Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Becoming a Dull Boy...

...all work and no play.

I've been living in our home for over 17 years having had it built in the spring of 1992. Much of that summer was spent working on the countless jobs necessary to get a new home up to speed with landscaping taking up the bulk of my efforts. I don't think I had any idea going into it how much work was involved but I was 34 and determined to do it all with the exception of a couple areas where I paid to have some work done: having a Bobcat come in and drill 60 holes for shrubs and paying another guy to evenly distribute ten dump-truck loads of black dirt over our corner lot for a better base than the typical clay soil we have to work with. It was an exhausting summer of work but I felt good about all I'd accomplished and the money I'd saved over having paid someone to do it. However, having said all that I still maintain as I did after that first summer in our home that I'd never buy new construction again.

I was looking through some photos to add to this post and I came across one where I'd just put the finishing touches on the landscaping from all those years ago. Then and now.

Three of our trees are Ash trees and I'm concerned about losing them to the Emerald Ash Borer which recently made its way to neighboring cities.

Not long ago I was pondering whether I still had the drive or energy to take on those sort of jobs again. None of my summers since that first one here have been anything nearly as laborious and it's safe to say that I've grown soft. This year finds me recalling what those 12+ hour days felt like back then. Nearly all of my vacation days (and weekends) this spring and summer have been spent working on projects around our home with very little time for doing what I usually do...riding. I suppose the good thing about all these tasks is that I really hadn't planned to do any of them when the year began. Had I made a list earlier in the year of all I'd be taking on I'd probably have been too depressed or overwhelmed by it to do any of them.

The year began innocently enough with this unplanned project and then this one plus a few other various jobs not mentioned in my blog. A few weeks ago was our trip to Babbitt, a Working Vacation.

Which brings me to the latest and hopefully our final project of the year; finishing our garage. I hired out the sheet-rocking and taping but managed the painting on my own. It didn't seem that painting out the garage was going to be much more than a two-day job but it's taken me a good deal longer than that. I'm not a slow worker but I'm particular about how things get done and I like to do them right. I suppose that accounts for the extra time it takes me to complete a task. I'll keep my day job.

A friend from work, Earl, came by earlier in the week and dropped off his trailer for us to use to store the contents of our garage while we're having an epoxy finish put on our garage floor. It's a four-day process that began this morning with Skip and Tony coming in and removing the top layer of concrete with the use of hand grinders and a walk-behind sandblaster that did the majority of the work.

They also chipped out some areas where there was excessive scaling of the concrete from erosion due to winter road salt. Once that was done they covered the entire surface and filled in the pits with a base layer of epoxy. They'll be back tomorrow to put down the main layer of epoxy which will have the color chips we've chosen.

Our floor will look a lot like this sample. The sample is a combination of 30% gray, 30% white and 40% buff. The only change we'll make will be to add 5% of the mauve color to the left in this photo—not a lot but just enough to work with some of the reddish tones in the brick in the front of our house.

Lots more has happened in the last week and maybe I'll try and touch on that in another post in a day or two. It seems my blog has taken up residence off to the side next to my bike while all these projects win out competing for my time.


Anonymous said...

i'll keep my day job is a hilarious/scary pic...nx

Kevin Gilmore said...

Yeah, for all my rants about my day job it still beats real work.

I was a bit concerned that I'd run out of hot water in the shower before I got the paint out of my hair but it was no problem.

All of the spraying came at the end of a long day of prep work. A couple beers tasted mighty fine when the day was done.

Unlike Jim W., I will not paint for food.