Sunday, May 25, 2008
Insert masculine laugh here
I'm talking about the laugh made by Tim Allan in "Home Improvement".
I have owned a handful of houses in my adult life. With home ownership comes power tools. But today I discovered a tool I'd never owned before. (still don't actually, as this one belongs to my brother in law.) It is a called a "Pressure Washer". Is it ever a ton of fun! I know lots of people use these every day, but this was a new thing for me! Warning, if you are prone to obsessive compulsive behavior, a pressure washer is NOT for you! Why? Because if you touch it, you will not be able to put it down. But I didn't know that today until AFTER I touched it.
So this thing has been sitting in our garage for a couple of months, waiting to go to said BIL's house. I had suggested to Dean that I might use it sometime to wash the floors in the 3 season porch (aka the puppy room) before our big party. Then today we were at Home Depot (I swear we're there every Saturday and Sunday morning!) and I was eying new cushions for the lawn furniture. I asked Dean "Do you suppose I could just take the old ones and spray 'em down with that pressure washer thingy?"
That was just the beginning.
When we got home, Dean pulled the thing out of the garage and showed me how to start it. He turned it on and started spraying off an old railroad tie at the base of our front deck, wiggling the wand back and forth, making marks all over in the wood. It only took me about 5 seconds to see that he was doing it all wrong of course. I took the wand from him, adjusted the spray, and proceeded to follow nice straight lines down the length of the board. As I did so, images of other similar objects came flashing into my head. Things that have been yucky looking for years that I could spray down and make new again.
The 20 year old railroad ties now all bright and shiny new looking, I headed for the back deck, lugging hoses and the thingy along with behind me. I removed all the deck furniture from the back deck, threw away all the junk flower pots and other junkie looking items that have collected back there, and turned on the machine. It is amazing to me how dirt collects over the years...on wood! Even green mossy/slimy stuff. I meticulously sprayed down each and every board, revealing brand new boards that had been hidden underneath the gunk. It occurred to me that this was MUCH more fun that stripping the wallpaper in my kitchen, a project that still sits nearly, but not quite, completed.
With a deck that now looked new, I accidentally aimed for one of the rocks on the retaining wall. WOW!!! When you spray ROCKS they turn all kinds of colors! I sprayed 10 or so of 'em before I realized the pressure was going to make the wall fall apart and that I'd better not do that anymore. Instead I grabbed those lawn chair cushions and started spraying those. They do look better, but they do not look good, and so I'll have to continue to work on Dean about getting new ones before the party. The furniture itself though, now THAT stuff looks great! And here I was thinking about throwing it all in a dumpster! I even sprayed the cement steps in back, making the cement look like it was just poured today. Interesting.
Next came the front deck. This area has been bugging me for quite some time. Somehow it is a collection spot for anything that gets emptied out of vehicles, or stuff from the yard that doesn't yet have home. Basically it is "flat surface disease" that has struck a very large, outdoor surface! It drives me nuts when people come over and on their way to the door they're walking past coolers, boots, a crappy looking grill, old empty planting pots and a throw rug that has been tossed out the door because a dog puked on it. So I grabbed the wheelbarrow and hauled away all the shed-worthy items and tossed the rest.
I sprayed down the cement step and discovered it looked better dirty. (oops) Under the dirt were splotches of paint, and bleached looking areas in the shape of paint cans. I sprayed down every board on the deck just like I'd done on the back, and just like the back it looks awesome! (it also needs to be re-stained. LOL) And about those rugs...the machine works great on those too, and they're now hanging to dry over the railing. I so wish I'd thought to take before and after pictures. It really is amazing. Later Dean and I were headed for some dinner, and I told him, "We need to get one of those machines!" He said there was no need to, since I'd now sprayed down every possible item. Little does he know what that thing could do inside the garage!