Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The pink bed of doom

In case you were wondering whether all my crafts turn out, the answer is no. No, they really don't.

I have had a twin-size headboard, footboard, and whatnots clogging up my kitchen passage for about a month, waiting for a non-rainy interlude. A friend found them for me free, and they were fine (especially because they have snazzy twist-off knobs on top! so cool!) but they would be MUCH COOLER in hot pink for Meg. Obviously. So I bought a can of spray primer and another of paint and seized the weekend, which was warm and sunny.

While we do have a lovely huge backyard, it is also quite grassy, so the dropcloth didn't lie flat. It bunched up and flopped around in the wind, strategic rocks and all, and stuck to the painted bed parts. It made weird wrinkles. It also, charmingly, flung layers of white primer back on top of the pink, and they stuck there and couldn't even be sanded off with the sandpaper I have.

I didn't get enough primer or paint the first time, not having painted a bed before, so I wasted a day and a half chasing after more paint of the same color, which is apparently only sold at Wal-Mart in Winchester and not at True Value, Lowes, Target, or Wal-Mart in Leesburg. I wasn't going to Wal-Mart in Winchester because it's 25 minutes away the wrong direction, although in hindsight I could have. I hadn't expected that color would be so rare. I finally got a slightly different pink paint at Wal-Mart in Leesburg, because by then I didn't care, and I got three cans.

Well, the new paint was awful. It dripped and spurted and made blobs. It actually failed to adhere to the primer, in some places, and went scattered and shattered-looking. I'd have done far better to buy a bucket of paint and use a brush. Or, plan of plans, I could have assembled it unpainted and let Meg have a brown bed. I am never buying Krylon spray paint again.

The now wrinkled, shattered-looking, blobby, and smudged pink bed is drying out back. Tomorrow we will bring it in, hopefully before the rains start, and we will assemble it and let Meg have her pink bed. Because not all projects are wins, but a home is still worth making. So there.

Also, the bed has spinny knobs on top that twist off. I don't think she'll mind paint blobs.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Rivers and planets

We always make a fuss when we drive over rivers. It makes life more exciting, and now that we're doing school it also counts as Doing Geography.
Me: "Hey, look, Meg! It's the Shenandoah River!"
Meg: "Hey, Shenandoah! Long time no see!"
Me, speaking as the river: "Hi, Meg!"
Meg, disapprovingly: "It doesn't talk."

We're learning about planets this week. I was telling Meg how Mercury doesn't have any atmosphere, so it gets really hot during the day and really cold at night. She observed, with great accuracy, "You would have to have a spacesuit or a pair of very wooly pajamas if you wanted to sleep there."

Also on that subject: "If you had a grown-up horse [on Mercury], you would have to take care of it and put a space suit on it."

Friday, October 10, 2014

In which my library card opens a door

This afternoon we locked ourselves out of the main bathroom. It's the kind of doorknob where you twist the inside knob and the outer one can't turn. There's a little hole in the middle of the outer one, but don't think you can poke a wire hanger in there and unlock it, because there's nothing to unlock. (Jonathan says, acording to his research, you can use a particular kind of screwdriver and twist the thing around.)

Bedtime arrived. Meg's toothbrush was still in chancery, as were all our spare toothbrushes. And the toothbrushing sticker chart was in there. It was unthinkable to skip brushing teeth for a night, because this night (oh joy of joys!) she was due for a prize. Also, we kind of like having two bathrooms accessible.

So I went and got a credit card. Actually, I got an old library card. I was able to slide it between the door and the frame and persuade the latch to open, and hurray! The door opened!

So there you have it, folks: your library card really can open doors.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Galoot the sword

I dipped into an old medieval verse epic Morte Arthur (not Malory's, another one) which called Gawain's sword "Galuthe." It's really just as well this didn't make it into the general tradition. Galuthe doesn't have the same ring as Excalibur.

"Excalibur is looking particularly shiny today, wot?" "Oh, yes yes. Lovely day for it and all that. And did you get Galoot sharpened after that tiff with Sir Pellinore?" "Your majesty, my sword's name is GALUTHE." "Ah, that's just your Northern accent!"