Monday, October 28, 2013

Trick or Paint

I paint.

That's what I do these days. It has kind of become this rhythmic morning routine.  I wake up and put on my black & white thick rugby shirt splattered with primer, my grey pants and my all time favorite navy crocs.  I start a pot of coffee and grab a quick bite.  Then I go to painting jail.

The rugby shirt just really makes the whole scene all the more comical.  The graceful french manicure I had from my sister's wedding is now barely visible under the layers of cracked "Naval" paint and white primer.  I sometimes even sport a streak or two of primer on my upper forehead these days.

With temperatures up in the mid 60's for the past month, our painting window has been prolonged and a blessing in disguise.  I have been able to stand on our back porch painting with the most beautiful backdrop - the glistening water and orange tree linger behind the street's gazebo.  We are truly lucky to live on such a beautiful street in Rhode Island, especially for New England's best season, fall. With the back living room 3/4 of the way finished, the painting department, ie ME, has been in full force.

Sand. Prime. Sand. Prime. Sand. Paint. Paint.

The great thing about painting is how the object is transformed before my eyes.  Instant gratification. We become one step closer to finishing off a piece of the puzzle with each new layer and brush stroke.  Which means we are one step closer to decorating. Which means I can start to bring 82 Middle Ave out of the 60s.  THAT makes me happy.

Speaking of the 60s...we had two visitors this past week.  Judy (mom) and Bill (son) S. used to live at 82 Middle Ave back in 1962-1997.  Guess where they live now?  2 houses behind us.  Guess where Judy grew up? 2 blocks away.  That is called a smallllll town folks.  I had a great time talking to these two because they had so many stories about the memories they created in this house, the answers to some of the mysteries we have been asking and the love of a house that became their home.

I knew immediately when they came to introduce themselves - their names are written all over the house - in the garage floor concrete, the basement (picture to prove it), the growth chart in the closet of the office, and behind the wallpaper in the bathroom.

But what I didn't know is that Bill used to have a fort in the rafters of the garage; Judy and her husband didn't have any money with 3 small children, so they did everything themselves (hence the piss poor construction that we are now fixing:); the kitchen was brand new in 1962...I thought the wood walls, wood cabinets and wood floors screamed OLD but I had no idea that kitchen hasn't been updated in 50 years; the white marks all over the garage are in fact barnacles - the wood from the garage came from the old Texaco plant down the road and the wood had been used for oil spills (can you say lead paint?!?!?); and all the neighborhood used to rally each month for potluck parties at the gazebo in the street, sometimes the Navy's band used to come and play at the Christmas party.

It's been easy for us to get caught up in the day to day construction of the house.  The surprise behind every corner, the hours of painting, the hauling of wood, and the trapping of animals can get exhausting. I for one have been feeling weighed down by the long list of projects and dwindling bank account, but these visits reminded me of WHY we are working so hard to make this house our HOME.

Just look at the progress these past 2 weeks...






Naturally I felt it was appropriate for Andrew and I to go to our friend's halloween bash as Heidi and Tim the "Tool Man Taylor" from Home Improvement.  I had just enough paint leftover yesterday afternoon to paint "Tool Time" on my shirt.

It's all coming together folks. This week's focus is interior trim, framing the back deck, painting doors and recovering the dining room chairs! Stay tuned...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Procrastination Nation

I don't know what it is. We all do it and I am no exception to the rule. We procrastinate. We put things off that need to get done.  We move it down to the bottom of the priority list until the time is NOW or better yet, yesterday.  New Years resolutions can't even seem to change this habit of procrastination! We are a procrastination nation and I am right in the thick of it.

I like to think of myself as a diligent worker.  A "to do" list junky.  A believer in "Do not put off tomorrow what you can do today".  A go getter if you will.

But let me tell you something, when it comes time for switching health insurance with a deadline, picking out the perfect birthday present for someone, or taking out the garbage, all that motivation shit goes straight out the window.

And so I procrastinate until the ABSOLUTE last minute. And then you know what happens?! It gets done and it gets done well and I can finally breathe.  This seems so ass backwards to me, the planner, the organizer, and the list junky.  And here's the thing...I am not alone.  I know we all have these things in our lives that weigh us down. We know we have a deadline. We know inside we have to accomplish these things, in fact we remind ourselves either by a mental or paper note.  But still, we procrastinate.

This month's procrastination...

1. Health Insurance. Switched to RI. Accomplished it October 1. Expired October 1. Obviously...

2. My sister's wedding toast.  Been stressing over it for months. Finished it 2 days before the wedding. Nailed it:)

3. My sister's wedding toast gift. I asked Andrew to build this champagne box for her 5th Anniversary the night before we flew to VA. He finished it an hour before we left for the airport. The paint dried in the car.

4. Cleaning paint brushes. I hate it. With a passion. Andrew gets mad at me for ruining them all. It's a long walk from the bathroom to the basement where the paint supplies live...

5. The trash. 9 times out of 10 I leave the bag at the back door. The 10 steps to the dumpster is clearly too far.  Good thing Andrew is the trash ferry.

6. The dead plants on our front steps. I don't remember to water plants plus we leave too often. I walk up and down those steps A LOT lately and still, we have dead plants up and down the stairs. Nothing says "Welcome to our house" more than 10 dead plants.

7. Calling oil companies. This has been on my "to do" list for 2 months. It is finally starting to get cool and I still have only managed to call 1 company. Mostly I think its because I am pretending to understand what they are saying on the phone and dread calling another company and having not a clue to what they are saying...again. I'm sorry it costs how much?!

8. Answering emails. I am the ULTIMATE procrastinator for this. I hate responding and writing emails. The iphone makes it even harder. I read and immediately say to myself, "I'll answer that later". Sorry if you've been on the receiving end of this.

9. Ordering Birth Control Pills. Yes, this is probably TMI but here it is. I always seem to "realize" a week before I am OUT of birth control pills that I should probably order more. Then I have to scramble to find my Express Scripts information in order to actually fill the prescription.  A vicious cycle (no pun intended).

10. Making Birthday Presents. My dear friend Mary Ann's adorable daughter just turned 1. I had been looking at various gifts on Etsy for the last month. In fact 2 things were in my cart for two weeks. And still I never could seem to press the "buy" button. So of course I consult my favorite website ever, Pinterest and find an adorable piece of art for her room. And I make 1/2 of it at 10pm the night before the party and I glue on the last part 5 minutes before we walk out the door. WHY?! I knew her birthday was coming up for the 10 months I have known her!!! It was no surprise and still procrastination...But look how great it came out!!

Why in the world do we not just do it?!  I for one, with all my ADD tendencies, need to just stop what I am doing and do the thing I say I'm going to do...That is my today resolution:) Forget New Years...

Monday, October 7, 2013

Not Your Typical Monday

Whether you read my blog because you are my mother or because you need some comic relief in your everyday lives or you are a new homeowner and like to feel better about your situation by reading mine, let me tell you a little something about


Today should have been your typical Monday morning. It started out that way. I had my cup of tea, worked on my photography a bit before Andrew woke up and then started the house projects promptly at 9:34am. 

We drilled on the sill frame for the side deck, caulked the radiators and molding (yes, this project is still ongoing, I too cannot believe it), and tried one last ditch effort to get the big radiator to stop leaking by applying 5200 boat sealer.  I was feeling productive. I decided it would be nice of me to help Andrew clean out the garage so that his shop could start to look more like a shop. 

A little disclosure: I have a bitter taste in my mouth for the sellers.  I know, its been 4 months since closing but I still despise them.  Today only intensified this feeling. As we are cleaning out all of THEIR old crap from the garage that they so kindly left for us in the rafters, I am telling Andrew that I am going to send them a bill.  It will be itemized with 2 dumpster costs, our cleaning costs and a nice f*& you and thank you. As I'm mouthing off, Andrew hands me an old roll of tar paper. Since we had just taken off the old tar paper on the side of the house I turned it upside down and as I was asking if we should keep it...

SURPRISE!!  5 BABY MICE came out and scurried on the floor next to my feet. 

I proceeded to scream, run out in the driveway (still screaming) yelling profanities and waving my arms in the air. 

And then I think I threw up in my mouth. 

Shocked would not even begin to describe this situation. Sheer terror is more like it. Andrew of course is standing on the ladder looking at me...baffled...and holding a dead mouse from the shelf.  These were not the happy go lucky "three blind mice" we sang about as kids...

We can now add MICE to the 82 Middle Ave Relocation Program

**On a good note, I just learned how everyone else in the world writes on their photos. Yes, I am a technology tard. Thank you "Preview" for giving me entertainment in the face of disgust.**

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