In this instance fantasy is much better than reality

October 18, 2011

So I’ve mentioned before that the Hubs and I live live in a 2.5 storey house.  Which is now 75 years old.  So it needs some work.  Ok, it needs a lot of work, mostly cosmetic.  But house work is house work.

Our bedroom is in the attic.  So it’s nice and big.  The attic was “finished” in the early 90s, either by the people we bought the house from or the people before them.  I’m not sure.  I suspect it was the previous owners though because of the stairs.

See, the previous owners had “interesting” decorating ideas.  We’ve painted over most of them, although the chicken wire wall in our kitchen won’t be replaced until we renovate.  The front porch had a god-awful ugly sunburst in purple, navy and yellow.  One bedroom was eggplant, navy, British racing green and burgundy.  So you see what we had to contend with.

The attic stair case though was appalling.  It was glossy kelly green with hundreds of silver frogs stenciled on.  The Hubs HATED it.  Which is kind of interesting since he doesn’t usually hate much of anything.  But he hated these stairs.

Last summer we bought brown paint to repaint them.  A nice milk chocolate that’s not too dark.  It’s the same colour as our porch, although this sample looks grey and it’s not grey.  But anyway.  We had plans to paint the stairs in the summer.  Which didn’t happen for various reasons mostly to do with the fact that I loathe painting and the Hubs “wasn’t in the mood”.

But the biggest reason they didn’t get done, stairs are a pain in the ass to paint.  Especially if you have to use oil paint.  Which we did.  As a primer.

Now, years ago I saw a staircase I fell in love with in a decorating magazine.  It kind of looked like this one.  I love the way the step colour contrasts so starkly with the riser.  And I knew that if I ever had to repaint/replace a staircase this is how I’d do it.

I lobbied hard for the main floor staircase but the Hubs wasn’t having any of it.  He has no art in his soul.  And besides, we agreed we wanted a runner so the two-toned stairs would be pretty much lost anyway.

But the attic.  Oh yes the attic was perfect for this.  It’s a very narrow, two flight staircase with a small narrow landing.  The bedroom is white and will pretty much always have to be white given that the windows are so small and there is no decent light in the fall/winter.  I figured that a white riser would lighten the heavy brown and since we don’t wear shoes in the house anyway, it would be easy to keep clean.  Well, ok, easy-ish.

So the Hubs agreed, even though he’s grumbled that it will “look retarded”.  And on Sunday he broke out the palm sander to scrap off the “texture” on the side of the stairs (no idea what that is called –  the moulding?) and after the green dust was cleaned up, he primed the entire thing.  It looked great white.  Really really great.  But white, even though I love love love it, is a “retarded” choice for a floor.  Even one that doesn’t get walked on in shoes.

So then I stepped in.  Since I want the stairs to be two colours, I agreed to paint them.  Holy Mother of God I must have been drinking when I agreed to this.  This is going to be a 47 step process.  I just finished painting the side mouldings.  I still have a second coat to go.  Then, on Thursday, I’ll paint the actual steps and the landing (twice) and likely on Sunday I’ll paint the risers white.  Twice.  Maybe three times depending on how they look.  And of course, during all of this I’ll have to plan ahead and shower/change clothes on the second floor because I am working from the top down and even though it’s latex paint it still takes a few hours to dry.  And I’ll have to keep the cat away.  She’s a big believer in Feline Supervision and I’m a big believer in not having small brown paw prints all over my hardwood.  And let’s NOT talk about how much painter’s tape I am using and how small I have to rip the strips and how picky it is to tape off risers.

So.  It will look amazing when it’s done.  But I think maybe, I should have let the fantasy remain a fantasy and just have painted the whole shebang one colour.  It would have taken two days, next to no taping and I could spend all my extra time knitting.




October 7, 2011

It is no secret that I do not care for my in-laws.  I have not-so-affectionately nicknamed them the “outlaws” and I frequently wish they’d drop off the face of the earth.  She has a special talent for annoying the snot out of me with her passive-aggressive behaviour and him, well, he’s just a jerk.

And it’s also no secret that holidays are angst-filled for us.  And likely for most couples.  Where to eat the holiday meal and who to eat it with causes all sorts of anguish.  Christmas and Easter never fail to elicit huge battles that last for days.  But not Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving has never been a problem for us.  For one simple reason.

It’s our anniversary and we made it very clear to both families that we’d celebrate it how we wanted to.  Which meant, with each other and far away from both sets of parents.  My parents have been ok with this.  His parents, well, his mother at least, connives every year to get us to have Thanksgiving dinner with them.  And every year we’ve managed to avoid it.

This year is different.  We had planned to go to New York City for an extra-long weekend.  But, with me being laid off, New York being expensive and money not as free-flowing as it could be, we decided to give the Big Apple a miss.

So, we thought we’d head up to the cottage for a weekend of romantic bedroom painting.  Which is not a euphemism.  We were planning on painting two of the bedrooms up there.  But the couple who is currently renting the place, decided to stay up there instead of going home to their families.  Which means they probably don’t like their in-laws much either.

For the first time in five years we had a conundrum.  Each family celebrates on Sunday.  We knew from our first Christmas as a couple that two turkey dinners in one day was not going to happen.  Where would we eat turkey?  And who would we eat it with?

Because the Hubs had invited his parents up to the cottage last month and I had the distinct displeasure of spending three days with them in a small house (that’s a wank for another post) and I’m still harbouring violent tendencies from that time, I decided that for everyone’s safety (and my sanity), we’d each spend Thanksgiving with our own family.  I was fine with it.  The Hubs was fine with it.  My family was fine with it.  I figured his would be too.

I knew it would just be me and my mom since my sister and her family will be celebrating Thanksgiving with her on Saturday.  But the Hubs doesn’t know this.  He thinks, and I’m not dissuading him of the notion, that my entire family will be at my parents’ house on Sunday.  He does know that my dad will be at work though.  His entire family will be at his uncle’s house and while I really enjoy his aunt and uncle’s company, I’m still having some trouble suppressing the urge to kick my FIL in the head.  Which is why he’s going alone.

Or he was until yesterday.  Last night the Hubs went to his parents’ for dinner.  He mentioned the holiday plans to his parents and his mom told him that married couples should be together on the holidays so he’d have to go with me to my family’s dinner.  WHAT?!  The dinner which my mom was making special for me?  (Her breaded chicken breasts that I love more than any other food in the world.)  The dinner that was just going to be me and my mom?  The dinner where I didn’t have to cook or clean up or watch what I said?  The dinner where I was planning on gossiping and complaining about the outlaws?  The dinner where I was going to laze around afterwards and knit to my heart’s content?  Yes that very dinner.  And afterwards he wants to go to see his family for coffee so I still have to see the outlaws.  CRAP!

So now we’re in damage control mode.  We’ve concocted stories as to why my sister and her family won’t be there.  We’ve changed the menu.  We’ve basically made it no fun.  I keep telling the Hubs he’s more than welcome to go on to his family’s dinner.  That no one in my family will hold it against him for not showing up.  But he’s not listening to me.

Way to go MIL.  You’ve managed to poop a party you weren’t even invited to.  And once again you’ve guaranteed that I continue to be not thankful for having you in my life.