Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Partially painted; arbor, part 2

If you are the sort who prefers to read about a thing from the beginning rather than starting in the middle and backtracking to the beginning, go HERE to do so. There will be another link to bring you back to the middle.

From a sillier perspective than usual… Anytime screws are involved in a project my brain wants to make bad jokes. So my first thought for the title of this post was naturally “Completely screwed”. And to start my essay, of course, the line that sounded best to me was, “There was a lot of screwin’ goin’ on here today.” However, I’m a higher class writer than that, so putting those double entendres aside, I’ll get on with Clotilde’s arbor.


Eighteen slats with four screws apiece, pre-drilled, justly warrant several bad jokes, because that is a considerable amount of drilling and screwing. Okay, you get the picture. During the many minutes at a stretch on the ladder with knees locked in the vertical position, it never occurred to me that getting down would be an issue. Not until I tried to take the first downward step did I realize this might be difficult to do. The supporting knee didn’t want to bend, and when it did finally start to obey my command, I wasn’t sure it would stop bending. Then, of course, the descended knee became the supporting knee, and it was déjà vu all over again and all the way down the ladder. I really could be pretty ticked about this age thing slapping me hard at the most inopportune times, but today I was just darned glad to get down off that ladder – each and every time. Two acetaminophen aka Tylenol at the midpoint worked great on the aching knees.


DH was brilliant today! I started work with the ladder on the porch at the left side of the arbor. I got the slats properly spaced there, but I couldn’t set them aright on the outside of the arbor because I do not have Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s arms. If I started drilling on the inside ends, the slats would undoubtedly shift and get locked into the wrong positions on the other end, and then where would I be? This is when DH interjected as only a highly experienced, capable and thoughtful husband can. He suggested clamping a 1x2 across the slats on the inner side. That would lock them in place so that I could go to the outer side, space them correctly, and screw them in. This worked perfectly!!! And putting a board on the ground in the bed held two legs of the ladder while the other two stood on the gravel path. Ladder and occupant were absolutely steady. Only a handful of screws fell into the bed, never to be seen again, and no drill bits fell, but the near-drops unnerved me constantly. The number of ladder repositions? Somewhere over a dozen.


Since the pressure was on me to appear here today with a painted arbor, I slapped a partial first coat on it. If I tried painting more, who knows what disaster would have befallen me in my out-of-gas condition. The fact is that painting this bugger was not real appealing to me until I decided not to paint the slats. Once Clotilde gets going up there those slats will be a mere memory, forever invisible. Likewise for most of the 1x4 boards but whatever. It’s the right thing to do. Fortunately, I found a can of paint labeled “exterior doors and trim” from when the house was built exactly seven years ago. It took both DH and I, prying and tearing and sweating, to get the lid off. Well, really it was the whole lid assembly that came out of the plastic paint “can”. Looking at these photos, I remember now that the door is off-white whereas the color I wanted for the arbor is the buttercream that’s on the trim, but, alas, there is no such can of paint in our garage. This is where I usually say, “Oh, crapola.”


I would love to have the final photo be a new shot, but, alas, again. The camera batteries died after four shots, and someone, i.e., me, didn’t put the second set in the charger the last time. But I’m grateful – and proud - to have any photos to show you. Now if only my kitchen looked as good as the front of the house. Does anyone have a good maid they can recommend?


  1. You made me laugh this morning! ^^

    It's always harder than expected. I always need more of this, more of that. There's always something missing to get the job done.

    Your words showed it perfectly but with a bit of humor, it gives it a touch of fun that makes every pain forgettable.

    Hope your knees will laugh too next days...

    Great project! 8)

  2. Oh, VertGrenouille, you made me laugh, too, when I first google-translated your "name" - Green Frog. What a surprise! Anf thank you, thank you for seeing what my words were showing. Harder than expected is so right. I didn't want to sound like a complainer but rather a chronicler of an all too common situation for people - plodding through the difficulty with effort and determination, some fear and trembling, and much humor. Thank you for making me feel good about my writing this morning.

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    1. It was pure fun to read you! Even though I know how much we are ready to suffer to have the garden of our dreams! LOL ^^

  4. Your DH is a keeper, isn't he? It looks great! I look forward to seeing Clothilde growing on there soon.

  5. That's quite an undertaking but it's coming along nicely. Can't wait to see Clotilde covering it.