Havin’ a Blast

Last week I was the recipient of the fabulous Baboon support that others in our little community have experienced over the years.  After hearing me talk (whine?) about my front porch project, tim sent me a message.  If I rented the sandblaster that he linked me to, would I like it if he came over to help?  I didn’t have to think about that very hard.  After two+ years of scraping layers of paint off by hand, making some real headway seemed like a good choice.

The first hiccup was when I went to pick up the equipment.  While the sandblaster and the hoses fit into my little car, the air compressor that makes the sandblaster go did not.  I called tim from the rental lot and he volunteered to pick it up before coming to my house that day.  And, of course, this meant that at the end of the project, he got to return all the equipment as well.

The second hiccup was finding out that we couldn’t just scrape up the sand on the floor and re-use it.  Paint chips clogged the nozzle.  We ended up straining the sand through my metal sieve into a big bucket, then re-using it.  I’m sure the manufacturer didn’t want to hear that. 

We pretty quickly settled into a routine.  I swept and sieved while tim blasted.  We had to improvise a few times; we used the kitty tower to get the sandblaster high enough to reach to top parts of the walls and we used my Mickey Mouse cake tester to unclog the nozzle a few times.  The cake tester and the sieve survived the ordeal, the kitty tower did not.  (The new one arrives next week).

Let me tell you that sandblasting in a small, enclosed porch (even with the windows and front door open) is like working in h-e-double hockey sticks.  We didn’t get finished the first afternoon and on the second afternoon, we both had upgraded our headgear and eyewear.  In fact, we both had shiny goggles the second day and I’m sure we looked like large bugs.  Both days, we hosed off in the backyard.  I can’t speak for tim, but the showers after each day for me were epic.  The first day I wasn’t sure I would ever get the sand and grit out of my scalp.

We also re-visited our personality differences.  While working, tim, being a big picture person, could not stop thinking of the next steps after the sandblasting was done.  Some new plaster/mud, plywood on the floor.  I could see his point but I, being a non-big picture person, didn’t want to think about it right then.  I just wanted the h-e-double hockey sticks to be finished.  And, of course, tim is correct – there is plenty more to do.  In fact YA has added to the chore list by doing some wood fill on the window panes.  And I broke two windows doing some clean up so now there will be some new glass and glazing.  And most of the other windows need re-glazing as well. 

But even with all the work left, I feel completely renewed by how much we got done in two afternoons with a sandblaster.  And even if you don’t think I need to tell you, I will anyway.  There is no way on the planet that I could have accomplished this by myself.

So my hat is off to tim.  He is a miracle-worker and a life-saver.

Has anybody worked a miracle for you lately?

35 thoughts on “Havin’ a Blast”

  1. Yes, someone has!
    AH HA, Y’all listen to this!!!
    And it’s funny you should ask today.
    I swapped email addresses with PJ. She asked me some questions about things. As a direct result, I was rambling on, in my usual way. Youall know what I mean. Can’t make a short story out of anything. I don’t know what all I was going on about, when suddenly it hit me! February 10th, 1955, my sister Jane was born, and that date is the key! Staring me in the face, all these years. This is within the last twelve hours. I’ve got things to sort out, then this is what I’ll do. Make a whole lot of little cards, and write down each clue. Each date, each memory. I’ll think about, say, that blue siderake (it was BRAND NEW! A brand new Dening siderake. You cannot imagine how exciting that was), that means, hay harvest. June/July. I’ll write that down. June/July. I’ll put all these cards down, and move them round till I get them in date order. Te minutes? Ten years? Maybe there’ll be one, elusive, maddening clue that I won’t have! I’ll search my memory for years! Or maybe the answer will come right away.
    So, it demonstrates what I already knew. Talking helps get your thoughts in order. Or in this case, typing.
    I want to say a public thank you to PJ, whose real name I now know. For asking those simple questions that I hope will now lead me to discover in which year my dad bought the hoe, which I now treasure so much. I’ve thought about it for years, and never got there.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Now, of COURSE, my sister has her phone in the cupboard. I have to be utterly certain she was born in 1955, before I can put those cards in order.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. That is a nice picture of you two.

    I’m scared to think how much dust either of you inhaled. We know tim is ‘Mr Safety’, so I hope you had the proper precautions.

    My hats off to both of you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. OK Ben, since you were at the “tree trimming”, you’ll remember this. Tim showed up in his Hawaiian shirt and shorts and sandals. And there was one time when he was standing on the very top of the ladder and I had a flashback to him on the ladder in Steve’s backyard in his sandals with a chainsaw. I think the sandblaster was may be a little safer.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. How dense of me. I have heard the term “sand blasting” since I was a child, but I never considered there would be actual sand. I thought it involved forced air or something. I can’t imagine the mess. Of course, you blast away with sand!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. What surprised me was the air compressor. When I called the rental place to rent the sandblaster the guy told me I needed an air compressor but I didn’t really think too much about it. It was huge and didn’t fit in my car. So when tim brought it, instead of trying to wrangle it into the house or front porch we just ran the long hose from the back of his car (parked in my driveway) to the front porch. Just amazing.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Walnut shells are being used rather than sand in some applications these days; no silica dust involved.
      This summer my brother bought a cheap ‘Harbor Freight’ Walnut blaster gun and we worked on a small project out in the shed. Course I have an air compressor that worked for this… our biggest problem was the cheap gun and the walnut shells not feeding in correctly. When it worked, it sort of worked… it never would have done your porch, but it did what he was trying to do. And then he figured to just sell the gun on FB or eBay.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    Two physical therapists have recently worked the miracle of helping me be able to build my stamina, walk more easily, and to lift my right leg to enter and exit the car and to climb stairs. After my wintertime broken foot, then being off of it for 5 weeks to allow it to heal, my system reacted. When I started to walk again everything went awry. X-rays do not show the need for a hip replacement, so PT here I am. I can now walk 45 minutes on the treadmill and lift my leg. What a painful journey.


    Liked by 5 people

  5. I’m sorry about the “painful journey,” Jacque. I hope you can continue to make progress through therapy.

    I’ll use this moment to share my new understanding of my own challenges. A year ago I struggled with a variety of medical issues. Things are much more difficult now, and just last week I figured out why. I have joined a fast-growing cohort of folks who have “long covid.” With us, the virus retreats enough to allow us to leave the hospital, and yet covid sets up camp in remote areas of the body and does not go away. Since this is a “novel coronovirus” almost nothing is known about how it can be treated or even whether it will ever go away.

    I am relatively lucky. Many symptoms never affected me or did but have subsided. Brain fog, depression, fever, loss of smell . . . those either didn’t happen or they did and are no longer an issue. So long as I can accept a limit of about fifteen feet as a “long, long walk,” I can get by.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Have your facility’s exercise classes not resumed, or are you just not able to get to them. Would one of those walkers with wheels help?


      1. The exercise classes still happen. As you guessed, I can’t get to them. My maximum walking range is about 20 feet, after which I need to recover before setting off again. The exercise classes are much too far away. And there are other complications and barriers.

        I’ve got a nice walker. It is of no use for longer walks. It prevents falling, but cannot help with muscle weakness and fatigue.

        In spite of that, I try to walk inside my apartment, and I am getting somewhat stronger.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. My daughter drives me to appointments. There is a wheelchair in this building that we can use to get me from my room to the car and back.

          On Thursday a nurse will assess me to determine my financial and health status. Much is likely to change when that happens, particularly in the amount of aid I might get.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Miracles R Us here, lately. Michael having recovered about 3/4 or his speech after stroke, and not being completely immobilized in the first place. Our friend-the-doctor showing up just in time to get him back in the hospital – she had been an ER Doc and knew what we needed to say/do. All the help we’ve received from friends, family, baboons – cards, moral support emails, gifts, et al. Not that there isn’t still hard stuff – someday I’ll write about it – but wow, we’re pretty lucky.

    Liked by 7 people

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