Red Makes it All Better!

This week Black Betty died. Black Betty is my 2007 Trailblazer SS – a vehicle I’ve had for five years that I love. She’s pretty, fast and up until a few days ago, a completely reliable piece of machinery.

A friend and I decided to take a short trip to the mall, and as we were heading home, Black Betty lurched, whined, whirred, and made terrible grinding noises – all on a VERY BUSY highway in the dark. I admit I kind of panicked. I’ve never been in that kind of situation where my car just stopped working. I quickly turned on my hazard lights, so the speeding cars behind me wouldn’t smash into us. Even after turning off the engine and restarting, it was audibly obvious she wasn’t gonna budge. Not like there was a shoulder to pull her onto anyway. We were stuck in the turning lane for an off-ramp. So, after a quick call to hubby, we got out and stood on the side of the road and called the police to report a disabled vehicle.

The officer came and was kind enough to call a tow truck. While we waited he offered the back seat of his cruiser, where “there is air-conditioning.” (it was super hot and humid outside) We crawl into the back and all I could think was that hundreds of cars were speeding by thinking I was a common criminal about to he hauled in! And if that wasn’t bad enough, the temperature in the back seat was at least 80 degrees. I’m sorry – the man in blue might have had AC up front, but it was not drifting through the tiny glass opening in the wall that divided us from him. As soon as I got in, I wanted out. My hand instinctively reached for the door handle to get out. No handles. Of course, why would there be door handles, or windows or that matter, in the back of a cop car! We were again stuck. For what felt like a half hour. I was dying – my gut was in knots about the car, my mind was crunching numbers thinking about the cost of a hefty repair, and sweat was rolling down my back and other unmentionable places.

Finally the tow truck came and we were released. The gentleman was loading my SUV onto the flat bed, when my hero-hubby came to the rescue. He spoke with the tow guy, and then took us home. But, I could see he was not happy, obviously also seeing dollar signs go down the toilet. The next day we got the news that BB possibly needed a new transmission and could cost upwards of $3,600 to fix. We immediately hit the car dealerships, thinking it was time to trade BB in and get something new.

Fast forward to 5 hours later – we gave up the notion of new, and to my relief, decided to fix my Trailblazer.  It’s two days later, and we still are waiting for the final diagnosis. Fingers are crossed.

And with all of this car drama, I have been stressed. I knew it was time to paint or do something creative as an outlet. So, I worked on a little table that had been waiting its turn in the garage. Here’s what she looked like before the makeover…

She was black and a bit dinged-up, but otherwise in good condition. I knew I was planning to keep this table as soon as I saw it. Not to mention, the sale price was not good enough to turn a decent profit if I had tried to sell it. So, with that in mind, I immediately decided it would become red.

I had done a little red table a month ago that turned out lovely (see the photo below). I briefly considered keeping it, but knew I would again paint another table like it for myself in the same shade.

So here’s MY table in the fabulous red that made all my troubles go away, if only for a few hours!

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Emporer’s Silk. Then I distressed down to the black along the edges & on the turned legs, and aged it a bit with dark wax. It was finished with clear wax, as well.

I had been looking for something to distract the eye away from the unsightly AC return vent on the wall, without blocking the airflow. This isn’t perfect, but it fits the bill for now. And Lord knows, this little project took my mind off the other BILL that we’ll have to pay in a week when Black Betty is fixed up!

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