Monday, December 24, 2012

I (don't) Do Nails

The very young store employee eyed me intently as I pushed my buggy through the health and beauty section. “may I help you, ma’am?” 

I assured her that I was fine and could find what I was looking for myself.

I saw her look quizzically at me from the corner of her eye as I stopped in front of the nail polish.  “are you sure, ma’am?”
“nope…I’m good…”

As I sorted through the colors, intent on my mission, I could sense her gaze again.  When I finally picked up the black, metallic blaze orange, and glow-in-the-dark neon green, I waved them at her and said “THANKS!  Found what I needed!”  I swear she went slack-jawed as I tossed the little bottles in the buggy and rolled on to another area of the store.

I don’t know if she envisioned some odd tri-colored manicure or if she couldn’t figure out WHY this farmer woman was buying nail polish…but, it made me giggle to myself as I finished shopping.

Nail polish always makes me think of the episode of Andy Griffith when Barbara Eden came to Mayberry as a manicurist trying to settle some matter of the heart…and every time she introduced herself, she said “Ah do nails...” Watch the manicurist...season 2, episode 16. That recollection made me giggle a little more.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a real “girlie girl”, so my collection of nail polish even mystified my daughters.   The color choices were even more perplexing. My plan for the nail polish seemed to baffle everyone.  You see, I never intended to “do nails” with it.  I fully intended to use it at the BARN!

When the Boss got me a Leatherman for a birthday present years ago, I dropped it in the hay feeder the very first time I used it.  Thinking it was lost forever, I realized I would need to devise a plan where it would be more visible when I dropped it again (it would only be a matter of time). I tried marking the handle with a sharpie, but it still wasn’t very eye-catching.  Nail polish to the rescue!

A couple coats of a bright color and it would be hard to miss it anywhere.  It also personalized my Leatherman so that it is like no other. 

That success got me thinking about making other small things more noticeable. The whole nail polish thing was kind of fun…and there were so many colors…

My hoophouse trowels got personalized as I realized my rather odd new creative outlet had a very practical application.

You can tell I DON'T do nails...

We use a lot of electric fence around here.  With the electric fence, there are a LOT of switches.  The switches make it possible to kill the current in certain areas.  This is handy when you need to work close to the fence, make certain paddocks more secure, or if you are fence challenged (like I am) and need to have the electricity dead off before you get anywhere near it. 

When the switches were new, they had shiny little strips that you could see from a distance that indicated ON or OFF.  However, after years and years out in the elements, the little shiny strips fell off, blew away, or became damaged so they could no longer be seen.  It is a hassle to have to walk all the way out to a switch to check its position when you can’t remember if you left it in the proper position. (not that this ever happened to me…countless times…or anything like that)

I tried using yellow polish on them.  With numerous coats the switches were quite noticeable.  But, in the summer sun, the bright yellow color faded to a dull beige and my great idea faded with it. When my Leatherman needed a new coat of polish, it occurred to me that by enhancing the contrast on the switches, I could resolve the visibility issue.

By painting the switches with the black and the orange, they are noticeable from a great distance once more and I don’t have to backtrack on myself when I have a senior moment. (not that anything like that would happen)

If only the "glow-in-the-dark neon green" actually DID glow in the dark...I'd really be on to something!

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