Let me explain what you are looking at in these photos. My sister, K., took two 2x4 boards and wedged them through the slats in the bannister, securing them with a couple of shims. Under the other side of the boards the stairs sort of do a half spiral up to the second floor landing. On the first triangle shaped step there is a tool box, on the next triangle shaped step above that are 2 cardboard boxes filled with metal cans (food storage, not just for the apocalypse anymore), and on top of that are the boards. On top of the boards is a 6' long plastic table. Because of the way the stairs twist at the top, she couldn't use a regular ladder or even a folding ladder that was meant for use on stairs.
As if that weren't enough death-ness enough, she then asked us to bring her the step stool from the kitchen, you can kind of see it in the above photo. Her oldest son was there to hold the table steady when she stepped onto and off of the table. She was doing all of this so she could paint the edges of the wall on the side of the stairwell.
We were all fairly certain that this thing was going to fall apart, go crashing down the stairs, and K. or J. were going to be maimed or killed...or at the very least end up with a nasty sprain. But she went ahead with it anyway. I would like to note that my parents had been at her house earlier in the evening and she didn't show this off to them, or her male neighbor who is also a mechanic who had stopped by as well. She also chose to do this while her engineer husband was out of town. Probably because her husband, our dad, and her neighbor would have hidden the boards and come up with a non-crazy and safe way of reaching the top of the wall to get the painting done.
K. is normally the rational, safety conscious, grounded, and sane sibling in our family. So her kids and I were all a bit flummoxed by her zeal for this seemingly unsafe contraption.
We heckled her a lot while she was working, but she proved us all wrong. She finished the wall and it looks beautiful.
Here take a look for yourself.
PS - Don't try this at home, or anywhere else for that matter.
PPS - Thank you K. for being such a good sport, you're new nickname is Deathy McDaredevil.
PPPS - No sisters were hurt in the making of this blog post.