Oh, the cow!

Lots of time on my hands, and soil and some paint. And for some reason, French phrases from high school. Last weekend I found in the backyard two ancient tossed-away 6”x6” redwood posts of differing lengths, maybe 2 feet and 3 feet long. I peeled off caked soil and moss and shooed away pillbugs and brushed away peeling paint and after more intensive cleaning found —though it may not sound like it, based on my description—a pair of tres chic and/or serviceable end tables by standing the posts on end. The post tables will stand lap high and shoulder high when two people are sitting close together (once the ban is lifted) in two wicker porch chairs. Perfect size, these post tables, for one cold drink each, in an L-corner created by the chairs banked by plants and pottery. Ah, la vache! (French: “Oh, the cow!” Expression of surprise and excitement that sounds totally weird until I recall that Americans say on a daily basis, “Holy cow.”) Yesterday, wanting to stay in my refreshed porch environment, I repainted my vintage kitchen cafe chairs out there in a color that can only be described as bluebird blue. Too blue, even for me. So I rerepainted one gray. It reminded me of navy ships. I rererepainted it charcoal, almost black but like real charcoal in a campfire when the coals are about to turn gray. Much better. Then I rerepainted the other chair charcoal. For this project I used a wooden palette and dollops and blends of good acrylic paints normally reserved for my canvas projects. Nice smooth finish: a matte semi-gloss, if that’s a thing. Five new coats of paint on two already-painted chairs may sound like overkill. But patience is easier when you have unlimited time. Voila, c’est tout! Or, um, “Look, it’s all!” See, this is why we choose not to translate certain French phrases. Better to be tres blase (“very blase”—not an actual French phrase) and just laissez faire (“let it happen”), sitting and sipping iced tea among the repurposed castaways, imagining summer coming on as slow as molasses going uphill in January (American English: “Slowly.”)
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Comments (1)


May 2nd, 2020

7:22 pm

Cows in culture are very interesting...they are the center of myths and legends in many, many places (let's how a holy cow chat sometime!)...and I too have French phrases pop out of my mouth occasionally (umm not "excuse my French" French but française)..however I attribute that to my job where I sometimes come across French in odd places.

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