It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Holiday, Day 1

Yesterday was the first real day of my holiday. Real as in the rest of the city is back at work after the long weekend. And I’m not, nyah, nyah!

My big excitement? Went to Home Hardware and bought the necessaries for stripping the dining room table. Got all started: paint-stripping gel smeared all over. Tip: Do NOT use one of those foam applicators when applying stripper. The more I smeared, the droopier and softer the applicator became, flopping over limp and spreading wildly on the table. Clearly it, too, was being dissolved. God knows what excess toxic fumes I was breathing. I began to fear for the budgie: poor little sap, the canary in the mines of home improvements. I kept an eye on him. When he fell off his perch, that’d be the time to grab the children and run. However, he continued to chirrup happily, and I continued to smear goo.

Waited the proscribed time, then went to town with the scraper. Got lots of vile dark crud off the table. When I’d rinsed it down afterward, I was thrilled with the sight of my lovely clean pine table. Pale yellow, and much duller than before. This is good. Now I can start sanding, right?

Eight minutes of sweaty struggle later, I get the sandpaper attached to the palm sander. Why do they make it so damned precise? One mm too far on one side, and it won’t snap in the other. Next time I cut the sheet bigger than instructed. Nyah.

And awaaay we go!! Except, geez, this thing isn’t nearly as powerful as I’d expected. I’d been warned about applying even pressure, not stopping in one spot lest it make a divot and spoil the table. Ha! Nothing like that is remotely possible with my little Black and Decker, but with patience, I get a lovely clean stripe down the table. Clean, pale, white. White? Hmmm… Damn.

This means, of course, I’ve removed only about half the varnish. Sweat is dripping into my eyes. It’s time to make dinner. So I quit. We ate dinner on a table that looks like it has leprosy.

This project is going to take longer than I expected…

August 3, 2005 Posted by | crafts, holidays | 10 Comments

More Singable Songs

(Sorry, Raffi.)

One of my favourite songs to sing to teeny ones when they’re fractious is done to the tune of “What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor?”, except in my version, it’s “Cranky Baby”.

Kinda fun. So the first verse is the question, “What shall we do…ear-lie in the mornin'”, and the second verse is the answer: “Bounce her up and down until she giggles”, or maybe “Nibble on her toes until she giggles”, and then “Swing him all around…”, “zerbert on the bellybutton”…

There are as many verses as you have imagination. And energy. It usually works! If it doesn’t, I’ll end with, “Put him up to bed until he’s happy…”

August 3, 2005 Posted by | Mischief, random and odd, sleep | 2 Comments