I'm Not Dead! I Just Moved.

posted on: Monday, July 8, 2013

Oh, hey.

Hey, guys.

Ummmm, so. I didn't quit blogging, really I didn't. I just took a, um, vacation of sorts. If you call picking crusted paint off floors with your finger nails and sanding woodwork a vacation that is. But I did use some vacation days, so I'm counting it.

So we moved, obviously. I have spent the last two? (I've lost all sense of time) or so weeks in basically a construction zone. We had ALL the carpet ripped out on the entire second floor hoping to find beautiful hardwood floors beneath them. And we did, for the most part. Give our take a bunch of old paint splatters on the wood floor in Oren's room and a certain hole in the floor in Weston's little office off his bedroom that was patched with cement. Because you always patch hardwood floors with cement, right? Standard procedure from what I gather. What I'm getting at here is that new houses are full of surprises. Time consuming surprises. And lots of carpet staples to remove.

I had what I thought was a very realistic goal set to get just the boy's bedrooms painted before we moved in, that way even though I knew the rest of the house would be in upheaval, they would have their own spaces to start settling in to. We got the keys on a Wednesday, I took off work Thursday and Friday to paint and we moved on Saturday.  Well, in terms of how well that goal was achieved,  let's just say Oren is still sleeping in the guest bedroom. The whole house has dark stained trim throughout. Except for a few areas here and there where the trim has been painted, primarily upstairs. And I am all for this, by the way. We have beautiful quarter sawn tiger oak trim on the first floor which I have resolved not to paint. On the second floor the trim is still nice and heavy with great detailing, but the quality of the wood is not what it is on the first floor. Which is pretty typical and therefore the easier it is to justify painting it. Of course neither of the boys bedrooms were the ones where the trim was already painted. I mean, don't get me wrong, even if it were painted I would have surely repainted it with the color of my choosing, but I was starting at square one here. All the trim needed to be gone over with a fine tooth comb, filling all the holes and scuffs, caulking any gaps, and then it all needed sanded. Then of course you need to go back over the trim and wipe it all down with a clean washcloth to get all the dust and debris off. Finally, after it dries, you can paint. Did I mention it takes THREE coats to get solid coverage over the dark trim? And that's with the fancy paint and primer in one, by the way. Oh, and once you're done with the trim you have to tape it all off to paint the walls. Two more coats there.

I should also mention I am doing this all the Giffels way. For those of you who have not read David Giffels's book, All The Way Home - Building a Family in a Falling Down House, let me give you a brief synopsis. David is an Akron local who bought an amazing old mansion in Highland Square that was in total disrepair. He spent the next few years completely re-building it from top to bottom. And when Giffels does a home repair, Giffels don't take no short cuts. He notes in one chapter the hours, DAYS even, he spent tediously removing all the old paint from the door hinges in the house. When you have a century home, you have a certain duty to do it the right way. So even though I had help (so much help from our families!) everything just takes way longer than you'd think. In turn every time I was wrenching free yet another antique door knob only to paint behind it and then re-assemble it I would scrunch up my face and curse David Giffels for doing this to me. Or every time Abby was sent with a fine tip paint brush to paint around yet ANOTHER door hinge I would hear a shout from across the hall, "GIFFELSSSSS!" and I knew we were doing it the right way.

We did manage to finish up Wes's room before we moved in and he slept in there the next night. But I've only just finished Oren's yesterday (stupid actual job/unpacking getting in the way). He's still sleeping in his crib in the guest bedroom until his brand new TWIN bed arrives. I'm dying that he's old enough for a real bed, but I'm excited too. I still need to put the finishing touches on both boys rooms, but they're getting very close to finished. As for the rest of the house, well, Rome wasn't built in a day, at least that's what I keep telling myself. Once I start getting some rooms really and truly done, I'll start sharing some pictures, but for now, all I have to offer is a photo of my piano. The one truly finished spot in the house.

Lord help me, I have a ways to go.


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