05 January 2016

In Every Job That Must Be Done There Is An Element Of Fun. You Find The Fun, And Snap, The Job’s A Game

There’s this product in Costa Rica called Duranza. Think varnish. I suppose that in some areas of Costa Rica home maintenance presents only a minor challenge due to a cool, dry climate. Perhaps that maintenance issue is similar to parts of the U.S. 

In North Texas we’d semi-annually clean gutters, hose-off window screens, etc. And occasionally even a brick home requires areas of new paint – but not often. Well, living about six kilometers from the salty Pacific, less than 10-degrees north of the equator, up a mountain with wind (and now with dust in the dry season), home maintenance becomes an entirely different game. 

In this climate, just as one can sit and literally watch the grass grow, one can also watch the sun leach-out the wood’s moisture and color, not to mention its original coats of Duranza. It’s freaky. And our home is made of two things: concrete and wood. Wooden ceilings, doors, cabinets, eaves, and window trim. Obsessive-compulsive gal that I am, I made a quarterly little to-do list. Hah! Quarterly? Did I really believe that we’d only need to perform these little to-dos quarterly? Clipping shrubberies is a weekly task. And don’t get me started on weeding the majority of our 1.65 acres.

So we all know how Rusty hates my staining-of-wood technique. We’ve discussed this previously. But Duranza isn’t stain. Comes in a can like paint, which in my world means: brush it on and walk away. However, unlike paint and stains, Duranza is very, very liquid. Low viscosity, Rusty would tell me. One could place a single drop at the top of a window’s wooden trim, then just stand back and watch that drop, carried by gravity, hit the painted window sill five feet below. Whoops

Nevertheless, while Rusty was in Texas in early December (and I was alone for four glorious days eating hummus and things that come in bags), I vowed to re-seal every piece of wood surrounding all 13 windows and doors. Do I have to say it? Duranza drips were everywhere . . .  including brush smears along the sides of the windows on the painted walls here at Mil Colinas. Happily, that’s what touch-up paint is for; and in our contract to purchase the home we were granted a minimum of one gallon of touch-up paint for every color inside and outside the home. Thanks, Lubos.

So today I touched-up/painted-over every tiny drop of spilled/dripped/smeared Duranza with our terra cotta exterior house paint (Rusty would say Wheat Beer). Looks great. I’ve come to know this about Rusty: if I screw it up and if it involves paint, stain, varnish, or any canned home improvement product, the man will not jump in to correct the error of my I-couln’t-wait-until-you-were-ready-darling ways. He’s stubborn like that; and no one knows why.

Some home owners will never know the joy of waking at 5:30 to touch-up exterior paint before the blinding sun hits the exterior walls of their home . . . while the temperatures are still cool enough to paint around all four sides of 13 doors and windows, plus the window sills. 

Some home owners near us have stone trim surrounding their windows. They will never need to touch-up the boo-boos from an improper Duranza job. Though I must say, John, if this paint came in Royal Stewart you might want to rethink your entire exterior color. Stone indeed solves the Duranza drip issue, but it doesn’t solve the lizard poo issue . . . so you stone-owner folks aren't missing out on all of the fun.

Speaking of fun . . . my laptop died. The laptop containing 291 of the best-ever movies and . . . the last it-lives-on-the-computer-and-not-in-some-nebulous-cloud version of the entire Adobe Suite (meaning Illustrator, PhotoShop, InDesign, PremierPro). I’m still devastated. What this means is that I can no longer edit photos. Sure, there’s stuff on the Internet to perform these tasks, but I am (was) a loyal Adobe gal. I could operate InDesign in my sleep . . . teach lessons. So even cropping a photo now, though not difficult, reminds me that I’ve lost my true love: Adobe. 

Anyway, here are a few pics from the new year’s eve’s fireworks show on Samara beach. No, those really spectacular images aren’t exactly what we saw – they’re what I did with this candy-ass filter provided by some company’s photo editing software. Nevertheless, you get the gist of a great show . . . and lo que hay, so enjoy.