April 10, 2007

Scrubbing, caulking, spackling, and painting

termite damageTermite damage

I spent the day scrubbing, caulking, spackling, and painting. El Jefe built some big wooden shelves for the garage a few months ago. He got inspired after making the chicken coop (which still has no roof − long story) and decided that he is a carpenter. Hooray!

The wood was sopping wet (fresh) so we couldn't paint the shelves at the time. I made him get untreated wood because the treated wood also comes wet, dripping with who-knows-what-kind of poisonous chemicals. I can't stand to even be in the same room with treated wood. My head starts pounding, my chest hurts, and I feel like I can't breathe. My fingers go numb when I touch treated wood so I didn't want him sawing and drilling holes in that stuff and breathing the fumes.

messy garageSo, guess what happened in the three or four months that the shelves have been waiting for paint? TERMITES! Keep in mind that our garage walls, floor, and ceiling are concrete. The garage is surrounded by a concrete walkway. There is nothing to attract them except those few pieces of wood in the shelves. Yes, they ate away part of one leg and were working their way up. I'll never hear the end of this.

They took everything off the shelf to try to clear out the termite tunnels and paint the shelves. Man, we have a lot of junk! I said "Why not paint the wall behind the shelf, too, before you put the shelves back and put everything on them." El Jefe loved that idea and Frank was just shivering with excitement at the thought of painting. Everyone who has ever watched someone pick up a paintbrush thinks they are a painter.

messy garageThe problem is that everyone wants to paint but no one wants to do the preparation work, at least not to my (high) standards. They were already stirring the paint and picking out brushes while we still had mud tunnels on the walls. Jeesh!

So I started scrubbing the termite tunnels off the walls. Why didn't I let the maid do it? Maid? What maid? Apparently she only wanted to earn some money for Semana Santa. She was going to take off last Thursday and Friday for the holidays, but she didn't show up last Wednesday either.

Monday she called about 9 a.m. to say that the bus was late. Well, actually she called and hung up before I answered so I would call her back. But then she never came at all. She didn't show up today either.

We heard from a neighbor that she even told her cousin that she liked working here and that we were nice people. What?! I don't get it! I am so disappointed in her. I thought that she was more mature and responsible than the others. I guess not.
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