Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Scrape, sand, repeat...


Forgive me Dear Readers. It’s been nearly a week since my last confession blog post. I’ve been distracted by a home improvement project. I have not only neglected this blog, but my day-to-day chores as well. The contents of my refrigerator has been retired to the compost bin and I have a giant laundry beast to slay (at least the laundry is clean—we have piles & piles of clean laundry).
Every project around here takes longer than I anticipate. I blame the age of the house (it was built in 1904) and the previous owner—Mickey Mouse. At least, I think that’s who did all the maintenance on this house before we bought it. It’s the only thing that could possibly explain his “creative” methods of home improvement. In honor of Halloween, I ought to tell you the horror stories of the electrical system—but it gives me chills just thinking about it. Fortunately, we exorcized those demons early on in our home ownership.
The room I’m working on is the porch. It was more or less winterized by previous owners (meaning it has radiators but no insulation) and the boys use it as a playroom. But since it’s the first room anyone sees it’s more of a playroom-art studio-mudroom-foyer sort of place.
I’ve been scraping, sanding and painting the walls and trim and my husband has had the Herculean task of wrestling in a new front door. Houses of this vintage have very few 90º angles and manufacturers have this silly policy of making all their doors true rectangles. He has done a lot of shaving, sanding and swearing lately. But it really had to be done (and I must say it looks fabulous!). For some reason, when Mickey installed the front door, he used a hollow core door—which is adequate for something like the door of your linen closet. As an exterior door it leaves a little to be desired in the way of insulation and security.
If hubby was Hercules in this adventure, I was merely Sisyphus: rolling the boulder of paint prep up hill for what seemed an eternity (over-dramatic? moi?). I am overjoyed to report we have achieved paint. Now it’s on to the window treatments and moving all the stuff out of my living room and back where it lives.
Back in August in a moment of self-delusion I ordered all toys, games, coat closets, shoe cubbies, etc. off the porch. It was time to paint and I was ready to jump headfirst. But then school started and with it came Cub Scouts, soccer, homework, daytime work hours and all the other shiny things that distract one from a task. Some time in the last few weeks I looked at the living room and looked at the calendar and looked back at the living room and realized that something had to be done.
Halloween is on the way and we’re having a little party. A couple of other families will join us for pre-trick-or-treating pizza and football (the Pat’s kickoff is 4:15 on Halloween afternoon). Suddenly I had a deadline. It turns out it was just what I needed. When I have all the time in the world, I take all the time in the world. If I have a week, I get it done in a week. Now that the porch is almost done, I’ll have to start another project. After all, Christmas sounds like a good deadline. I wonder how long it would take me to paint the dining room…