All posts by Ally Bean

Quirky. Funny. Curious. With a twist of attitude. And the ability to write about it.

Rambling Thoughts About Having The House Painted, Again

Decades ago we painted the exterior of our first home together.  That is something that a married couple does once, if they want to stay married.  So late last summer, knowing that it was time to re-paint this house, I began the task of trying to find a painter who would:

  1. take my call;
  2. be available this spring/summer/fall to paint our house;
  3. have decent references [or no outstanding warrants];
  4. show up;  &
  5. actually know how to paint.

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This is not the first time we’ve hired professional painters to paint the outside of a house that we owned.  Happily, our first experience was good, albeit noisy and chaotic.  The crew of 12 men swarmed the house like ants to a picnic, but after a hectic 2 days the house looked nice.

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About 70% of our house is brick.  The brick has some bluish-greenish gray in it which softens the bricky color and allows the house to blend into nature year round.  The mortar between the bricks is a soft tan/gray color which provides a small contrast with the brick.  Nothing too dramatic.

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Our second experience with a professional painting company was difficult and frustrating.  I don’t think that the painters used the correct color on the house and the whole mess ended with Z-D, Esq, applying a bit of legal pressure to make certain that the yokels painters fulfilled the conditions of the contract.  When this bunch finished painting the house, it did not look so wonderful.

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For the 30% of the house that is painted we chose Sherwin-Williams 7029 Agreeable Gray.  I would describe it as a more warm than cool light gray shade that is about as neutral as our mortar, but doesn’t look dreary at all.  In fact, we painted a test of it on two side of the house last fall, then watched to see how it looked during the winter & spring.  It’s pretty.

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This, our third experience with professional house painters, has been the best to date– that is, if this man and his on-again off-again crew ever finish.  We’re into week 5 now, so this has been slow project.  Fortunately this bunch is tidy, polite and show up when they say they will + they are doing a wonderful precise job, so however long it takes is fine by me.

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The shutters will be re-painted Sherwin-Williams 6216 Jasper.  It’s the same dark green color that they’ve been since we had the house built.  I like this color because there is a definite contrast with the brick and when there is only grayness outside during the winter, this subtle green shade cheers my soul.

Deconstructing A Delightful Comment From A Dubious Source

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WP tells me that this comment is spam, but it’s so uplifting that I had to share it with you, my gentle readers.  Despite its tarnished origins, I think that it might be one of the best comments that I’ve received in 10+ years of blogging.  Let’s see if we can learn from it, shall we?

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• Sentence #1 – a nice simple greeting.

You can never go wrong with direct and pleasant.   

•  Sentence #2 - flattery.

Oh yes, I like it.  More praise please. 

•  Sentence #3 - a glance backwards.

Isn’t it sweet when someone shares a piece of his life with you? 

•  Sentence #4 - more reminiscence.

I feel like I’ve found a kindred spirit here.      

•  Sentence #5 – action intended to create friendship.

Please do, I’m sure that he’s as charming as you are.  

•  Sentence #6 - flattery again.

Oh sir, I blush thinking about how much you like what I wrote here.  

•  Sentence #7 - expression of gratitude.

What better way to end a comment, I ask you?  ‘Tis perfect.  

Monet, Spiders And Thoughts Thereupon

I took these photos while standing on our deck early yesterday morning.  It was foggy outside and the world looked like something out of a Monet painting.  Nature’s beauty charmed me, but also lured me into a much too contemplative frame of mind for a Monday morning.

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Seeing my world in this hazy way left me feeling grounded + old.  I realized that I’d seen it all this way before, but was now remembering that there’ll be a finite number of other times that I’ll see it this way again.  Feeling introspective, I was.

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But as if on cue, when I went back inside the house to refill my coffee mug, I saw this little spider climbing up the inside of the screen.  Now here is a critter who’s living in the moment, I thought.  Good for him.

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He’s applying himself to the task at hand with all the enthusiasm + strength that he can muster.  And perhaps he has the real message of this early morning: get out there, start climbing and do something.  No need to get stuck in maudlin contemplation when there’s life to be lived now.  Spider Wisdom 101.

The Unsolved Case Of The Purloined Tomatoes

As I was walking around the back of the house on a bright and sunny summer morning I noticed that a red ripe tomato from my container garden on the deck above had fallen onto the path below.

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Curious as always I wondered: How did that happen?  

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So I walked up onto the deck where I discovered more tomatoes off the vine.  Tomatoes with little teeth-y marks on them.  Tomatoes that seemed to have somehow fallen from the vine prematurely.

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Immediately my mind went to our favorite sneak resident squirrel, Fuzzy.  So I bided my time and waited to talk with him when he stopped by for his daily afternoon visit.

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After we exchanged the usual pleasantries, I looked him straight in the eye and asked: Fuzzy, do you notice anything different around here?  There seems to have been a crime committed.  A theft.  

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To his credit Fuzzy took the time to look around before he denied all culpability in the crime.  He looked to his left.

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He looked to his right.

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He glanced immediately below onto the deck.

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Then he suggested that the real culprit in this crime was that nasty old raccoon who lives in the old tree on the other side of the ravine.

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When I mentioned that the nasty old raccoon hadn’t been seen in years and was presumed dead, and therefore incapable of stealing green or red tomatoes, Fuzzy ignored me.  This was of no concern to him.

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Having answered my questions to his satisfaction, Fuzzy then set about doing that which he had come to do: he started licking the terra-cotta pot to get his afternoon salt feast.

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And I was left with the impression that I’d been conned once again by Fuzzy the Squirrel.

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In Which I Converse With A Stranger Whilst Thinking Of One Particular Emoticon

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WHILE WAITING AT HONDA in the customer service area for my car to be repaired, a stylish 60-something woman spotted me reading my book, sat down beside me and started chatting.

That’s what they all do the minute they see me. They start talking.

She told me more than I wanted to know about her: she was retired, single, living on a fixed income, buying her sheets at one department store but her towels at a different one, preferred olive oil from upscale cooking stores rather than the grocery, and watched [nameless] funny TV shows each night.

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COME TO FIND OUT, this woman had brought her car into Honda Service, without an appointment, because the remote transmitter battery in her car’s key was failing.  The battery needed to be replaced.

To me, this seemed simple enough. To her, however, this was a big deal.  

What this woman did not seem to understand was that even when the battery part of her key went dead, she could still insert the key into the car lock and turn the key manually to open the car door.

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NO, SHE THOUGHT THAT when the car key battery went dead she’d have to have the car towed from who knows where and replace the whole lock– which was going to cost hundreds of dollars.

So there I sat a victim of chit-chat overload, dumbfounded by what I’d heard. Somewhat baffled, almost wordless.  

I was about to explain to her how locks work when the service department called her name indicating that they had completed her repair.  So I said “good-bye” and was left to wonder why it is that the clueless people find me– even when I’m minding my own business, they. find. me.   O_o