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Another Episode Of Home Improvement

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Tim the tool man here again mixing up another gallon of exterior paint. Who ever said that when one achieved the American Dream, that being a proud member of the fraternity of home ownership, life would be a breeze. They didn't figure the expense, all the effort of upkeep, and the tools one has to have to perform all that upkeep just to hold onto that pinnacle of the American Dream.

Being a homeowner is filled with everyday emergencies like the toilet or sink backing up, a blown circuit breaker, and we can not forget all the never ending chores of mowing and raking the yard either. That is just a few of the many to do lists that have to be done to maintain the house just to make it livable. Down here in Florida known to many as Hurricane Alley, though we have been fortunate lately to have missed many a storm, most homes are constructed with either cinder block, stucco, brick, or wood. Very few have vinyl siding. But like most homes in our neighborhood ours is a block constructed home. So, with the extreme humidity and with the glare of the sun every 7 to 10 years it is always a good idea to repaint the exterior of your home. Believe it or not this being the Sunshine State I am amazed that so few homes are built already equipped with solar panels. It is only after the fact and if one can afford them then they are attached. So cost prohibitive still to outfit a newly constructed home with solar energy to augment the rising costs of traditional energy supplied by Tecco or Progress Energy. We are so far behind in energy technologies it is a crying shame. We really are held hostage by the oil and coal conglomerates

This being the first week in March while the weather is still comfortable, not too much heat and humidity, it is the best time of the year to catch up on all the outside projects that one would not like to attempt to do during the hot summer months. First on the to do list was restain the deck. That took a quart of wood stain and just a few hours. The next project was going to take a little more effort. To prepare our home for another coat of exterior paint I had to first scrap and sand the walls to a smooth finish getting rid of all the chipped paint from the past 8 years. Climbing up and down that ladder afterward I felt like I had done one million jumping jacks. After two days of scraping, sanding, and wiping chipped loose old paint the house looked bare. Luckily, I had a metal scraper, extra course sandpaper, 80 grade, plenty of rags and my trusty 6 ft. ladder. Our house, thank goodness, is just a single story dwelling.

On my recent visit to Home Depot to lock in the price of exterior paint, I ended up in sticker shock just like I did when I went to the grocery store. The costs are out of sight. Even with the minimum wage increase there is no way people will be able to afford these rising costs. Who ever heard of a steak costing $19 a pound, and a gallon of exterior paint over $34. On a fixed income like so many of us senior citizens food and necessary items just to maintain your humble abode difficult choices have to be made. The choice I made was not buying that steak or gallon of paint. However, I did buy a jar of spaghetti sauce, a pound of turkey burger, and a quart of yellow exterior paint. Total cost for all items amounted to a little over $9. The reason of the yellow paint was to mix it with an old full gallon of blue paint I already had in the tool shed. Together when mixed would produce the shade of greenish blue that was to be the prime color of our house.

Now that the paint was mixed, the house already primed, ladder at the ready I embarked to transform an unpainted house into a thing of beauty. The neighbors are going to be envious was the thought in the back of my mind. As I was applying a second coat on the front of the house my neighbor came over and said "That is a different color what do you call it?" Thinking quickly, "A shade of bluish green that I improvised considering the cost to purchase a fresh gallon of paint was out of my price range." "Looks great" as my neighbor walked away. As I stood there paint brush in hand I had to agree. A thing of beauty with a color that is unique made our house the envy of the neighborhood. It was just a couple of days ago that our home didn't stand out, now halfway done I just hope that in ten years time I can rematch this same color when I have to repaint again. That just reminds me I am not getting any younger either. Till the next home improvement project Tim the tool man signing off to finish the job at hand.

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