Diaries - Travel - Photos

Previous Diary -


A Painterly Week (or two)

April 28-May 9
written May 2+
Dear Diary, Friends, Family, Others-with-excess-time,

Did you ever have to wash your house?  In Bavaria, God's continuous rain did that for us pretty well, but here in dry Fresno, dirt and dust piles up on the outside and houses begin to look shabby.  This leads to an apparently annual ritual called "power washing", a house chore kind of like mowing the grass or raking fall leaves.  Many guys get their own power-washers and are proud to explain the benefits of one machine versus another.  Some. like me, say: "This is a chore to hire out."  But to whom?

Angie, our real-estate agent and all around go-to resource for house help, recommended Benny. He came over and made us a reasonable offer, considering our two-story house has a fair amount of ladder work involved.  Benny asked if we were just cleaning to clean, or were we cleaning to repaint, and I don't think we had ever thought about it.  He said cleaning may wash off parts of the old paint, which it did, so we found ourselves with facing a completely unplanned paint job. 

Benny jumped right on it and has now been prepping the house for the last week (as of 5/3).  Marianne and I just marvel at what-have-we-done-now as we face color decisions, repair decisions, how-to-live-in-a-house-during-painting decisions, etc.  At least this should be the last house exterior we will ever have painted!  We will keep these diaries informed on progress.
Power washing is dramatic, but our old screens lost a fair fraction of their color.
Here is evidence of Marianne and Benny's color-decision process.
Stripped of shutters and screens, the place looks bare.
Speaking of Marianne and painting, we are getting closer to having a working art studio out back.  The old play-house, now officially called "The Hut",  has water and sewer lines for the wash basin, so we can see the time when it can actually be occupied.  Of course, having done some of the work there in 90-degree weather, I do wonder how anyone will survive 110F in the oven-like little Hut.  We'll see.
Our easiest painting event this week was Thursday's "Art Hop", a Fresno activity where local galleries open in the evening, serve cookies and wine, and try to lure new patrons.  This is our second Hop, and I believe it is mostly an opportunity for local artists to gossip with each other, rather than sell to wealthy patrons, but it is fun.  This time we walked to A Sense of Place, a local gallery that combines display and workshop space.  Thursday's show included a series of photographs and paintings showing different takes on the same local landscapes.  Nice work.

After all the work reviewing paintings and pictures, we went across the street to Dusty Buns, a small "bistro" that is the nearest restaurant to our home.  Their offerings are not large or fancy, but always imaginative and we had excellent tacos, salad, and soup.  We will for sure bring visitors here, if and when we have any!  (hint, hint)
d140502_02_garage.jpg Friday was more Hut and house-painting work.  It will be a race to see who finishes first.  We also got word that the plans for our garage expansion were approved by the city "over the counter", so suddenly we can tell our contractor Gary to start work.  Another house-related challenge, but the sooner started, the sooner over.

On Saturday we avoided too much home and garden work by making it a market day.  Here are pictures and notes from our day.
First we hit the nearby farm market for fresh fruit and veggies. 
Then we went to the Fresno State University Farm Market, the outlet for agricultural student work, from wine to sausage.
After lunch, we decided to take Mamo on even more market visits along the Fresno county Fruit Trail. We started at the Centerville Fruit Station
and then moved on to the Cedar View Winery.  Owners Jim and Debbie Van Haun have specialized on grapes from equally hot and dry vineyards of southern France and Spain. The wine was OK and the location great for a pleasant stop, sampling or not.
Dinner was at the nearby Schoolhouse Restaurant and Tavern, decent food, but no pictures (too dark and I was too disorganized).  While we were just reaching dessert, friends Angie and Tom Hyatt came in to start dinner.  Fresno is a smaller place than one would think!

Sunday was somewhat more relaxed, at least until our birthday dinner for Babs and Ruben.  Mamo had invited the whole crowd to dinner at Smuggler's restaurant, an old-time favorite of hers, and the fact that we were the only table being served worked out OK, since the kids (and adults) could be themselves.  Nice party.

I added another week to "Painters", because we are not done yet!

After over a week of preparation, the house looked strange.   Outside, all the windows were covered so, inside, we could no longer look out.  It made us seem like we were preparing for a hurricane.  Now (Wednesday - 7th) we are entering the paint phase.  One day to cover the whole place with primer (except for screens, a tedious task Benny is not looking forward to.)
The ladder work scares me!
Meanwhile, the Art Hut floor went in and locks were installed.  It looked pretty good, even if I do say so myself.  Now the resident artist is moving in for real.

As the days go by, the house reappears.
Outside and green door sample
I'll end this now and move on to the next diary installment - house, luau, Mother's Day, and the (currently) unknown.  Write if you get a chance.

John and Marianne


Diaries - Travel - Photos

Previous Diary - Next Diary