Scrapping By

I inherited a few nightmares when I purchased this house (hence the excellent price).  The folks who lived here before me had a fairly “jerry-rig” attitude about things.  Although I can completely get behind the path of least resistance, over the years I’ve had to fix and/or update a bunch of stupid stuff.

One of the biggies is the textured paint that they used in several places.  I’ve managed to get rid of in most places, but the front porch is going to be the end of me.  The porch is concrete and has been painted repeatedly; the first layer was a peach color, the second layer was a pale green and the final textured level was beige.  Over the years, it was cracked and chipped and generally become an eyesore that is driving me crazy.  Then several years back, I ripped out the ratty indoor/outdoor carpet that was stained and torn.  I bought a bunch of stick down carpet squares from a neighbor who was moving and I thought, this is the time to re-finish the porch.

The paint was in such bad shape, I assumed (yeah, I know….) that we would be able to fairly easily scrap it off like we had in the other rooms.  Surprise, surprise.  Several authorities (hardware store, paint store) have basically said that we’re hosed unless we bring in professionals who can sand blast it.  $$$$.   So we are scraping by hand.  This is very boring work and hurts my hands; the only way I can make myself stay with it is to keep each session down to 20 minutes.  Otherwise I don’t go out there.  All this hot weather hasn’t helped.  Last summer YA tried some stripper, but it was nasty and messy and didn’t actually work all that well. 

This project is in its third summer.  YA started out strong but now that she’s working full time, her interest has dwindled significantly.  I’d really like to get this done before the cold weather arrives, but I’m not holding my breath.

Any projects that took an embarrassing long time?  That you’ll admit to?

65 thoughts on “Scrapping By”

  1. Cleaning out my car. It’s still filled with tools after 8 months of retirement. Of course, with the pandemic there had been no need for multiple passengers. Each time I consider a clean out it is too hot or rainy.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. When we bought our 1925 bungalow, it had been owned a long time by an older couple who hated everything about the original design. They had totally refinished the home to their taste, and we regretted every change they made. Everything in the home was either apple green or pink.

    The main feature of the living room was a large and idiosyncratic fireplace that had been painted pink. We decided that sandblasting all that pink paint would be the first project for us. Neighbors had plenty of opinions about what lay underneath that pink paint (all incorrect, we found out). We rented a sandblaster and got advice about using it. Sandblasting is a big deal. You have to seal off every other room in the home, plus you need to protect every window so the sand doesn’t etch the windows.

    I had to be out of town, so I couldn’t do the job. My erstwife conned a student of hers into running the sandblaster. I’m sure that kid must still talk about this as the worst job he ever did in his life. From the first instant he hit the sandblaster’s switch, the room disappeared in a heavy pink cloud that made all objects invisible. It was a horrible job, but eventually the pink paint left and revealed the dark brick below.

    The strangest part of the experience was what we learned after the job was done. No less than three home remodeling experts explained to us that sandblasting our fireplace would be a colossal error. It would not work. The sand would attack the mortar, leaving us with a mess we could not fix. They insisted the job was impossible even after we told them we had done it. It was a curious experience because we obviously attempted a project that informed people knew was a horrible mistake, and it all worked out perfectly. (Especially for me, as I was in the BWCA when the house was filled with pink dust!)

    Liked by 6 people

  3. I bought a 1934 BSA Blue Star 250 in 1969,in pieces. 500’s and 350’s are common, but my 250 is quite rare. I rebuilt the gearbox around 1995.Every time I move houses or workshops, nothing gets left behind, yet another piece of the bike gets lost. Ias eighteen then, and am seventy now. I may only have thirty years left to get the thing going. Then I can work on the Panther 600 I bought in 1974.

    Liked by 5 people

        1. i have put my life in a state where i need to do a survival mode version of existence in order to go forward and along with this premise i have put everything else on hold

          the motorcycles are the ones i mention here but i could go on and on

          i also have multiple storage units full of stuff to be sold and the glut whittled away at

          i hope to get to it sooner rather than later but… i am. choosing other priorities today and hoping i am able to get this task looked after
          the motorcycle task will be therapy and a work of joy when i get to that level of the job jar
          i’m looking forward to it

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Tim, in actual fact I see how it is, and was kidding. I said to Jane all along, people retire and then they go in the workshop and restore things. That’s what I’ll do. And I believed it. Five years later, I’m still trying to make time. And space.

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    1. You mean you moved them with you to Spain? I would have thought leaving England was the perfect opportunity to pass them along to someone else.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. PJ, you’ve lost me. I’ve got a garage here that would hold at least four cars. Obviously, I need stuff to fill it up, don’t I? Am I missing something here?

        Liked by 3 people

  4. When I built our bed 35 or 40 years ago it had been my plan to have a bookcase headboard but for some reason, lost now in the dim mists of time, I didn’t complete that part of the project. For about 30 years, then, the space at the head of the bed where the bookcase would go was stuffed with blocks of foam. Then, about five years ago I decided to surprise Robin (how much she was surprised is anybody’s guess) by building the headboard. The tricky part was getting it to match the rest of the bed. When I built the bed, I had stained the oak with a dark red aniline dye and 30 years later that product in that color was no longer available. I found another brand of dye in a similar color, however, and the match was satisfactory.
    The bookcase headboard, fitted with individual reading lamps, is such an improvement I wish I had done it sooner.
    But isn’t that always the way with procrastinated projects?

    Liked by 5 people

  5. I just thought about another procrastinated project. Ten or fifteen years ago (who knows for sure) they were marketing a Jesus doll (or action figure—whatever that would speak bits of scripture when you pressed a button. At the same time, one could get a plastic pickle that when you pressed a button would yodel. I had gotten ahold of one of each and it had been my intention to swap their voice mechanisms to yield a yodeling Jesus and a scripture-spouting pickle but when I got into it I found that the configurations of the mechanisms were quite different and I couldn’t integrate them easily. I set them aside and though I still have all the pieces it’s beginning to look like yodeling Jesus may never happen.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Although if a yodeling Jesus or even a scripture spouting pickle showed up at the Great Gift Exchange, we might have to come up with a new rule for how long the stealing of one item can go on. Because I’m thinking it could go on all night long.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Too long of a story to explain, but July 22 is one of my nephews “confessions in July day“. We have just ordered for him a ‘first reconciliation puzzle (Rubiks) cube’.
      Last year was a Jesus figurine giving the thumbs up, but if we had one that would yodel, that would be even better!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. i say that you should start from scratch
      i can get chinese makers to mass produce and for 9.95 for the dashboard size to barbie size then front yard christmas decoration with prerecorded yodeling jesus with tom waits kinda jesus voice

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    This is a looooooong list. So I will only discuss one. I have a small bookcase that has never fit books. My Grandpa made it out of an old oak table. The fact that he made it, that it is small and fits in petite places, and that the wood is old oak is why I keep it. It would be very difficult to obtain this quality of wood today. Grandpa made the shelves too close together so that it fit CDs perfectly (those were not invented yet in the 30s or 40s when he fashioned this) but no book except a small paperback fits there. It needed to have one shelf removed and repositioned. Finally, after the remodeling this winter, Lou has now repositioned the shelf, and it sits in the garage awaiting refinishing. I will start this in August after I am not running to Iowa every other weekend to see my mother. This one is about 80 years overdue due to multi-generational procrastination. It would have been an excellent 4H project back in the day.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Maybe your grandfather was actually a time traveler and he built it for CDs. Of course if he were a time traveler he would have known that CDs would have their day and then be gone as well.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. As those of us who live in old houses can attest, there’s no shortage of projects, and you’re never really done. We have done so much work in this old house, and yet, there are still projects that we have never gotten to, as well as some that have never been completed. To make matters worse, some of the early projects, like putting in a new kitchen and bath downstairs thirty-five years ago, are now worn and need to be redone. Our kitchen is a mess, there’s just no other way to describe it. But I know it will be an interminable project if husband does it, plus it likely won’t be what I want, so I’m biding my time before suggesting we bite the bullet and hire a reputable contractor to do the work. Then considering our age, and what time we might have remaining in this house, I wonder whether it’s worth it. I think of all the work that Steve had done prior to selling his lovely little bungalow, all for naught. I think our house might very well be a candidate for razing once we sell it, so there’s that.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I have a counted cross stich project that daughter picked out about 20 years ago. I wanted to give it to her for her high school graduation. Well , I haven’t even started it, and now I will need a fancy magnifier in order to even see the tiny weave.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. When we lived in the 1885 house just 3 blocks from our current house in Winona, Husband bought cedar boards for sauna he would put in the (half) basement. We hauled those with us for two moves before he finally built a lovely sauna in the Robbinsdale house.

    Well, and there’s cleaning the basement… and then there’s a way to wire brush the sandstone basement walls, apply a special sealer-type paint, and then you won’t have to vacuum the basement as often. Which, of course, we should have done during Covid lockdown.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The COVID “Why can’t I make myself do that?” project.

      A friend sent me a meme that says, COVID: “All those things I was going to do when I had the time? Turns out, time was not the problem.”

      Liked by 4 people

    2. We had a stack of bricks at our first house, which Jane built a barbecue out of. We used it once. She didn’t cement the joints, so we took the bricks 200 miles to the room we rented for a few months while she finished her university studies. We built a new barbecue in the garden, and didn’t use it. Then we took them 200 miles back, and made another barbecue in the garden of our new flat in Barnstaple. We used it once, then built it again at our new house in Southampton. We used it once, then I used the bricks for something else entirely, which may well still be in use as a flower bed.

      Liked by 4 people

        1. It’s true I have to stack things closer and closer to the ceiling. You know, like the collection of interesting firebells. Worm eaten doors thrown out of other people’s houses (no, not from England). But those bricks really could have helped with building shelves etc.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Every home remodeling project I start takes forever to finish… closet doors going on 3 years. (But honestly, we’re just not sure what we want to put back in there).
    Baseboard isn’t quite finished, some door trim just needs the top boards cut to fit, some caulk, ect, ect.

    I am the general contractor for remodeling at one of the theaters. We started last summer. Added bathrooms, tore out some walls, built some new walls. Hired professionals for plumbing and electrical and HVAC, volunteers doing the rest. So some of the delay is just trying to get the volunteers in. It’s sure a good thing we don’t have a show scheduled in the space until November! Might be done.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes. That’s what I’ve always heard. But both the Rochester Repertory Theatre and Rochester Civic Theatre spell it that way.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Don’t believe I’ve ever seen “theater” used as a British spelling, and like you Linda, I’d normally notice.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Probably nobody but an etymological nerd like me cares, but the term “jerry-rig” as used in the initial post is actually jury rig, a term with nautical origins denoting a temporary repair made with the materials at hand but not necessarily incompetent or slapdash. For that the similar term “jerry-built” is available. No one seems to know who Jerry was, but I think he worked on my house at some point.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. I suspect it stems from just after the war, when I believe a lot of “Jerry built” houses and bungalows appeared. It could well be a snide reference to Jerry himself, also known as the Bosch, the Hun etc.

        Liked by 3 people

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