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Stories of achievement in the face of overwhelming adversity

Maybe a little TOO dramatic with the subject line today.....

In the spirit of the now-underway summer Olympics, thought you might like to know that others are accomplishing some things.  The Cincinnati Reds have now won ten consecutive games for the first time in thirteen years.  And this weekend my son and I painted the living room of our home, for the first time in nine years.

That doesn't sound like much to a lot of folks, I know, but consider these factors:

*  Neither of us enjoys painting

*  My son is a very busy dad to two kids, both under the age of three

*  I travel very frequently for my demanding job (in fact, I'm leaving today for three nights)

*  Oh, and did I mention that this room has a fourteen foot vaulted ceiling?

Therein was the problem.  Last time around, we used a variety of tools to complete the job, and by our own admissions, we weren't very good at painting.  Using an extension pole to put paint into odd places with rollers, edging tools and even a brush in a few places, we very unskillfully applied a single coat to our living room and kitchen and I have regretted taking short cuts ever since.  Particularly since the living room and kitchen share that dreaded vaulted ceiling.

I had actually repainted the kitchen, up to where the ceiling began, just a few years ago (when I stripped the wallpaper....there's another story I'll tell you sometime), but, being a kitchen, it needed some attention as well.

The catalyst was a 40-percent-off sale at my preferred paint supply store.  Last Monday was the last day of the sale, and I only had a day trip scheduled last week. So Wednesday afternoon I cleared the decks and dived into painting the kitchen solo.  Many hours later I collapsed into my favorite chair and determined that help would be necessary to paint the adjoining living room, so I recruited my son, who was only too happy to help.

And as I am most fond of saying, it often takes longer to get ready to paint than to actually paint.  Moving furniture, cleaning the dust off of the walls, masking off the areas you don't want to paint (trim, doors, etc.), and, in our case, renting a ladder tall enough for the job (which we didn't do nine years ago) all took time.

We secured the ladder Friday evening and began in earnest on Saturday morning.  The biggest single prep task was to repair a full-length crack in the drywall at the very peak of the ceiling, so my son (who has experience repairing drywall, but in a more detailed way) attacked this task while I began painting the cut-ins (the trim areas that needed to be brushed).

I won't bore you with a full blow-by-blow of our day, but the end result was a completely repainted living room (TWO coats of high-quality, well-applied paint), every item in the room put back exactly where it had been (but the items and the adjacent areas much cleaner), two tired but satisfied amateur painters, and one very happy wife.

I was so happy I actually discarded my "painting clothes," an old t-shirt and shorts that were specked with paint from previous encounters.  I can always dig up an old shirt.

Not sure what project is next on the home front, but I'm sure we'll think of something.


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