So, dewberries are a real thing! Not some Bath & Bodyworks invention like I'd previously believed. I have a friend who made a list called "40 Before 40"--all this stuff she wants to do before she turns 40. On that list is "Try 40 new kinds of cheese." Perhaps I should create a bucket list of sorts and "Try 20 new kinds of berries."
Things continue to devolve this summer. In my most recent brilliant move, I passed out rollers and brushes to Team Testosterone (+ friend and Ace) and gave them a new bucket of primer. "Paint the entire surface of this shed," I explained and I gave them a fast tutorial on how to paint with the grain of the wood and dip their brushes and scrape without wasting paint and making a huge mess.
Then Mr. D called, asking me to meet him for lunch. Against my better judgment I agreed to meet him and left the boys to their job.
I returned an hour later to find:
a) my house full of paint-covered boys
b) the sink full of white water and Ace lamenting that soap and water did NOT clean up the brushes or people
c) my nice red dishtowels covered in white oil based primer
d) the new brushes ruined
I didn't swear out loud. I pointed out the rag cupboard (conveniently located next to the utility sink by the door). I suggested the can of mineral spirits in the garage might be the best way to clean up. I sighed heavily at the paint-stained clothes and dishtowels. The new nicknames for Mr. B and Mr. G are "Speckle" and "Splotch."
Ace and I cleaned up most of the mess and then I learned:
e) they only painted 3/4 of the shed before running out of primer. Because they wasted most of the primer by having a paint fight.
So I had to go back to the hardware store for more primer and brushes. I think I'd have come out ahead giving the boys money to get lost for a day buying rounds of miniature golf and ice cream and done the darn job myself.
I'm learning a lot this summer. Ace is my first youngest brother hired, and he's not real good taking the reins, which is why he didn't STOP the paint war when it got going. All of the other boys have been older or oldest brothers and would have felt comfortable nipping it in the bud. I'm going to have to be very clear about perimeters with him and the rest of the tribe.
Everyone under the age of 11 lost painting privileges. (Don't worry--there are plenty of other useful jobs to keep them employed!)
I woke up the other morning to the most lovely misty sky. I walked outside barefoot and relished the perfect temperature, the birdsong, the solitude.
Here's "Splotch" sitting on the couch. Everywhere we go people ask, "Oh, have you been painting?" And that's when the kids have their shirts ON. I'm going to have to scrub them down with the rest of the mineral spirits because oil-based primer does NOT wear off.