Other than a few seconds here and there, this is the first time I sat in front of my computer today.
So, what was I doing? Well, in about five minutes I’m going to be doing what I want to do, which is work on Bowl of Red.
BUT we have a problem with getting to where I roll out of bed in the morning and just write. I MUST have the “essential rooms” functional and unpacked. Normally for me that’s kitchen, bedroom and two offices. Right now they’re all in some state of WTF except my office which is unpacked, etc, but I’m having trouble with ONE cat who likes to pee on my chair. I have the fake leather to re-cover the chair and stop that, but I need to unearth my sewing supplies.
At this point I’m targeting early in the next year for “Sarah has essential stuff set up” and sometime in March for ” house is completely unpacked, and we’re not stumbling into piles of boxes at random. Since that’s also when we’re targeting for #2 son to move out AND hoping house sells, March promises to be very eventful. Hopefully in a good way.
Anyway, what ate today was “Dining room.”
There is nothing STRUCTURAL wrong with the dining room, mind, except we decided not to bring with us the massive entertainment center we were using as a china cabinet. Now this is wise, because THIS dining room is not 15 feet long, so it would not have fit. Oh, and the dining room is small-ish. And necessary.
We’re the kind of people who shouldn’t have dining rooms, to be fair. Most of the time the room is empty and unused. In fact, in other houses we targeted the dining room as my office.
BUT this house’s big defect (every house has one) is that the kitchen is barely functional. We’re working on it by changing some of the cabinetry in the kitchen, and having a rolling kitchen isle, but there is no way we can EAT in the kitchen, so the dining room is essential.
It’s also impossible to paint all in one day, because so far we are on coat 3 of primer. On two walls, because we have to keep the table and chairs and stuff in there, or we don’t have anywhere to eat.
See, normally I leave painting the house for summer, after everything is unpacked, etc. But this house doesn’t have a ton of light. (It has my other requirement: a lot with a ton of trees, which I love and couldn’t get in CO. Well, I could, but we call trees “our little fire hazards,” so….. but these are mature trees that overshadow the house. It gives it a very soothing “green” light i summer, but well…. yeah. “shadow.”) AND some deranged person painted it forest green and mustard yellow, which is almost brown.
Now, Dan insisted we have painters paint the house before we moved the first stick of furniture in. And that’s fine.
EXCEPT (follow the bouncing ball, really) the two rooms in the house that had wall paper.
I mean, we were perfectly willing to have the painters paint them, but they stared at us in horror and threatened to run away. They said you paint, then the wallpaper bubbles up, you pin-prick the bubbles and paint again, in an infinite series.
I told them no, you do a first coat with shellac, which doesn’t make the paper bubble up (this also works with paper-veneered furniture, of which we have two bedside tables waiting to be painted — more on that later) then prime and paint.
Which is more or less what I’m doing, except shellac was unobtainum in both states, so I’m using the specific type of zinzer used on flaking walls, because it glues it down. It works.
Anyway, the two rooms with this problem are the dining room and Dan’s office. I probably won’t be able to do Dan’s office till March (though I might try) because he’s working more or less 24/7 (Okay 16/6 and a half) BUT I need to unpack the dining room, which means putting furniture against the walls, which means not wanting to move it after. Besides, the wallpaper is mustard and beige, with an unpleasant dirty look. (I don’t think it’s dirty, though I suspect it’s at least 30 years old. Just…. looks dirty.) And I’m in there for at least two meals a day. So, it needs to be painted (look, I know it sound frou-frou, but I do need a certain environment to function. Or at least I need it not to be aggravating on a daily basis. Also, I like color and a light and airy look (Though this house IS getting decorated in “Crazy writer eclectic.” It’s the first house we’re not decorating expressly with an eye to selling. We’re not saying we won’t move again, but if this works out, we sell the other house and pay this one off, and hold on to this one and spend at least part of the year here. Or more likely, we live here till we die or go into care, and the kids have the task of clearing it out and selling it really cheap just to get rid of it.)
So– So, it’s on the second coat of KILZ on top of Zinzer on two walls (the other two one is mostly window, so this is like 2/3 the area. Tomorrow I get to give the final coat to those two walls, move everything back, and start on the other two. The target is to have it done by Saturday so I can UNPACK.
On the way there, though, we ran into something….
Look, 25 year old me HATES me.
Why? Well, at 25 we were living in North Carolina, where antique furniture was dirt-cheap at garage sales and flea markets. We were so broke, we couldn’t afford IKEA (still can’t, really) so we took $500 and furnished the house in antiques.
Most of which were painted with like 15 coats of paint. Which I peeled off. (Two of those would be white, and one would be green, and there were INEVITABLY two metallic coats.)
My 25 year old self CURSED people who painted furniture.
Except…. did I mention the house is dark? Or at least not really bright? And the dining room will of necessity be somewhat cluttered.
I hate that these days people PREFER painted furniture, but given the house and the fact most of what we have is really dark…. Heck, I’m tempted to paint our dressers too.
We’re not painting things metallic paint….
Okay, most of what I intend to paint isn’t real wood, like a lawyer bookcase with paper veneer which has been with us 30 years, and is in horrible shape. Honestly, I approve of painting ugly veneered 70s furniture. A lot of it looks good painted, particularly if you pop out all the fake plastic “carvings” on the doors, or replace the doors completely.
BUT one of the items IS real wood, and was one of the first things I refinished. What I should say here is that I also did a crappy job of it, and it’s both too dark and weirdly lumpy (first time refinishing.) Also, it’s a cabinet that I’m not sure what it used for once, but at some point someone cut into a shelf so it could take a keg of beer. So…. you know, if we’re talking desecration.
Most importantly, though, since we’re NOT painting the 18th century China cabinet, a beautiful and delicate piece, or the colonial dining room table, we kind of need to paint everything else, to keep the room from being suffocating.
I’m painting everything white, though I’m open to pale blue.
And it will probably happen tomorrow (AFTER posts here and at MGC) because tomorrow is warm, for the first time in a long time, so I can do it outside and it will dry.
But I’ve given the awkward mahogany cabinet a couple of coats of white and will finish tomorrow. I bought ceramic cloisone knobs to make the whole thing seems fancy. I’m using it for things we want to hide (Mostly? cooking machines that don’t fit the cabinets in the kitchen.) We’re using the lawyer’s book case for glassware. And I might go thrifting or a sideboard or at least a dresser of unusual size, if we can transport it. Failing that I’ll find used kitchen cabinets and hack a sideboard from them.
Yes, I will post pictures, if you really want, when it’s all done.
But believe it or not I’m having a crisis of conscience, because mahogany is a good and rare wood, and…. yeah.
Look, if me today is doing things that me 25 years ago would scream at me for, because circumstances change and we need different things now, what it brings home to me is HOW STUPID it is for total strangers to try to plan what millions of people need.
Anyone with sense would know it can’t be done.
And yet, it’s kind of the underlying creed of centralized government. That other people can decide what you should have, and when, and what your future will look like.
Maybe twenty five year old me can go yell at them instead?
It would make for a change. 😉
Okay, real post tomorrow.