A hainting post

The other day, my personal trainer sent a text to everyone she, you know, personally trains, to say her rates were going up for the first time in 17 years. Men would’ve raised the rates annually. Anyway, because people are stupid, she spelled out what that meant for everyone.

“So, if you work out in a group, it’s $Blah.”

(There are people who work out in groups?)

“If you buy a package of 10 one-hour workouts, it’s $Blah.”

(I can never afford the package, even though you get a discount. I have to pay as I go.)

“If you buy the 30-minute workout, it’s—“

Wait. I HAVE A 30-MINUTE CHOICE?

I discussed it with her last night, as we met up, and by met up I mean I dragged the laptop into the kitchen and pushed the table back and she sat in her backyard and told me what to do with my goddamn resistance band. It’s forever protesting. We’re going to meet three times a week now and for just a half-hour at a time, and I am responsible for doing my own cardio. Oh, dear.

So last night after our half-hour workout, I took a walk in my neighborhood. Any walk I’ve ever taken in my neighborhood results in something occurring. It’s never a nonevent.

This is one of the houses on Snob Hill, part of the very fancy two-story houses on the next block. Also, all of the streets in my hood are named after trees, and THIS street used to be Peach but then they changed it to Joey Jo Jo Junior Shabadoo or something stupid and unpretty like that. Anyway I like the houses over on Snob Hill.

(I’ve had to move my legs up onto this chair just now because kittens are playing across my feet like I don’t have nerve endings.)

Anyway, as my walk was drawing to a close, I saw my neighbor. “Did you see how I power washed this house?” he asked me, pointing to a regular one-story home on my street of not-rich millhouses.

It did shine. “Looks nice,” I said. “…You have a power washer?”

And that is how my neighbor came to power wash my house yesterday evening. I hadn’t meant to watch him for a bit but it was riveting. I’d love to power wash houses for a living. So satisfying.

When he was done, he knocked on my door. “I finished everything, but I can’t get the ceiling of your porch done,” he said. “If a power wash won’t fix it, you know it’s bad. It looks raggedy.”

I stared up at the top of my front porch. Man, it DID look sorta raggedy. I have a ceiling fan out there, and I wonder if it sort of blows dirt to the top or something.

“I’ll paint it for you,” he said. “No charge.”

“You will?”

“Yeah,” he said. “It won’t take long and it looks bad. You have the cutest house on this block. The porch should look cute too.”

“Now, if you had a boyfriend, that’d be a different story,” he said. “He could do it.”

I thought of a story Ned, my ex—NedEx—told me. The first night he ever spent at my house, he looked up at the ceiling and saw the peeling paint up there. The ceilings in my old house peeled like a mother all the time. He lay there knowing that if this went on, he’d one day be painting that ceiling.

And you know he did? It was really awful, too. He had to scrape and sand and prime.

I mentioned this next part last night on Facebook so now you’re bored if you follow me on (Face)Book of June. But I’ve always, since I moved to the South, wanted a porch that’s haint blue. And I know you know how I get when I start thinking about paint colors. So that’s my newest obsession, which haint blue Ima buy.

This website has good info, and they provided the lovely colors above. Oooo, I’m so excited to have haint blue up! It’s not only supposed to help with all the ghosts and spirits, of which I seem to have none despite this house being 88 years old, it also helps with wasps, and I really have a lot of those. If one more Protestant knocks on this door…

That’s all I have to say about that.

That isn’t true. I’ll probably have a million more things to say about that. This might be a good time to take a June break, truthfully.

Haint,
June

66 thoughts on “A hainting post

  1. Sherwin Williams “Swimming” (I think), is the haint color of my porch ceiling. Love it! Definitely helps with the bug issue, amazingly enough. And I get a ton of compliments, so bonus!

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  2. Love this. My mom’s family is from Georgetown SC. If you take old 17 or 41 down to Johns Island from Gtown, you’ll (or you used to) see tons of houses out in the country with haint blue painted around the doors and windows. The color was more commonly a bright, deep blue out there. My aunt and uncle painted their porch railings in Charleston that color as an homage to the region. https://www.behr.com/consumer/colors/paint/color/P480-5

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  3. Painted ceilings is an unknown to me. Is that just parts of the country? All the ceilings I have ever known are just that white stuff. Not popcorn, just that stuff up there. Not like office ceiling tiles, maybe its plaster. Obviously I am a home renovation expert, with all my technical terms.They need painted only if you had a roof leak and get a stain on your ceiling. Porch ceilings are sometimes paint but often they are siding and stuff like that. There might be wood planks if you are fancy. I have such ceiling paint envy right now.

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    1. Some neighbors are just like that. I’ve lived in lots of different kind of neighborhoods in my life and the most neighborly and helpful and kind ones were the poorest ones and the integrated ones. I’m in a posh neighborhood and you are lucky to get a wave as they speed by in their SUVs with kids in the back and a coffee in one hand and the cell phone in the car. Busy busy people don’t have time to wander over and pressure wash your house. We all need to slow the fook down. I’d faint if some kid on the street helped me carry a heavy load. Teenage kids (and their moms and dads I know) walk right by me struggling with my bins or trying to load a chair on the back of a truck. Up North people know what I mean when I say how wonderful it is when you get up on a winter morning and your kind neighbor used his snowblower on your driveway. An old friend from the poorest neighborhood brought me a rum soaked homemade pound cake on July 4th and delivered it clear over my house miles away because just wanted to bake me a cake.

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      1. That is lovely. I am living forty minutes from my normal home in a military town. It has somewhat of a bad reputation where I live down the shore. The people here are friendlier, they nod and say hello. The fire chief parked next to me at the supermarket. He said hello and offered to lift my two cases of bottled water into the car for me. I said no thank you because I am trying to be more physically active but it was very nice of him to ask! I live in New Jersey in the North.

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  4. And, of course, I hit post before I finished thinking. I have a power washer and I LOVE it once I get it set up and ready to go. Surprisingly, it’s a great workout for your hands and arms. What? Who’s hands don’t need a workout every once in a while?

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  5. My husband has finally agreed to paint the back porch ceiling haint blue…now to find a blue that will compliment the taupe (with GREEN undertones!! The horror)…which means that ceiling will be painted in about twenty years.

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  6. My recent bedroom/bath remodel taught me that it doesn’t matter what color you are drawn to, you need to get at least 6 samples of various ones you like but might not love. I couldn’t believe the color difference between the little cards and the real paint, especially when the sun hit them. I ended up choosing a color I thought I wouldn’t, but looked the best on the walls. Plus I hate the name and was going to reject it just based on that. I can’t believe I am stupid enough to be attracted to some colors more than others based on the names.

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  7. Not only do I want both my front and back porch ceilings painted Haint Blue, I want the ceiling of my office painted a paler Haint Blue as well. I’ve been telling my husband that for several years now and he said, “Well, get your ass in gear and start painting.” He hates painting ceilings.

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    1. I think who in the world would watch other people power washing….and I click on the link….and 45 minutes later I have answered my own question I would watch other people power washing it is oddly satisfying seeing the grime being washed away

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  8. Three things
    1. My Mammaw Kate used to say “I lordy, I look like a haint before daylight.”
    2. There is a subreddit called power washing porn
    3. Aviary Blue/fancy way to say robin’s egg blue

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  9. When I had my house painted (bad timing, needed paint just as we needed to sell it), I had the ceilings of the porches painted a haint blue. It turned out to be a little electric in tone but it looks kind of fun. The house is minty light green with buttery major trim and dark green minor trim and doors. Now someone gets to enjoy the pretty paint job while I had to endure ten years of pinky-beige with greeny-putty-brown-poop colored trim. When you look at the before and after pics, the old paint makes it look like a creepy haunted house. No wonder neighborhood kids asked me if the basement was full of giant floating eyeballs.

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  10. I am drawn to the Aviary blue although they are all very pretty. I’ve seen blue and green combined as a color scheme and I love it. I am at my house helping my nephew empty out my attic. Thirty-five years of crap and good things too. A lot of why the f*#% did we save that is being said by me. My eighty-one year old father is here too, doing what he can. My nephew’s brother ditched him for a date. They are not speaking at the moment. My significant other is at his house cutting his lawn on his tractor. He wants nothing to do with this. Your neighbor sounds like a gem.

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  11. Haint blue is new to me. I love blue horizon. I have been noticing that our house needs to be painted and I feel like we just had it painted. Maybe 5 years? Is that a normal anount of time to need a new paint job? Love this neighbor of yours! And we’re stuck with groucht pants when her packages arrive here as if we stole them off her porch.

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  12. I love southern traditions like the haint blue porch celing. Being from the north, it all seems so magical, what you all come up with down there.
    Pressure washing is tremendously satisfying to do and to watch. Also, this neighbor is what neighbors should be, God bless him. If he can, he will, and vice versa. I love that. If I send you multiple loaves of zucchini bread will you give him one?

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      1. Give him a start of your hibiscus, it will mean much more to him then. The exact one he admired. It doesn’t take much, he will know , he is Southern like that.

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  13. I only just learned about haint blue probably in the last year or so and now I am obsessed. I cannot wait to see what you choose. I wouldn’t worry about the color of the furniture. But I also let my dogs sleep on my couch so what goes with loads of dog fur?

    Am glad the kittens are not afraid of your feet.

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  14. I have porch envy. The blue horizon is really nice and I wouldn’t worry about the green porch furniture, they aren’t going to be that close together, the furniture and the ceiling, that is. OH! Kittens playing around your ankles!

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  15. I vote for the bluest, cleanest, clearest light sky blue. A solid blue not a see through blue.
    According to BHG it doesn’t matter what color your furniture is. Your ceiling should mimic the color of the sky so the haints go through it thinking it is the sky.

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  16. My neighbor is back here to do more power washing. “I’m not happy with the job I did last night. I couldn’t do it all because darkness got me,” he said. I love how poetic that is. Darkness got me.

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    1. We are all falling in love with your neighbor’s spirit, kindness, demeanor, stick to it ness.
      Hey, is he hitting on you?

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  17. Wish I had a porch! I love the Blue Horizon haint. It leans with some purple undertones, which would complement your green chairs nicely. What a wonderful and fun project.

    Even though I’m a northerner, all my ancestors are from the south, so I’ve known about Haint Blue for some time. Also, worked in the interior design industry, so known there as well.

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  18. Aviary Blue would be my first choice as it is the truest blue. However, since you said your furniture is decidedly green, the Open Air might be the best choice. What a kind neighbor you have. I agree, power washing is very satisfying!

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    1. It’s set to private, which is not my choice but some members FREAKED OUT that it might be just closed, like we have so many state secrets up in there. So you’d have to friend me on FB, then I’d have to invite you to it.

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  19. I still vote for Atmospheric. I think every porch should have a haint blue ceiling. (Except for mine, I guess, because it’s white vinyl and is 2 stories high, so I’m just going to leave it be). Although, if you have green furniture, maybe you want to lean more toward a green blue. I’m sure SW-hot-17-year-old can show you some green/blue shades.

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  20. I love them all!! Especially the ones that start with O and A.
    And I love that house on “flipping people the Bird” street. They painted their porch recently and it looks good. And by recently, it could have been 6 -12 months ago.

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  21. I ADORE THE POWER/PRESSURE WASHER. That is all.
    No, that is not all.
    I would LOVE a haint blue porch ceiling. “Haint” and “haint blue” are new to me, and I also love new words and phrases. (But not always those in Urban Dictionary.) (Shudder.) So now I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of Pinterest and Southern Living THANK YOU SO MUCH. You interrupted my Etsy shopping for a tomato note card. (We have someone who comes to water my husband’s vegetable garden when we are away and I will need to thank them.) (My husband is retired, and Italian, so it’s required that he have a huge-ass garden so he can waste precious time instead of doing things *I* want done.) (OTOH, fresh lettuce is freaking delicious.) (And fresh basil should be a controlled substance.) This year he also planted corn. CORN FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. Welcome to Iowa.

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    1. Welcome to Iowa!

      I want to get my house power washed this summer. It is currently a lovely shade of tan siding with green mildew on the one side and back that are up against the woods. Pretty!

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      1. And with Etsy, you ALWAYS get an envelope. With Zazzle, you have to be sure and request an envelope. Don’t get me started on THAT and how many times I’ve ended up with a card and no envelope.

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      1. I will look for a basil note card!! I was looking at corn cards, too, actually, since I sent her a tomato card last year.

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    2. I am glad to hear someone else did not know the term haint blue. At first I thought it was a typo for paint and it was backwards day. I have since gone down a rabbit hole of where the term came from so thank June for teaching me something new.

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  22. the very idea of a haint blue ceiling makes me swoon… it’ll be magical!

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  23. I love haint blue. Both of our bathrooms are painted different shades of haint blue. Whichever shade you chose it will be beautiful.

    Laurie in NB, Canada

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  24. Jooooon! How will you choose? They’re all so pretty. I can see why you’re asking for input.

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    1. When I get time, and I am inundated with work today and don’t they know??, I will take a photo of my porch and the furniture out there which is decidedly green. That might help us decide.

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  25. I’ve been wanting a haint blue ceiling ever since forever. I’ll be avidly following your haint adventure. Lovely post by our lovely Coot!

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