Spraypaint and pickle-barrels.

June 8, 2010

I just drove half an hour each way to Valparaiso, IN, and back, to buy an empty 55-gallon plastic pickle barrel from a guy named Bebo.  It was so big that it wouldn’t fit in my trunk, so I had to stash it in the backseat of my car.


And what did you do today?

It rained all day today, from when I woke up for my morning constitutional at 6:30 AM, until, well.  It looks to be still raining, right now.

So it was not a Run Around Outside And Have Bicycle Adventures Day, nor was it a Frolic In Washington Park Day, or a Go Fishing Now That I’ve Got My Marina Parking Sticker Day.  It was a Stay Inside Day.

Which was fine.  I had planned on that. Today was the day I was going to PAINT THE KITCHEN.

Well. Half the kitchen.  You recall from my earlier entry what those 60s-looking green cabinets looked like.  Pretty unseemly.  I emptied the ones I’d previously cleaned of their contents, and cleaned the other ones today.  There are three doors under the sink that have not been cleaned in many, many years; I didn’t even start with de-rusting the insides of them.  That can wait until I’ve finished the rest of the kitchen, because I don’t intend to store anything down there.  It’s just a little bit too gross.

But, I did half the kitchen today, changing it from this:


to this:


Obviously, you can see that there’s detailing and cleanup to do, and I’ll do that on the second go-round tomorrow, once I get the other side of the kitchen, which has fewer cabinets because of the stove.


Mind you, I took all the cooking equipment out of the kitchen before I started painting, but since I didn’t paint on that side of the room, I didn’t do anything to the microwave, say, or the toaster oven.  I’ll move them tomorrow.

And no, I’m not painting the oven; we’re getting a new one, and I’d have to be a particularly limited-edition flavor of stupid to apply spraypaint to anything with a pilot light.

I’m pretty new to this whole home improvement thing, but I know you aren’t supposed to inhale spraypaint, and I certainly wasn’t interested in getting it on my body, or on my clothes (dingy though they were).  So I present my protection system, so that you, Gentle Reader, may choose to emulate me in a similar situation:


Rubber gloves, anti-dust respirator mask, goggles, and a disposable plastic poncho, one of several I collected from Wash U’s rather damp Commencement ceremony.  See?  My education is already coming to bear in a practical way in the real world.

Oh! Right.  The barrel.  Why did I buy a pickle barrel from a man named Bebo?  Well, first of all, it was 9 bucks, which was a steal.  Oh, okay, and it’s for the compost tumbler.  A commercially-made one will run you about $140, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay that much for something I can make with a power drill with a borer attachment, a coupla sawhorses, and a length of pvc or rebar or some-such.  As well as a giant pickle barrel!

So I hunted around for pickle-barrels (because I didn’t want an oil drum) on Craigslist, and sure enough, in Valparaiso, about half an hour away, a man was selling them for $9 apiece; he’d gotten about a score of them somehow (I didn’t ask), and I called to reserve one.  Bebo, who turned out to be quite a nice guy, set one aside for me, and when I got there, he told me what they’d been previously used for, which was transporting Coke.  that is, the beverage.  The barrels had a sort of phosphoric-acid cola smell to them, and I was fine with that.  So I bought one!  It was enormous.  Like I said, it scarcely fit in the car.

When I got it home, it went in the basement, on top of our little inflatable dinghy.  I love that word, dinghy.


So that’s the scoop for today.

And, oo.  I’d like to introduce a mechanic for this blog, before I forget:

Introducing… The Beach Glass Counter.

I found this old glass container in a kitchen cabinet, and it was a little too big, and its rubber seal a little too grody (even after I cleaned it) to hold food, so I decided it would serve as a kind of measurement device for my time here, a relic of my morning beachwalks.

Every morning (except when it rains, like today), I will wake up and walk along the beach for about two hours, collecting as many pieces of lake-washed beach glass as I can.  I will take photographs of the Beach Glass Counter every time I collect more beach glass, and post the BGC at the end of each day.  Right now, there are so few pieces of beach glass in the BGC that you can scarcely see them.



June 8th beach glass count: 5 pieces

Gentle Reader, I’ll see you tomorrow.



One Response to “Spraypaint and pickle-barrels.”

  1. […] I have not yet built my enormous, terrifyingly wonderful PICKLE BARREL COMPOSTER (see this post).  I happily took her up on her offer; I think that probably means I have to give her […]

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