Such a Monday. The sun is shining so I really can’t complain. And thank heaven the sun is shining, because a 10 x 14′ section of my roof has been open to the weather (and the birds and the raccoons) for days and for a while there it looked as if it was going to stay that way!
Last week that section needed something of an emergency repair. On Friday and Saturday morning, a handyman peeled all the layers off and took it down to 1 x 6s. And took out some of the 1 x 6s because of rot.
And there he left it. Late Saturday when I inquired as to when he was planning to return from his afternoon break, he informed me his knee was giving him trouble and he’d just have to let me know when he could come back.
I knew by yesterday afternoon that I was in trouble but I was reluctant to call anybody on Sunday — especially to ask them to come fix some other handyguy’s now abruptly much more urgent emergency. A friend I mentioned this to pulled out her cell and called someone she identified as a expert roofer and a really great guy, but out of work and in desperate need of a job.
He said he’d be out either yesterday or first thing this morning to have a look.
When you hear about somebody who’s really, really good but just happens to be out of work, you have to ask yourself certain questions.
Those questions were answered when he didn’t show or call.
Then just at the moment the anxiety was pouring out my ears in the form of steam, another handyman — the one I was never going to use again — just happens to call. About something completely unrelated.
I say, “Mike. I screwed up. My fault. But now I really need a rescue and I know this is the worst possible time of year to expect a contractor to drop everything and help me. I know you wouldn’t want to do this yourself, but could you recommend somebody?”
Within an hour — an hour! at the busiest time of year — he was here doing the one tricky bit and had rounded up two young men to do the rest. And this despite the fact that I know he’s booked up for weeks. He got a client’s permission to delay a job for a day so he could get my project started before turning it over to his “kids.”
The original handyman, to his credit, emailed me last night to say he’d be here this morning to put in at least an hour or two.
I emailed him right back: “No, don’t. It makes more sense for me to hire somebody else than to risk your knee and my kitchen ceiling by trying to get this job done a few hours at a time.”
He apparently didn’t get my email and showed up, anyway. I paid him for what he’d already done but sent him away.
What frosted me was that he then claimed I’d told him he could take all the time he wanted to do the work — weeks, if he wanted — and that I’d never said there was any hurry. Which is (as you can well imagine) the very opposite of what I’d actually told him. Repeatedly told him. Told him as recently as Saturday.
I have no doubt his knee is actually hurting. But it’s just been one thing after another with this guy. He’s absolutely the best in some ways, which is why I’ve given him about 10 second chances (which normally I don’t do). But if it’s not his knee, then he can’t work because he has out-of-town company. Or his son is graduating from high school. Or he has a doctor’s appointment. Or he has to do a favor for a friend. Or he absolutely swears I didn’t tell him I needed him. Or he just forgets. Or he didn’t think it was important.
Knowing all this, I had stressed that on this project he’d absolutely have to commit to work at least five or six hours a day, straight through without a day off, until it was done. He agreed. And agreed again. Until he suddenly “remembered” the opposite this morning. No, the knee is not his fault. But if he hadn’t come up with a bum knee, he’d have come up with something else. Sigh.
Now there’s the guy I’m never going to use again. Mike — today’s knight in shining armor — has earned himself my undying gratitude — and lots more work from me.
Anyhow, when not blowing steam out my ears, I progressed this weekend on my poor little foundling end table.
Verrry, verrry nearly finished now.
And of course, it continued to go its own way despite my intentions. I had to give up on all those funky dots I was so sure I wanted. Those cool tin do-dads you guys helped me identify, also.
This is the direction it took me in.
Side (again not a very good shot):
As before it’s a combo of painted surfaces and Chinese joss papers. Its multiple coats of varnish include some where I colored the polycoat slightly with paint. So the blue is made more subtle by faint scumbles of orange and some of the golds are dulled slightly with hints of blue. Lots of subtle stuff going on, up close. Even a few of my happy little dots survived, though strictly as background texture showing through the translucent papers.
I still need to wrap the bottoms of the legs with wood or coconut shell heishi beads to disguise the fact that the legs and their base don’t fit together well.
But then I’m done.
Well, for now. At a garage sale yesterday I happened upon this. Definitely 1950s vintage, if not older. And it gave me ideas:
I’m sure it will have ideas of its own before I’m done.
I always see all those listings on eBay or Etsy saying that this or that is from a “pet-free home.” I’m afraid if I ever sell any of my painted works I’m going to have to advertise “the pet hair is free.”
Ever try keeping hair and dust out of wet, sticky surfaces when you and your entire house (no matter how much you work at sweeping, dusting, and vacuuming) are basically nothing but repositories for spare cat and dog fur?