Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dangling. Dangerously.

No wonder I saved painting the vaulted walls until nearly last. I fear the ladder.

I've been on this ladder a ton times as a step ladder. I've painted the inside of my whole house on this step ladder. It is a handy extension ladder that has a step ladder feature when folded in half, it extends out to a full size ladder. It has enormous bolts that lock the ladder in place for safety. It also folds away nicely and stores in the garage in about a 4ft space. It is a heavy duty homeowner ladder.

Something is entirely foreboding about this ladder when used as an extension ladder. I'm a visual person, so I see this ladder and I think back to all the shows I've watched on the home improvement networks..."have I ever seen anyone on those shows on a ladder higher than about 6 feet?" Obviously, "no", I do not ever recall anyone being filmed on a high ladder.

I seriously contemplate calling in a professional painter, because I'm thinking that it would be entirely worth paying whatever a professional would charge to finish painting this wall. That thought is quickly erased when I think about the embarrassment I would feel calling on a professional for "cutting in" a wall that is 99% complete.

It literally takes me two hours to arrange this ladder so I feel confident enough to climb up about 14 feet to "cut in" the line between the ceiling and the wall. I shake it, I slide it, I try to wedge it from sliding on the hardwood floors. In my mind I'm calculating the slope of the ladder, my weight, the weight of the ladder, the distance the ladder could fall...none of these physics I actually "know" it is more like a guestimation of what could happen.

I take two steps up, then two more, and realize, I don't have paint or a brush for that matter and how am I going to hold a paint container, a brush, and the ladder? I gather my brush, a small paint container, change my Ugg slippers into sneakers, I say a quick prayer, and slowly make my way up the ladder thinking all the while...thank God my husband is working upstairs, Hopefully, he will hear me fall and call 911.

I don't think I mentioned the time I actually fell from a ladder, thus my fear. I had no fear until my fear was "learned" so to speak. I was hanging some blinds in a previous house when I slipped, tripped, lost my grip and I don't really know what happened but I hit the floor square on my bum. I only actually fell three feet off the step ladder and I don't know what made me fall in the first place, I just know it hurt and I know I was all alone.

Now that the one vaulted wall is 99.9% complete, the day is done. I could wring out my socks from nervous sweat and I need a shower because I smell of fear. It is almost time to start on the adjacent wall. I'll let you know how it goes.

Here's what I discovered today...
Being on a ladder is no joke, either have someone hold it or be a witness to your stupidity.

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