Saturday, July 28, 2007


We've had all our windows open and the air conditioning off because of the painting, and it has been bliss, especially since the weather has been perfect: sunny but not too hot, and fresh in the morning. Last night I walked Swee'pea to sleep with the unfamiliar lullaby of rain hissing into leaves and slapping into concrete. It's funny that the words I think best describe the sound of the rain outside my home are so violent when the sounds themselves are so gentle and soothing, like a warm blanket on a cold day.

We finished the painting we wanted to yesterday, miraculously. When we started in the morning I thought it was hopeless; there was no way we could finish everything. But somehow we did and the hallway is fresh and bright. It's my first experience painting such a bland colour (think sand but much much paler -- I'd been hoping it would read as yellow but better, but it reads more like white and I worry it's a bit too clinical for our house), and it's not nearly as satisfying as painting a colour that makes a bit more of a statement, but I think it will be ok. Especially if we end up selling.

My favourite part of the paint job in the hallway is the stairs. Before, the risers were gouged from floor sanders and the paint was a dingy gray after years trapped underneath old doggy carpet that was the first thing we took out of the house on the day we took possession. But now they are fresh and bright white, with a clean straight line where the riser meets the rounded edge of the golden, knotty pine step. Every time I go upstairs, I look up and I am pleased. Those crisp-looking stairs make me feel like we're living in one of those fancy homes that get featured in fancy magazines.

On the possible relocation front, at first I thought no way are we leaving after all that painting. But then I looked at pictures of my dream house in Ottawa (Sugar D calls it real estate porn), which I thought I'd gotten over but apparently I haven't. It's just so gorgeous and much bigger than our house. Sugar D says no matter how big a house we buy, we will always be able to fill it with stuff and more stuff until it feels cluttered and small, and he's probably right. But still. I found myself furnishing it and choosing colours for the walls.

I have also seen a job advertised in Ottawa that is pretty much my dream job, so I'm working on an application. But there haven't been as many jobs for Sugar D in Ottawa as I'd expected, and the idea of moving my whole family that far for MY job prospect and making Sugar D unemployed in the process is terrifying. Anyone who's relocated a fair distance, how do you manage the employment of two people? Does one go unemployed, or can you sometimes negotiate a delay in start time?

This morning we walked to the Farmer's Market as we always do on Saturdays when we're town. My ass and thighs ached from all the squats I did yesterday painting, and I mentioned to Sugar D that "My ass and thips are sore!" in my typical way of mashing words together when I'm tired and distracted. I saw a dead bird on the road as flat as paper, and carefully stepped around it, only to discover that it actually was paper.

At the market, it was fairly busy and at times difficult to maneuover the stroller around people. When Swee'pea was tiny I used to apologize, "Sorry I'm a new driver." Today I tripped one older woman by accident when she stepped in front of the stroller and then stopped abruptly. She was old enough to look like a fall could break a hip and be life threatening and I felt really bad. Until she made the ugliest prune face at her husband like The nerve of some people! Huh! Kids today... That just pissed me off. Since SHE stepped in front of ME. But whatever. I just continued on my way, cautious and terrified someone else would jump in front of the death machine it felt like I was steering.

In summary, the math:

2 gallons of alkyd ceiling paint
2.5 gallons of latex primer
.5 gallon of white semi-gloss trim paint
1.25 gallons of red paint
2 gallons of cream coloured paint

= 108 man-hours over 6 days

Sugar D starts his new job on Monday so we're trying to take it easy, enjoy the weekend, yet still put our chaotic house slightly back together.


Mouse said...

We had a similar experience with an old man stepping in front of the stroller once. Trillian just clipped his heel, but he looked ready to slap her, even after she apologized. He stepped in front of the stroller and then stopped short. I've often wondered what makes strollers invisible, because we frequently find ourselves walking towards groups of people who make no attempt to leave even the smallest amount of room for a stroller.

Good on ya for the painting! We never painted our old house until we were rushing to put it on the market. Next time we'll pick colors and paint before we move our stuff in!

Aliki2006 said...

Yay for painting! We just finished doing our kitchen (I'll have to post pics soon) and I think there's nothing to give an older house a face-lift than new bright paint.

kgirl said...

I know that they say that if you rear end someone, it is automatically your fault, but that lady is lucky that she didn't end up getting the ol' double-cheek check.

Good on ya with the painting - even if you do decide to sell, you've probably upped the value a nice chunk.

slouching mom said...

Good work!

I too love the sound of rain.

Beck said...

I still accidentally ram people with my stroller - experience and age have not improved my driving.
All that painting! I'd love to see a picture of your stairs - we currenly have dingy grey (likely leadish, too) stairs and I would LOVE some ideas for them.

Christine said...

this was a truly perfect sin post. realy lovely and your description of the rain, the paint, and the paper/bird were just so wonderful.

and a few weeks ago i rammed a VERY OLD man with my shopping cart. horrifying!

Bon said...

for a post called "math," that was lyrical. i like your math. i'll take it any day.

and i hate it when i'm stroller-clumsy, but i've just realized that i do tend to push it around like it's entitled to a lot of room, and people should just get out of the way. i would never walk around, just myself, with that attitude...but the stroller? mmm. i wonder, am i right or wrong?

Kyla said...

Between you and Beck's projects, I'm going to have to get off my duff and paint KayTar's room soon. It needs it badly...I just haven't worked up the drive to get it done.

I thought about you a lot in Chicago...there were so many people, places, and things that would have been perfect for your photography. They just had that vibe. Looking at them all, I could actually see them through your lens.

bubandpie said...

Sugar D says no matter how big a house we buy, we will always be able to fill it with stuff and more stuff until it feels cluttered and small.

He's a wise man. I know this is true - but it doesn't really help with lust of the eyes.

ewe are here said...

Ugh! It really ticks me off when I have to swerve or stop pushing my boy's stroller suddenly to avoid people who can't bother looking before they wtop without warning or walk right across me. And, yeah, I've bumped a few and no way do I apologize for their mistake when they shoot me a rotten look.


Sounds like a great paint job.... I see lots of paint in my future, too (assuming this house deal ever goes through!).