Sunday, June 2, 2013

Been There, Kind of Done That

As one who will never practice, prepare, chart, or calculate anything in this life, the old Just Do It slogan always seemed to lack immediacy -- the ring of authentic urgency.

My life is all about raising my arms and saying, Just Did It. And don't think I don't do the do, because I've always done the do to get to the did. But if one truly has a passion to do, the ultimate goal is the already done, and that requires rushing headlong, hellbent for leather, to reach and conquer the target It.

Which segues nicely into my current home improvement project. The trim on my house has been a neighborhood scandal for at least the past two years, and I finally took the plunge to Just Do It over. Like any other conscientious homeowner, I burned some midnight oil watching several You Tube videos. The ones that offered basic techniques and concepts, though I fast-forwarded over the boring parts, ie, "Whatever you do, don't..." to "And here is the final product -- your home, transformed."

I bought paint, and wood hardener, filler, spackle, putty, brushes, rollers, sandpaper, putty knife. Plus some other products I'll end up returning, as I couldn't figure out their exact timing and/or utility.

A word about wood filler. According to the videos, "You can sand this flush with the surface." Well, you can. I mean that, if you want to stop by, feel free. But after taking a stab at the sanding, I don't see something flush in my immediate future. But paint is our friend.

And so far, all the patching, spackling and painting looks pretty good. Someone came over to check out the results and he said, "You've got some drips and missed some spots. I suppose you'll catch that with the next two or three coats."

"I suppose."

We all know people like that, don't we? The ones who miss life's beauty because they're always so busy searching for the blemishes.

Anyone else would be impressed, maybe not at high noon, but certainly after 9 p.m. and after a drink or two.

Anyway, I'm impressed. And isn't that all that really matters? The feeling of accomplishment. To be able to look at oneself in the mirror and say, "Just Sort of Did It Really Fast."


  1. I have found that the ones who can pick out things to complain about are never happy... or they're the ones who want to show their control.. Bet that person who mentioned the drips of paint wanted u to reply " oh thanks, I'll get right to it!" for me, that would make me just ignore what was said.. "if you can't say something nice, say nothing"...

  2. Those who can't, criticize.

    I'm impressed, that's a big task you undertook. My problem is that I'm always so anxious to get to the results, I often skip or rush over some of the steps to get there. Hate the befores, love the afters.

  3. Karin, sounds you did a big task. Well done!
    You are right, the feeling of the realization is what really matters.
    I also know people that focused on details, on blemishes, on imperfection. There is a saying very true: "the devil is in the details".
    I also agree with Kalei's, "if you can't say something nice, say nothing"...

    Hope you have a pleasant Sunday!

  4. We are kindred spirits. I often do the Do, just to get to the Did. Some might call it the (sometimes overused) Bucket List. Whatever you'd like to call it Bravo to you!! That's a very brave Do/Did. Ceasing to scandalize the neighborhood is a nice gift, too! Really, that's very impressive stuff.

  5. Several years ago when we were just starting to work on the house in Glendale, TheChief went away for the weekend and I decided to surprise him by painting the Master bedroom...I got the paint, got some drop cloths, went into the bedroom to start the job, got back in the car, drove to dunlap paints and hired a day laborer to paint the room...turned out great!!!

    I applaud you for doing the deed yourself!!!

  6. Don't be too hard on him, KBF and Sonia, he didn't mention all the drops I left on the walkway. Do you know paint drips from the brush when you carry it from one location to the other? Go figure.

    Bayside and Adele, you're in my tribe.

    Chieftess, a wise decision.

  7. I have a lot of lumpy paint, because I am not about to scrape off 80 years of history and sand down to the bare wood. As long as the old paint isn't loose, it's all good. And if you don't look too closely, it won't matter.

    Now, are your neighbors sending thank you cards and gifts, maybe a fruit basket, in appreciation of your neighborhood beautification project?

  8. I am impressed that you tried. We are outsources over here. And it is all due to incompetence.

  9. Karin, good for you. It is Done and doesn't have to be done again for a long time.

    We are not a handy people at our place either, Margaret. This is why the back yard looks like a prison yard and the dust bunnies rule the "private" side of the house.

  10. That second paragraph . . . .

    Apologies to any of the dead whom I
    I awakened with my laugh as I read this.

    That laugh was partly from the sting of truth. It's the gottas. Gotta do it, gotta do it now, no time no how to learn the fine points.

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  12. Paint is wonderful, isn't it? Instead of cleaning my fence railings, my handyman put a coat of paint over them last week. All the dirt and rough spots now look white and new. I'm sure your woodwork looks just as good. Congratulations.

    In my youth, I worked at an international marine paint company for 3 years, and learned that surface preparation is everything. If the paint failed and there was a lawsuit, we always blamed the painting cotractors for not making the surface clean and smooth enough beforehand. So I know that my fence paint will fall soon - but hey, right now, it looks good!

  13. Marjie, I'm so gratified to hear that. Because I was sort of thinking that, given enough coats, paint can stand on its own two feet. Any my house turns 91 this year, so lord knows how many coats we're talking about.

    M & P, it's a gift.

    John, another tribal member. I'll send you the enrollment package.

    Bellis, I know! I talked to a neighbor who is doing his own painting just now, and he's really fastidious. "Surely," he said, "you're not using spackle on the window frames." Yeah, well, maybe I am, and maybe I'm not. Most likely I am.

  14. I'm terrible for rushing through to the end...Debbie Travis says that the mistakes people make on home improvement projects are because they rush through the boring preparatory work. Guilty.

    Your place looks absolutely stunning and inviting, by the light of the moon. Well done! It does feel great to finish a project, especially one that's been the subject of much procrastination. Maybe you could open a vodka & lemonade stand at the curb and your neighbours will see things in a different light.

    What does Albert think?


  15. I'll be swinging by with liter of gin to be properly impressed!
    The photo certainly is gorgeous.

  16. I have drips and missed spots and an entire back of the house unpainted. But if you stand on the street and squint, my house looks amazing! And that's all I really wanted.
    I think if we get a few more neighbors to do it, we can start a trend!

  17. Well done I say! You're right that it only matters that you're impressed, it's your house after all. If I waited until I was able to do every paint job perfectly I would never start anything and then nothing would ever get done. Paint covers all matter of ills and I've used it for most of them.

  18. If you are happy with it, then it was a job well done! I hate nit-pickers! They suck the life out of the rest of us.

  19. No written instructions, sort of, really fast--and I'd add, bluegrass in the background. The only way to do chores!

  20. Very impressive! I never even get to the Did of choosing paint type and color.