When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
Ha! Mr. Rogers’s mom was a wise woman. Google Doodle today was about Mr. Rogers, the TV personality who died in 2003. Above is one of his quotes. I guess
Everything about today was kind of impulsive (not to be confused with
Hmm, methinks. This is an excellent opportunity to test the flooring I’ve been researching: Congoleum Carefree. (The painted concrete idea, while ok, wasn’t a rousing success because it weeps during very humid summer days thereby molding the rugs and causing enough moisture to make the floor slippery. Dehumidifer can only do so much.) I can see how the flooring survives the winter by laying it in the closet. It floats, so if the cold damages the product, I can pick it up and toss it.
Congoleum warns that this product needs to be at 65 degrees or above at all times. Right. Well, he who obeys the rules gets stuck with mainstream stuff resulting in a Generic House. Maybe Congoleum will be interested in the results of my research. Although I doubt it.
So instead of immediately exchanging desks, I drove to Menards to buy a box of the flooring. I also bought this stuff called DMX Underlayment that’s supposed to let moisture evaporate due to its Patented Air Circulation Wondrousness. I put that down under half the flooring (also against the Rules) and laid the rest on the bare concrete. I’d like to use the underlayment because I’m hoping for warmth, so as September cools down, I’ll have my toes do a review.
SO. While I’m wandering the aisles of Menards — always dangerous — I see this on sale:
How could I resist? I bought the same item in a double version for Brenda’s birthday and we’ve been having a blast with it. So, I blew it up — that would be inflated it — and took it for a spin. Lots of fun for $49.
So, when I ripped the old shower out of the “shower house”, as it was called then, I really liked the way the space opened up. In fact, I had thought of making it into a bunkhouse or kind of a tiny home, but I couldn’t finagle a bed in there unless it was standing up. I thought guests might complain. But WHOA! Once I removed the plastic stand-alone shower, there were copious possibilities for my little shack.
Next, I bought a little portable building in which to put tools, nails, screws and presumably lawnmower and pressure washer, but the two last ones were pushed out by whatever-the-hell-is-taking-up-all-the-space and continue to reside under the deck.
Once the place was empty, I painted, spruced, cleaned and got Orkin to evict the mice who’d been living there for generations. That was in 2016. Then! Then it struck me that I should put the shower outside. It would be easy for me to plumb it into the back side of the building because there’s water there already AND a water heater. HA! Hot showers in nature.
I thought I would just build a little platform and put a new plastic stand-alone shower out there. It would look kind of ratty being all white, but I had some ideas. Well. Justin Pistohl who did the siding on the house and shower house talked me into a cedar shower surround.
It’s really hot. I seldom go into the water unless I’m really hot. And I was really hot after watering the flowers, so I waded around the shallow end for a few minutes. Since a clean shoreline is a happy shoreline I am in the habit of removing floating weeds and debris (Coke cans are numerous. Lots of Coke freaks on Trego Lake, I guess.)
I pulled out a raft of floating branches and this handsome dude on YouTube told me it was a willow. He also told me how to propagate it. I’ve wanted to plant willows for some time now, as they grow fast and I like to watch them when it’s windy. So, I cut the wayward willow branches into 10-inch pieces per the Handsome Guy and put them in water.
This past spring, I bought six bare-root willows from Farmer Seed Company and they are definitely dead. Maybe these will work. No doubt they lived somewhere upstream successfully.
*An obscure reference to the movie Willow, which we watched 487 times when the boys were small. Mostly at Grandma Sheahan’s house because she had it on VHS. The only other choice in VHS movies was a National Geographic special on hairless cats.
UPDATE: I was gone for a few days (all over Wisconsin and the U.P.) and when I came home I thought the whole experiment was a bust. The leaves all fell off and the water was scummy. BUT, once I gave it fresh water, I see that there are new leaves and lots of roots.
They’re all good (even on cloudy days) but this morning I hadn’t even wiped the cobwebs from my eyes when I noticed the sun was an orange ball through the trees.
I’d fix the screen, but then what where would the cat put her tail?
Apparently, the Craic House doesn’t want to be painted. I just want to paint the eaves, (there are no soffits) since they aren’t covered in new siding and they’re looking pretty sad with the rest of it upgraded. So last week before Justin came to put siding on the rest of the sides (confusing), I climbed up there and started putting primer on the eaves. Much easier BEFORE the siding is in place, so I don’t have to tape off the siding to prevent drips.
So I hung off the top of the tall ladder — never a comfortable place for me — and started painting away. The surface is very rough with nails sticking through from the roof. Bigger brush. Yikes. That didn’t work very well either. The paint wasn’t getting into the cracks and imperfections. Then I heard a rumble of thunder . . . Zero percent chance of rain which is why I decided to paint in the first place. . . and it started to pour. Hmmm.
Sun came out presently, so back out I went only to repeat the process. Thunder rumble, downpour and it rained the rest of the day. Besides, everything was then too wet to paint.
So, Justin sided two more sides and what I’d painted with the brush looked pretty sad indeed. So, I resolved to use my handy dandy paint sprayer. Evidently I wasn’t a very good paint cleaner upper after the last time I used it, so I spent a couple of hours getting rubberized latex paint out of the nooks and crannies, but finally got it working.
The wood on the underside of the roof is old and somewhat beat up. Solid enough, not rotted, but water stains and weathered. So, I loaded up the sprayer with my favorite Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 exterior primer and within a half
I looked at Zinsser’s website to determine exactly what primer I wanted: Bulls Eye 123 Plus. Ace didn’t have much of anything in the paint department but they did have three gallons of a different kind of Zinsser called Stain Cover, which the website had said was available only in California. Weird. Over to Hardware Hank, where I couldn’t get Bulls Eye Plus, but bought some house trim paint AND found a spray can of the Stain Cover. Not a terribly efficient way to paint a building — tiny cans of spray paint, but I don’t need a gallon half of which will be eaten up by the sprayer, which is a hog for paint. Along with the fact that it’s oil-based and I’d have to clean the sprayer with mineral spirits.
So far, the spray-can stuff is covering.
Meanwhile, I taped plastic over the entire building so I didn’t spray paint all over the new green siding. This was a study in patience. Yesterday I went to town — to ditch the big, frustrating, immovable futon at the ReStore YAY — and looked at both hardware stores for plastic drop cloths I could use to cover the building. Nothing.
On the way home, the neighbor down the lake was having an estate sale — oh. my. gosh. What a place. I stopped in and toured the house, which is a disaster — the basement was so moldy I could barely breathe. There was crap all over the yard, waterlogged
So, first thing this morning I started taping that plastic to the walls of the Craic House. Went along fairly well, although the enormous fiberglass ladder (that belongs to Justin) is so big and heavy that I was struggling with it. THEN, the wind popped up. I would no sooner hang some plastic than the wind would catch it and peel it off. 🙁 Crazy.
It’s been windy since I returned from town and I’m not going to attempt to spray anything. Hopefully, tomorrow I can nab a couple more cans of Stain Cover and get things primed and painted. Whether the Craic likes it or not.
Not much better on a rainy Sunday afternoon than a Cubs game and a sleepy cat.
Except maybe watching Cubs outside and knitting.
Summer this year has been an endless string of beautiful days with bright sunshine and cool nights — for sleeping well. Although I’ve had to water the gardens occasionally, rainfall has been pretty timely. I try to walk down to the lake every morning with my coffee. Seems a better idea than diving into the closet that is now my office and facing a computer screen for the first few hours of every day. 😛
I’ll be sure to open this post next February when clingy old winter is holding onto my mood.