Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Warm and rainy
With the Equinox only about a week away, I love lying in bed early in the morning, with a purry cat beside me, listening to the chatter of the birds outside. They’re coming back from their winter travels, and exchanging news. I’ve never been much of a birdwatcher, although I enjoy trying to figure out different varieties.
One I haven’t seen before landed on the tree outside the window the other morning, driving the cats nuts. His head and breast are cobalt blue, with his wings varied shades of brown. He’s not quite as big as a blue jay – more in size like a cardinal. I hope my ROGER TORY PETERSEN’S GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA is around here somewhere and not in storage – maybe I can look him up.
There are, of course, far too many sparrows and wrens and chickadees and pigeons and seagulls and grackles. Blue jays love it around here – they get to scream at the silly humans. Occasionally, I’ve seen a cardinal or a red-winged blackbird or an oriole in the courtyard. I can hear the phoebes, but they’re pretty shy and I don’t see them often.
Boy, those of you who’ve done a lot of house painting in your time must have laughed yourselves silly at my optimistic plan to write as coats of paint dried.
Ink In My Paint Can
I spent the entire day painting the kitchen and dining area. Spackle is my best friend, and the guys at the Home Depot paint counter are the new objects of my affection. They certainly saw me often enough – good thing Home Depot’s only a mile away.
After the spackle was smooth and dried (no need to sand with that particular brand), I taped everything I needed to off and then primed. By the time I worked my way around the two rooms (clockwise, working with the rotation of the earth, beginning in the North and ending in the North), the first wall was dry and ready for its paint.
The color my mother chose for the two rooms is called “Clear Moon” (by Behr). I am not a fan of white paint by any means. Give me color! But it’s her apartment and she should have whatever color she wants. She wanted “a white”, but not a harsh white, so after a few days’ of debate, we settled on Clear Moon.
Clear Moon on the full moon.
And that’s exactly what the color looks like. It’s a clear, soft white. Even I like it.
After a few glitches, I found the rollers and brushes that work best for both me and the space, and I could move around (clockwise again) pretty smoothly. I would have liked to do one more coat than what I did, but my mother started moving stuff back in as soon as the coats were dry, so that’s that, then. There’s only so far you can argue with an eighty-one year old woman before you give up out of sheer exhaustion. And, it’s her home. If these coats are the exact shade she wants, then so be it.
Of course, I see various imperfections I want to fix; things I should have done differently, bits that aren’t exactly the way they should be. But she thinks it’s wonderful.
I made a mistake on the ceiling, which I plan to transform into a “design element”, and then I think I can get away with it.
It was hard work and absolutely everything hurts today. I made the mistake of working barefoot, so now I have to scrape paint off my feet.
And keeping the cats out – they are so nosy!
But it looks good (in spite of the flaws I see). And it feels fantastic. Both in terms of actual touch – I keep touching the walls because the satin finish feels like satin – and the atmosphere. The energy of the room is totally transformed. Everything that was stuck has been released.
I’m working today, but tomorrow I hope to perform the ceiling magic and do the trim – which will be done in a color called “Snowy Egret”.
And, as I painted, I spent some of my time focusing on a positive future for the apartment and its inhabitants, and also let my mind meander to the Max series. I’m trying to figure out where I want to set it. As the characters reveal their histories to me, some of the assumptions I made early on have to be thrown out. It will shift the focus of the series a good deal, and make it completely unique in the way it builds from book to book – more along the way I wish series would build, instead of the formula they usually follow.
Off to the theatre.