Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Masonry Supply Monday

I took the day off yesterday to work on the kitchen since I'd like to be cooking again sometime in '07 and I am pretty happy with the results. I finished sanding the skim coated walls, primed and painted about 80% of the room and the results are good. They look like the walls of a much younger kitchen. Some spots weren't quite perfect, but I usually subscribe to the "It's better than it was" philosophy. I figure that if I work on something for any amount of time and use tools on it, a good outcome would be at least as good as the original condition, and a great outcome would be any improvement on the original state. I'll post photos soon.

The highlight of the day was buying the plaster for the hole project. Recently I accosted some bricklayers in my neighborhood and they told me where to go for plaster supplies. They also told me that there would be a mean old man there and that he would help me.

It's the kind of place that you have to drive between the warehouse and the office and park in the courtyard area, so there's no going back once you turn on your blinker.

In the event that anyone reads this blog who is not related to me, I'll take a moment to describe myself. I consider myself to be young, many women my age have lived a lot more life with babies and divorces, but I am still a spring chicken. My usual historic home preservation attire is a pair of capri pants and flip flops that are covered in paint and plaster dust and 80% of the time I am driving around in a zippy German sports wagon with lumber in the back. (The other 20% of the time I am driving something far more sinister, the smelliest, dirtiest jeep ever).

Anywho, I pull into the courtyard and skip into the office. It smells like the cigarette smoke of 1000 bowling alleys and it looks like things haven't moved in years. There's a stack of calendars on the wall where they have never taken down the old calendar, just tacked the new one on top, but they stopped doing that in 2005. This man emerges from someplace beyond the stuff and I'm thinking that he celebrated his 80th birthday some time ago. I ask in my best cheerleader voice if they carry the plaster supplies I was looking for and before he answers he asks how I am going to pay for it. It seems that they don't take credit cards and I guess I don't look like a cash kind of girl. I tell him that if he has the stuff that I will go to an ATM and come right back. We walk out into the warehouse and he points to the base and finish plaster that I asked for and I zoom off to get the cash. When I went back, there were two other customers there and I'd rather not meet either of them in a dark alley. I waited around feeling like the most ridiculous person who ever lived and finally it was my turn. I paid with my new cash and I tried to make a joke about using German Shepherd hair for the scratch coat, but that didn't go over well. I asked if I could help myself to the 4 - 50 lb bags that I needed, but he insisted on getting the fork truck and bringing them out. Finally he got over to the wagon and I loaded them into the back. I can't imagine how it would've gone down if I couldn't lift the bags. If the old man breaks while he's loading your car, are you responsible to take him to the hospital?

I bought extra so I don't have to go back anytime soon, but I will definitely drive the jeep next time or maybe even send Chris. I'm not sure how he would fare with all of his book learnin' and his uncallused hands. Maybe if we got him a stick on moustache...

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