Curbing my spending

Gas mask 1
Gas mask 1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For one reason or another lately I have been engaged on a spending spree. Today, May 3rd, I bought a gas mask online. Now what do you suppose I needed that for? A kinky party (never been to one)? Well if you remember I purchased some floor paint and it arrived today. Having taken off the lid of one of the cans and painting a sample corner of the cellar storage room I thought it would be best if a mask was worn when painting the whole floor. Indeed it is necessary for the paint fumes are strong and the room cannot easily be ventilated. The paint itself is a chlorinated rubber composition and even after painting such a small amount it sent fumes throughout the basement and the first floor. I hastened to close the room door to minimise the fume distribution but even so I had to keep a few doors and windows open to disperse them. As I hadn’t a suitable mask I had to make the purchase. A few days ago I purchased some clothing for myself and for E and yesterday I purchased the item of gym equipment I was looking to have to go along with the treadmill and elliptical cross-trainer we already have. This time it was an exercise bike, bike machine or whatever you choose to call them.The picture shows the exact model we chose. It looks a though I will be installing an extra power point in the gym soon! So although I have been spending out a lot recently it isn’t a regular habit, I simply couldn’t afford to be spending all the time. Now, for the month ahead at least, I have to curb my spending. Well maybe. Now that I have the paint I can finish off the storage room though it will have to wait now until I receive the mask. I will have to use the mask again when I paint the gym floor but at this moment in time I have still to fill in the holes with cement. I would have had it done by now had I not been looking after E while she has been incapacitated. Today for instance I had to do the weekly shopping once more, something which seems to becoming a regular thing lately. I don’t mind of course, it’s a change from what I usually get up to!

Shirley Anne

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No work but work

Paint and Paint
Paint and Paint (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After my Sunday rest day I thought I would be rearing to start work on Monday but I had slept in as I had felt so tired on Sunday evening. It was around ten in the morning by the time I got downstairs. I missed breakfast but ate a banana and had a fruit drink instead. Despite this I joined with E and went upstairs to do some more work in the top room. I hadn’t any electrical work which seems to be the norm lately for the start of the week but that didn’t mean I wouldn’t be doing something at home. We spent about three and a half hours painting and carrying out alterations to the electrical power circuit. I managed to paint the lower half of the ceiling whilst E did more filling in of holes. We had to stop for something to eat but by the time we did it was already approaching one-thirty. I was feeling rather weak as I’d only eaten a banana for my late breakfast. We didn’t return upstairs until after three o’clock. I finished painting the remainder of the ceiling whilst E applied an undercoat to the underside of half the worktop. We had to remove the curtain rod and the timber it was attached to because it wasn’t secure. The wall behind required some repairs to the plaster so I got on with that too. It was six o’clock before we stopped work for the day but later after my evening meal I decided to paint some of the lower wall with the emulsion paint we had bought. It is the colour of lilac, E’s choice not mine but I admit it looks good. Monday had been a cool and dull day, ideal for working at home indoors. Tuesday however was forecast to be warm and sunny but even so I would most probably be working indoors for most of the time.

Shirley Anne

Only a hole in the ceiling!

The room at the top of our house is actually two rooms with another at a slightly lower level. The one at the lower level is basically inaccessible at the moment as it is filled with my son’s furniture. Of the other two rooms one has a bed in it and is also filled with boxes and bags belonging to both of my sons but it does now have some free space. E and I dismantled the bed and stored it against a wall whilst re-arranging what was stored in there. The third room was the one with the hole in the ceiling and the damaged wall that have now both been repaired. However, the room needs redecorating but it also is filled with many boxes. E and I are going to empty the room and may have already done so by the time you read this so that we can lift the old carpet and set about painting the walls and the worktop surfaces. Years ago I used the room as an office/study and at that time I built a framework little by little on top of which I fitted a worktop around three of the walls. I had computers, printers, scanners and all the paraphernalia that comes with an office, ring binders, filing boxes and paper. I kept all my business records up there too. The room hasn’t been used for quite a number of years now and that is why it has become filled with boxes. E wants to use the space for her crafting hobby and other things and is ideal for that. The shelving and work surfaces can therefore remain as they will be used. On Wednesday afternoon E and I went shopping for emulsion paint again and for the small tin of textured paint we needed for the ceiling because we had used up all that we had. The work in the room will mostly be done with a paint brush but I may have to move one or two power points though there are plenty of them beneath the worktop. Earlier on Wednesday I cut and fitted some lengths of 150mm high board to fit on top of two of the worktops against the wall where they had none. The small project won’t take us long as we are not going to make the room anything else but functional and it all started with a hole in the ceiling! Perhaps I will get the opportunity to change all the radiator valves another day! Plenty of time for that though. Whilst we were out we bought a couple of tomato plants and two plants for the gardens front and back. Here are the two plants…Bottle brush plant

 

Dwarf fan palm The top one, a ‘Bottle brush’ plant, had yet to be put into the front garden. The bottom one, a ‘Dwarf fan palm’, I planted next to the ‘Yucca’ I had planted a day or two before. The Yucca can grow more than three metres and should always be taller than the fan palm which is supposed to grow to a metre and a half.

Shirley Anne

Shades of grey

Two electrical jobs on Tuesday kept me away from home for most of the morning. When I got back home I discovered E had been working in the small bedroom and had almost painted the wall with the lighter shade of grey paint we had bought the previous afternoon. It is supposed to be a shade of grey but it has a tint of green in it unless my eyes are deceiving me…Small bedroom 8

Small bedroom 9

The difference between the two shades is evident, I think you’ll agree. After we had eaten lunch an hour or so later we returned to the room to apply the darker shade to the other three walls . We had that done in an hour but we thought they might need another coat later despite the number of coats we had applied already! Tuesday had been a wonderfully sunny day but the wind took the edge of it being pleasant enough to sit in, though we did give it a try for a short time. In the end E decided to take in the washing she had hung on the line hours before and return indoors whilst I gave the garden plants a thorough watering as we hadn’t had rain for some time. We planned to finish painting the walls on Wednesday though at the time of writing this on Tuesday the wood work has to have its final coat of white gloss paint applied too. We also plan to buy a wall mirror and of course curtains and the rail to hang them from but these purchases can be made later.

Shirley Anne

More paint

A collection of cans of paint and other relate...
A collection of cans of paint and other related materials. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I worked all morning on Monday installing an outdoor power unit and a floodlight for a lady living in the adjacent road to where my eldest son lives with his in-laws. I arrived back home in time for lunch and it was around two-fifteen when I decided to do a spot of painting in the bedroom whilst E sat and watched something on tv. I wanted to see what the final coat of paint would look like so I painted half of the wall in which the window is sited. It took me about fifteen minutes because the paint was very easy to apply. Whilst I had been painting the undercoat I found it very difficult because the paint seemed to drag over the surface rather than glide over it. That was the main reason I had to paint the wall the way I did when applying the grey undercoat over the paint we had used to blank out the original purple colour. In a previous post you can see how the paint was applied in circular motions (it looked like a patchwork quilt!) as that was the only way I could get it to come off the brush reasonably thickly. I suspect the two paints had been reluctant to adhere to one another in any way but very thinly. Anyway my test final coat glided on very easily because the previous coat was the same paint. Just as I had finished the test area E came upstairs and suggested we paint one of the walls, the largest one which faces the window, in a paler shade of grey than the other three walls. We needed another pot of the same grey colour anyway so off we went to the retail store and bought one of the same colour and one of a paler shade of grey. As it happened there was a special offer of £18 for any two pots bought, their normal price being £13.50 each if bought singly. Whilst I had been at work in the morning E had been busy painting too so it won’t take long before the room is finished, well in time for the carpet being laid on Monday.

Shirley Anne

A little compensation

I had done no electrical work all week but on Friday I had one small job that would at least pay for my advertisement. It would also leave me with something extra too by way of compensation for not having had any work. I wasn’t bothered for it allowed me time at home to get on with my little projects. After lunch I went along to the electrical supplier to purchase a reel of cable and other things whilst E took her mom into town to have her new spectacle lenses fitted to her frames and do a little shopping whilst that was being done. I was back home an half hour later and looked so see what I could be getting on with in the small bedroom we are redecorating. The room is used by our youngest son and always was his room when he was a child. The colours in the room were more or less chosen by him. I asked him this time too what his preferences were. Now although we were happy to allow him his choice as a child I for one wouldn’t allow him to choose something I wasn’t happy with this time. However he has matured somewhat since then and he suggested grey as I wrote in the previous post. I decided the ceiling wanted painting but it had been painted with a textured vinyl paint last time which needed patching up in places beforehand. We had the same paint in storage in the cellar so I got it out and started painting over the whole ceiling with it. Because it is a paint it wouldn’t need overpainting afterwards which was a bonus but because the ceiling was pretty much clean it was difficult to see where I had just painted! I managed to do half the ceiling before I decided I’d had enough. I recall how it was the last time all those years ago with the problems associated with applying this textured paint. It tends to clog up the brush making the brush heavy in use so it has to be squeezed out every so often. As I wasn’t particularly painting to achieve a textured finish because it was that already and all I wanted to do was to fill in with it, I needed to thin out the paint with a little water which made it even more of a problem to use. It wanted to clog up the brush even more and wet my hand more in the process. I battled on nevertheless but still left the other half of the ceiling until the following day. I realise now that I don’t need to overpaint the ceiling at all which is good for I don’t much like painting ceilings at the best of times but someone has to do it. At the end of the day my greatest satisfaction is having done something constructive with my time at home instead of simply lounging about doing nothing. I might be a little like this fellow but I get things donefox-bat

Shirley Anne

Out of sorts

New Colours
New Colours (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was feeling a little out of sorts, under the weather, poorly, not at ny best, whichever way you describe it I was feeling a little unwell on Tuesday morning and didn’t want to do anything. As it happened I had nothing to do anyway but that only served to make me bored. E an I had talked about changing the colour of the walls in the hallways and stairwell from its present white to some pastel shade to match the purple carpet. I dug out a few pots of silk emulsion paint of different colours that we have stored away in the cellar and took them with brush in hand to the top of the house and painted some small areas on the wall to see which, if any, would be a suitable match but alas none seemed to fit the bill. My personal choice would be a very pale shade of lavender but E preferred something pink. We drove down to the retail park to see what colours could be had from the shelves but only one or two came near to what we were looking for. We picked up a few sample cards and returned home with them to check them against the carpet. A week or two ago we had made a similar trip to collect some sample cards for the bedroom project and on this second trip we picked one or two more. We have tentatively decided which colours we both like and might go for them. If we do decide to get them they will have to be mixed at the store unless we can find similar colours directly from the shelves. Having the paint mixed costs more and we would have to make sure we bought more than enough to do the job. It will be something to keep us occupied once the other work is completed. It has been many years since the stairwell and hallways were given a coat of paint so painting them will only be an improvement. Whilst we were out E dropped me off at the doctor’s surgery so I could ask them for a patient access form which will enable me to keep a check on my doctor’s appointments and subscription status once I register and then request to be put on the surgery computers so I can access my details on-line. Once we got home I was beginning to feel much better as I registered for the service with the details provided by the surgery.

Shirley Anne

Time is never my own

English: Royal Palace of El Pardo. Painting in...
Royal Palace of El Pardo. Painting in ceiling. El Pardo, Madrid, Spain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being able to work at my age is a blessing; many folk my age have retired already and some sadly are unable to work because of health or other reasons. I consider it therefore a privilege if you like that I am still fit enough for work, which I suppose is just as well because I like it, it keeps me occupied, it is always productive and I get paid to boot if the work is for somebody else! I started this past week with almost nothing in the way of electrical work but as the week passed that changed though  I was unable to work for anyone else on Thursday morning at least because my van was off the road being serviced and having its annual test. Strangely enough nobody at all called me on Thursday aside from the service depot telling me my van was ready for collection. I was able to do some work at home, painting the bedroom ceiling. E went out to Manchester with a couple of friends early on Friday morning and because I had no electrical work I was in no hurry to get out of bed but did so anyway just as she had left the house around 8.40. I had just about finished getting dressed when someone called me to ask if I could connect her cooker to its supply switch. I got there thirty minutes later and did the work but as it wasn’t as straightforward as it might have been it took me that bit longer to do. I got back home around 10.30 and decided to eat the breakfast I had missed and then get on with painting the ceiling. I must say at this point that it isn’t just the ceiling which is being painted but a deep freeze beneath it too and because both the ceiling and the walls are covered with an embossed paper and the fact that a brush is being used rather than a roller it takes far more time to do. Filling in all the spaces in the embossed paper would be far more difficult using a roller. Fortunately though it isn’t as involved as the picture above! It would be around 11.00 when I went upstairs into the bedroom but I didn’t start painting right away, I moved all the unnecessary paraphernalia out of the room first such as the rolled-up carpet underlay and other things. I had donned a pair of overalls and had just started to paint when someone else called me to help them with a garage circuit problem. I put the paint and brush away and drove there in my overalls. I don’t usually wear overalls for doing my electrical work unless it is absolutely necessary when I get to the job. The house was a mere three-quarters of a mile away and the work didn’t take me long to do before I was off again home. This time I was determined to do what I could do in the bedroom before it got too dark. I don’t like painting under artificial light because sometimes it is difficult making sure I don’t miss places. I spent about two hours at most before deciding I’d had enough for one day. I put everything away until the next day. Fortunately the next day was Saturday, a day I don’t do electrical work for anyone unless it is an emergency so I knew I would have several hours at my disposal do finish off the painting, plenty of time without interruption from anyone.

Shirley Anne

Decisions, decisions

English: What a difference colour makes! A pai...
What a difference colour makes! A paint swatch of maisonettes in Bishops Avenue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It shouldn’t be too difficult to decide which colour of paint to use for the bedroom walls but E and I just cannot make up our minds. On Wednesday we went to see what was available in the retail park stores and even saw sample shades that can be mixed by the computer-controlled mixing equipment but ended up just purchasing the paint for the ceiling. The ceiling, which at the moment is painted white, will be painted with another shade of white called ‘Victorian Lace’ and can be done immediately. We are thinking of leaving the painting of the walls until the furniture is fitted so that we will have a better idea which colour to use. One problem though is that we wish to paint the walls where the wardrobes are to be fitted because the wardrobes will not be fitted with rear panelling; so we may paint a dark colour there to match the colour of the furniture instead. As it happens the furniture will be delivered a week in advance of its construction which will give us the opportunity to get the colour right. Decisions, decisions, life is full of them isn’t it? You might think by now that E and I would be well versed in decision-making considering all the home projects we have undertaken over the years and you would be right. My line of work requires decision making all of the time! However it is the small decisions we all have to make from time to time that are often the more important for getting things right. Deciding to refurbish a bedroom as we are doing starts off with the idea of refurbishing the room in the first place, the easiest decision of all. Next comes functionality, what will be needed in the room and where to put it, for example the power outlets and how to accommodate them into the wiring system. Design of furniture and placing of it, colours, fabrics, lighting, all these things need consideration and thought. When we really take a look at what is involved in any project a lot of decision-making has to be done throughout the work. Decision making is a part of everyone’s life, something we cannot avoid even if we wanted to.

Shirley Anne

Up and down

Pass the second working end through the loop k...
Pass the second working end through the loop knot in the first working end. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had mentioned something about my lack of work in an earlier post and how sometimes my weeks start off with nothing on the books but that invariably towards the end of the week I will have had lots to do. On Monday this week I had nothing booked but on Tuesday I had two jobs to do. As I am writing this on Tuesday I cannot say if the rest of the week will follow suit though I have had some offers. I had taken E out to lunch on Monday after we had both done a little painting in the kitchen. I thought I would be able to continue the work on Tuesday but I was asked if I could do some work for a lady for whom I had worked earlier in the year. I knew the work would take me up to lunchtime and was hoping I could carry on with the kitchen work in the afternoon or at least part of it. However I received another call just as I had finished the first which I felt obliged to do. It was a call for help. A man friend of an old lady I have worked for several times had caused a fault to some power points and a light in her kitchen. He had been degreasing the surrounding tiled area to the cooker. He had sprayed the de-greasing agent onto the tiles and had then used a steam cleaner to wash it away but unfortunately it had penetrated the outlets and the light in the process. The light needed to be replaced in any case as it was damaged in other ways so I disconnected it. I replaced the two power outlets and checked others before reinstating the power supply. It was well after one o’clock by the time I had returned home. I didn’t finish my lunch until after two-thirty by which time it was going dark! The reason for the early darkness was the approaching storm we were told to expect. It would be useless to start painting in the kitchen at that hour as it would have been dark soon anyway. As I mentioned before artificial light is not ideal for painting and there is no immediate need to rush the work. A few days ago I had to take down the flag because the lower eyelet, a loop of nylon rope, had torn away from the flag and needed repairing. I sewed it back onto the flag and hoisted it up again only to find a couple of days later the rope itself had snapped leaving the flag dangling at the top. Once again I lowered the flag and removed it indoors. The nylon rope which is formed into a loop to act as an eyelet with which to attach the flag to the pole fittings had worn through and snapped in half. The flag needed a sturdier piece of rope to form the loop. We robbed a small piece from another flag’s cord and E stitched it onto the flag using nylon twine. It did the job and I hoisted the flag aloft again. On Tuesday however, the day following, I had to lower the flag again and take it indoors because of the forecasted severe weather. The flag is not supposed to be flown in winds exceeding 35 mph and we were to expect anything up to 60! The following days would be more settled and I could once again raise the flag. So it has been a case of up and down with my work, the painting of the kitchen and the raising and lowering of the flag. I know…………..life has its ups and downs!

Shirley Anne