Besides raking leaves, another traditional harbinger of the fast approaching winter season is the appearance of wooly worms. For the “seasoned” among you, no explanation is necessary. For the un-initiated, it means that the shiver going up your spine is not from the northwest wind blowing leaves hither and yon–it comes from the sight of a completely dark wooly worm! Folklore and tradition says that the fewer light rings, the harsher the winter. Gulp.
…nor, will this floor be prepped for sanding in the near future. This first picture was taken at 10:45 am:
Backstory: as part of the ongoing project of bringing this house into the 21st Century, it was finally time to peek under the underlayment in the kitchen. The excitement of finding that the original oak floors were intact underneath two layers of linoleum and another layer of 1/4″ underlayment was almost derailed by the realization that there was a layer of black tar paper that had been put (correctly, may I add, to prevent moisture build-up) between the underlayment and the oak.
Tar paper that had dissolved into a sticky, gooey, frustratingly difficult mess with a stubborn attitude and no sympathy for the poor soul now in charge of its removal–ME! #1 Rule of Remodeling is once again testing my determination: “There is no such thing as an easy job.”
The original goal of stripping the wood, sanding and refinishing before cold weather makes leaving the windows open while the polyurethane dries, an obvious impossibility. Several deep breaths later, the new plan is to methodically remove one section at a time–at 45/60 minutes per square foot. Come spring when the outside will once again allow refreshing breezes to stream through the house, the next phase of sanding and the subsequent application of three coats of polyurethane will be completed.
HGTV-itis: brain disease characterized by the uncontrollable urge to seize a paint brush, shovel or other labor related implement as a result of watching HGTV.
My most recent infection began with a slight chill caused by the old, leaky windows in the dining room. In a previous owner’s life, this room had been an enclosed porch. The three large windows made it very bright and cheerful, but also downright cold when the winter winds blew.
The chill advanced to slight temperature when the new windows were ordered–or maybe it was just a cold sweat at the thought of writing the check. At any rate, the windows were installed recently, which one would think would bring about a cure. Instead, complications set in–don’t they always?
The new trim around the windows needed to be painted, which triggered a cascading set or symptoms. Now the existing trim looked shabby next to the freshly painted. The white walls that had cleverly allowed the old windows to fade into the surroundings, now made the new windows lose their pop. One thing that did stay was the existing wall paper. It’s been there quite awhile, but I still like it and, who knew, wallpaper is coming back in style. Hence, a trek to the paint store with a sample of the paper for a color match of one of the blues.
If one is going to the trouble of painting the walls, it is obvious that the ceiling will look dingy unless it also gets some attention. Add extra primer and a can of flat white for the ceiling. Two coats of primer and finish coats later, the ceiling and walls were ready for their close-ups Mr. DeMille.
The floor still needs to be waxed and the old two-prong electrical outlets and funky switches are going to be switched out this week, but the fever is definintely starting to come down. One lingering symptom is the realization that the old curtains no longer fit….
Coat, hat, gloves, boots, wood-burning stove. Punxsatawny Phil. If unavailable, substitute groundhog living under shed in backyard. Snow, large pot, shovel, Kleenex, wine and candles.
Dress in 10 layers for warmth. Lace thigh-high boots. Retrieve dried gloves from top of wood-burner. Button warm coat that has Kleenex in pocket for moments of despair. Chill 2 bottles of Thunderbird in snow bank, drinking as needed to enable memory loss. Reserve 1 bottle for later. Shovel path to shed to retrieve Groundhog living under the back corner. Expect some kicking and screaming.
Light wood-burning stove. Place snow from driveway in pot. Melt and bring to boil. Add groundhog. Simmer until he says “Uncle!” Light candles. Enjoy meal by candlelight with reserved bottle of Thunderbird. Collapse on couch.
Sung to the tune of “Anticipation” by Carly Simon.
Is making me late.
Is keeping me waiting.”
Choices for today included: washing walls in spare room in preparation for painting, installing new light fixture in hall, raking leaves, raking leaves, did I mention raking leaves, priming table to shabby chic it for the fleatique, gathering pinecones to dress a wreath destined for same location, workout at athletic club, scrubbing kitchen floor, ironing clothes from the morning’s wash, washing windows in the car and several in the house, ya-da-ya-da-ya-da, or writing a new post in my blog.
Well, paraphrasing Scarlett, “I can’t think about all that now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about all that tomorrow. Tonight I shall write a new post, maybe two.”
There were times when it felt as if M. C. Escher and I would never reach the pinnacle of our relationship. Perseverence however, ultimately triumphed over discouragement.
Just a few days over six months later, it is done! Now, what to do next–take it apart and submit someone else to six months of frustration, or, glue it together, finding a discreet corner to occasionally admire my fortitude?
H-m-m-m. Decisions, decisions.
1302 down (literally, by the way) 198 to go.
There is a side bet going with the contractor–which puzzle will be done first, the jigsaw puzzle or the bathroom puzzle?
Search your memory banks to recall that Fleatiquing has become one of my hobby/pass times. It has evolved into a fun and interesting “away time,” that has not only filled the booth (called Coco’s) with things for sale, but has also brought some decidedly quirky items into my personal collection. Nothing to take to the Antiques Road Show, but, small keepsakes that bring a smile to my face when I see them sitting on my shelf. These are a few of the things, I have bought for about $1:
The ’60’s vase:
The Owl Plate. His eyes hold dip:
The “I Love Paris” French Gendarme Bank for my “found money.” (That’s my annual collection of change I find in the street from January-December.)
And, the colors in this Shawnee Pottery Ewer manufactured between 1926 and 1942:
There are a few more examples, but I think you get the drift. Nothing elaborate. Each is just funky enough to catch my eye.
Taking a bit of liberty with the language here, (what else is new?) there is a real flower known as a Spring Beauty. To see a picture of a genuine Spring Beauty take a peek at http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/woodland/plants/spring_beauty.htm
My spring beauties were the result of hard work and some luck, but the result has been very enjoyable this spring:
Sand Cherry Bush
Cherokee Chief dogwood
The one exception, to date, has been the tulips. They, alas, became deer fodder:
And, of course, there are the apple trees, which are spectacular this year: