This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Beth + Tall Ladder + Balancing paint can = A lot of paint on the driveway
Perhaps I should set the scene a little bit: Steve took off work on Thursday and Friday to help me with The Monster Paint Project (TMPP). When I say "help" what I really mean is "tell me what to do in vague terms and with an irritated voice and then be angry when I fail to follow directions." Just so we're clear. Steve is the boss at work and he kind of forgets that I'm not an employee and that following his directions is a concept with which I'm not terribly familiar. I also need to mention that Steve has a bizarre and slightly unnatural love for our driveway which he had re-sealed last fall and apparently the blackness of it brings him joy. Or at least it used to.
Anyway, it is my job to take the scraper and scrape off any loose paint. Then Steve goes by with the belt sander and pretty much removes the paint down to the bare wood. Then I take the leaf blower and power off all the sawdust, cobwebs, and small insects that seem to be very attracted to this whole process. Finally we are ready to apply primer. We are using an oil based primer and before you can finish gasping about how awful it is that I am using such a toxic product I will say that I am using this product under duress and wouldn't have touched it with a 10 foot pole had 2 different paint store guys not sworn that a latex primer is not an option with our particular house circumstances and we'd end up re-painting every 2 years or so (which is what the previous owner did) because the paint would fail. I can't see how using toxic oil once every 7-10 years is any worse than using slightly less toxic latex every 2 years. Back to the story: since Steve doesn't like heights it is my job to do the high parts. I have no fear of heights, though clearly I should, so I scamper up the ladder like a little monkey, but unlike a monkey, I am wearing my apron with the big center pocket because that is how I am holding my paint brush, sanding block, scraper, and cell phone. One hand holds onto the ladder, the other hand holds the can of primer. Now you may recall that I mentioned how heavy and unweildy this ladder is so I don't like to move it very often. Instead I like to reach as far as I possibly can to the left and right thus completely throwing off my center of balance. My apron with the big center pocket tends to sway to whichever side I'm leaning, thus throwing me even more off balance. Steve did inform me that most ladder accidents occur from exactly this behavior.
Well everything was going along swimmingly: there I was scraping the gutters. Sanding the gutters. Priming the gutters. I really really really needed to climb down the ladder and move it again, but I was tired, the ladder is heavy, and everytime I moved it a new scrape mark was created on my freshly primered gutter so I had a better idea: what if I rested my paint can on the roof, leaned back slightly, and kind of jumped the ladder a little to the right? Well apparently this wasn't a good idea at all! The ladder didn't really jump as much as sway a bit and with only a freshly primed gutter to grab on to (which I certainly wasn't about to mess up my fresh primer) I really didn't have much choice but to pinwheel my arms around wildly trying to regain my balance whilst I threw my weight forward to try to stabilize the ladder. In all the pinwheeling and throwing my weight around somehow the paint can must have gotten knocked off the roof.
For the record: when a nearly full quart of primer falls from a great height it hits the ground and explodes paint everywhere.
Did I mention this is oil based primer? You can't just hose it off the driveway. Just ask BP how hard it is to clean up an oil spill. So Steve is screaming "What the hell?" and I am scrambling down the ladder as fast as I can to try to hide the accident meanwhile white primer is flowing all over Steve's nice black driveway in a river while droplets of exploded primer and paint can are still raining down all over the garage, the grass, me, and yes, the driveway. I had the great idea to quickly pour sand all over the primer hoping the sand would absorb much of the liquid and make clean up easier. The idea wasn't bad, but it didn't work out quite like I'd hoped...
We now have sand and primer stuck to our driveway. Steve is resigned. And I learned nothing because as soon as I finished spreading sand all over the driveway I climbed right back up that ladder and thought "I wonder if I could rock the ladder from side to side to move it?" I thought it. I didn't do it...yet...