Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Little Crooked House

(I wrote this on Wednesday the 8th - today is Tuesday the 14th.)

There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

That’s an English nursery rhyme, c. 1842.  If you take away the first three lines, throw in the words “girl” and “dog” and keep the last line, you’ve got my current situation.  Except I think it would have to be a “wicked crooked house.” 

Here’s a sunset from Saturday night, as seen from my driveway, overlooking the neighbor’s house across the street:

And here’s poodle keeping her eye on me when I went outside to take the picture:

My little trailer was full-to-overflowing on Saturday.  Kathy, mom, poodle and I drove up from Killington.  Ann came down from Hinesburg with Abby, Evan, Delaney and Hoagie (he’s a dog).  Aidan and Liam came over after snowboarding at Bolton. 

It was interesting, considering my current (borrowed) furniture consists of a card table and four folding chairs.  Saturday night the trailer living room was lined with air mattresses:  mom, Kathy, Evan, Abby, Delaney, poodle and I were all lined up in a row.  It was hilarious.  Before I show you pictures of what the painting crew accomplished, I MUST mention what we had for dinner.  Chinese take-out from a place called the Green Dragon.  Now I MUST mention that the Green Dragon is literally FOUR MINUTES from my house.  Did you get that?  FOUR MINUTES!  And it is one of THREE Chinese places I’ve seen here in town.  *swoon*  This may not mean much to some of you, but for those of you familiar with Bigfork, Montana, you know why this makes me deliriously happy.  Strangely enough, the Green Dragon even had french fries on the menu, so Evan was happy.  Chinese flavored french fries.  I think they cook them with the chicken fingers.

Anyway, back to the painting.  There’s a reason why I don’t paint houses for a living.  It’s a pain in the butt.  We started with the darker color for a couple of the living room walls. 

I know it looks orange in the pictures, but the color is called Armangac.  It’s a Sherwin Williams color – look it up.  Kathy is painting it on the stair risers as well.  (Those are the risers, right?  Not the treads, because that’s the part you walk on, right?)  In that first picture, Evan is not-so-patiently waiting for his first ever opportunity to paint with a roller.

On Sunday we moved on to the yellow (called Butter Up) in the dining room and the rest of the living room walls.  It was a fluorescent color right out of the can – not quite what I was expecting but you can see it is different from the peach color the previous people had in the dining room.  Delaney said it is a happy color.  And speaking of the dining room, doesn’t that space look tiny with people in it?  Yikes.


Poodle helped a lot.

Okay, what else.  I’m trying to remember what we’ve been doing the past couple of days.  I opened a bank account and got a post office box.  Notice I updated my mailing address over there on the right.  The post office computer randomly picks a box number for you, and when my number came up as 1612 the woman said, “Ah, the War of 1612.”  We don’t think there really was one, but I will forever remember my box number now by thinking of the War of 1612.

We’ve been to Big Lots three days in a row.  I didn’t even know what a Big Lots was until I moved here, and now I’ve been there three times.  Maybe four, I lost count.  I’ve been to the Aubuchon Hardware store four days in a row, and will be going back tomorrow.  Maybe tomorrow I can get a library card, too, because I have nothing to read.

Mom has been denuding the yard of lots of knick knacks and doo dads.  We took a bunch to a store that resells them as a benefit for the United Way, and next door found a master electrician looking for small jobs.  I’m going to call him tomorrow.  Hopefully he can come over and give me an idea of what I need to worry about first.  I’ve got enough small jobs to keep him busy for all of eternity, assuming he doesn’t have heart failure when he sees the wiring in this place.  Woo hoo!

Back to the painting.  Kathy picked a color for the two bedrooms upstairs and mom taped everything.  Both rooms need walls and ceilings painted.  Since the ceiling slopes down to a knee wall, I couldn’t decide what to do about color.  After putting the first coat on the walls in the bigger bedroom, I decided to go with a ceiling color that is tinted about halfway to the wall color.  Oh, and I couldn’t reach all the way up the tall walls with mom’s stepladder, so I couldn’t get an entire first coat on all the walls.  I kind of forgot about the whole before-and-after business, so these pictures are mid-painting. 

Sad poodle.

Ann brought down her Little Giant ladder today and I finished the walls and the inside of the closet in the big room, and painted the ceiling in the little room.  No, I didn’t need the ladder for the closet, nor did I need it for the ceiling in the littler room.  Amazing how easy it is to rub your head against wet paint when you are painting a low ceiling.

While I was messing around with this, mom was ripping the crap out of the carpet in the smaller bedroom. 

See, here’s the deal.  The previous tenants had a cat.  And somehow that cat turned into three cats.  And those three cats left one hell of a stink behind.  I have nothing against cats – I love cats - but I have everything against irresponsible pet owners who don’t know how to clean up after their pets.  If this is you, please stop reading right now and go away.  I have no time for you.  Because of some irresponsible pet owners, not only are we replacing all of the carpet upstairs, mom also ripped out the pad underneath and all of the tack strips.  We’re down to plywood.  And it still stinks.  Twice now I have sprayed almost a full bottle of pet odor eliminator on the entire floor of the small bedroom, which means my back hurts from bending over and my hands hurt from squeezing the trigger on the damn bottle.  A zillion times.  Plus I’m just pissed (no pun intended).  If this second application doesn’t help with the smell, the third time will be with barely diluted bleach.  Then we will paint the floors to seal them before the carpet installers come on the 22nd.

One thing I did learn during all this, though, is that my mom is an animal when it comes to carpet removal.  She did it all herself.  Talking to herself most of the time, but she did it.  We got her somewhat hooked on HGTV a couple of months ago, and now she could have her own show.  I suggested she test drive the cast iron tub tonight, but I forgot to get Epsom salts when we were out today.  Guess I’ll be going back to Big Lots tomorrow.

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