Thursday, November 3, 2011

Don't Shudder Painting the Shutters

 A big painting job loomed for my husband and me.  We purchased a little lakeside vacation house that needed, among other things, some shutters.  Whatever shutters had previously been attached to the house had been stolen, along with the heat pump, gutters, all interior fixtures and several large chunks of the backyard deck. Now before anyone freaks out, we bought the house in gutted condition. Two years later we've made the place livable with facelifts and refurbished finds. Everything has been done except those darn shutters!

Since hubby and I are thrifty, we purchased most of the shutters from Craigslist sellers.  A few we found (and I kid you not) still at the house but hidden beneath a giant clump of pampas grass. The recycled shutters came in a rainbow of faded colors. What I wanted was Hunter Green. Enter My Repurposed Life and the Wagner Power Painter Plus Giveaway to make our lives--and getting to Hunter Green--much easier.

Here is a picture of some of the shutters prior to painting. The hunk in the picture is my hubby.  The shed in the back is our NEXT project. (But please don't tell him!)

Before painting, we primed all the shutters.  We discovered the need to prime plastic shutters the hard way.  If you don't prime, the paint bubbles up and peels off in large swatches. It was a sizable mistake which amounted to a ton of extra work and an encyclopedic amount of expletives and unmentionable choice phrases. We chose to hand-roll the primer:   

Primer applied, nothing to do but spray and hang, right?  Not exactly.  We carefully read the instructions, assembled the sprayer and, as directed,  added the lubricating oil Wagner provided.  My hubby then took the sprayer on a test run over some leftover cardboard:

Nothing to do now but paint:

Zip!  Zap! Ka-pow! With a few quick flicks of the wrist, my husband knocked out all ten shutters. So take that, Mom! Here's visual proof of why I didn't need to marry a Rockefeller! 

The Wagner Power Painter did a nice job, but you must follow the provided instructions.  Some things we learned through trial and error. 1. You do need to thin the paint before putting it into the sprayer, and  2. You need to keep the painter straight and at a set distance from the surface you're painting.

Thanks to Wagner and Gail for making our work much easier!     

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm a Winner thanks to My Repurposed Life!

I won a Wagner Power Painter (and Deck Mate) by entering a contest sponsored by the website "My Repurposed Life!"  

My Repurposed Life is one of the most creative websites I've visited. If you want to flex your imagination and create, or recreate, something totally wonderful, you must visit My Repurposed Life:

My first project for the Wagner sprayer will be to turn several old, salvaged shutters from faded red and black to beautiful Hunter Green. My husband has already pulled out the shutters and is pressure washing them for their big "Before" shots.  Guess what, guys? He isn't grumbling! Give a guy a power tool and anything can happen! Stay tuned here for updates and pictures of my project.

I'll post the "before" and "after" photos on Gail's website at:

I hope you'll visit Gail's website, but be forewarned. Many of her projects are positively addicting!   

Thanks again to Gail at My Repurposed Life,
and of course, to the great folks at Wagner!   

Thursday, September 1, 2011

You Know Health Care has Passed When...

You Know Health Care Reform Has Passed When…
1.  The doctor's receptionist now asks to see the political designation on your voter's registration card in lieu of insurance.

2.  Your organ donor card now has a check box called "an arm, leg, or anything else for the good of the people."

3.  Your designated Health Care Proxy or Legal Surrogate looks suspiciously like the Free World's Leader.

4.  The phrase "Over My Dead Body" is now a valid treatment option.

5.  The preferred treatment for end-of-life patients is now two interns holding a pillow.

And the number one way you know Health Care Reform Has Passed...

6.  The hospital's waiting room for everyone over 65 has been moved to the Morgue's freezer.

Smile if you're reading this, since you're still outrunning the mortician.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

You know You're in a Buyer's Market When...

You know You're in a Buyer's market When..
1. The offer to purchase is accompanied by Monopoly money and the Seller accepts it.

2. In addition to the refrigerator, stove, lawnmower, crock pot and coffeemaker, the Buyer asks for the Seller's entire Fredericks of Hollywood lingerie collection.

3. The offer is written by Santa Claus, acting as the Buyer's exclusive agent.

4. Sellers start considering prisoners as good candidates for lease-option arrangements.

5. The Buyer finally moves into the house he bought, pulls down the attic stairs and is killed by 25000 as-yet-unburied St. Joseph statues.

6. And the number one way you can tell you're in a Buyer's market... your MIA listing agent's picture is now being printed on milk cartons!

Smile, even if you're a Seller's agent!

Snakes, Bugs and Tornadoes

I'm beginning to yearn for the "good old days."  Back then, folks used to sit around the campfire, toast marshmallows and tell horror stories about crazed killers with hooks for hands or sing little diddies about an axe-wielding, daddy-whacking Lizzie Borden.

What we didn't do was gaze across the glowing coals, our faces illuminated by fear and fire, and tell scary stories about The Market. Back then, we occupied ourselves with real horror stories about truly awful stuff like snakes, bugs and tornadoes. I don't like talking about the mortgage meltdown, the economy or the housing crisis. In fact, I think I'm going to make it a rule that as soon as someone broaches "the big three," I'm going to counter with either a bug, snake or tornado story.  I expect the conversation will go something like this:

Fellow Broker: "This market is killing me. How's your business?"

Me: "I kicked over a rotten board today, and three baby copperheads wriggled across my foot."

Fellow Broker: "You're kidding me, right?"

Me: "It scared me so badly that I smacked into a tree and out flew 5000 waspers."

Fellow Broker "Good heavens! That's awful! What did you do?"

Me: "I jumped around, hollered and took off running. Luckily, a tornado dropped out of a massive purple thunderhead and swept me up like I was nothing. It carried me twelve miles before dropping me right in the middle of a framed out $250000 townhouse. As luck would have it, I happened to have a Buyer."

Fellow Broker: "Uh... that's great. Oops, would you look at the time? Gotta go..."

Ah, yes. Snakes, bugs and tornadoes. I can't think of a better way to turn a topic.

Can you? :)

Alternative Careers for Real Estate Agents

The economic slowdown has hit some  real estate agents pretty hard, and lately, I've been contemplating some end-of-the-world jumping.  As luck would have it, I live in a one-story building.  Since the easy-out isn't an option, I've been looking real hard at non-real estate related career options. I've had to rule out a few since they are either (a) already filled to capacity, or (b) beyond my educational, physical or intellectual abilities.  For instance, unlike Jethro of Beverly Hillbillies fame, I know with all certainty that I am not qualified to be a brain surgeon.  Brain surgeons have to know specifics beyond the fact that the brain is divided into equal halves and merged into the spinal what-cha-ma-call-it. I imagine it takes years to fully understand how the brain coordinates all those limb-based activities while simultaneously allowing the eyes to rotate freely in their sockets.  Equally, and for pretty much the same reasons, I know I am not qualified to be either an Avon or a Mary Kay consultant.

So I've been giving this whole career change a good look-over and have come up with a few viable options for your review and consideration. If anyone has any additional suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Possible New Jobs for Defunct and Despairing Real Estate Agents:

•1.    High Rise Window Washer:  Real estate agents know the value of clean, since clean homes look better and sell faster. Sparkling, cob-free windows are an important part of that equation. Who then would be better qualified to clean windows than an out-of-work real estate agent? Of course, I would have to get past my fear of heights and remember to take my antidepressants before I start dangling on cable drawn two-by-fours above heavy pedestrian traffic.  And I I have to tell the insurance company that Im currently seeing a Therapist?

•2.    Hair Restoration Technician: If anyone knows the value of a good plug, it's a real estate agent. Give me enough good plugs and I can (a) give you another good reason to choose me as your agent, or (b) give you a new crop of hair.  I don't think they actually "seed" your head with hair plugs as they claim they do on television, since that probably involves both a pickaxe and fertilizer. As I understand it, the process now utilizes repositionable Velcro, which allows hair technicians to move the plugs around easily for that more natural look. If "real" surgery is involved in the process, I'd have to rule this job out since I get woozy extracting splinters or even thinking about pounding liver.

•3.    Island of Toy Misfits On-site Agent:  Granted, this leads me back into a real estate career, but at least, I'll be surrounded with clients I actually understand.  I think working with toy misfits might be similar to working with investors, since both groups have lower housing expectations and little money they wish to spend. Of course, just like Santa's elves, I'd have to get used to taking my commissions in monopoly money. I think my grocery store might be happy to accept monopoly money since the currency exchange is now the same as US dollars. And to be honest, I think my Grocer would be relieved to get paid in something other than builder-provided gas cards.

•4.    Swat Team Test Dummy: Real estate agents are used to being shot at-at least, verbally.  I can twist, bend, and duck with the best of them, and have even perfected "The Matrix's" backward, slow-mo, bullet-dodging bend. If being flexible can get me the job, then Baby, just call me Gumby. Also on death defying jobs resume: ability to outrun snarling dogs, fully-clawed felines and Realtor-hating parrots.

Well, it's a short list made shorter, since I recently scratched off Vice Presidential hopeful. Hmm...I wonder if Britney Spears mother needs a body double...