Color therapy isn’t just for humans

It was a ghetto when I moved in.

A tired, dingy, beaten-up and beaten-down mobile home rental circa 1960s.

So I immediately painted every room (with the landlord’s permission, naturally).  And witnessed, by my own hand and efforts, a total transformation.

Visually at any rate. The space still has issues from previous tenants. The ghosts and residues of traumas and bad shit that went down, none of which I care to revisit.

Much progress has been achieved in cleansing the space, stripping the toxic energies from the walls and floors in some 9 months of residency.

There’s one room — the only room — where the negativities are especially thick and heavy. The bedroom. It’s not only traumatized, it is haunted. (I had nightmares every night when I first moved in.

While much improved from then, the room’s psychic damage lingers. The healing’s a slow ongoing process.

Many modalities are applied toward that healing — not the least of which includes:

Yes, color therapy isn’t just for people! It can soothe, heal, invigorate and calm spaces too!

Since the bedroom was/is the darkest (not strictly in terms of natural lighting) and most haunted room, I painted two walls the cheeriest of colors: sunflower yellow. After blue, it’s my favorite color.

The color perked up the room — absolutely!

Maybe like giving a depressed room Prozac!

(I don’t do meds for depression or anything else unless absolutely medically necessary so that comment’s based solely on some reports of improved mood and state of mind due to Prozac.

Perhaps the color perked it up too much!

I’ve experienced considerable restlessness, insomnia, wakefulness when I want to be sleeping and other assorted chronic sleep disorders.

Yellow is a high-vibration color. It is quite stimulating mentally, uplifting, active.

So after umpteen hours studying feng shui (a passion for some time now), compass readings and such, I decided to tone it down. To lose the yellow — rather, most of it — for a softer less-vibrant but earthier softer color to soothe the space.

A citrus orange. Which, despite its name, looks nothing like an orange peel! Rather, a soft coral with a splash of orange.

citrusdelightpaint

citrus orange paint

P.S. For the past couple weeks, my yellow closets have been “spiffied up” by some 30 paint chips from Home Depot and Scotch tape! I’d stand there, study ’em by daylight, by lamplight, move ’em around like checkers on a board, favoring this shade over that. I didn’t take this switch-eroo lightly! Especially ’cause I really do love sunflower yellow! A part of me is sad to see it go. So as a compromise, I’m leaving a portion of trim and built-in drawers that optimistic yellow.

Having finally selected the paint a couple days ago, this afternoon I began painting. The citrus orange — in reality a light coral by light reflection — is a big change! It’s earthy. Soft. Soothing. It pairs nicely with the soft turquoise on the other two walls.

It even harmonizes with the carpet — as much as any color can harmonize with 1970s Hunter green shag! Ugh. Nuthin’ I can do about that. Except draw the eye away with beautiful colors on the walls!

I’m about 1/3 done with painting. One wall’s still bright sunflower yellow, the other this new coral-orange shade. It’ll be interesting to see how I sleep tonight. IF I sleep tonight!

I absolutely know that colors have a profound impact in any environment. I’m exquisitely sensitive TO my environment AND to colors so this promises to be rather interesting.

Will I come to sleep better? Will my restlessness abate? My insomnia lessen? Will the bedroom become the calm sanctuary I’m seeking to create? Will the ROOM itself shed more of its ghosts and traumas? Become less haunted, further healed?

Questions for today, answers another day.

For now, a nod to a most favorite flower:

sunflower

 

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The bedroom’s a bad dream. (For now.)

A strange room it is, the bedroom.

Haunted isn’t the right word, though haunted elements exist. I’ve seen haunted. Lived — rather, survived — in haunted. Very haunted. 

If that place was a 10 on the Haunted Scale, my current space, now 4-months-old, is a 3-5. 

Troubled. My bedroom is troubled. Troubled and traumatized. Energies of former tenants and their experiences linger like thumbprints in clay. Dark energies. 

When I first moved in, the bedroom gave me nightmares near every night. I’m very psychic, very intuitive and very very attuned to spaces and places. It’s who I am and what I do. As a ghost whisperer,  I could make a career out of these gifts and rare skills as an energies-worker in homes, spaces and places. I’m very Piscean. I pick up everything!

As background. 

My dilemma is my bedroom, thick with trauma. 

Yes, I’ve painted it. Looks waaaay better from the beaten-down and beaten-up Ghetto Grunge that is was when I moved in.

And while fresh colors and paint can certainly help invigorate and repair a space, they can do only so much when a space is deeply traumatized, as my bedroom is.

I’m just gonna say it. This circa-1960s mobile home rental has seen a lot of people pass through through the decades.

 I’ve learned that two of the most recent residents had serious addictions. One was a woman who spent her days and presumably nights drunk. Another tenant was a druggie who not only used but dealt from this space. 

Not good. 

Troubling thing is that a former food addiction that I long ago outgrew has returned with a vengeance since living here.

I kid you not! Like that bedroom where a lot of bad shit happened is a mini-Pandora’s box or something!

It’s been like this from Day One! I can’t take any more of this! There’s bad juju in that bedroom and it has to be fixed … healed … transformed … lifted from its muck and mire. For its sake and mine. 

YES, spaces have their own histories and characters and energies, just as individuals do.

So. It’s a new year. One of my needs (and goals) is to redo that bedroom, beyond the obvious painting of walls and ceiling (so painfully disgusting when I moved in).

It needs more feng shui than I’ve already done. 

It truly needs to be raised from the mud. Like the lotus. 

It’s a project. And since I’ve already recreated and raised the whole of the remaining house from ghetto to beauty, I know it can be done! I’ve got my work cut out for me in the bedroom. 

The room of trouble and trauma that’s begging for transformation. Or if it’s not, I am!  I just can’t keep living in other people’s darkness that they leave/left behind or my own.

That’s my story today. A story of striving to bring much-needed balance to a deeply unbalanced bedroom.  Of transforming it from nightmare into a lovely dream. Of cleaning it of chaos. Ain’t no can of Comet cleanser can fix this. A can of *celestial* Comet, however …

No pain in bidding buh-bye to these panes!

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone …

Can’t help but hear that Jimmy Cliff lyric pulsing in my mind. On this eve of a momentous venture. The replacement of windows in my mobile-home rental!

As written prior, the rental is a fixer-upper. That much was clear — speaking of Jimmy Cliff’s song — when I took occupancy about 2.5 months ago. I’ve completed various repairs and upgrades, including painting the entire interior — on my own time and dime.

The windows. Ah, the windows. This mobile home is circa 1960s. Enough said? Maybe no. Single-pane windows. Crank fin-style windows. You’ve seen ’em. They look like this:

finwindows

I’ve got giant picture windows. Two walls that are almost entirely windows. A third wall of mostly window. A fourth wall of average-sized window. Here’s just one small portion of the picture window. Those horizontal lines on the left, behind the invisible screen, are fins that are (somewhat) raised and lowered by a crank.

oldwindow

Those panes never seal even when cranked tight. Talk about d-r-a-f-t-s! Chiiiiiiiiiiilly drafts!

windowcrank

Then there’s the rotted or disintegrated wood framing. Where once stood wood is foil tape, clearly — there’s that word again! 😉 — a Band-Aid solution to a longstanding problem left unaddressed.

With the cold season upon us, I fully understand the 1,000-plus staples in the walls around all the aluminum frames, flush to the wall, when I moved in. They held plastic sheets against gawd-awful drafty aged single-pane Plexiglass. The ONLY deterrent, short of replacement, to frigid Arizona winters.

Previous tenants didn’t only staplestaplestapleandstaple giant plastic sheets to the walls — leaving me with their staples to remove, tediously, patiently :). They also used strapping tape, duck tape and double-sided tape, included in those temporary winterizing window-film kits — as evidenced by layers upon layers of old adhesive stuck on the aluminum frames.

Which I removed. And lemme tell ya, that was a MONUMENTAL task of scrapingscrapingscraping, containers of Goo Gone and Goof Off solvents designed to remove SUPER GLUE and even then the project required massive elbow grease! My elbow grease!

Anyhow, after a week or two of painstaking scraping of old adhesive off aluminum frames, in preparation for painting, the landlord stopped by. I proudly displayed my workmanship. Later that day, an email arrived. “Stop the scraping! I’m going to replace your windows!”

Too late. I’d just finished!

She assured me that replacing the windows has been on her back burner a long while. Still, I reckon my incredible hard work and commitment to taking excellent are of her property inspired her to get on it now.

I should add that the degraded windows all have cranks that are on e turn away from death. Windows are drafty as hell — an oxymoron. Believe me, my brain was working overtime soon as I moved in when the weather was still toasty warm and sunny! on how I was gonna survive a winter in that icebox.

Needless to say, I was ecstatic when the landlord informed me of the plan to replace the aged windows — eight in total! Ecstatic!!!

Naturally I held off an any treatments for the bare windows until the new ones — of different design, shape and style — are installed.

Tomorrow!!

That’s when the project begins. With presumably eight being replaced, it’s a big project with an unknown completion date. In the nick of time too! We just had our first snowfall a few days ago. More coming supposedly Monday. Uh-oh. Early winter and a hard one ahead. My farmer’s almanac bones know.

Then, once they’re in, I can get started on winterizing a place sooooo badly needing it. (Zero insulation on walls, frosty floors … the livin’ ain’t easy.) Those crappy old windows are a HUUUUUUUUUUGE heat loss, true. In fact, I didn’t even bother turning on the heat during the snow and below-freezing temps … until my landlord instructed me to do so. To prevent the pipes from freezing and flooding.

Like watching money flutter out the windows! Literally!

Reportedly the new windows are similar to the two small ones in the bedroom that were redone some time back. Double-pane sliders with sills. That’ll help a lot with retaining heat and reducing drafts!

Which circles us back to the start: “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.”

Well, the rain isn’t gone. On the contrary, thanks allegedly to El Nino.

As for seeing clearly now, I can’t say until I actually see the new windows in place. “They’ll have more screens so you’ll probably lose some of your view,” warned the landlord.

I’ll take that compromise for the greater good: warmth, protection from winter and drafts like mini-gales. But most importantly, I’ll take that compromise for the greater good of health. That’s a very private and historic matter; no details shall be divulged. Suffice it to say that I was prepared to sleep in my car, parked outside the mobile home, for a healthier space.

P.S. I’ve slept in my Subbie many times; after a coupla days, it’s not real fun or comfy.

From Jimmy Cliff to Bob Dylan: The times, they are a changin’. Windows too. Whooooo-hooooo!!!!

C’est fait!

Finished! Done!

The painting of my entire domestic interior!

Well, not completely. Still a few small projects and touchups to do but nothing on the scale of full-on full-fledged painting requiring stepladder, drop cloth, steady hand with a trim brush and etc.

How rewarding!

And what a relief!

Anyone who’s painted all walls in a home know that the real work’s in the prep and the cleanup.

Also quite a lot of chaos is involved. Furniture out of place. Skirting around paint cans and trays and rollers, oh my!

Enhancing stress is the wait time. The time, that is, waiting for brushes and rollers to dry. Rather than buy a buncha roller covers and brushes for the five — yes, five! — colors, I worked with few supplies repeatedly, to keep costs down.

P.S. Wow does the cost of paint add up fast! And the square-footage coverage stated on the can? It’s generous. You WILL need more than is stated!

Anywho. Fortunately, I live in Arizona where it’s dry and the sun in its last vestiges of an Indian summer, hastening daily drying of supplies. More or less. A few times I resumed painting with a roller or brush, only to discover it was still wet around the edges. Ooops. A wet roller does not good painting make!

Point is, the drying turnaround time extended the process. And stress.

But it’s all behind me now! Furniture is back in its place. The floors are clean. Paint supplies are no longer strewn all over.

Best of all perhaps is the hideous curtain rods are off the walls!

By hideous, I mean … well, see prior post. They were mounted crookedly. Hanging by a thread. And in one case, attached to a wall not by rod brackets but BICYCLE WALL MOUNTS! Really. I’ve got the photos! I’ve got the evidence!

Nary is this the end to the mobile home beautification & repairs. Not by a long shot! All windows in the front room are going to be replaced around month’s end — according to the landlord.

Have heard not a peep so won’t believe it until I see it.

That’ll be a massive project since two walls in particular are virtually all-windows! And since it’s not rare to have our first snowfall around Halloween, well, we’ll see how it goes. Massive gaping holes in inclement weather might be in my future. 🙂

Then there’s still window treatments on now-naked windows to figure out. Just all depends on whether the landlord comes through or disappoints. We’ll see.

For now, the completion of the painting is a shining moment. Future tenants may or may not like the colors but one thing they CANNOT say is: “That tenant did a CRAPPY paint job!”

You can feeeeel the love and the caring in the painting! Every detail tended to with meticulousness. Full coverage on every wall AND ceiling!

Now there’s a challenge! Painting highly-textured ceilings! I’ve got pix. Another time.

There is no sloppiness here. No half-assed job. Even toward the end when I’d hit my wall and just wanted the painting to be over, I maintained my focus. Plowed forward. Did not sacrifice quality and details for fatigue.

And isn’t that the mark of a true crafter?

I am pleased with the results. (P.S. I’m not easily pleased — or impressed!)

This place is rid of its Ghetto Grunge / Grunge Ghetto.

The place looks beautiful. Stunningly so when compared to 1-1/2 months ago when I moved in!

It looks and, importantly, feels so much better. Soooo. Much. Better.

Rare that I give myself a round of applause for anything but this … this huge undertaking in home improvement … deserves one.

I painted the whole place entirely on my own. No help from anyone.

The crafting, including attention to detail, is spot-on. Even the lines of differing paint colors on ceilings and walls and between walls are very well done.

I’m satisfied with the quality of work and gratified. And I know the space is as well. It’s been a long time since it got mindful attention and care.

I’m sorry to say that neglect of homes (esp. rentals) is commonplace. On my watch, neglect ain’t gonna happen!

On the contrary, I’m a home healer. I go in and fix everything that bad tenants or tenants behaving badly brought into and left in a space. I should rent myself out! Because I’m very good at what I do — listening to spaces and helping heal what ails them through no fault of their own!!

(Like I’ve said a million times and will say a million times more: People. They ruin everything.)

Nothing more save this:

Job well done.

{and a well-earned pat on the back}

Getting … (ahem) Creative with Curtains

It’s creative anyhow.

Lemme show you sumthin’.

You recognize this?

bikeRod

A bicycle wall mount, right?

bikehook

Wrong.

Not in this case.

It’s a bracket for a curtain rod in my place. An unevenly-mounted rod at that. Can you see the arch? And the bracket on the far right?

bikerrod

Rather, it was.

When I moved into this rental mobile home in September, it was pretty … um … trashy. Grunge Ghetto. A fixer-upper in polite terms.

First order of business has been painting — the ENTIRE place! — and removing the crap in an extensive overhaul from Grunge Ghetto to Space Beautiful.

Or, simply, Space Liveable.

That curtain rod held up by bike mounts was long. Spanned the entire length of a wall of windows. The primary wall at the front of the home, no less!

There’s no accounting for taste. How often did my dad say that when I was growing up?

Lemme show you a couple other … um … features of my place.

bedroomrod

No, I was not drunk when I snapped that pic. That curtain rod in the bedroom still stands. Moreover, it’s a highlight in the room because it’s right there at the entrance. It’s also the view from my bed.

Pretty f-ing ugly, n’est pas?

Here’s the bedroom’s second curtain rod:

rodprofile

Hanging to dear life by a thread. Directly above my head.

Swear to God, it’s surprising that entire thing — also quite long — hasn’t come crashing down in the middle of the night! Awakening me from slumber. Frightening me to death. Bashing me on the head. Scarring me for life. Giving me cause for a lawsuit.

Scratch that. That’s the modern typical American. Rushing to sue over the most ridiculous “causes.” Many of them concocted. Books have been written on conjuring up phony lawsuits! Yes, we’re* that pathetic.

*Not me. Or my friends/family.

Back to the curtain rods.

The one with the bike mounts is bye-bye. Earmarked for a thrift store.

The walls are since painted and stand bare, sans window treatments, since reportedly the terrible windows (don’t get me started!) are to be replaced toward month’s end.

Where once stood a bike mount — barely, hanging by its butterfly anchor — is this:

RodGone

No rod. No nothing. Save plenty of spackle to repair gaping holes from bike mounts and a serene cheerful light sea blue paint. The phone camera can’t do it justice.

The bedroom rods are thiiiiiiis close to meeting a similar fate.  And a well-deserved fate is it.

I make no apologies for having good taste.

Above all, I make none for wanting — nee needing — quality. Quality in work. Quality quality quality. In all things. Be the task menial or grand, quality matters. It’s my driving force. Woven into my being by birth and by temperament.

Shoddy work, I recoil. I see red. I wonder what’s wrong with people!

Tomorrow, Tuesday Oct. 13, not only marks the end to a pair of pret-ty tacky — if not threatening! haha — curtain rods but a huge interior paint job that’s occupied-consumed all my free time for some time.

The two remaining bedroom walls. Tomorrow. Paint. YES!

I’ve no idea what’s going to go where those rods are. I really dislike curtains. Hence a riddle to be revealed, a mystery to be solved.

Interestingly, today (Oct. 12) is the new moon. In Libra no less!

Libra is beautification. Interior improvements. Aesthetics. New moons are for planting seeds.

Perfect time to rid myself of rods. All rods in my life. No relation to Serling. Steward. Steiger. Or A-Rod.

Well, A-Rod I could do without …

Transformation From a Can.

Newfound truths. Don’t brush ’em off.

  • Actual paint looks much different than sample chips taped to your walls, on a computer screen or under fluorescent lights at Home Depot.
  • Some 80 percent of the work of painting lies in the prep and cleanup. The remaining 20 percent’s fun: Seeing the transformation from ugly walls into lovely.
  • No matter how much you rinse and run your fingers through the bristles of a brush, you’ll never get all the (water-based) paint out.
  • AND after repeated washings, the bristles WILL eventually dry into a rock-hard slab, rendering the brush useless save for slicing bread.
  • FrogTape is way way waaaaaaaay better than the ScotchBlue painter’s tape by 3M. Very rare that I’m in agreement with public consensus but, after having used both, I am.
  • Paintbrushes have their place. However, as a whole, the rollers provide better — more thorough — coverage. ESPECIALLY when there’s any texture to walls and/or ceiling. A roller — when used properly of course — significantly reduces work time compared to brushes. Which, again, have their place.
  • And the nap matters. Not only for kids. Thicker roller naps for texture. A must-do. Pay for the roller cover that’ll do the job right instead of trying to make do with a thin nap designed for flat surfaces. Truly, nap matters.

These are but some of what I’ve learned in these past several weeks of:

Home Beautification & Repairs

I could not recount the many many miles journeyed this past 1-1/2 months in the new place. I dare not even attempt it!

I’ve been working ALL OF THE TIME.

When I’m not working at one of my two PT jobs (courtesy of Obama’s socialism of America, where FT is now as rare as appearances by the Loch Ness monster), I’m working at home.

Note: Not my home, a rental.

No exaggeration to say that I’m doing something constructive – productive – instructive – from the moment I rise to the moment my All-Work-No-Play-Makes-Jack-A-Dull-Boy self lays head on pillow.

Hell, I haven’t even sat down with the morning coffee to write in my journal or blog — my preferred, nee necessary — morning ritual — for quite a while.

Instead, I’ve poured the java and gone straight to work. First in the home. Then to a job. Then after the job, back home to work more. Not infrequently into the wee hours of 1 or 2 a.m.

A Boss to Forget But Words to Remember

Years ago I had a boss who was lame as a manager. Lance his name was. He really shouldn’t have been a manager but as anyone who’s attentive to life’s teachings learns, that’s most often the case.

Anyhow, it was a Lame Crap Job — menial work for menial pay — amazing how little has changed in 10 years! — and one day he remarked on an observation that I’ve always remembered. “You’re a work machine.”

Granted, it’s not really flattering. Not in the humanist sense. But it is very very very true. When I’m in Work Mode, I AM just like that machine.

I get things done.

I do things well. Supremely so.

I don’t fuck around.

I’m focused. Intensely so.

I’m not easily distracted. I’m single-minded. I know what needs to get done and I do it. No questions asked.

 

When things need to be done, I am the girl.

Workhorses Never Die

They just collapse. Then rise again.

Such as it has been at home. This space, when I moved in 1-1/2 months ago, was Grunge Ghetto. For more reasons than I could possibly list. Or want to.

Just take my word for it. It was bad. In disrepair. Neglect. And disrespect by prior tenants and, to a certain extent, the landlord who’s too lenient with conditions of things.

Not a TV Infomercial

Paint. The Miracle Cure.

Not entirely but not far off either.

Paint can’t fix a leaking pipe. Or old drafty windows and rotted frames — and don’t me started on that topic! (A LOT to be said about the shitty windows here!)

Neither can paint erase bad things that’ve happened in a space. Like trauma, abuse, violence, unpeaceful deaths and so on.

Paint CAN, however, restore life to a space. Heal, to a certain degree, some of the … darknesses from previous residents … darknesses a space has suffered or endured under human behaviors.

I am officially two walls away from being done painting an ENTIRE mobile home (interior) on my own.

Two walls!

Was 10 when I began.

Joy! Ode to joy, the completion now in view!

Paint With Purpose

So much, so very much more, I could write about my Paint Project. The various colors. How they were chosen — beyond the dozens of Home Depot paint chips taped to walls! WHY they were chosen. The purpose of the colors in each specific room.

But then, day would turn into night into day into night ad infinitum.

So, simply:

My massive paint job’s almost finished! It’ll be by week’s end.

(Much more beautification & repairs remain but the most labor-intensive and time-consuming project will be completed — yey!)

And truly truly truly, I cannot overemphasize this!

If there’s ONE takeaway, one tiny but truly valuable tidbit of information gleaned from this experience and so worth passing on, it is this:

FrogTape Painter’s Tape absolutely is superior to Scotch BlueTape.  Costs a little more but is. worth. every. extra. penny.

It unrolls better.

It tears better.

Adheres better.

Removes better.

 

It produces lines that are noticeably crisper, cleaner and straighter.

Sorry, ScotchBlue. I tell it like it is. Your quality makes us painters blue. Green FrogTape makes us — dare I say it, yes I dare — jump for joy.

frog

 

 

 

A swiveling pub chair, silicone and serious Germanic focus

Dammit! Gonna write a blog post if it kills me!

(Actually, not writing might kill me; alas, that’s another story, quite!)

There. That said.

Mobilizing Home Beautification

I’m 3 weeks into my adventure in a mobile home. Not so mobile, actually. It’s a rental parked in a mobile home park. To be clear.

It’s old. It’s dated. Circa 1970s. It’s not in baaad shape. Wouldn’t make Better Homes & Gardens though.

It’s in need of repairs and prettying up. And I’m the girl to do it. For no pay, by the way. Because it needs it. Because it needs to be done.

The reward is making a place the best it can be and leaving it better than I found it. It’s what I do. Places and spaces. It’s who I am. It’s what I do. The way some people are totally passionate about animals. Or teaching. Or sports. It’s their calling. Mine’s places and spaces.

I digress … though on a noteworthy mention.

The Gaps. Not the Stores.

The gaps around the swamp cooler in the kitchen window made of plexiglass are just one ailment. “Easily addressed” compared to others.

Moreover, needing immediate addressing. Winter’s fast approaching. The drafts around the swamp cooler are … well … lemme put it this way. Cool breezes are refreshing. In July. In autumn and winter, not so much.

Pencil pointing out plexiglass gaps

Pencil pointing out plexiglass gaps

 

Uh, an "unseamingly" sight

Uh, an “unseamingly” sight

 

Old silicone "sealant"

Old silicone “sealant” drooping away

 

How say can you see -- the useless sealant!

How say can you see — the useless sealant!

Danged Dominoes!

Ya start some easy Sunday project. Say, replacing weatherstripping in the kitchen. Next thing ya know, you’re paintin’ the shoe damn exterior of the house! It’s the Snowball Effect of Home Repairs. A Murphy’s Law. Or, as I call it, the Danged Dominoes.

Back to the breezy gaps around the swamp cooler.

 

I yank out the old silicone formerly “sealing” the unit. Here’s a start:

sucky old silicone

sucky old silicone

That actually isn’t in the original plan. Removing that much of the old sealant.

Neither is removing this pane of plexiglass, sitting in the middle this here chair:

There’s a lot of things I am. For better or worse. And a lot of things I’m not. And uber-high on that Not List is “Shoddy Crafter.” I do nothing half-assed or {gasp!} badly. It’s not in my nature. I’d need a lobotomy to even go a little bit there.

So buh-bye more-old-silicone-than-I-intend-to-strip-out! It’s necessary to do the job right. And well.

Silicone Secrets. Silicone Surprise.

I must pause to say: Clear silicone is not the same as regular caulking that you’ve probably put around a tub. Silicone is an animal of a different color. It is, I discover, both a blessing and a curse. You gotta know how to work with it.

It’s imperative to note: I did not go into silicone blindly. I did my homework. Read and researched — A LOT — online. (Again, it’s who I am, it’s what I do!)

I would never recommend using silicone sealant without knowing the very basics. (I may blog on those another time.) Otherwise, it’s a small disaster waiting to happen. An unsightly disaster.

Onward

I make no bones about it. I’m a silicone novice. In fact, before this project, I don’t recall using – or needing — before.

Like I said, I rip out all the old silicone “sealing” this here swamp cooler:

kinda high up there. for a short person.

kinda high up there. for a short person.

Gotta be done to do the job right. I also remove this plexiglass pane. Not in the original plan. For same reason.

Oh say can you see -- the pane?

Oh say can you see — the pane?

I then proceed to reset the pane. With silicone that I’ve never used before.

From atop a chair. Precisely this chair:

Have a seat. Or a ladder.

Have a seat. Or a ladder.

 

A pub chair. That spins.

Because I don’t have a ladder.

Is a spinning pub chair used to reach high places safe? Hell no!

But I do it for two reasons.

One, not gonna spend (can’t afford) the big bucks for a ladder for a one-time project.

Two, I’m small, light and agile. And nimble on my feet. Extraordinarily so. I was called “monkey” in school, a play on my last name, nonetheless highly fitting. In high school, I did the balance beam. I can STILL climb high up into trees like nobody’s business!

A swiveling pub chair does not a safe ladder make. But there are occasions for allowances and this is one.

Nimble is One Thing

Being short is another.

On the spinning pub stool, I can’t friggin’ reach even halfway across the swamp cooler! And I ain’t gonna buy an $80 ladder just to do so!

So I’m stuck. With silicone. Unable to go where I really want to go with it.

Yet where I MUST go, I can.

I reinsert the plexiglass pane. Gaps and all.

And carefully … mindfully … slowly squeeze the silicone from its tube. Note: Not using a caulking gun. At a most awkward angle. Not quite hanging upside down from a tree like a monkey.

Say … like trying to tie your left shoe flat on your back with the left knee pinned to the ground.

Awkward’s one word for it.

Painting. A picture.

Sorry. I don’t mean to ramble. Just painting a picture. Silicone demands above all adeptness. Or at least a willingness to learn. Attention. Focus. A bowl of soapy water and a rag.

And above all swiftness.

Sorta hard to accomplish on a swiveling bar stool with work areas fairly outta reach.

Yet I do it!

Yes. I do it.

With a bowl of soapy water  and plastic knife from fast-food joint set on the swamp cooler …  paper towels and a rag swollen in my back jeans pockets … my cell phone so to take these pics in the front … a prayer in my heart for safety atop the swiveling pub stool … everything I read about silicone-caulking in my brain … the focus of a laser light in my mind and German determination of a “crafty person”  … I lay the beads.

Bit by bit. Section by section.

Until the entire plexiglass pane is solidly reset and sealed with thick gooey silicone.

Am literally juuuuust able to stretch and reach — atop the spinning pub chair! — in under that upper aluminum frame to reattach plexi-pane. After having removed the old silicone first. Fact: You can’t apply new silicone on top of old. Won’t adhere. Not well. Or at all.

plexiglass back in place

plexiglass back in place

 

Yes! Sealed!

Yes! Sealed!

 

Suuuuper sealed!

Suuuuper sealed!

Ditto the pane on the other side of swamp cooler.

Get a grip! Awright!

Get a grip! Awright!

The Before Shot:

How say can you see -- the useless sealant!

How say can you see — the useless sealant!

Proud Puppy!

I am one! One proud puppy!

Is it the silicone of an amateur? Yes.

But given what I’m working with — or not, i.e., a proper ladder, a short stature, no assistance, first-time “silicone-er” — I gotta say, I’m pleased with the results.

I’m pleased and proud.

This project’s not entirely complete; another post, another day.

But I will say: Yesterday brought a test to my workmanship:

A powerful thunderstorm.

Not a drop leaked through my seals!

Silicone, She Said

Silicone, I said, is a different animal from regular caulking. A creature of its own.

Turns out, I discovered, that I’ve got a feel for it. An undiscovered knack. A natural / intuitive understanding and respect for the product.

Am I a practiced professional with it?! Hardly!!! Not. Even. Close!

But the (impending) northern winds no longer blow around my swamp cooler.

It withstood the test of the thunderstorm.

AND it doesn’t look like some novice just slapped in on stupidly willy-nilly and clueless about silicone’s nature.

A small pat on the back. Just no sticky silicone on the palm please. 🙂