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Friday, July 9, 2010

DIY Blues

Morale is at an all time low these past few days. Progress is crawling rather than sprinting forward in leaps and bounds. I just can't get into this project when it has everything in it that I used to love doing. Planning, building, finishing and decorating. Honestly, I feel really alone. Maybe that's the bulk of the problem. I know what I want to do, I know how I should be doing it and yet, as one single person, I can't get it done.

It's raining today and that means no cutting wood outside. I could cut wood in the living room or kitchen but that would cause a huge mess and really, who wants more of a mess if there's a suitable alternative? I could also cut wood in the basement IF I could get the 8' 2x4's down the stairs and around the corners. But, the workshop area is in the laundry room and I'm currently doing laundry. Last time I used power tools down there I was cleaning sawdust out of the washer and dryer forever. I could also just cut the damned things with a hand saw but it now feel as though that would be cheating.

Once I get around to framing the bed, it'll be time for the MDF sheets that I'll need to finish it, along with some wood trim. The trim isn't the problem, the MDF is. Most smaller wood trim I can fit in the car, or walk home if I go across the street for it. MDF is big and flat and heavy. I can't get it in the car, as one person I can't walk it home and I don't want to have it ripped down to a size that will fit in the car. That would mean a ton more seams and extra work for me. I have nothing polite to say about my frustration. I also don't want to try and build a trolley to carry the sheets home either, I don't think that the 1x3's and 1/4" plywood pieces currently sitting at the side of the house waiting for the dump are going to be sturdy enough. You know what I need (aside from a few extra hands, more money and a large vehicle)? A GARAGE. I used to love working in the garage. You can store wood and supplies in there, you can cut and sand and paint and stain and you never have to worry about rain or laundry or making a mess unless there's a hole in your roof and you have a garage/laundry room combo...which I can't really see. You know what really bugs me? I could have the sheets delivered if I was desperate, or I could rent a van for an hour and get them loaded for me, but as a woman, I can't frigging unload them or even if I managed to drag them out of the vehicle I couldn't possibly manipulate them through the table saw. I'm starting to think that a man could do that, if he was strong enough. I guess that logic should also tell me that a woman who was of equal strength could do it as well. Neither scenario makes me any happier. There must be an alternative. Perhaps it is planning out all the cuts, going to the big box store and having them rip it for me at $1.00/cut and using a rental vehicle to get it home. Call me stubborn, but I don't want to do that. My mother was supposed to come here to help and bring her large vehicle with her but that plan is out the window too.

I went out this morning to get paint for the room. I brought along the fabric sample from the curtains so I could get a good match. I haven't painted anything in a long time. I painted one room last year and before that it had been at least five years. I went to C____T___ this morning because it's really close and I used to love their paint. The store nearest me has almost no selection and when I asked if they had any low VOC paint the guy working in the paint department had no idea what I was talking about. Last year I was talked into getting "low VOC" paint to try and help with paint fumes and air quality because I was painting my daughter's room (ironic) and I didn't want her to inhale nasty chemicals, did I? More on that in a sec. Now C____T___ has some paint that's $18 a gallon. That's a good price, but I left and drove all the way to H___D___ because they have a bigger selection and that's where I got that miraculous "low VOC" paint last year. I went to the paint department and asked for low VOC and you know what they told me this year? ALL paint (the base) is low VOC to start with, some are even no VOC. It's the tint that you have added that contains all the VOC's. So the darker the colour of paint, the higher the VOC content. There's nothing you can do about it. I had a great colour match for the fabric and was convinced by the staff that the all-in-one primer + top coat would be perfect for my needs and even though the pink I'm using is extremely dark it's supposed to cover in ONE COAT. It better, a gallon cost me $45.00 and I don't think I've ever paid that much for one can of paint, ever. I just never saw the need, as I said I shopped C___T___ and the paint always looked great. I also bought some semi-gloss white trim paint and that was $20 for a pint so all together, including the environmental charge for me buying the paint itself, it was $85.00. I also bought some ECO friendly recycled paint rollers that come in compostable packaging. That was supposed to make me feel better after having bought paint chock full of VOC's only it really didn't help me feel any better at all.

As I was using the self checkout I managed to get bright pink paint all over my hands and on my jeans. You know when they dab a bit of paint on the lid for you to see what the colour looks like after they've mixed it for you? It didn't dry. Luckily it was still raining and I stood in the parking lot using water from a puddle to clean myself. Yes. I did.

After all that I decided I really needed something to cheer me up and I went to the local Vietnamese restaurant for a lovely bowl of PHO soup. That, of all things, did help. I also got a call from my daughter, who is still in Vancouver. She wants me to wait until she returns to paint the walls because she wants to help. I asked if I could leave just one wall for her to do and she said no, ALL the walls. OK then. She just made my life easier and harder at the same time. Last time she "helped" me paint her room she spilled it on the carpet, twice, and got it all over herself. At least the carpet in her room has been removed and it's hardwood now.

I need to get my butt in gear and go patch the drywall and caulk and the trim...

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