Saturday afternoon. The day's rains were half-completed before we ventured out. Ask anyone who has lived here long enough and they'll tell you it's true: it never rains just once in Alabama summertime. Always twice. First time it comes down as rain, and the second time it comes back up as steam.
Homeowners with sense have all their outdoor projects completed before the onset of June, because the heat and humidity have a persistence and insidiousness that can hand you heat exhaustion before you're done with your work.
June to September is the Interior Work Season, where home-owning geeks wander around home improvement warehouses (aka Blue or Orange Lowe's) talking about things like how I hate fluorescent lights (too many years as an amateur photographer) and how the thought of having under-counter halogen lights fills my being with this inexplicable tingly feeling that can only be described as "kitchen lust."
Home ownership leads to insanity - and carpentry.
I wouldn't have gotten this far if Andy hadn't said one particular thing to me: "Bah. It's just paint. Do the room and be done with it."
"I might just have to swing by blue or orange Lowe's on the way home and grab some paint samples, then."
So I did. I spread them out over the bluish-green coverlet and whispered to myself, "It's just paint." Something summery, light, but not so bland as the currently cream-colored walls. I tossed out the aquamarines and the yellows, and zeroed in on two sets of light, minty greens tinged with blue.
I picked up the color card and read off the names. Paint companies spend far too much time and money trying to come up with inventive names for colors; Jeff frequently tells me that only women have the special genetic markers that allow complete understanding and interpretation of color names. After all, he says, do you ever see two men discussing the differences between eggshell, ecru, and soft white? (Noah, if this is you and David, shush!)
I told Jeff about my plans last night, and was met with a cheery "Ok, do what you want to do." It took me a little while to realize that for him, this was the perfect home improvement project:
- it was cheap
- it required no electrical or plumbing changes
- all work could be done by me
- in a room that he normally does not use
With approval secured, I thought, "Hmm. Destruction begins tomorrow!"
This afternoon, after a lazy lunch with Jeff, we wandered out in the steaming hush between rain #1 and rain #2. He sniffed around the electrical and lighting aisles while I played in the paint section. Thirty minutes and $60 later, I came out with two gallons of paint and enough painting supplies to guarantee that I'll be completely green by Monday morning.
I plopped the equipment into the guest bedroom and picked up the cards off the bed, shuffling them about and marveling at the tiny differences in shade and tone that can cause a homeowner to go truly and utterly mad. "'Tree fern'? Can I actually stand to have a room in my house painted in a color called 'tree fern'? What the hell is a tree fern anyway, and are they really this color?"
I stacked the cards on the floor, and wandered in here to write everything down before I got started on the tedious job of taping down trim areas and taking off the covers for electrical/cable/ethernet/switchy bits. Best to play on the keyboard before getting splattered in green paint.
I figure I'll have plenty of time to figure out the mysteries of "tree fern" while I take down the bookshelves and the old border. Now if I could just figure out where my painting shirt is...