I actually have a lot of them these days. The silver is coming in wisps and streaks that seem to be having a wild party among the more docile brown of my youth. For a while I dyed them and tried to condition them into conformity. Any more I just don’t seem to have the time or wherewithal to worry about it. Between chasing a two year old and the amazing heat this summer I’ve been putting it in a braid and letting the wild ones party on.
The work on the house gets done in fits and spells. The progress never happens all at once. The dining room has been 3/4 sheet rocked for several months now. The bathroom has been nearly finished since May, except for the crown molding and the filler for the edges of the flooring.
In January my parents came for Lily’s second birthday. The work always happens faster when dad is here. After the party we covered everything with a tarp and set about painting the living room while Grandma got some baby time. In the debate over whether or not to pull down the seventies wood paneling, practicality won. Given the condition of exposed plaster in this house we have decided to keep the devil we know rather than chance the devil we don’t. Painting a paneled room was possible to finish while he was here. If we took down the paneling and saw daylight? Well…
We coated the ceiling with Killz. That is my standard ceiling coat and color in every room so far. We didn’t realize just how brown that ceiling really was until we put some white paint next to it. Bryan and I had looked for a simple light paint color in the weeks leading up to the visit. We settled on Oriental Silk. It appears white until it’s next to white, then it has just a hint of cream. Once we put it on the walls we were happy to discover that it picks up the colors of the room and reflects the shades of sunlight throughout the day. That first sunset in the brightened room was lovely.
Still a room has 6 sides. With the walls and ceiling painted it made that ancient carpet in mottled and matted shades of orange and brown look even more garish. The horse trailer was loaded to capacity and ready for the dump. If we ripped out the carpet where would we put it? My garbage company will only take the one container and bagged garbage. No large items. The bagged policy is fairly liberal when you think about it. At one point they hauled away as many as 15 additional bags of construction and yard waste on my garbage day. I decided to cut the carpet into strips and put them in large lawn bags. This should be easy then, right?
When we cut the first strip we discovered that the tack strip around the room had been pounded in with construction nails, and the pad had been stapled to the floor every 6 inches in some kind of rapid fire grid pattern. By the time that first strip was done we were overwhelmed at the prospect of doing any more. So there it sat. Until last weekend. When I got what is referred to as “a wild hair.” I had a moment to sit still long enough that the single strip of missing carpet was finally more than I could live with.
I thought, “Let’s DO this thing!”
With the help of my 18 year old, Kyra, I moved all the furniture into the dining room. We rolled up the carpet weighted with years of stuff we don’t like to think about. We had left ourselves a rolled carpet width lane through the dining room. We tugged and pulled and stopped for several breaks. The dog and the kid looked bewildered as we inched it across the dining room. In the end, with a little help from gravity we made it into the back yard only damaging the door frame “a little”. It’s a good thing the bones of this house are sturdier than the trim, eh?
We knew we still had hours of work to remove all the tack board and staples. Kyra started peeling up the carpet pad and stuffing it in a lawn bag while I began the slow process of prying up the tack board with a 4″ puddy knife and a tire iron. Some of it was rotten and pulled away from the nails. Given enough slow and patient prying most of it finally gave way and came out nails and all. Meanwhile Kyra worked her way across the floor with a flat edged shovel, a screwdriver, and a pair of pliars. Sometime mid evening she ran out of gas. I finished scrubbing and mopping late that night, sore, exhausted, and hungry. Lily was just happy to have mommy sit still long enough for a snuggle. She never cares about the dirt or stink.
The hardwood floor beneath has a lot of potential. It has the same tell tale rectangle in the middle of the floor. Upstairs they are painted. Here it is raw wood. There was a floor treatment, that while interesting, I have removed from one room upstairs, and plan to remove from the other. There is a rectangle of thin linoleum backed by cardboard. It was made to look like an expensive Persian rug. There must have been one here as well.
The border doesn’t appear to be stained or painted – just varnished. I’ve bought the verathane to do the whole floor. Some people think I should sand it down, but it’s in reasonable condition, and anything too finished doesn’t keep with the well worn style of the house. I plan to clean it well and put on that glossy coat of Verathane sometime in the next few weeks. If the rectangle doesn’t finish the same color, I figure I have a custom two toned hardwood floor. Could be interesting. But first I have to cut up the roll of carpet sitting behind the house. And with the slew of family gatherings, departures, and camping trips that are cropping up, I may have to wait for the next wild hair.