Monday, January 30, 2017

Chores day

Today is the Auckland Anniversary public holiday, so it was a day off—which is not to say it was a day without work. Today I painted the low retaining wall out in front of our house, and didn’t start another, bigger project. Even so, it’s an accomplishment.

We last painted the retaining wall several years ago—maybe six or seven, more? I honestly don’t remember. But it held up really well until recently when I had the deck and fences (and house, and roof…) washed. It removed some of the paint in areas where mould had been growing before I had the gardens cleared out (I had that done by the same guy).

There was also a part of the retaining wall that had never been painted because at the time we painted the rest, our spa pool was sitting in from of it, full, and it was just too tight to get in there. So, we never painted it.

The spa pool is empty at the moment, so we could move it out of the way and I was finally able to paint the parts that never had been. I also touched up the parts of the rest of the wall that needed it. Job done.

However, this was all complicated by a gout attack I’ve had going one for the past couple weeks (and, like the ongoing attack several weeks ago, it moves around, never the same joint for more than a couple days). In addition to pain and stiffness that made moving difficult, this attack has given me that flu-like feeling much of the time, and I don’t know anyone who would feel like painting when they have the flu.

At first I waited, hoping the attack would lift, but it’s become clear to me it’s not going anywhere any time soon. So, I needed to just take a deep breath and do the work, anyway—except the rotten summer weather has made that extremely difficult, regardless of how I’m feeling. There have been many rainy, sometimes stormy, days, and when it stopped, I needed to wait for things to dry out—only to have more rain settle in.

This weekend, however, was supposed to be sunny and dry (and it was!), so I wanted to paint the retaining walls and the deck itself. I didn’t feel up to it Saturday. Or Sunday, either. That left today, and even though I was feeling particularly yucky today, I decided to do it anyway.

The photo up top was part of my preparation, and the photo montage below is of my painting job. For some reason, it never occurred to me to take full “before” and “after” photos. Oops.

It took me longer than it should have, probably, mostly because I had a little trouble moving, but when I finally got to the painting, I felt fine. I actually kind of enjoy painting small projects where I can sit down, where I can just do the work and zone out. It was warm, and the area I was painting was in the shade by then, so it was actually pleasant.

Unfortunately, I didn’t even start work on re-staining the deck itself, something I originally wanted to finish this weekend. I actually don’t mind because I remembered that the guy doing the work on the house hasn't washed one wall of the house, nor the deck next to it, and both need to be done (especially the latter) before I can stain that part of the deck. He’s due back on Wednesday.

This week, I hope to finally finish this project once and for all (there’s not much left for the guy to do). Then, if the weather holds, I’ll do the cutting in on the deck so I can start staining on Friday—again, assuming the weather holds. Otherwise, maybe this coming weekend, which is another 3-day holiday weekend.

Through this whole experience, I’ve learned two things. First, it’s important to just roll with it when there are obstacles or unexpected delays. Second, there are times when it’s a really good idea to hire people to do jobs. I couldn’t have washed the roof (I’m terrified of heights, far more so than when I was younger), but I also realised once I saw the huge pile of garden debris that clearing it would have been too much for me.

The painting, however, is a low-skill thing I can do, and weather and my body permitting, I’ll get that done. But there are times when it pays even to have those sorts of things done.

I wanted all this work done a week ago, but, due to the various delays, I changed that deadline to this weekend. I realise now that I did what was possible at the moment, and hopefully by this time next week, it’ll all be done. Fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, I’m really tired—overall, and specific parts, like may painting hand and arm. It’ll definitely be an early night tonight.

The next two days are “inside” days, with some tidying to do before I head back outside, hopefully, on Thursday. Stay tuned: Like so much else I do, I’m sure that will be documented, too.

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