Ok, first of all, if you started following this blog because it was about quilting, don’t give up on me. I’m still quilting, but this season of life has been looking just a little different than I thought it would. Still, shame on me for not posting about quilting since the beginning of February. I actually finished my barn door quilt along top on Thursday night, so I’ll snag some pictures and post about that soon.
Today we got up to 40 degrees, so I decided to tackle some of the outdoor projects that are on the list. Even though I’ve pushed back the listing date for the house until at least mid-April (barring finding the most fantastic house in the whole universe between now and then), I figured I’d better capitalize on any “nice” days we get. I can’t believe this winter has been so brutal that I’ve been worn down to calling 40 degrees nice.
The soffit outside the garage door had gone from just looking crappy to actively falling this year, so it needed to come down. I figured I’d jump up on a ladder and at least try to get the board that was falling down pulled off the rest of the way before we got 8 more inches of snow on Monday. Whoever installed the boards previously relied more on the tongue and groove design of the boards than nails to keep them up, so most of them came down quite easily. It was a little rough over by my neighbor’s garage since she had put quite the caulk bead between her shiny new vinyl soffit and my gross one. I had to disrupt that without destroying her soffit.
Here’s the “after”. A few more boards still need to come down. The ones closest to the garage have caulk trim, so I need to bust out a sharper utility knife blade, and there are a few more boards to go that seemed like they would be a little difficult to take care of. Honestly, as I was nearing the end of the project, I fell off the ladder, and that really took the wind out of my sails. I braved climbing it a few more times after the fall to yank down a few more easy boards and to remove the old molding for the house and random pieces of glass that were stored in the soffit by previous home owners. It was like a junkyard up there. Seriously, even a tennis ball came falling out of the space. The rest of the boards remain because I had lost my bravery to aggressively yank on any of the boards since the first fall happened when a board gave way unexpectedly (or maybe my crowbar slipped out) and then I lost my balance and fell backwards. Fortunately, I landed on my feet after some slight contortions, but I definitely could have just as easily wound up cracking my head open in the road. So, now this project is on hold until I can get a second person to hold the ladder and offer a steadying hand if I start to lose my balance.
I think the absolute worst part of this job was the neighborhood observer who ambled down the street and said in a sing-songy voice as he passed, “Looks like you’re doing a man’s job.” I’m going to blame my response on womanly hormones (irony, right?), but my first internal response was to think, “And it looks like you’re a chauvinist jerk.” I mean, I’ll give him that I did chicken out at the end after the ladder incident and that I needed some face lotion after I came in and showered because all that grit falling in my face coupled with the cold air set my face on fire. However, he could have kept his comment to himself unless he wanted to do something gentlemanly like hold the ladder. I’m glad he didn’t return via the same route because I was stewing and would have hated to slow the project down by coming off the ladder to give him a man style butt-kicking if he had shared any more of his insights. Ok, ok, I really wouldn’t have, but….he made me mad.
I also figured before the snow fell again that I should clean up my neighbor’s trash. She doesn’t park in her garage, so I don’t think it occurs to her that she needs to trim the weeds behind her garage. Last year they got ahead of me, and then I couldn’t deal with them because they were breaking the string on the weed trimmer (plus, I was afraid of kicking up a shard of a beer bottle and putting my eye out). So, today, I raked up the dead weeds and accumulated alcohol bottles, cigarette packs, and snack food bags, bagged it, and stuck it in my trash. Now I should be able to stay ahead of it for this year, and I’m hoping that having it cleaned up will discourage the inconsiderate people who choose to throw their trash there from continuing to do so. They’d best not let me see them doing it… It’s a shared neighborhood space not an open air night club, for crying out loud.
So, can you tell today’s project made me a little cranky? It’s ok, I took a long nap, and now I’m going to quilt for a little bit before I return to bed. Do you all have projects that you dread or that make you cranky? How about you women out there — does it get your hackles up if someone tells you that you can’t do a project because you’re a woman?
Remember, quilting posts are coming soon 🙂 I worked on quilting projects twice over the past week, so I’m finally having something to show again.