The Door, Round Two

“It’s always something.” — Grandmother Rosanadana

I am sad to report that I was not able to stain the front door after all. While finishing the detail sanding, I came across old repairs that were not stainable, and that were, quite frankly, ugly.

Aged Ugliness
Aged Ugliness


Whatever This Is...
Whatever This Is…

I resigned myself to painting rather than staining. It was a difficult decision, and I kept sanding, hoping for a miracle. Alas, it did not come. I returned the unopened wood conditioner and the stain and began to weigh my options.

I set out on a quest to find a local source for Modern Masters Front Door Paint, but there is no one that has color samples of their limited colors, and it takes up to two weeks to get the paint. Sorry, Modern Masters, but you need to do something different. The product seems awesome, but I’m not ordering paint that takes two weeks to get here, without seeing a sample. And monitors and screens are never accurate.

My guys at Sherwin Williams to the rescue! I told them what I needed and wanted: UV tolerable, fast drying, smooth finish, satin, and in quart size, not gallon. They hooked me up with Resilience, totally tintable to whatever color I wanted, so I had plenty of selection. It’s an exterior paint, but it went on so smoothly. I got primer, too, of course.

I took artist brushes and got the corners of the moldings first, careful to not let the primer build up. Then I got to work on the carved area.

Lots and Lots of Details.
Lots and Lots of Details.

Primer dries quickly, but I wanted to let it sit a day, just to be sure. The brick red I chose is darker than the actual outside brick, and red enough for my preference. I am happy, happy, happy that I could paint it without removing it, because it’s very heavy and cumbersome, and this was just so much easier. The camera, and monitors, do not do it justice — it is not this orange, or this light, IRL.

First Coat is the Deepest.
There is a second coat on, and while removing the tape, I found a few tiny areas that need touching up. Of course. That will happen Tuesday, after Labor Day. I can’t wait to show you the full final result!

“It all worked out really well.”

After returning the stain stuff, and getting primer and paint, this cost about $22 more. Total for the door project: about $45 for tools and paint products.

I am not thinking about my next project. I know fall gardening is coming, and that I need to deep clean a few specific areas of my home. Fall is approaching very quickly! I think for now I’m going to rest up, and take some more arthritis meds.

Have a great Labor Day! Enjoy a frugal cookout, and time with your family and friends.


Mello Re-Hash — A Political Post

Warning: This is a post about an Omaha political race. It has nothing to do with my regular frugal projects. If you don’t care about Omaha politics, or this issue, I won’t be offended if you ignore the post.

Way back in April 2011, I wrote this post about two misguided Nebraska lawmakers and their attempt to prove that “it’s too difficult to eat well” on a SNAP program.

Well, I’ve learned a lot since then, and I hope Heath Mello has, too. He has announced he is running for mayor of Omaha this fall.  Let’s recap what happened in 2011….

The Omaha World-Herald ran an article (the link no longer works) about two Nebraska state senators attempting to eat for a month on a food stamp budget “in order to draw attention to the lack of healthy food available to low-income families” in Omaha. After buying a loaf of wheat bread, a half-gallon of skim milk, peanut butter, jelly and Frosted Mini-Wheats for “less than $16.85” and eating only that all week, then-senator Mello declared that it was “too difficult to eat well” on the budget provided by SNAP. My article suggested fresh produce and other changes would cost less and provide nutrition on that budget.

I was really taken aback by the comments made by our elected senators, and the fact that they really weren’t trying to learn how to resolve the education component of the SNAP program.  I offered to walk with Mello to his neighborhood store, make smart, nutritious choices, and show him how the program is designed to work.  He was not interested.  He told me he did this to “learn as a lawmaker.” I told him he could learn how to improve information programs for assistance recipients, and that would be a great use of state resources.  He still declined the opportunity to learn more as a lawmaker.

Five years later, I have worked even more in the area of feeding and educating the hungry in our community. I work with a food pantry that provides groceries to qualifying low income families. I work with another organization that teaches nutrition, food budgeting and basic cooking skills to low income families.  I have worked grocery store educational events in the poorest communities. I have learned more about how SNAP is intended to be a temporary stop-gap, not a permanent lifestyle. I have learned what it does and does not cover. Even though I no longer journal my family’s dinner menus (which can still be found in the archives here), I can still put together a week’s worth of meal planning for about $50/week for three of us. It IS possible, and there are educational resources available. I believe our elected officials should know how to make that information available to those that need the programs.

I never heard back from Mello, even when the Unicameral was considering issues affecting low income families. His steadfast refusal to consider a different aspect of SNAP, resources available to low income families, and the educational component of temporary assistance, is troubling to me.

The man wants to be mayor of Omaha. His political ambitions are clear. But if he doesn’t want to provide real assistance, if he isn’t interested in learning about solutions, if he only wants to be elected, then he cannot effectively be a leader that will make a positive impact in this city, or in the community that needs leadership in this area of hunger.

I believe Omaha needs better. We need to come together (which is happening in North O and Florence!), to build up the citizenry. We do not need to claim that survival is not possible, when there are so many opportunities for families to learn and thrive. We do not need to provide permanent assistance for everyone/anyone who is simply uneducated — we need to educate them.

And as long as I have the soapbox, I’ll say it again: The Unicameral, and the FedGov, need to attach to SNAP and any other state program, a requirement of an educational component if recipients request long-term assistance. Existing programs are already available in our area, and meet federal funding requirements.

I’m done now. Thanks for reading, and for allowing me a brief detour from my frugal journey.




* If you are in need of temporary assistance, or would like additional information, here are some local resources:

Project Hope Omaha

Cooking Matters Omaha