…what has Linda been doing while Rob has been hammering nails, playing with his drill and sniffing PVC pipe glue? Perhaps I have been watching soaps on TV (are there any still on these days?), reading a good book, out shopping (not hardly – I hate shopping) or just lazing around (now that I’m good at). You’ll be surprised to learn that I’ve been having a really exciting time painting and playing with our office equipment.
After I helped Rob with locating the dry wall screws, I decided that my first interior project would be painting the mud room. Several years after we moved into our house in 1996, we added a mud room so we would have a dry, warm entrance into the house from our garage. The walls and ceiling have a skip troweled plaster but then we added 3′ high wood wainscoting on the bottom half of the walls so there’s not a whole lot of wall space to paint.
Now since the mud room is probably about 12′ long and 42″ wide, you’d think it would be a quick and easy job (after all that’s what I thought) – wrong! With an outside door, a door to the basement and a closet door, it took a half day just to mask off everything (a necessary evil). It was slow going because it was difficult maneuvering the step stool in such a small space.
We had decided to use some leftover paint we had from painting the upstairs balcony walls, thinking it was fairly light and neutral. Since this paint was not the new kind that had the primer in it, day one was spent priming the walls. So far so good! On day two, I started painting with the leftover paint. After finishing about 3/4 of the job, we decided we didn’t like the color – what looked good upstairs was much to dark in such a small area. So it was off to Lowe’s to buy a different color – we decided on a very light beige named “tusk tusk”. Wouldn’t you just love to have a job where all you had to do was think up names of paint or lipstick or nail polish colors? How do they come up with these names?
Anyway now that we had new paint (which supposedly is “self priming”), on day three, I started all over again. However, the project had now expanded as we decided that I should paint the somewhat grungy ceiling as well, but at least that eliminated the need to cut in with a brush. Of course the walls that I had just painted with the original color were no longer white so the new light paint didn’t cover as well and required a second coat.
So on day four, I started all over again (boy this is getting monotonous)! Oh yes, and did I mention that by now, we had also decided to paint the stair well to the basement – at least the areas I could reach, so my simple paint project had now really expanded requiring an additional day of work!
Ever since I was on a step ladder while painting the walls upstairs along the balcony and toppled over, luckily landing on the upstairs floor and not the downstairs floor, I have been forbidden to use a step ladder so Rob will have to finish the high spots!
I usually like painting (except for the set up and clean up) but by this time I was really sick of doing the same area over and over again. But now it is done and it does look much better! We still need to spray paint two of the doors and the wall plates but that will be done later. And oh joy, more painting is on the horizon in the upstairs bedroom and new bathroom!
One of the tough parts about going full time in an RV is that you just can’t pack your house stuff in a box and move it to another house. We did that when we moved from our previous house to this house – many boxes ended up in the basement and have never been opened since we moved here 17 years ago.
Going full time is tough because you have to really, really downsize and get rid of a lot of your things. We will probably need to put some of this in storage but we really don’t want to have a lot of boxes of extraneous stuff that we are never going to look at taking up valuable space at an expensive storage facility.
So knowing that, once the painting project was finished, it was time to start going through boxes and figuring out what to do with the contents. We had several plastic bins of photo albums with pictures of our trips to the west coast, the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands plus boxes in various closets and in the basement containing a lot of pictures of our US trips, our boats and our families.
Reluctant to just throw them away, I decided I would scan them so we would have digital copies of them. So that began my countless days perched in front of our Epson Workforce 635 All-In-One Printer/Scanner on the dining room table. Overall I scanned 3600+ photos which allowed me to throw out about 10 large photo albums and 5 large boxes of photos and cleared up a lot of room in our very cluttered basement. I wish I had saved the photos and stacked them so I would have a picture of how many I did but oh well, I didn’t.
On my PC, the scanned photo folder now totals about 1 gigabyte of space! We still haven’t figured out what to do with all of our tapes from several different models of video cameras.
Rob in the meantime has been digitizing the music on a few of our old vinyl LP record albums using software called “Spin It Again”. Since he is so busy, I will probably assume that task in the next few days. Oh, and you should know it took a half day to clean up and repair the turntable which needed a new belt (the old one completely disintegrated).
When I got sick of scanning photos, I also cleaned out a file cabinet and scanned tax returns from 1979 onward, throwing out the really old receipts prior to 2005 but saving the rest following the IRS’ 7 year rule. To break up the monotony of scanning, I would switch to the shredder, shredding the old tax returns, old medical records, old statements, etc. Oh yes, I forgot to mention, that I’ve been writing a lot of eBay listings. Whew I’m exhausted just writing about all of this!
Rob also had some Practical Sailor magazines that he asked me to scan so I started doing that a few days ago. Oh yes, and speaking of magazines, I forgot to mention that we boxed up hundreds of old magazines and took them to a Paper Retriever bin last week. Too bad, we tried to give away the useful issues like Journal of Light Construction but no one wanted them – we do have all the same info on a DVD and that takes up a lot less space!.
Well, along the way, the shredder and scanner decided they were exhausted and didn’t like doing all this work. Read about what happened in my next post!