Sunday, July 14, 2013

Up here with the birds..(and wasps?)

Thank you for honking and waving! Thank you for praying with us and for us (especially Chris with Frontier Telephone Co.) Thank you for checking on us officer! We are women up against a job that no man we know would attempt. We tried to hire this particular part of the job out and we could not find anyone willing to do this. 
Our passion must have chased us up the ladder on the sidewalk on a busy street on this steep hill. We couldn't get any of the men in the whole family up one rung! This was hard work. Hard, using muscles you didn't know you had, frightening, thrilling, foot cramping, work. Nothing was going to keep us from finishing this side of the garage until we found the giant wasp nest up inside the old window. Oh...hello, stinging ones.  
Mama didn't back down. She threw on her vintage beekeeper's hat and wielded the can of Hot Shot like a hero. She unloaded the rest of that can into the wasp nest and..nothing happened. They must have just stepped out of the nest because when I peeked out while we took a coffee break the backyard was a-buzz with angry wasps. Great. We watched the angry swarming out back and snuck out the front door, up the walk and back up the ladder.  The wasps left us alone, whew, and all we thought we had were carpenter bees.
Wasps, a deadline, disappearing handymen, skipping the linseed oil that this old wood needs (at least for now), conquering fear of heights, enduring high-altitude indigestion, balancing on a bouncing ladder through high noon sun, and wind..and rain --just another adventure in historic outbuilding restoration.
I can't help but think of the Martin women, Emma and her daughters, having to hire work done. The fact that it would be so unseemly, nay, scandalous for them to get up on a ladder and paint or even to mow the lawn even though they were perfectly capable of doing it themselves. 

It's a sign

One of my pet projects is finished! I decided to experiment with the colors in the line National Trust for Historic Preservation at Lowe's and wanted to create a kind of Arts & Crafts look while also painting our website address about a foot high (in Mark Twain House Oak). I even tried to get J.E. Martin's signature right. A neighbor came up to tell me that he has been playing 1896 on his powerball ticket.  The dark spot in the corner of the sill under the sign isn't anything to worry about--that's where I set my Diet Coke.

I love the idea of a line of paints inspired by restored historical sites. Valspar at Lowe's has 250 colors to choose from. We used: Mark Twain House Oak, Jekyl Crane Cottage Yellow, Woodlawn Charm and Hubbell House Rio Grande Mud.