Wednesday, May 4, 2011

He's Three

Through various turns of events, I found myself on a porch swing in the backyard next-door to my old backyard. John, age 3, was with me. He wanted me to swing higher, but a porch swing isn't the same as a playground swing. He didn't get that. I tried to make conversation, nodding my head toward our old house: "John, there's our old house. You were BORN there!"

And his reply: "How old was I?"

Monday, May 2, 2011


The good news is that ALL of the inside projects we wanted to do in this new house are now complete. Anything else we do is like icing on the cake.

The bad news is that plastering the ceiling was WAY more difficult than I bargained for. Plastering, in and of itself, is pretty basic. It was made more difficult by yours truly - thanks to the Easter deadline I imposed, the "side projects" I had going simultaneously, and my perfectionism. Fortunately, when one grows increasingly desperate and anxious, the perfectionism starts to go out the window. Passers-by hear statements like: "I don't give a rat's @$$ anymore about the air bubbles! I just want this stupid project FINISHED!!!" (Sadly, for my husband, he is really the only passer-by.)

It all started with this:
You'll have to squint a little. See that pale spot just past the air vent? That was the former site of a truly ugly medallion which was screwed into the ceiling with many VERY LARGE screws. And a light fixture. But, since we removed the light fixture, Kevin patched the damaged drywall, etc. And that is where he stopped. He kept procrastinating the texture job. Partly because it's messy and partly because on any given weekend we already have 250,000 OTHER things on our to-do list. You understand.

I, the brilliant wife, had the economical idea to finish the ceiling with Venetian Plaster, which can be obtained at your local Home Depot. (You don't have to be even a little bit Italian. They just sold it to me!) Plastering would kill two birds with one stone - release Kevin from the pesky texturing job and accomplish re-painting which would be inevitable.

And here I insert a HUGE thank you to Neal Kellen for loaning us his scaffold, Tammy Kellen for posting a photo of their scaffold on facebook during their painting job (or else I never would have known anyone owned such a thing), and Kathy Litto and Kendra Green for coaching me (in person and on the phone) in the fine art of Venetian Plaster. I still didn't get it entirely right, but I think it looks pretty good, it accomplished my goal, and on days when my perfectionist beast is subdued, I live in happy satisfaction with a job done.

Here is the scaffold, which joined our family for a little less than a week. The kids loved it. They played on it, lunched on it, spilled juice on it... (whoops! didn't mention that to the Kellens!)

And here is the "after" picture.

Please do just enough squinting to appreciate the texture and the effect of the "burnishing." What is "burnishing?" you ask. Burnishing, loosely translated, means: to scrape a steel putty knife across endless square feet of ceiling surface to make it shiny and give it "depth" and color variations; it often results in sore arms and shoulders, plaster-dust in the eyes, vertigo (depending on the height of your ceiling) and a deep need to tell everyone you meet about the job you just did so they can pat you on the back and be impressed.