Posts tagged with: painting

The Domino Effect

The Domino Effect.  Every homeowner knows what I’m talking about.  You think you have a small, easy-to-deal-with-problem, that turns into a much larger issue and grows and grows, much like a row of dominos that falls, each knocking the next down in a path of destruction.   This is currently my life.

dominoesIt all started at the end of last year.  My recently retired husband was home and needed something to occupy him during the non-golfing winter months.  I had the solution, I thought.  The wallpaper was peeling in the kitchen and laundry room.  The cat had used the rice paper wallpaper on one of the family room walls as an extension to her scratching post, and the dining room paper looked old and dated.  My friend, the realtor, said wallpaper was out; painting was in.  So I suggested my husband take on the project of removing the wallpaper and painting the room instead.

Now painting a room requires you remove all the china and breakables from the china cabinet and dry sink, and all the Stencilpaintings from the walls – a sizeable project!  But I felt assured that it would take my husband so long to do each piece that I would only have to deal with one room at a time.  WRONG!  After finishing the laundry room in January, he announced that I should hire someone because this was just too hard.  (Photo on the right is a picture of the stenciling in my kitchen that is now gone.)

As luck would have it, one of the companies I had contacted about doing this very thing was having a sale in February.  I contracted them at a good price, but that meant I had to get all the rooms ready at once.  The work would be done quickly as they had six guys working on the project, but it zapped my energy and my time to write.

In the process of painting, the workers pulled the refrigerator out to paint behind and discovered significant damage to the wood floor beneath.  In fact the floor was sagging so bad, the refrigerator was no longer level causing the doors to no longer “fit.”  The seal that kept the door closed no longer worked. (That occurred in March).  But we had taxes, upcoming trips to Branson and NYC to plan for.  We managed to get some quotes on getting the floor fixed but every company was backed up till November.  With two excellant references from trusted friends, we asked to be put on next available date for one company.  That date was Monday, November 16th.

fridgeFixing the small area beneath the refrigerator was a really small area.  However, when the floors were initially installed, we opted to leave them natural and just have a polyurethane finish applied.  Over the years, that finish mellowed to a lovely yellow hue.  We were told that the new sealants did not mellow that way.  Had we applied a  color finish, they could have matched it, but leaving the floors natural was a problem.  We figured we hadn’t done the resurfacing and reseal that had been recommended for hardwood floors, so this would accomplish two things – fix the water damaged wood, and refinish the remaining floor.  Sounds good, right?  Well, refinishing floor means we had to take everything off the bookshelves in the family room, have the sofas, tables and chairs moved so as to be off the floor, roll up the rugs, and remove the pictures on the wall (sound familiar), in general, make the kitchen, eating area, family room and laundry room inhabitable. We did that, plus we shopped for a new refrigerator.  We found one, but it’s taller than the space allowed by an inch or so.(The photo on the left is the small space under the fridge.  This is the new not-quite-finished floor so you can’t see how bad the floor was damaged.  But you can see the nice light floors 🙂  ).

So we hired a moving company to move the furniture into the living room on Friday, and the old refrigerator into the garage.  My husband used the weekend to saw off an inch off the over-the-fridge cabinets.  We made hotel reservations for Tuesday and Wednesday nights as we knew the sealant would be too obnoxious to breathe. Otherwise we spent the weekend living out of the bedroom in anticipation of the floor guys appearing on Monday.

They didn’t show.

Tomorrow, the office said.  They should be there between noon and one.  We moved the hotel reservations back by a day.

They didn’t show.  I called the office.  The scheduler wasn’t aware that they hadn’t shown up, but promised they’d be there in the morning. We moved the hotel reservations back by another day.  We’re still living out of the bedroom and it seems more and more confining.cluttered dining

The workers appeared on Wednesday and went to work.  When they moved the washer and dryer to the garage, they noticed that the water hose for washer was badly corroded and the hose itself was showing stress.  It would have to be replaced.  Of course!  Because the workers started so late, they couldn’t finish by Friday as planned.  We moved back in the house, but once again we’re living out of the bedroom.  The floors are projected to be finished on Tuesday. (Photo on the right is the current state of my dining room and the rest of the house, trying to cram everything into two rooms).

But the weekend gave my husband the chance to fix the hose.  With youtube videos assuring him he could do this, he managed to further stress the hose with no impact on the nozzle.  I’m calling a plumber first thing in the morning.  The hope is that I can get one to fix that problem before the washer and dryer is moved back in place on Tuesday.  Wish me luck.  With our current luck, I’m betting replacing the hose will be a much bigger project than what we anticipate. (sigh).

dinnerMeanwhile, we can’t really celebrate with a big feast on Thanksgiving Day as we have no seats.  I had to turn down my brother’s request to stop for an overnight visit on the Sunday after Thanksgiving because…we have no seats and our guest beds are buried under furniture.  I had to turn down an annual gift of a turkey and ham from one of my clients because I don’t have a refrigerator at the moment (that is to be delivered the Friday after Thanksgiving).  With the floors finished on Tuesday, we can’t put the furniture back till December 8th.

Maddening right?  But you know, once this is all done – it’s done.  The floors will be good for another 25 years at least.  We’ll finally have a nice refrigerator that has the vegetables at eye level where we can easily see if they’re in distress. And we’ll have an opportunity to throw out a lot of the stuff we removed from the shelves 🙂

So this Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for a huge project finally completed.  (I keep telling my husband that I hadn’t planned to remove everything from various rooms TWICE in a single year.) I’m grateful that we have the means to celebrate Thanksgiving at a restaurant.  I’m grateful that my turkey and ham will go to a food shelter where they will doCharming the Professor final more good than sitting in my (non-existant) refrigerator.  And I’m hoping, really hoping, that the last domino has fallen.

So tell me about you.  Have you ever had a domino effect?  Tell me there is an end 🙂 .  I’ll give a digital copy of my December release, Charming the Professor, to someone leaving a comment.

And for all the stateside bandits and bandit buddies out there – May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

The Smell of Paint Fumes

by Christie Kelley

So based on the title I assume you all know what that means. Yes? No? I’m typing this blog from my freshly painted office. Of course my desk is still in the middle of the room along with my file cabinets. My bookcase is still sitting in the hallway outside of the office. But I have paint…color.

It’s a beautiful color called Cozy Melon by Glidden. I tried my best but I couldn’t get the color to come up in a picture on the blog. And no, it’s not green like this guy’s melons. I would describe as a dark peach but not too in your face. With the creamy, off-white trim, it’s gorgous.

I promise, next month I’ll post a picture. It’s been a busy month. But back to the topic (I really do have one), how does color impact your creativity? When we first moved into this house every wall was white. And it drove me crazy. I’m a color person and I need to have warm colors surrounding me. For years I had a nice dark red in my office but when I saw the guest room painted in this melon color I just felt something stir my inner muse.

Now that I’m in my office, I can honestly say that I can’t wait to get my room in order and start writing. I have five wonderful windows so I can look out the front of my house and watch the birds. It’s funny how important color and the outdoors is for me. When I get stuck I go for a walk by the river. Luckily for me that’s a short walk. There I can look out at the tidal water and watch the geese, ducks, herons and occasionally a bald eagle.

So I’m curious for both the readers and writers how much sensory details you need when reading and writing? Is color important to you? Is nature? For me, there’s nothing better than reading in the hamock out back (when the mosquitos aren’t out).

And how important is it as a reader to get those details in a book?