Fun Sunday

To combat the growing misconception that I spend all my time working or painting, I decided to take a day trip and have some fun.  The locale was a quirky little town north of San Francisco that features yummy gourmet sandwiches, a Sunday street fair, outlet malls and a stop on the Cake Wreck world tour at Copperfield’s books.

But I wanted a travel buddy. Someone to hold the iPod, give directions when I got lost and not fill the car with endless chit chat. Enter Mr. Happy Feet:

best. roadtripper buddy. ever.
best. roadtripper buddy. ever.

Mr. Feet was a gift for the wonderful Melissa and I did get lost on the way home without my co-pilot.

(quick note: the morning would not have been complete without a stop at Dutch Brothers for my shot of adrenaline. They usually rock out to some great music because if you’re working at 5am, you need some good tunes. This morning it was Carrie Underwood’s rendition of Jesus Take the Wheel. heh.)

Anywho, Mr. Feet and I made it safely to Petaluma and I went off in search of lunch. I got a yummy turkey sandwich from a man yelling at the radio (something about a 49ers game) and enjoyed my lunch in this little courtyard:

Petaluma
Petaluma

Then it was back to Copperfield’s for some serious splunking in the basement where a wealth of used books can be found. Many were out of date business books or hard covered early editions but in the back corner I found the children’s/young adult section.

Collecting books from my childhood is becoming somewhat of an obsession for me. Principally because these books are all of $2 each and remind me what it was like to spend the entire summer reading in my bean bag chair until my neck hurt, my thumb was stained black and my eyes ached.

Vintage Bobbsey Twins hardbacks in great condition from the 1950s? Check.

Two yet unread Cynthia Voigt books? Check.

The I-can’t-believe-I-don’t-have-a-copy-already Secret Garden? Check.

I would go on but you get the idea.

Once I made my purchases downstairs I found the book I came looking for:  Cake Wrecks by Jen Yates.

de book
de book

Jen and her husband John are so funny and down to earth. They shared their favorite wrecks, talked about their background – she is a former Disney World River Cruise guide – and showed some of the most controversial creations.

A local bakery provided cake balls or “cake bites if balls make you uncomfortable” per Jen. There was a fun cupcake wreck contest with the winners taking home naked mohawk baby carrot jockey necklaces. It’s hard to explain. See the original post by Jen here.

After the festivities Jen signed copies of her book while we chatted about the ability to snark on something without offending. It’s a fine line, Jen agreed, and she manages not to cross it.

"under neat that"
"under neat that"

And the picture of the blogging Yates:

John & Jen
John & Jen

It was a fun day, met a hilarious blogging team who make me smile on a daily basis, sent Melissa home with Mr. Happy Feet, enjoyed the thrill of finding books for my growing collection and enjoyed not working!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go work the night shift!

Half a guest room

I don’t know if the baseboards were so much dry as they were impeding my progress on the guest room so I conveniently ignored their state of dryness and began to move in furniture. Fun times! These don’t really require commentary, I hope, because I worked 45 hours this week and I have another 4 to go tomorrow. My brain aches.

DSCI0074

DSCI0081

DSCI0083

I’ll give a tour through my library another day when I’m thinking clearly.  Don’t hold your breath.

Baseboards: A tutorial

Probably the worst part of painting (for me) is the baseboards. It’s great when you’re replacing old ones and can buy a new design – usually primed already – paint them in the garage, on the driveway or another convenient surface.

I would prefer painting baseboards on the surface of the sun rather than the most uncomfortable and ackward position ever: on your knees leaning forward with one hand for balance and the other one to smear paint mere millimeters from carpet and freshly painted wall.

I hate baseboards.

But I hate them more when they’re off white and scuffed. The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is your best friend for scuffs. For the color it’s Ultra White Premium paint.

Here is the official My Friend Kelly guide to painting baseboards in five easy steps. Emphasis on easy.

Step 1: locate baseboard

That was Easy!
That was Easy!

Step 2: cover adjacent wall with painters tape

That was Sticky
That was Sticky

Step 3: locate plastic

That was crinkly
That was crinkly

Step 4: cover carpet – use spactula

That was Fun!
That was Fun!

Step 5: paint

That was Simple!
That was Simple!

I know the pictures are a bit blurry but it’s rather easy to use the spatula to edge the plastic between your baseboards and carpet. It’s a little tight in the corner so don’t try to force it. The plastic lets you run the brush along the bottom without worry and the painter’s tape does the same along the top. Once it dries pull off the tape and plastic carefully and discard.

Smurftastic!

I do declare the new color of my guest room: Smurftastic.  But more on that in a minute. First the natural progression from wimpy pink clouds to blue ass smurftastic!

Saturday afternoon, approximately 3pm – decide to get working on the guest room. Snap before photo for posterity:

yikes

That is so a before picture. I’d already moved out one bookshelf the contents of which are now on the floor. The dog bed in the corner is right next to my boxed china (not a great idea in retrospect) and you can see on the wall the color I’ve chosen. Looks pretty next to those pale pink cotton candy walls, doesn’t it?

So I empty the room. Before I paint the walls I want to strip the ceiling of the nasty popcorn texture.  I layer the plastic drop cloths and start spraying. It’s rather easy: spray water on the ceiling in large 2′ x 2′ sections, wait 3-4 minutes, scrape off with a spatchula.  I don’t try to catch the gunk anymore because inevitably my ceiling fans blow it all over the place. Instead I wrap up the plastic drop cloths and toss it in the trash.

prepped for launch
prepped for launch

Sunday morning, approximately 10am: I’ve decided that stripping the ceiling in 3 hours is proof that this room can be done in a week. Maybe. I wrap up the gunk and throw it outside:

gunk
gunk

Since a fine layer of dust has recently been distributed by the lovely ceiling fan I need to wash the walls with TSP before painting. I also get the corners clear of cobwebs. Now it’s time to start priming the walls with gray gripper so the blue looks fantastic and not wimpy. I continued to work on the gray primer Monday after work removing the plate covers and blinds as I went.

getting grayer
getting grayer

Tuesday afternoon, approximately 4:35- I’ve been at work all day but now it’s time to paint! I started by doing the difficult trim work around the window, baseboards, ceiling and outlets:

Ready to Roll
Ready to Roll

Finally sometime late on Tuesday I pick up the roller and paint to the tune of Eric Hutchinson’s Rock & Roll. Great song. After only 45 minutes I have the bluest room:

bolder blue
bolder blue

Wednesday afternoon I continued to touch up the paint, covering the thin areas with a brush. I really hate cleaning the roller so I use that sparingly. Finally, a nice mug shot of Jackson chillin’ in the blue room:

Jax
Jax

And this is me after all that painting:

pretend that's a paint brush, kay?
pretend that's a paint brush, kay?

See, the color matches! It’s smurftastic!

Left to finish: baseboards, window trim, door trim, closet trim, emptying and painting the closet, replacing outlets and door switch, reinstall mini blinds, move in furniture, hang 2 pictures, buy curtain rods, hang quilt, buy curtains, hang curtains.

I don’t think I’ll be done with all that by Saturday. Maybe Sunday.

Dear Bank of America,

Thank you. No, really thank you for reminding me exactly why you are not my bank of choice today. See it would have been easy for your teller to inform me I was in the wrong line before I stood there, exhausted and ready to go home, for five minutes.  And it would have been courteous, polite even, to assist me in the Merchant Teller Line since you were in fact a Merchant Teller instead of telling me the Merchant Teller Line ended at 4pm and as it was now 4:35 pm I would need to go to the other side of the bank and stand in a line that formed while I waited.  Imagine my waffling if in fact you’d taken down the Merchant Teller sign that designated you as such at 4pm instead of letting me stand in a non-line wasting time only to be sent to another line to complete a two minute transaction.

Thank you, Bank of America, I would hate to wonder in the months to come if I’d made the right decision in leaving your bank behind.

Sincerely,

Extremely happy ex-BofA customer

Summer Sunset Series

One thing I love to do when I go outside after work to play with my dogs is check out the sunset.  If it’s particularly beautiful I’ll jump in the car and drive out to the country to capture some shots on film.  I’m going to print my favorites and frame them in the guest room.

summer shot 1
summer shot 1
shot 2
shot 2
shot 3
shot 3
shot 4
shot 4