So the room Andrew and I are painting and putting together is going to be a crafts room for me. It will be where I put all my knitting, crocheting and sewing accoutrement. I don’t know how to sew really. I do have a machine, though. I have made pillows in the past. I tried making a skirt. It was an “Easy 2-hour pattern” If I finish it before April I will have finished it in just under 4 years. At that rate I may be able to make myself a suit just in time for my 75th Birthday. That is, if the suit has no zippers (then again if I make it, the suit will have no zippers). That’s what the current hold-up on the skirt is. I don’t know how to sew a zipper. But I have several friends who have offered to teach me – I am going to take them up on the offer, but first I need a room to do it in!
So, I enlisted the help of my friend Jill and we retrieved my sewing desk from my apartment and brought it to Andrew’s garage to strip – the desk not each other. The desk was painted blue, the room is orange. Something would have to change and Andrew’s hardwood floors would not be able to withstand another of my attempts at room painting. Instead, I bought a vat of Paint-B-Gone stripping chemical. The kind with the picture on front of a guy in a full body chem-suit with a paintbrush in his well gloved hand in front of a fabulously half stripped piece of furniture with dead rats and roaches laying nearby.
Jill read the instructions which say you should use gloves and asked if I had purchased any. “Nope.” We looked at each other, shrugged and decided to brave it. It was time to open the can. But it had a safety top on it so that children, adults, and the Russian Brigade would not be able to penetrate it. Through some MacGyvering involving a screwdriver, a plumbers wrench and one of the cats, we got the can opened.
Paint thinner looks a lot like snot. It is viscous and bubbly but still can be spread. Jill and I poured some of it on the top of the desk and started painting it on. The instructions on the can were to wear gloves, paint the muck on and wait 15 minutes until there was bubbling, then scrape off. The old paint came off pretty well in most spots on our first round. We went for a second. Jill got a bit of the snot on her arm and started talking about burning sensations.
As she was cleaning herself off, a drop of snot landed on my forearm. I waited 15 minutes until there was bubbling then scraped off. I washed the area where skin used to be with soap and water until the burning sensation was just a dull ache and Jill and I went to Home Depot to get a bigger vat of remover, and some gloves. For all you budding cannibals who don’t want to mess with having to skin your victims, this is the product for you. Just remember to wear gloves.
Later in the evening I was feeling very antsy – as I get at times – and decided to clean the bathroom. Not the 30 minute version; oh no, the full length feature of scrubbing and tempting fate with chemical cocktails never before tested. Some CLR mixed with rubbing alcohol and Scrub Free (which, in my opinion is the most inaptly named product ever. It should have been called Scrub A Whole Lot Because We Know You Don’t Clean Your Shower Often Enough™), all being rubbed into the porcelain tub using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (they mean MIRACLE Eraser – that thing got months-old hair dye off the sink and bath). Andrew had an old loofah towel he never uses anymore which I repurposed into a grout scrubber.
The bathroom sparkled – which gave me an incentive to work on the desk some more. It was dark and cold out, but the garage has lots of light in it. I wasn’t going to be very long so I didn’t bother with the gloves again (I know how to be careful), also – because I wasn’t going to be very long I just left the doors and windows closed. The garage isn’t sealed anyway, there was enough circulating air.
Have you ever wondered if the portions of life you are experiencing are actually being experienced by you at that moment or whether you are experiencing them through your future Alzheimered mind? That thought was what triggered me to realize that it was time to put the lid on the paint remover, wash off my bubbled skin – perhaps with a shower loofah – and call it a night.
My skin and brain might be slightly damaged, but that desk and shower look good!