WASHING, SANDING, BUT THE PAINT CAN WON’T OPEN – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Prompt


I had a really bad case of asthma last night and finding a position in which to sleep left me a bit tired this morning. But having finally convinced my lungs to breathe rather than wheeze, I got up and decided I’d better make a head start on what I — for some obscure reason — had volunteered to do. It was a small enough job and I figured I should “Be useful.”

Paint the parts of the door that were “left over” after we installed the most recent door handle.

It looks just like the old door handle, but unlike the old one, isn’t broken. Not exactly the same size, either. It is a wee bit smaller, though it is otherwise very similar. It certainly works a lot better than the older one ever did, even when it was new. My job was to wash the door, sand the area to be painted, then paint. It went pretty well until I realized I could get the top of the paint can open. I’m not the powerhouse I was in my youth.

I had swept the door area clean a few days ago, but since then about 8 million new insects had moved back into the crevices. Mostly spiders, but also some weird-looking puffy things and other crawlies.

I’m not very fond of crawlies, but I have learned to cope with them when I have no other choice. Garry joined the party, which was nice because he has a couple of inches on me, but between the two of us, we couldn’t do the top of the door. We are too short.

We did the best we could with brooms and dust mops, but it didn’t get washed. Everything else, we washed at least twice and if we’d done it three times more, I’m pretty sure it would still be dirty.

It’s amazing how filthy a front door can get. If we had a hose in the front of the house, I could have hosed it down once in a while, but we don’t. It’s one of the broken things that hasn’t gotten fixed and may never get fixed. I have begun to accept the truth: not everything gets fixed. Not now, not eventually. Some stuff just stays broken because it’s too expensive to fix, or it’s just not up at the top of your broken-thing prompt list. We got some stuff done — even got the gutters cleared, more or less. But the chimney is still very much in need of pointing and the deck has been waiting more than a decade for some Thompsons’ water repellent.

We are in a race to see which crumbles first: us or the house.

The amount needing to be done greatly exceeds our finances or physical strength by a magnitude of at least 10.

Every now and again, we play the lottery. Not often, just when I feel I need 24 hours to dream of wealth beyond imagining. I don’t want much. Just enough money to get a house that is more suitable for us. Without stairs. Easy maintenance floors. Modern heating and cooling. Not so many trees. Not nearly as many trees. And a driveway that can’t double as the bunny slope for a small ski resort.

I also got back the results of my blood tests. I tried to read through them, I had to look up each result on Google. At first, it looked like I was a goner. But you don’t read each result. You sort of have to look at the entire picture and when I got through doping out each level — the highs and the lows — I figured out why in the end, he told me to get Vitamin D3  and take two every other day.

I’m a little bit anemic and I have the kind of vitamin deficiencies people who don’t have a normal stomach tend to get. Then there’s the spine, heart, arthritis,  fibromyalgia, and asthma. What the report really said is “She’s one tough old bird. Give her vitamins.”

And I’ve been taking my vitamins and remarkably, I’m beginning to feel a little better. It turns out that anemia makes you really tired.

I always want medical reports to say “Do this, do that and you’ll be young again.” They never say that. They never suggest that you’ll be younger, thinner, or springier in your step.

But I’m alive enough and there are plenty of reasons I might not be. Strong enough — with help — to wash that door!

Now it’ll wait a few more days to get it done. It is beautiful outside.

On the next beautiful day, for sure.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

27 thoughts on “WASHING, SANDING, BUT THE PAINT CAN WON’T OPEN – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. Well, we had at the front door. As you said, it looks better for our efforts. The dirtiest part, no surprise, was the doggy door. Feelthy.

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  2. We have soooo much painting that needs to be done, inside and outside. I’ve offered to help, but hubby says he can do it himself. When? Another 5 years? Pretty soon I’m just going to hang the pictures on those old, dirty walls and call it good. As for our chimney, we never did get it repointed last year, and winter will be here again soon. I sure hope that chimney doesn’t spring a leak. Feel better, Marilyn. If you run out of vitamins, let me know – I have a whole cabinet full of them. Sometimes they actually help.

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  3. ‘ It turns out that anemia makes you really tired.’ I do hope the vitamins will help! For the paint can, try putting a screw driver gently where the opening should be and pounding gently with a hammer — around and around the top. The paint has probably dried from the last time it was open, and just needs to be loosened.

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    1. Except for diarrhea, I’m fine. But I wonder if a mild kind of anemia may not be “normal” for me. Every time they put me on “iron” supplements, I overdose on it very quickly. Inside a couple of weeks, I’m way over the top.

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      1. It’s hard to get a balance there….iron tablets can be very hard on the stomach….check the inside of your eyelids. If they are red you know your hemoglobin is up. When they are pale pop an iron pill for two or three days than back off.

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  4. Incredible isn’t it?
    Rose gives me a little container full of vitamins every day. They are mixed in with my Diabetes 2 meds and High Blood Pressure meds. There’s about 30 of them and I don’t know what half of them do. I just pop ’em down with some juice.
    So far so good.

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    1. I went through a period when I gave Garry and I bottles of vitamins a day. We used to wonder if we could actually EAT after all those pills. But you know, for the years we took them, we never got sick. Not once. After we both stopped working, I couldn’t afford them anymore …. and you need fewer of them as you get older anyway.

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  5. I have the same kind of anemia, Marilyn, I was born with it. It’s an inborn, , allergic to Iron type if anemia, sort of like trying to correct left handedness by only wearing a glove on that hand.
    If I take almost any amount of Iron, for any length of time, my ankles swell, or I start to itch uncontrollably. Neither is good.

    I didn’t know you could take D3 for anemia, but I do know it’s good for winter depression, hormonal balance, and hair loss. Good stuff.

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    1. Well, it is related to the iron family and since iron has overall, not done well for me at all, we’ll see if this works. But I’ve been slightly anemic since I was a kid. I’m either at the bottom of normal or actively anemic. Right now, I’m definitely anemic … but who knows about next week?

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  6. I can vouch for the screwdriver to open the paint tin although I have not had to resort to hitting it with a hammer. I decided on Tuesday to clean my outside windows instead of paying someone. That worked out OK I was able to reach all with the aid of a long handled squeegee. What I did not appreciate was the sneaky creepy crawlie that somehow got inside my track pants and bit me after I’d already finished the job. I don’t know what it was but I have a red itchy patch on my leg. However, I’m not dead so I guess it wasn’t one of the bad ones.

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        1. We have two very poisonous spiders. Garry got bitten by one and it took him over a month to pull himself together. We also have poisonous snakes, but you never see them. They live in the woods and eat rodents. North of us are the cruel biting flies, but they tend to live further north — New Hampshire and Maine, mostly. The biting (Fire) ants are south of the border. Yay! But we have wolf spiders and they are enough to scare you to death, even without fangs.

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            1. Except EVERYONE knows it does. These little spiders are great hitch-hikers. They get into cars and travel. The doctors all know about them. The moment she saw that huge dark grey mass on his leg, she said “Brown Recluse.” I said I was told they don’t exist. She laughed then gave him antibiotics and muscle relaxants and told him NOT to drive.

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  7. I was found to be horribly deficient in Vitamin D by my new doc four years ago (The previous one was singlemindedly focused on my blood pressure and weight)… which shouldn’t be a surprise since I’m almost never in the sun. Some doctors seem to think you only need blood tests if you’re on some medication where it needs to be monitored… but they make perfect sense for seemingly healthy people as well.

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    1. This is how they find out what might be going wrong. OF COURSE you don’t get enough sunlight. Most of us don’t because we all work indoors. The lack of D3 helps level out iron levels (taking iron tends to really screw you up so they dodge around it). It also helps correct anemia because it improves the amount of red blood cells. And it’s so easy to get … like in any drug store. No Rx needed.

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  8. Washed windows this week–on a 55 degree sunny day. Whew! Colder and windy the next day, so I bought Megabucks and Powerball lottery tickets (do this a couple times a year). Should we win, we’ll buy or build a little cabin along coast (one floor/no more stairs) and set up trust funds for the kids and grands. Let’s all keep dreaming… ❤ xo

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