April 24, 2012

Cat Tales: Just one more gallon of paint

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — How many gallons of paint does it take to cover a small deck? More than you think.

The last week of March, I was off for a week and decided to paint my deck.

It’s only 12 foot x 10 foot because it extends from my carport, which is 12 feet wide and goes out 10 feet to an apple tree. Since the house is split level, the deck is high off the ground. It also has a high bar across the back so that I can hang flowering plants on it. And, it wouldn’t be complete without a bird house on each end of the bar.

I went to Lowe’s Home Improvement because I wanted good paint and I needed advice on how to do this project. The deck had a light oak stain on it and was discolored and ugly so I decided on a colored deck. The lady at the paint desk said I needed a colored stain. I didn’t know there was such a thing.

I told her I wanted a brick red to match the bricks on my house. I brought a brick that was left over from when the house was built in 1966 and showed it to her and she helped me match it up. It is called California Rustic. I didn’t realize how much orange color there was in a brick I thought was red.

I explained to the clerk how small my deck was and asked her how much paint I would need. She said she didn’t think one gallon would do, so I bought two for about $40 apiece including tax. I also bought a big brush, a small brush, a pan with two rollers in it, and a bottle of deck spray cleaner. She threw in a couple of stir sticks and said that was all I needed. $100 worth of work.

My lawn mower man did most of the work, though. First, we had to move 17 big pots from the deck that my mother plants her garden in. Then we had to clean the deck, rinse it with water, and let it dry. That took a whole day.

Mow man started painting the bar and rails the next day, but before he got that part done, he had run out of the first gallon of paint. He started on the lattice and before long ran out of the other gallon.

Off I went to Lowe’s to get another gallon of paint.

Mow man finished the lattice, but ran out of paint before he finished the floor.

Off I went to Lowe’s to get another gallon of paint. It started to rain so we couldn’t finish the paint job until the next weekend because I had to go back to work.

I did do a little work on the deck. I went after mow man and touched up spots and cleaned up some paint spots on the carport with a wire brush.

After four gallons of paint, the deck looks real good but cost twice as much as I thought it would. Don’t try and buy the economical brushes like I did because they wear out too fast and you wind up paying as much as if you had bought a couple of good brushes.

My next project is to paint a stationary porch swing, a small table, and a wishing well bird bath to match the deck.

Off to Lowe’s to get another gallon of paint . . . or two? . . . or three?

*  *  *

The orange-striped tom cat that was living under a Sentinel-Echo van in the parking lot last summer and fall is alive and doing well in Corbin on a farm near Kentucky Fried Chicken. I wished I lived close to that restaurant.

I adopted Morris out to Denise Harmon who works in London but lives on 8 acres in Corbin. She kept Morris in her garage for a few weeks before she let him out so that he wouldn’t run away. She said he hid from her in the garage and only came out to eat.

Now he runs around the farm chasing birds and having fun. Denise said he hasn’t bonded with her but she can see him out her windows. He comes to her house to eat and then runs off again. He will never be a lap cat, but at least he didn’t have to live on the streets of London last winter.

I fed and watered Morris while he was on the streets and we bonded with each other, but he was still wild and was very difficult to catch to give away.

I still miss him and I wonder if he still remembers me.

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
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