Painting a barn

We put new siding up on the barn this year, which means I needed to find some motivation to paint it. This took some serious inspiration searching on my part because I truly hate to paint. There is a very good reason I’m not a professional painter, other than the fact I absolutely suck at it….no wait, maybe that is the reason. DSCN3397.JPG

My dad was a professional painter for about a minute. He used to always tell me painting is 90% prep work. But of course I have zero patience for prep work and prefer to jump right into projects. Painting the barn  was no exception. I taped off the bare minimum and didn’t bother cleaning my work area first……a choice that would come back to haunt me.

I had barely touched the roller to the siding when a gust of wind blew up out of nowhere and pulled half of the tape off the wall. Dang it!! Well, that’s what happens when you put tape down a dirty surface, it doesn’t stick. I pushed it back down and started again only to have another gust come up and this time take all the tape off one wall. Of course when the tape came off the wall it fell into the paint tray and then blew around making an abstract paint design that would have made Picasso proud.

“Really??? Not funny. Not **** funny at all!” (***I might have ‘seasoned’ my statement with a few choice words that are not for the timid)hay

 

Great, I was screaming at the wind. If my new neighbors, who just moved in, had any doubts about how thin my grasp on sanity was (and let’s face it, why wouldn’t they?) I think I confirmed their suspicion in spades. In addition, I cringed as I realized that I had just screamed obscenities that would make most people blush. Did I mention the new neighbors have young children and are Christian? Don’t get me wrong, I’m Christian too, but they strike me as good Christians and I fall more into the ‘struggling Christian’ category. Great, now I was going to Hell for charring their young children’s ears. Could the day get any better?

I don’t know why I even ask these questions? It’s like a challenge to Mother Nature. About this time a huge gust of wind came up and blew the  loose hay and dirt that I had neglected to clean up into the paint tray, on to the wet siding and into the paint can. I stood there just stunned and could practically hear Dad cackling with laughter. His words rang in my ears, “painting is 90% prep work honey.”

“Yes, Dad I KNOW!!!!!”

Great, now I was yelling at my dead father. I’m just thankful at this point that neighbors didn’t call the authorities out to check on me.  My horse trainer has been telling me I talk too much while training my horse and I tell her I don’t. After yelling at the wind, my deceased father and the barn, I’m inclined to think she may be on to something.

Anyway, all this to say if you happen to stop by and notice the freshly painted barn and see the hay painted into the siding…..it’s a new form of barn decor. Totally intentional and trust me, it’ll be all the rage soon.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

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Fruit Fly Wars

 

The farm house is under attack. I know I say this every year, but its true every year.  I also know I say that “this is the worst year ever for fruit flies”, but that’s also true. I swear each generation of fruit flies is learning from the previous ones and getting harder and harder to kill . They are getting more prolific and talented in finding new ways to torment me.

 

Some of you who follow our adventures on Facebook may remember during our first year on the farm a dear friend took pity on me (or got tired of hearing me whine) and bought me a fruit fly trap. It appeared to work well and when we used that and used boiling water in all the drains 2x a day we seemed to hold the enemy at bay.

 

Then the next year dear daughter and I had a contest. We made two fruit fly traps, which basically consisted of a glass bowl partially filled with bait and covered with plastic wrap that had a few holes punched into it. I filled mine with apple cider vinegar and she filled her trap with wine. They both did well and those were my weapons of mass fruit fly destruction for the year.

This year we are being completely overrun. I have removed all vegetable and fruit produce from the counters and keep everything in the fridge. We dump boiling water down the drains at least once a day and I have made my new and improved fruit fly traps. At first I filled them with my tried and true lure of vinegar but we didn’t catch anything. Not even one bugger! So I emptied them out and added wine….waa–laa now I’m in business. Apparently fruit flies prefer good red wine. I can’t say I blame them or that I’m surprised. I do too! You know things are getting bad if I’m willing to donate some of my wine to the cause. Anyway, even with these tools of war craft I am still losing the battle…..until I found a new weapon.

It happened quite by accident. I had gone to the sink to wash my hands. I had gotten my hands good and soapy when I reached my limit of frustration at the little buggers flying around my face. I waved my hands in front of my face to shoo them away (and hopefully keep them from flying into my mouth and up my nose) …… and the fruit flies stuck to my soapy hands! I immediately thought, “Ohhhhhh, this just got interesting!” and a new form of entertainment was formed.

 

Now, several times a day I soap up my hands well and then go wave them wildly through the kitchen, around the fruit fly traps, the fermented foods and sometimes, if I’m feeling particularly evil, I’ll leave a banana peel out just to tempt them. Hey, I never said I play fair. I play to win!

I am probably enjoying ‘bug killing soapy hands’ way more then I should. It’s a cheap form of entertainment for me and so incredibly satisfying. I got 7 at one time yesterday!! Today my limit was 4. Maybe I’m making headway in the war and as an added benefit my hands have never been cleaner!! One day in the future they will one day refer to me as “The Great Fruit Fly Killer”…… okay, so maybe I’m getting a bit carried away. Whatever, you’ve got to appreciate the simple pleasures right? Excuse me while I go wash my hands!