Labor Daze

Once i took off the hoodie revealed the face
Cop patrol couldn’t control the place
I got groupies backstage lined up at the gate
The signs up yellin’ “we love your tape!”
I’m sorry i took so long didn’t mean to make y’all wait
But good things take time to create

– Streetlife, Silent Lyrics, (Gza)

School has started, summer has ended and I have not blogged. Using school as an excuse for my absence would be semi-legit, but honestly it doesn’t keep me that busy. Other things have. One project that I recently finished and got off my desk was a proposal to fund PhD students looking at climate change and health. More on that soon, especially if I get it. The most important project that’s been going on around here has been the painting of the exterior of the house (and football beginning).

While planning our Labor Day activities we had to make a choice between accepting an offer from my dad to have him down here and paint the house, going to Cape Cod with some friends from Atlanta, or stealing away for a anniversary trip. Noting the importance of a new and thorough coat of paint on our house, and recognizing the value of the sweat equity in my dad’s offer, we decided to paint the house. We started this project about a month before, renting a power washer to try and remove some f the loose paint. We had it for the weekend, but were surprised when some friends dropped by on a 20-hour Atlanta layover on their way to Brazil for their honeymoon. Thus we scrapped our work plans for that Saturday and had fun with them. Sunday we washed. Turns out the powerwasher wand had a hole in it so, though we used it, we could have had more pressure. We returned it and received a refund. We were successful in cleaning the siding and identifying some problem spots.

The east and west sides of the house were in the worst shape. They get hammered with the sun and the paint was peeling off. We spent significant amounts of time scraping and sanding in preparation. A concurrent project was repairing some of the window framing and adding some molding to their tops. This involved a lot of miter box sawing, gluing, nailing, and caulking. I realized that I am a big believer in the superficial healing properties of the generous application of caulk. I ruined several shirts in the process.

When my dad finally arrived he seemed a bit shocked by the size of the job. Nonetheless, he dove right in. Without his prodding we might still not have picked out a color. I have no idea why it is so hard, but it is. He finished two coats on the front within the first day (Thurs). On Friday he aimed to take on the worst side (the east face). I was working on the proposal most of the morning and by noon he was feeling down about the solitary painting. In the afternoon I came to assist and we were able to finish the side and the back. Saturday we had the full team assembled with my dad on the trim and Lauren and I on the west side. Lauren was also subjected to Lowe’s duty with several trips a day to pick up who-knows-what-we-would-forget-to-buy-next. Sunday we finished the trim, the brick of the steps and the concrete around the bottom of the house. Several more trips to Lowe’s ensued.

Satisfied with his work but not the totality of his trip my dad set off on the next leg of his journey on Monday morning. He went to spend a few days with his brother in Tennessee. Lauren and I spent our Labor day sealing the deck and painting the chimney.

Now we’re done with the house, it looks great and we can focus on the next project. As of now I think it pertains to the house to the west. The owner has been renting it out but is now selling. We share a driveway with this house and we’re wondering the best way to handle the fencing situations. We’re also hoping that our new house-look will help with the sales process.

On a sadder note, we’ve also had to attend a funeral in the last month. Lauren’s Grandmother passed away in Rhode Island. She was a constant beam of optimism, especially to her grandchildren, and we miss her.

To conclude with some brightness I want to pass on my congratulations to Susan for finishing her first triathlon this past weekend in DC. Way to go!

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