If you recall from previous episodes, Tony and I recently moved into my parents’ house. They’ve moved to a new city in Missouri, and Tony and I are fixing up their place during our unemployment. We’re knee deep in home improvement projects these days, so let’s start with the best part: some before and after shots.
Here’s a radiator that once served as a looking-out-the-window perch for dogs. Before side is dirty, after is clean.
I can’t help but appreciate the immediate reward of “projects” like this. I suppose I owe a thank you to my parents’ dogs for providing me with many such small thrills of cleaning. Thank you for being so gross, canine siblings!
Here’s a before of the stair railing in the backyard.
I’m not convinced that the after is an improvement, since the fresh paint mostly just accentuates the desperate need for paint everywhere else.
The railing itself definitely looks better and is more protected against rain and snow, but I’ve really got to paint the post next to the railing. I didn’t quite realize how atrocious it looked until I saw this picture.
While the railing paint is arguably a success, there is no argument about this next before and after. I definitely failed here!
It began well enough with some spackle over several large nail holes in the TV room. I love spackle.
Unfortunately, it quickly devolved when I painted over said spackling with the wrong paint.
In my defense, it was cruel and unusual for my parents to paint a cabinet a slightly different shade of turquoise than the TV room, and then keep the half-full jar of cabinet paint next to a bunch of previously-used wall paints. My parents don’t have any remaining TV room paint, so it looks like Tony and I will be repainting the whole room. No, I haven’t got any regrets about that spackle project! Why do you ask?
A few days ago, our new next-door neighbors let us borrow a chainsaw to cut down some of the dead limbs in the front and back yards. I believe that Tony and I fell in love at first sight, but I now know that that experience pales in comparison to the passion that Tony felt upon first using this chainsaw.
He was literally sawing stuff down for hours. When I gently suggested that it was time to return the saw, he quickly thought of several more things that needed to be trimmed back or removed. It was twilight by the time I finally convinced him to give the chainsaw back and come inside, and I credit that mostly to the fact that I promised we could borrow it again if we needed it. The heart wants what it wants, and Tony’s heart really wants a chainsaw.
Thanks in large part to Tony’s amazing chainsawing efforts, the backyard looks better than it has in years. Also, we have a ton of wood to burn since Tony took down so many dead limbs. There was really only one solution: create an awesome backyard fire pit.
Isn’t it beautiful?
In the midst of all this manual labor, I’ve started taking a microbiology class. It might seem counter intuitive, but I’ve discovered that there’s nothing quite as lovely as doing yardwork all day and then coming inside for some microbiology reading. The physical and mental exhaustion that one experiences after a day like that will, I have proven to myself, lead to the best and most rejuvenating sleep of one’s life. I’d highly recommend it.
So far I really like microbiology, and I’ve decided that perhaps I should switch career goals again. Instead of fundraising or dietetics, I think what I’d really love is working as a part-time landscaper and part-time entry-level microbiologist. Can someone find me that job?
I’ll close this post with a brief public service announcement. Now that the weather is warming, it is officially Bud Light Lime weather (although, obviously, one can and should drink BLL all the time, no matter the season). Please don’t make the mistake that I did by trying Michelob’s answer to BLL. If Miller High Life is the Champagne of Beers, Michelob Ultra Lime Cactus is the Kool-Aid of Beers. And not in a good way.
That’s all for now. I hope everybody who celebrates had a nice Easter! Tony and I had great one with his parents and sister (hi Gene, Kathy, and Kate!).