Reading the label before you spray paint gives clarity

Published 7:21 pm Thursday, January 16, 2014

“…It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.”
~ Wallace Stevens, excerpt from “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”

January the month of New Year and resolutions is a tough winter month to get through, despite hopes and promises ahead.
Around here, I dread seeing the propane truck grumble up to the back drive: I’ve considered running the driver off before he fills the tank, but can’t bear freezing to death either. It’s called being caught between an ice cube and a rock!
Frozen pipes upstairs from those zero temperatures didn’t help matters, as well as a dead car battery – again. Topping the week off, I was finishing up painting a ceramic heart for the upcoming Big Brothers/Big Sisters fundraiser at the Upstairs Artspace (hearts are sold at silent auction to help Polk County’s BBBS, a most-worthy project).
Proud of my new creation, it was time to put varnish on top and call it done: the supper hour had rolled around, dark outside, dim lights in the kitchen where I had a workspace set up for the heart masterpiece. Pulling down a can of spray varnish from a shelf, I hauled the heart outside, giving the piece a quick spray. Gee, that sure looks white, I thought, as I sprayed even harder. Why is that spray so white? Hmm… must have been frozen a bit. Varnish can cloud up in cold weather. Let’s spray a bit more for good measure.
Back inside, I set the heart down on the counter. Yes, I had sprayed white paint on the top. Grabbing mineral spirits, I went to work immediately to scrub the damage off. No crying allowed, chin up: I can and will fix this. Lesson learned: wear glasses next time and check the spray can’s label before aiming.
Next, time to stir delicious veggie-beef soup simmering on the stove for supper, add in one more round of spice before dishing it up. Yes, dear reader: you know what’s coming. Glasses off, I dumped in a healthy jolt of ground cinnamon, not the intended paprika. Not particularly a fan of cinnamon in homemade soup, I spooned and scraped the offending cinnamon out the best I could, thoroughly kicking myself for another goof-up in the same evening, all because I did not have glasses on. At least spray paint was not involved with the soup!
NC Small Town Main Street (STMS) monthly meetings are scheduled the third Tuesday of each month at 9 a.m. at Saluda Library; next meeting is Jan. 21. The STMS promotions committee will host a Valentine’s Party Friday, Feb. 14 at the Saluda Fire Department. Tickets are available at Thompson’s Store or Cathy Jackson Realty.
Saluda Welcome Table is every Tuesday, with dinner served from 5:30- 7 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Saluda United Methodist Church. All welcome; donations accepted.
Honor a loved one with an engraved brick paver for Pace Park. Proceeds go toward building public restrooms at this community park to be located downtown near M.A. Pace Store. For additional information, contact Catherine Ross at 828-749-3534 or
Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) can benefit from your donations for the year ahead, or your time as a volunteer for their many community projects. Contact SCLT at 828-749-1560 or visit
There’ll be a community potluck and bingo night at Saluda Center, January 27 at 6 p.m.
Saluda School: no school on Jan. 20-21.
Book your spot for Thompson’s Store’s “Let the Good Times Roll” music series with a Mardi Gras party in the upstairs Boarding House venue, March 1, starting at 5:30 p.m. The event will include music, dancing and food. Make reservations by Feb. 24; call Judy Ward at 828-749-2321.
Happy January Birthday to Brandy Bradley, Alex Bardos, Carolyn Ashburn, Scott Kinard, Donna Bond, Greer Eargle, Wyatt Alan Pace, Irma Anderson, Paul Aaybe, Rich Rauschenbach, Phyllis Arrington and Kenneth Justus.
Thank you, dear readers, for reading this column! As ever, the goal is to make you feel like you’re enjoying a cup of hot tea and small town life in a friendly little mountain town called Saluda.
You can contact me at; or 749-1153, visit my website at for more writing and art, or find me on facebook.

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