Painting myself into the corner

It’s been at least 8 years since I have painted in my living room and kitchen. It’s been even longer since I painted the ceilings in the upstairs. You forget a lot during that time period…like how hard it was to do the painting myself and how much the aging process can affect you..strength and ability-wise.

Nevertheless, it had to be done. I went to the store and purchased the paint and I didn’t let it bother me that those cans were a lot heavier than I remembered. I bought paint brushes and some roller pads and determined to do the job.

Painting the ceiling was definitely the worst. I don’t reach up over my head well; I don’t climb ladders either, anymore, so I had to rely on a roller attached to my broom handle. This allowed me to paint from the floor, but it did make control of the flow difficult. I would roll and roll and roll to make sure I had completely covered an area and then, because of white on white in questionable lighting, I would discover that I had missed spots. When I got done or at least I was finished, I took the paint pan out onto the fancy front steps my husband had built, tripped and slopped paint all over and you know what? That paint covered the new steps perfectly…and it wasn’t inclined to come off.

The living room and hallway were next. I took down all pictures and filled all nail holes. Then I did the edges. I hate edging more than anything…but I do  know of at least one person who loves to edge because, they “love the challenge of it.” I say, if that is what challenges you, perhaps you should go out and trim the grass with a tweezers!

Once I got going with the roller, the painting went really fast. There was that unfortunate moment when I was bending over to get the bottom of one side of the hallway and got the bottom of my posterior with the wet paint on the other side! I also bent over too far and lost control of the roller as I stood up. My living room floor looked like it had the yellow measles! After crawling around for ten minutes frantically wiping up the spots, I proceeded to the last spot, taking the last bit of paint in the can. Celebration!

When I went to clean the tools, I tried to remove the paint cover from the roller and it would not come off. I tried to pull it off with a plastic bag over it. It wouldn’t budge. I gave a mighty pull, the bag slipped, and I ran my hand all down the paint cover, squeezing out a lot more paint, which poured over my hand, up my arm and into my sleeve. I looked like I had yellow fever on my right side for a week!

I gave up on the kitchen for now, so it’s just sitting there, prepared for painting but not done. My grandsons were visiting at my house and looked at the white, putty spots and the edging tape everywhere.

“Grandma was doing some painting,” I said, as they examined the kitchen solemnly.

“I think you should try again,” said the six-year-old seriously. “You missed a few spots.”

“Yeah, Grandma, try again,” echoed the four-year-old.

Darn kids. What do they know? I like the spotty look in the kitchen. I may keep it that way!

 

 

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Diary of a Wimpy Movie-Goer

I always go to a movie on Saturday night. It’s an unwritten rule that if we are at home for the weekend, we go to a movie on Saturday night. I’m explaining this very carefully to you so that you will understand why I went to Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

I am well aware that it is based on the books of the same name and I am also well aware that it is intended for a middle school audience. But it was Saturday night…and we always go to a movie on Saturday night…and we had already seen the other movies at the theater.

I tried to ignore the fact that we were the oldest people there by 50 years. I also tried to ignore the fact that the previews for coming attractions had all the appeal of a kiss on the lips from my behind-licking dog.

The movie featured people who walked out of their black and white drawings and became a submissive father who can’t even tell his wife that he doesn’t have a week off; a mother who appeared to be high on life and whose main ambition was to remove the pacifier of technology from her family for a week; an elder son who could only be the antagonist of the piece with his goth hair and fixation on his band, the Loded Diper (it took me a while, but I got it); and a spoiled youngest child with a real pacifier fixation.

The star, of course, was the middle child, Greg, who kept landing in impossible situations like helping his younger brother win a pig at a random county fair, and also finding himself hiding in a shower while the man on the toilet outside the curtain was voiding his bowels, one suggestive splash at a time.

The older brother chowed down something that looked like batter-fried sticks of butter (four of them) and then proceeded to puke up something green that floated in the air on the high speed gravity ride before landing full in the face of the man next to him. It was at this point that I quit eating my popcorn…it’s still sitting in the theater, next to my unfinished drink.

The movie did have its clever moments…probably all lost on the hysterically giggling little girl somewhere behind me and many others in the theater who are not familiar with the work of Alfred Hitchcock. The extremely muddy Greg is showering (with his clothes on) in a strange motel room, when the actual owner of the room comes in and rips the shower curtain down with the accompanying “eek, eek, eek” music which made “Psycho” famous. There was even a camera shot of mud flooding down the drain in lieu of the blood from the Hitchcock classic. Then, later, Greg is attacked by a flood of birds he has tantalized with a bag of cheese curls as a nod to the Hitchcock thriller, “The Birds.”

The movie eventually ground its way to a close and the middle-schoolers were quite delighted, judging by the laughter. It was as I was sitting there, wondering about leaving that I recalled my father’s assessment of a movie he went to once that was much more indecent than he anticipated. “I didn’t need a bag over my head going in, but I sure wish I could have had one to keep people from seeing me leave.” If I had thought for one minute the popcorn bag would have fit over my head, I’d have walked out wearing a salt and butter hat. As it was, I had to leave with my face ducked down behind my upturned collar.

So, that is the story of my trip to the movies. I realize that, like the boy in the story, I am a little wimpy because I went to a middle-school movie rather than staying home and reading a book or something. Judge me if you wish. As for the movie…I think it’s pretty good. That is, if you like deep fried sticks of butter eaten by weak-stomached cell-phone addicts. If not, proceed at your own risk!

 

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Have some teriyaki sauce with that apple braid

Last week, I went to the grocery store, as usual. I bought a dozen eggs, three cans of tomato sauce, some cinnamon and some teriyaki sauce for stir fry. I came home and opened my food cupboard doors and tried to put these items in (except the eggs) and they came flying back out, along with a number of other items already in the cupboard, including tomato sauce, cinnamon and teriyaki sauce. The eggs, I put in the refrigerator…on top of two other cartons of eggs.

Roy picked up the two bottles of cinnamon spice from the floor and asked, “Why did you buy more of things you already have? They won’t fit in the cupboard as it is.”

“That’s the problem,” I began defensively, “I don’t have enough cupboard space and that means I don’t know what I have, so I buy more of it. I should really have a pantry.”

“If we had a pantry, you’d have enough stuff in it to survive a nuclear holocaust and the zombie apocalypse,” he predicted. “Clean out these cupboards and use some of what we have.”

I threw a package of butterscotch pudding at his retreating back. It’s okay, I could spare it since I have four others and that one was expired anyway.

I’ve always had a reputation as a bit of a hoarder, but it’s really only because I’m disorganized. Without telling Roy that he was right, I decided to go ahead and clean those cupboards and get an inventory. That way, I could plan meals around what I have. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Cupboards were cleaned and the first meal from the contents of it was on the table that evening.

“What’s this?” Roy said, approaching the table with caution. “I smell…well, I can’t really decide what I smell.”

“I made a little sauce for the chicken,” I told him proudly. “I made it with the ingredients of the cupboard and a few eggs…I seem to have a lot of eggs.”

We sat down to the meal and Roy took several manful bites before he put down his knife and fork in some haste.

“Okay, I’m not sure what’s in your sauce, but the flavors don’t seem to be working together,” he began, feeling his way cautiously through this food mine field.

“I used powdered sugar, dry brown rice, brown sugar, teriyaki sauce and pumpkin pie spice,” I said. “It’s a daring combination.”

Before I was done giving him the list, he was up and scraping his plate in the garbage. “Why in the world would you use a combination like that?” his face was screwed up in distaste.

“I had three bags of brown rice, five bottles of teriyaki sauce, a container and three more bags of brown sugar and eight of those containers of pumpkin pie spice,” I answered unhappily, adding, “You said use what I have.”

“And the powdered sugar?” he asked testily, patently ignoring my attempt to shift the blame onto him. “Why did you put that in?”

“I have three bags in the cupboard and about eight more in the freezer,” I said, counting on my fingers, “I could coat the entire driveway with a layer of powdered sugar.”

“Maybe you should,” he said through gritted teeth as he made himself a peanut butter sandwich…using the only jar of peanut butter I had.

“Oh, no! I need some to frost the apple braids we are having for dessert,” I answered brightly.

“Apple braids! One of those things will feed eight people. Oh, let me guess, you have a lot of them.”

I opened the freezer and two packages of the apple braid fell out, “I counted seven of them up here and I haven’t looked in the basement freezer.”

“Well, at least we’ll get a powdered sugar frosting, that’s normal anyway,” he sighed, looking them over as they sat on the counter. “What are those lumps in the frosting?”

“Frozen corn,” I answered. “The freezer’s pretty full too and I have six bags of the corn.”

Now, I don’t need your criticism, dear readers…I need you to take some basil leaves and sage off my hand…I’ve got a little extra!

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Creating a creative nature

I regret to say I have finally found something on Facebook that I have been forced to block. It isn’t that I’m touchy about political correctness or can’t take the cute animal pictures. No, I’m just feeling very inadequate with the crafty posts that are flooding the news line.

I have never followed Pinterest. I really think many of the things that come off of Pinterest are cute, but I lack the creative talent to so much as fold a pipecleaner. Pinterest reminds me of my early childhood traumas.

Every other kid in first grade looked forward to art time. Not me! Let me read, let me sing the alphabet, but don’t force me to make a paper bag puppet or a turkey by tracing my hand. I am breaking out into a sweat just thinking about the sweat I used to break out in whenever my first grade teacher would cheerfully chirp out, “Art time, everyone! Get your smocks on and head for the craft table!”

I loved the smock. It was brightly colored and had pockets all around the bottom. But the rest of art sucked. I couldn’t cut, paste, fold, “insert tab” or even color in the lines. If it would look good to make a rainbow out of blue, yellow, red and orange, I invariably had some wiggly arch lines in black, grey, puce and lemon-lime. It just never worked out and I learned to hate art time. Truth to tell, the teachers who had to work with me in art probably felt the same.
All these years later, I still suck at art. I have tried to do quilting, mosaics, scrapbooking, painting. You name, I’ve tried it. And I still break out in a sweat every time I open a jar of glitter or spread glue on a piece of paper. It always looks so much better in my head and I’ve never made anything that should have made the pictures on Facebook.

Now, I have to look at all of the posts on Facebook:

“I made this fantastic prom dress out of some old ribbon and tissue paper….my great-grandchild will still be able to wear it.”  

“I started with some old mason jars and some discarded artificial flower petals and look at these beautiful canisters I made.”

Or worst of all, a before picture of a dresser missing one leg and with the side busted out and an after picture of something that would look at home in Louie XIV’s palace of Versailles, with the notation, “I just used a little wood glue and some paint and look what I made.”

I can’t take it. All of my artistic inadequacies come out every time I see another creative masterpiece posted online and I’m that unenthusiastic child in the red smock, with all ten fingers stuck together with glitter glue. 

So, there’s only one choice! If you have a wonderful craft project you want to share…I will simply have to block it or spend all my time in the throes of my childhood trauma. I can waste no more time trying to make a silk purse out of that sow’s ear….

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Easter Eggs a Dying Art

I am a grown woman with what I consider to be a reasonably mature outlook on life. Nonetheless, I was having a pretty childish fit about dying Easter eggs. Nobody was going to be around, there was no reason to do it, but I still wanted to dye Easter eggs. Just a few, maybe a dozen. I didn’t even have to buy Easter egg dye, because I had found an old box, buried under a pile of old Easter decorations. I blew off all the dust and brought it upstairs.

First, though, I needed eggs. Eventually I decided to boil a dozen and a half..to allow for broken ones, and because I like to dye them. I put the eggs on to boil and went into the living room to watch my favorite show…that’s right, I was watching the Rifleman.

When I heard the first mysterious pop, I thought I missed something on the show and they had shot off a gun before the finale. The second pop made me sure that the cat was on the counters in the kitchen, so without taking my eyes off the television, I yelled, “Cat! Get out of the kitchen.”

The third and fourth pops occurred at about the same time that I registered that the cat was relaxing on the deck outside the front window and it was then that I realized that the end music of the Rifleman was playing and I had put the eggs on to boil during the opening music of the program.

I raced out to the kitchen in time for eggs five, six and seven to explode and through a haze of smoke, I snatched the eggs off the stove and ran the scorched mess full of cold water, causing a further smoke and steam mixture.

Choking, coughing, my eyes streaming, I poured the poor, scorched, cracked up messes in the garbage. You would think that would be the end of it, wouldn’t you? Not me. I got another container of eggs from the store…okay, so I got two full 18-count cartons just to be sure. Coming home, I put 18 eggs on the stove and the rest in the fridge. I turned off the television and turned on the timer.

In the end, I came out with 18-count of eggs perfectly boiled, not a one broken. I put them in their carton and put them in the fridge until it was time to dye them.

At last I was ready to dye the eggs. I took out the color tablets and the wax crayon for writing names and I began. Except I could not remember which carton of eggs were the boiled ones…okay, so I was sure I knew, and without question, I grabbed the right carton and started working on names with the wax crayon. Then, I got out the tablets to drop into the vinegar and water. The tablets were a little old, they were extremely crumbly, but when they went into the mixture, they didn’t dissolve at all well.

I put in the first egg which I had written on and if I hadn’t been struggling to write on the next egg, I might have noticed that it sort of floated weirdly. I was writing on the second egg, though and having trouble making the wax stay. I must have pushed pretty hard, because the egg smashed in my hand and the next thing I knew I was holding a handful of raw egg. Okay, so I had the wrong carton.

So I threw away the raw eggs and began working with the ones in the other carton…which were boiled, but which didn’t take the wax writing any better than the raw one. I dumped them in the dye and because the dye tablets didn’t dissolve well, the eggs came out splotchy and freckly… and the wax names did not show at all.

I didn’t give up. I dyed all those eggs and not one single name showed up. What was I going to do? I had a bunch of eggs with no names on them that looked like they had been attacked with a colorful version of the plague. But they were dyed. And in the end, I discovered that I’ve wasted a lot of years with those wax crayons when a nice black sharpie marker will do the job so much better! I hope everyone had a great Easter and that you didn’t all need three dozen (plus 2) eggs to get a decent batch dyed….and that your dye wasn’t old enough to vote! Have a good week!

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Furniture Fracas

I’ve never been a big believer in fine furniture. I like to sit on my chairs and couches, walk on my rugs and put food and drinks on the end tables. Consequently, my furniture is not always the most attractive or the nicest, but I at least am familiar with it. I’m not sure I can say the same for Roy after this weekend.
My good, overstuffed rocker, which matched Roy’s, had finally given up the fight. While Roy’s chair held up well, mine had slowly, gradually broken down over the years. I tend to sleep in it when I’m having a restless night and working as a pseudo-bed for a woman my size had caused it to send in its resignation by dropping closer and closer to the floor while spitting mysterious bolts out of every orifice. When it began to overturn randomly and spill me onto the floor, I knew it was time to find something else.

I brought up the idea one night when Roy was tired from working late and not in the mood to discuss furnishings.

“I need a new chair,” I said as he was shoveling in his supper in a hurry. 

“There’s nothing wrong with my chair,” he answered in a distracted fashion, tuning in to the news.

“I know that. It’s my chair,” I answered testily.

“Your chair is fine,” he was no longer interested in the subject, I could tell.

“My chair is a broken-down ride at the amusement park from hell,” I whined. “It tips and rocks and dumps me out in the middle of the ride. I need something new.”

“Fine, go ahead, go shopping,” he muttered, his mind on the newspaper now in front of him.

It was what I had been waiting to hear. I was being turned loose with the family checkbook and permission to get extravagant. Okay, okay, so he never said get extravagant, but I can interpret it any way I want, right? It was time to be bold.

I looked and considered several dozen chairs at the store. I made the salesman a little edgy I think, because I kept going from chair to chair, searching for the perfect one. I know nothing about chairs so I kept asking questions like, “How much weight does the foot rest on this one hold? I have fat feet you know.” On the leather one, I inquired, “How many cows died in order for this chair to live?”

Finally, I found it. It was the perfect chair. It was dark brown, plush, overstuffed and had a foot rest that I could actually operate. The problem? It was a little expensive. Okay, it was very expensive. But it was the one I wanted, so I shut my eyes and got it.

Roy was still busy so I didn’t bother him with little things like the price or the fact that I had to haul it home. I put it in the pickup (or rather, they did) and I drove on my merry way home. But while I was at the store, I picked up a large, very pretty cover for my ugly old couch and brought that home at the same time.

By swearing, sweating and sometimes dragging the thing, I managed to get the chair into the living room and all set up. It looked beautiful…expensive, but beautiful. Then, for good measure, I put the new cover on the couch and  it looked pretty good too. Then I sat down to wait for Roy to come home and admire my new chair.

I was honest; I met him at the door and told him the price first thing. “How much?” he hollered, “that’s ridiculous.”

He was still blustering when he walked into the living room. He walked right by my brand new chair and ran his hands over the new cover on the old couch.

“Oh, this is really nice,” he said. “I thought you were getting a chair, but this is really a bargain for a couch.”

And now for my dilemma: Do I tell him the truth or do I just sit in my expensive new chair and let it go?

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Beauty and the Beast? Yeah, right!

Okay, I love a good impossible fantasy-type love story as much as the next guy, but honestly, Disney may be pushing my credulity just a little too far. This weekend I stood in a chilly line outside the movie theater so that I could get in to the latest version of Beauty and the Beast. However, there were a few questions that entered my cynical mind while I was watching.

Beauty and the Beast

Official Disney Movie Poster Copyright Disney Studios http://movies.disney.com/beauty-and-the-beast-2017

For a girl who is looked down on by the town, everyone seemed to know her. They greeted her in a friendly manner, asked about her activities and her day and though I saw little or nothing unusual about her there, the townspeople broke into song about how odd she was. I don’t find it odd that she read books and avoided Gaston whenever possible, but the fact that all she wants her father to bring her back from the market is a rose…now that’s odd.

Then there was the issue of the castle. I could take that it was winter all the time. I could even accept that it was surrounded by wolves. Even a crabby beast lurking in the shadows would be creepy but not too far out. But the second the candlestick invited me to dinner and my tea cup started talking, I’d have been out of there. Eaten by a wolf? Much better than having a conversation with your singing dresser drawers!

Beyond that is the interesting question of the looks of the key characters. We are asked to believe that the gift of a library and a snowball fight was all it took to make Belle overlook the fact that the object of her affection was a character who looked like a cross between a raging bull and Lucifer himself. Even that may be credible, but a union between a human and this “beast” would have been difficult to sustain. Would they live in the cold castle filled with creepy talking furnishings or would they go and live in the village where people already described Belle as odd?

Looks were a key consideration throughout the movie, but I couldn’t help wondering about the reverse question: What would have happened if Belle had been the beast and the prince was expected to fall in love with her anyway? Now, you have to admit there are many more stories out there where beautiful girls marry less than perfect looking, but wonderful men, than beautiful men who marry girls without looks.

A cynic (and I sometimes am one) might suspect that Belle took a look at the giant and ornate castle and its fine accoutrements  and decided she could overlook a furry physique and a couple of horns for a lavish lifestyle. I prefer the romantic point of view, however; I think Belle falling for a horrific beast who then turned into her Prince Charming is very romantic—if not very believable.

Lastly, I don’t want to leave out the mob in the “small provincial town.” Shakespeare seemed always to write his plays with utter contempt for the fickle and clueless mob. This story takes up that issue as well. The mobs follow Gaston when he locks up Maurice for suggesting that there is a monster and then just as faithfully follow him along when he decides that not only is there a monster, but they must kill it. This makes the mob even more stupid than Gaston and twice as gullible!

Okay, I guess this is the last of my questions, but as for the movie of Beauty and the Beast, I really did enjoy it. I spent the days after I went to the movie singing the songs and dancing around the house with sheets draped around me like Belle’s dress and holding conversations with my kitchenware…but don’t worry, nothing has so far talked back! Have a great week and go and see Beauty and the Beast for a fantasy treat!

 

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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