

  4. I hope you and your mother enjoyed a lovely birthday celebration.

    I made a sign for my office that says "Don't Dwell." I don't always cease to dwell on things just because I tell myself to. But it helps. A little.

  5. Why S, You're the second person in less than a week who's said "Don't dwell" to me. I think it's a sign. Or a sign that I need to make my own sign. :)