Sometimes I feel like I’m pulling one over on everyone. Like when people pay me to paint them pictures or make them jewelry. They’re paying me real money to do something fun? I kind of feel a little guilty. I especially feel guilty when someone pays me to draw with chalk all day.

For years now, I’ve been the chalkboard lady for Max Downtown in Hartford. Usually I update their wine boards in the bar and their gigantic menu board in the dining room. All of the boards are at least eight feet in the air and the dining room board is about twelve feet long.

Of course I enjoy getting paid to write with chalk, but writing the names of various steaks and wines over the years has gotten a little boring. Yesterday I went to overhaul the big dining room board and was excited when they said they had a new idea to list the names of the local farms they buy their produce and shellfish from, plus “a little drawing” they found that they liked. “Little drawing”… HA! That’s funny.

Ten and a half hours later…

Yes, that would be almost 12 feet long, by five feet high. I was in the restaurant from 10:30 in the morning until 9:00 last night. When I left, my shoulder hurt so bad I could barely reach for my seatbelt when I got to my car, and my hand was so achy, I had to wrap it in ice when I got home. But it was so worth it. It’s hard to make out the details since I took this shot at 9:00 last night, just before I left.

Here’s a close-up of the farmer lady:

And this is what it looked like in the afternoon yesterday:

See that orange thing at the bottom of the picture? That’s my new laser level, excuse me for a minute, I have to go kiss it again. Holy cow, that little thing saved my life yesterday. I used to have to measure and eyeball and go up and down the ladder to make sure it was still straight. Not anymore! What a magnificent tool.

So my hand still hurts, it’s hard to raise my arm over my head, and I don’t know how to wrap up everything I’m trying to say. How about this? Max Downtown reopens tonight at 4pm after their annual summer break. I think you should go and check out the beauty of the boards in person. And have a lemonade, they have the best lemonade. I’m going to go take some more Advil.



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