December 23, 2017:

Hola!

It's COLD here and getting colder by the day, brrrrr. By December 26th the high may be only 3 degrees above zero. Yuck! But it's nice and cozy inside, and filled with the scents and sights of Christmas and Yuletide!

Today I made a crock pot full of my easy-peasy Beef Burgundy, made with a soup can full of sweet red wine (to rinse out the soup can, of course), and four other ingredients: beef (this pot I used beef already sliced in the package for beef stroganoff, and then cut the long thin strips into bite sizes), a can of Golden Mushroom soup, an 8 ounce package of whole button mushrooms cut into halves and thirds (depending on cap size), and a packet plus a little extra of a second packet of dried onion soup/dip mix. I also added a generous helping of ground pepper, dried thyme and dried - and aged (a year and three months, yikes!) of whole basil leaves that I ground up in between my fingers. Then the pot cooked on the "low" heat setting for 4 hours, with only one stir half-way through. The scent permeated the house and even managed to waft out to the street - wowsers - guess I need to get some additional insulation in these 1956 walls! My mouth was watering by the time I made up my first dish (over on-purpose a bit dry mashed potatoes) and gobbled it down, then had half a second dish as well! Now I want a nap.

I have my dark chocolate covered Queen Anne brand cherries (a Christmas must!), Beringer White Zinfandel wine, plenty of new fuel for my gel fuel fireplace and a host of Christmas movies to watch. Best of all, Solstice is done and we had a bit of sunlight day, late this afternoon. Every day, although it is not noticeable right now, it will get lighter a few minutes earlier and the Sun will sink below the horizon a few minutes later each day until the Summer Solstice on June 21. The worst is over, except for the bitter cold of January and February. I think I will go visit my friend Isis in Las Vegas in March - that always perks me right up :)

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all, and may the Season's blessings shower you with good fortune for all of 2018.

Jan

Friday, December 16, 2016

Kitchen Reno: Painting Patched Drywall Is - Ugh!

Hola and Happy Holidays to everyone!

We are in for another weekend snowstorm here so I'm keeping this brief because I've got to do two important errands (1) grocery shop and (2) hit the liquor store. We got about 7-8" last week over Friday/Saturday, and we're in for a rerun.  Reruns already, geez.

I have started painting the areas in the kitchen where the drywall was patched!  I should have done it sooner, of course - but I have to be in the "mood" and the "mood" to paint doesn't strike very often.  It is not one of my favorite things to do.

Tell me, please, who DOES THIS:



More about THAT later.

I had dug out the supplies to paint the week before and found a scant amount of kitchen wall paint left in the basement.  YAY!  So everything has been sitting front and center on my breakfast bar area for more than a week staring at me every single day, taunting me.  Yesterday, a nice sunny and bitterly cold and windy day with windchills dropping to 20 below zero, I figured it was time to start painting as I knew I would not be forcing myself to come up with anything else to avoid painting, not even a trip to the liquor store.  Sigh.

So, I get the taping done and since I didn't have to tape off the ceiling, it went surprisingly quickly and no up and down my rickety old ladder.  I had no excuses left.  I got the paint can opened and saw there was maybe 3/8th of an inch of paint left at the bottom of the can.  That wouldn't be enough to do the job.  So, I did what any rational woman would do.  I added water to thin the paint down.  It hasn't been used in 2 years, after all, and could use some thinning.  I poured in about 1/4 cup (I used a coffee cup that was nearby and added water to it) and stirred everything up thoroughly, giving both of my arms a good workout.  I used a small sponge brush to do edges/edging and a small (4") sponge roller to paint rather than a full-size roller, which I knew would suck up the paint tremendously.  I don't want to run out and have to make a trip to the big box store to buy a quart of matching paint.  I think I have enough watered down grey paint to get the job done.

Even with 2 coats of primer the patched areas sucked up the paint, especially where the mud was applied thicker to try and smooth out the transition between the closed in doorway and existing walls.  Close up, as I was rolling away with my tiny roller, I could see all kinds of flaws, but I wasn't about to stop and try and patch/fix/sand the problem areas myself!  I'll save that for the time I repaint the kitchen - if that every happens (probably never).  The fridge will cover up most of the flaws anyway and it's not like people go around staring at your walls from 3 or 4 inches away inspecting for flaws.

Because I was using the tiny roller, it probably took 2x as long as it would have using the regular sized roller, but I did get a lot of coverage out of relatively little paint as the sponge roller is more amenable to being squished against the wall to urge just a bit more paint out of the roller.  There is more than enough paint still left to do a second and even third touch-up coats later today.  Building up a couple of thin layers of paint will also help supply much needed "texture" to the new and sanded areas.  The walls in this house have been painted several times over the years, and what I thought was an "orange peel" texture is actually, the painter/drywall mudder guy told me, just built up paint texture from multiple layers!  Even after just one thin coat, however, I can see success staring me in the face, YAY!  That serves as motivation to get this part of the project done.

Now, about that photo of a kitchen outlet near an area where new drywall was applied.  I did not show myself removing the actual outlet faceplate.  That's right.  The dudes who did all the work on the drywall, mudding/sanding/priming -- never removed the faceplate!  They mudded right around it!  They primed right around it!  Of course that got smush all over the thing, and like most men who are blind when it comes to such things, they made a half-hearted attempt at some point to wipe the smush off!  Didn't work.

So, after I finished taping off the woodwork and wall areas that I don't want to slop paint on (because I'm a crappy painter and I get it all over myself, the floor, and unintended wall spaces and the odd piece of personal property in the next room -- how does that happen?), I removed the faceplate to scrub it down.   And discovered RED PAINT!

Notice where the grey paint is.  The grey paint was applied (according to the paint can notation), in 2014.  They painted with the grey AROUND the faceplate, did not remove the faceplate!  At least whoever painted the kitchen dark red had removed the faceplate, LOL.  And there is also a layer of a sort of goldish color underneath the red, that looks like it was done minus faceplate on wall as well.

Can you imagine an entire kitchen in dark red?  Holy Hathor!  Can you imagine someone either so inexperienced in painting, or so lazy, that they didn't remove the faceplate!

Okay - to the liquor store!  Oops, I mean, grocery store, then liquor store.

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