What really happened on my April vacation

When last we spoke, I told you that we were gong to finish the loft library come hell or high water.  Maybe not in those terms, but…A was really set on getting it done.  I was completely stressed out about it, because getting it done revolved around me doing a whole lot of painting.  Since A built the wall of bookcases herself, I could hardly complain about doing “my share”.

But the last thing I wanted to do was work the whole week!

Saturday we had two helpers – niece B and sister-in-law L.  L worked like a MACHINE, she must have made 20 trips up and down the stairs as she and A cleaned out A’s space and A’s stuff from the loft.  B and I did errands, and then headed up to clear my stuff out of the loft. While I purged and sorted, B snoozed on the futon.  :-)It was OK because really, I had to do my own purging.  I was surprised to find it only took a couple of hours to completely empty the loft of all “stuff”.  I put it neatly and in a fairly organized pile in the craft room (it’s OK to laugh.  I understand.)  The craft room is behind the cute screened door.  It theoretically keeps cats out but lets heat in. The room at the other end of the loft is A’s office/exercise room.  When we first viewed this home as a model, the loft was actually a hallway, with the stairs coming up into it.  But we both felt it was a waste of a loft, and so moved the stairs.  They go up from the corner of the dining room to into A’s office, giving it great corners and angles, and making the loft much more usable. The plan is to line the knee wall with built in bookcases, which A has been working hard on in her basement work room.




Sunday, we celebrated A’s birthday, with two of her sisters and her brother in law coming over for a mid-day meal.  L mentioned that she was tired, I wonder why?  We were pretty low-key Sunday afternoon, I did some knitting, working hard to get the Danse Macabre close to on schedule, even though I was working on clue four, and clue five was already out.  🙂

Monday I spent the day clearing furniture from the room, wiping walls, and taping the few edges that matter.  Since it is a loft, there is most of a wall that isn’t there, but it means that there are edges that are 12-14 feet from the ground.  Heights not being my favorite thing, taping those spots was tricky. I knew painting them would be worse, and was NOT looking forward to the adventure.

Monday evening we went over to Mom’s for an “April birthday party” with her, step dad B, brother C (whose birthday is at the end of the month) and C’s fiancée, D.  It was fun, and delicious food and cake.  A liked all her presents, and I liked having some time to sit and knit and visit. I worked on Maluka, and got the border finished.

Tuesday, the painting began in earnest, and I worked in that room for nearly 8 hours.  My goal was to get all the scary parts completely done before Mom arrived on Friday to help me.  That meant there was lots of climbing up the step ladder, hanging on for dear life as I leaned out over the railing to get the edges painted.

When I took my lunch break, the room looked like this:day-one-from-craft-room


So I have to say that painting a primer white room a color that is only slightly more blue than that means that progress pictures are relatively boring.  Sorry about that!  This is one coat on ceiling and scary walls.

I long ago learned that painting is much easier when you paint the ceiling and walls and trim all the same color.  🙂  I did not do that in the craft room, nor in A’s office.  In the craft room most walls and ceiling are the same, but then I got creative and painted the dormer alcove and all trim a different color.  A’s office is worse – walls and ceiling are the same color, a very pale pink, but the trim is all a dark burgundy color.  THAT was hideous to get right. So I swore never again.  The second floor of our house has reasonably low ceilings, and the style is a cape, so making everything the same color works well.  Not so sure it would work downstairs, or in a more formal house.  Someday I will finish painting the downstairs, and let you know.  🙂

Anyway, back to the matter at hand.  This is the first time the room had been painted, beyond primer, and it sucked up paint like nothing else. This made the first coat on everything take absolutely forever and quite hard work to get it blended in, even with a roller.

Wednesday I spent about 6 hours upstairs, and was glad to find that the second coat was easier.  By the end of the day, the room looked like this:


You can tell it is a different day because I put the glass shade back on the ceiling light.  Yes, I know that is the only way you can tell. But that is two coats on everything scary.  It was ready for Mom to come help, and had a some variety left so she could choose her favorite kind of painting – roller or brush.

Then I quit for the day and went back to this. A might have her goals, but I also have goals, and I was determined to finish knitting at least one of the three shawls I have on my needles.


Thursday was a break from painting.  Yahoo!  We had early car appointments, which meant that Maluka got lots of attention as the mobile project.  Then we headed to Ellsworth to run a  few errands, including dropping lots of boxes off at Good Will, and meeting up with Crimson Crow at Merrill Furniture, where A and I searched for a new mattress.  We were super lucky to find a discontinued model of Tempurpedic at a deep discount!  It gets delivered on Wednesday, and we can’t wait.  Our aching backs can’t either. Since we saved so much money, when I found a chair that both A and I felt was comfortable (I wish you knew how rare that is) and found that it came in fabric we could both agree on, we ordered two of the darned things.  They will arrive in 6-8 weeks.  They have quite a “Florida” vibe, but I love the summery aspect of them, and they tie all of our colors (blue, blue green, green blue, blue gray) in together.  SO MUCH NICER THAN OLD BROWN MICROSUEDE. Can’t wait to share them with you.

Then we had lunch and ice cream with Crimson Crow before heading home.

Frankly,  was still exhausted.  Painting and the thought of painting was beating me up.

Up early Friday morning, getting things organized for Mom’s arrival.  By ten she was here, changed into her painting clothes and we were working.  She chose brush work.  By lunch time, everything had a coat of paint, by the end of the work day, everything in the room that needed to be painted was complete! We celebrated with cupcakes L brought over at just the right time.


Since the book cases are going against the knee wall, we did not paint that wall.  But everything else has two coats, and looks fabulous!

Now, if I was tired on Thursday then you know that by Friday, I was completely exhausted.  So as we sat in the living room in the evening, and A said “So tomorrow you will get the bookcases painted so we can put them in place on Sunday, right?” I about lost it.  I said no. I tried to be calm and patient as I explained that right now, I was not going to ever paint again, but that I was tired, too tired to even think about it.  That perhaps tomorrow, when I was rested, I would feel differently, but if she needed an answer now, it was no. She decided to drop it.  such a wise woman.  🙂

Saturday morning, Mom told us at breakfast (delicious waffles and bacon that A made us!) that she was going to take the two book cases that had made it as far as the living room upstairs and get painting them, and the 5 backs that were upstairs would also go under her brush.

So, we hauled them upstairs, where I remembered that the wood needed to be primed, so we opted to just do the backs.  Remember, I am doing the backs of the cases in a different color?  A has them all cut and ready to be painted, so Mom and I set up another table and got to work painting them…not hot pink, not bright turquoise, but


Blue, of course!  I try to go a different route, but it always comes back to blue.  This one is named Athens.

And frankly, what you see here is all the painting that got done on Saturday.  Mom headed out when this was done, and A went back to bed for a few hours of napping. I sat on the couch and knit for four hours straight!  I finished Maluka, I finished all the clues on Danse Macabre and started the bind off.  I even cast on a new shawl, Reyna, which is a store sample for Over the Rainbow Yarn in Rockland. Late in the day I took a long hot shower, swallowed a few Tylenol, and went to bed early.

Today, Sunday, is the day that A thought we would be unpacking books.

Now even I am laughing hysterically.

Instead, I went up and primed the two bookcases and their shelves, lightly sanded the backs and wiped them down, they are ready for their second coat when there is room to spread them out.



I’ll do a bit in the evenings, and maybe things will be advanced enough that next weekend we can install the bookcases.  But I make no promises, and if anyone pushes me on it, I might just sit and knit.  It has been 8 years, what difference does a week make?

I asked A about it last night, why she was so determined to set this practically unattainable goal. She said that without goals we would not push and it would never get done.  I think I would have been OK with a lesser but still ambitious goal, like get the room painted. I could have done without the huge pressure of this goal. It is true that we  might have been able to meet it if I painted until late in the evening each day, but that would have completely ruined the whole week. Even having it hanging over my head as an expectation was not fun.

My new goal for that room is to get it finished this month.  I think that is a reasonable goal that I can work toward without hating painting and the room and the books.  Plus, I want my craft room back, and it now has several bits of extra furniture in it.

THAT is motivation.

And now I think I will go bind off a bit of Danse Macabre.












21 thoughts on “What really happened on my April vacation”

  1. Wow. Glad you got lots done. Damon is Not Allowed to get involved with decorating. He and I agree the colour and then I do it with my Mum. He is too slapdash. But I react VERY badly to deadlines set by people who aren’t doing the work. He tried to do that with the kitchen so it didn’t happen until after his preset deadline. I set my own deadlines and then I can work to them. 😊

    1. Oh, I like how you work. 🙂 It seems you understood my meltdown. It is hard to complain when she is building 17 feet of bookcases by hand to fit exactly in the space. But I wasn’t sure what the rush was all about. 🙂 Usually we do it closer to your way, though- first I browbeat her into agreeing to my color scheme, then I do the work. 🙂

        1. She can! She has taught herself woodworking since we got this house and she has space for tools and projects – the cellar is hers. Her first project after we finished the house was to build our bed – it has big drawers for storage, and she did a nice job. But now she is even better (corners match better!) and if I can keep her busy working on things, she doesn’t come up with projects she wants me to do. 🙂 So I suggested she put shelves in the big storage closet when we finish this project, then things can really get put away. 🙂

    1. I know, iti s a strnage choice – but it saves so much work – the ceiling also had not been painted, only primed, so it had to get done. So much easier to not worry about edges and smirches when it is all the same color. And it looks cozy when done. 🙂

  2. ok, well while I am knitting you are re-designing your loft, for crying’ out loud!! Hey, any chance of seeing pictures of your craft room as well as pics of this library loft when you finish at the end of the month? hahaha Would that be this month of May? teasing here. . .

    1. lol – there is a chance, of course! The craft room currently is a disaster, but I live in hopes of getting it organized once the loft get ssorted out. Then I can tell what really belongs in there. Meanwhile I will search back and see if I ever wrote a post about it. If I did, I will post a link to it for you.

    2. I dug back 5 years, and so far all I have found is this post of when I finished the curtains. 🙂 https://wordpress.com/post/whatimuptotoday.wordpress.com/657

      When I get home (I’m at work now) I will dig farther back, see if I have any shots of the room itself. I might not as it seems to be in a constant state of disarray with things that don’t belong in it. It is why I want the loft finished, so things can go where they are meant to. 🙂

      1. nope, that link did not work. hahahaha Do you have your posts in categories? Now, I’m going to look! (Spoken like a true nag!)

        1. Not categories that would be helpful… if you can search for craft room and go back about 5 years, you will find it. Otherwise, you will have to wait. I’ll write a post about it just for you. When it is photo-worthy. 🙂

    1. Thanks! I think the worst of my work is done. Installing the bookcases when they are painted will be a chore, but not mine. A is in charge of that. 🙂

    1. Oh, yes she does! I would have been content to putter away at it with long knitting intervals, but that didn’t happen. And the room is painted now, so that is a good thing. We still have three rooms unpainted (after 8 years here!) so I fear the day she decides they need to be done.

    1. it was not a vacation in the relaxing sense of the word. But as a change of pace, it was for sure! I don’t hate painting, but I do understand why some people do. I hate getting ready to paint. 🙂

  3. What a painting experience. I despise having to do two coats. But I have to say the color looks nice. Great job.

    1. thank you! That color is what we have in the whole open concept part of the house – kitchen, dining, living rooms, now hall and loft as well. It only needed two coats because it was new drywall. I hope future paint jobs require one coat only. So do my hands and shoulders. 🙂

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