Tips, Accepting Advice, Epiphanies

Since I always try to turn potential negatives into positives, upon becoming a single mother, I took to heart and embraced the art of learning handywoman skills I previously seriously lacked — how to drill, hammer, measure, prep, sand, paint, stain, refinish, scrub, saw, sand some more and repaint not to mention sorting out what tools to use. I did start with a low voltage power drill and realized that my ambition increased so I bought a real heavy duty one and enjoy savoring the fruits of my labor. Given my ADD like behavior, flitting from task to task — both work and personal ones — many projects are ongoing.

Some months ago I started filling in holes and patching some bumps and lumps in the walls of the stairway and upper floor hall prior to my plan to paint it during the depths of winter. Swaths of white plaster and brownish wood fill in various sizes and consistencies have been the decor ever since. A few weeks ago a neighbor friend happened by for a cup of coffee and took a look around at all the changes in the house since she had last been inside. When she saw the often very lumpy repairs and patches on the walls she suggested when getting ready to prep for painting I sponge with hot water instead of sand. She told me that the sanding would raise a lot of dust which would exacerbate allergies, especially with winter coming and the house being more closed up. I tucked that suggestion in the back of my mind. Today, as I happened by a splotch of patches, conveniently with a small bucket of very hot clean water and a dry clean rag on hand, I stopped. Put down the bucket. Dropped the rag into the hot water, gingerly squeezed it of the very hot water and scrubbed on the drywall and wood fill parts. Lo and behold, IT WORKED! Now I almost drool with anticipation at the time I’ll take to just tackle the whole project of flattening the plaster and fill, which is arguably about 100 x what I did in the few minutes I happened by the wall.

Now, what does this have to do with a blog about dog training? Well, it’s this. Before I got distracted into a frenzy about cleaning my wall, I happened to have a talk with a client I had worked with months ago who was calling to reorder some bully sticks. She mentioned remembering something I had said during our session with her unruly adolescent dog that she had completely forgotten about until the situation came up and, lo and behold, such was her conversion to positive training, she remembered the advice, implemented it and had total success. And since the success was a recall that potentially saved the dog from diving into a busy street, she credits it with being a lifesaver.

I’m not sure melting off the plaster and wood fill is going to be lifesaving, but I figure it will be at least two fewer hours spent vacuuming in a week, and that’s something!

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