Monday, July 24, 2006

We'll Be Done When?

It's just after midnight, so technically it's Monday morning; the thermometer is reading 78 F as an outside temperature and NOAA reads a few degrees lower. And it's supposed to be like this for the next few days. Euew. Just eeuew.

Today we spent something like eight hours collectively on the task of stripping the latex paint off of the trim. We managed to sort of clear one side of four and a half doors (keep in mind that each door has two sides) and the woodwork around an old cabinet. We still have something like three more door sides to go, plus all the trim and the mantle (although I did manage to peel most of the top of the mantle off with my bare fingers yesterday. So it's probably really optimistic to imagine that we'll be done painting by this Saturday. We might be ready to start. Mark is talking about moving our moving date back a week or two, as well.

Mark likes to use an electric sander to take off the latex. I prefer an old-fashioned paint scraper. Mark's sanding down to the beige enamel layer; I find that with the stripper I'm going down to the green jade enamel layer. At the end of my shift, I was sweaty, and covered in dust and paint chips. I felt like an extra from The Ten Commandments -- only with a dust mask.

Since we don't want to know what's in the beige and jade enamel paint, we're keeping Arthur out of the house until we're finished scaping. Of course, we're going to have to rinse down all the walls again. I'm voting that we get a sponge mop and use that.

The great color debate is going forward and backward. I thought we had settled on a kind of pale wheat color and a darker one for the trim, but Mark has other ideas. I suggested that maybe we could get some corrugated aluminum siding and use that as a kind of wainscoting, but Mark vetoed that faster than you could say "Post Modern."

So I find myself waiting for the house to cool down enough so I can sleep by blogging and playing with colors at http://www.visibone.com/colorlab/big.html. Earlier, I sat in a cold bath and read Architectural Digest and Sunset Magazine. What these magazines have taught me is that our house could be beautiful if we had $50,000 to throw at it.

Money aside, I did see some things it might be fun to try; a hanging lamp / chandelier for the square hall; painting the walls a river stone color and the trim a dark stain to make the house look like a castle; or we could paint our house as blandly as possible to emulate a semi-famous designer.

Part of the problem is the house -- I don't know how or why, but it really wants to slide into "Old Lady" style (and Mark agrees with me on this one). I don't know if it's the 50's round chrome cover over the kitchen vent (which was grease colored before I cleaned it), or recessed linnen closets or the very wide mantel that could accomodate a flock of ceramic owls with room to spare for a bunch of antique farm impliments -- but I do not want to live in my Grandmother's house.

I find the back yard much easier to think about. When I let my imagination go, I can see a kind of mini-gazebo surrounding the cherry tree, only with the roof pitched to direct water onto the tree and a bench encircling the tree trunk. I see a long narrow brick trough running west to east with water in it. The trough is stepped into three sections, and a cascade of water tumbles from the higher sections into the lower before being pumped back. At the top, there's a little jog in the trough so that the Garden Sphinx can have the water come from underneath her paws as she looks north -- watching the circumpolar stars spinning over our roof at night.

If only the tree and yard would stretch to the demensions of my imagination.
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