Monday, August 25, 2014

Progress at the Cane Valley Property

This is the room which I have chosen as my 'study.' It is the larger of the two 'spare' bedrooms and is located at the end of the hall.
My first thought was to choose the smaller room.  Daughter Gina and my friend Gracie persuaded me that the smaller space would be perfectly comfortable as a guest room--used a few times per year, while I would likely use 'my room' every day.
Jim and our son Howard refurbished the rest of the house in terms of dry wall repair and painting--and a job it turned out to be, with wallpaper that had been applied to unprepped drywall or in some cases 
painted over.
This room was least in need of up-dating and Jim protested that he liked the wallpaper.
I felt it was too dark.  With him away, I knew I would tackle the redecorating on my own.
Thankfully, this paper had been applied over two walls that had been primed, so it stripped off like a charm.
The other walls had been painted with a too-glossy finish.
Painting the ceiling was nearly my undoing!
I spent 5 hours on Thursday painting the ceiling and applying a coat of primer to the 4 walls.
I concluded that women of a certain age have no business staggering about with a roller on a long extension daubing paint overhead.
I feared that I would have to apply a second coat.
It was a relief to return on Sunday and find that the paint had dried to a good even coverage.

This photo isn't an accurate representation of the new wall color.
The paint is called 'Evening Sun' and is a warm soft yellow with the barest hint of peach in some lights.
I began painting on the two more difficult walls, each having a window that required 'cutting in.' 
I ran out of paint [and energy] as I finished the third wall.
I bought the original gallon of paint to use in the hallway, then we discovered that we had enough of the 'Cafe au Lait' used above the living room chair rail to continue down the hall.
My son, who did professional painting before he took up carpentry, warned me that getting an exact match on the second can of paint is usually impossible. The best thing is to mix the two gallons before commencing to paint.  All well and good if the two cans of paint are purchased at the same time.
I bought the original gallon of Valspar paint when we were at Lowes. Ace Hardware also carries that brand and is on the route to the other house.
I stopped there this morning with the paint sample card and with the paint can lid which had an information label. The salesman scanned the code on the back of the sample card and programmed the computerized mixer. He tested a drop of paint on the card and it was a good match.
With the first swipe of my roller on the wall I could see there was a slight difference in color.
I fetched in the original can and smeared a bit on the card.
Lowes' formula wasn't an exact match for the sample!
Fortunately, as the paint dried the difference was minimized.
I stood back at last, pleased with the transformation of my room.
Painting, like gardening, has become a bit more laborious as the years roll on!
I am a clumsy sort--always having to be aware of where the paint tray is in relation to my step-ladder, putting the little bucket used for 'cutting in' out of harm's way when I pick up the roller, fitting the lid securely on the can after pouring paint into the tray.
If there is a possible way to make a mess, I can do it!
I folded the heavy industrial step ladder very carefully and managed to get it down the hall and out the door into the garage without bashing anything.
I cleaned rollers, tray and brush, rolled up drop clothes.
I eyed paint spatters on the floor, wiped up a few, decided that final clean up could wait until tomorrow.

We bought this round oak table several months ago at Peddlers' Mall and refinished the veneered top.
[The space seemed to demand a round table.]
I have kept the table layered in protective newspaper and it has been the logical landing spot for small tools and oddments which we have carried in each day.
This morning before tackling the paint job I felt the need to create a small tidy spot.
I cleared the table and layered pretty linens.  I have no round tablecloths, but was pleased with the effect of the vintage flowered cloth [a gift from Gina] over the blue checked one which I made years ago.
I picked up the vase for 25 cents at the charity shop on the way in this morning and cut a handful of cosmos for encouragement and pleasure.
During the Wyoming years we lived in 4 different houses which we were building literally over our heads.
I found it a real sanity saver then to establish one civilized corner however small in the midst of the 
construction uproar.

The dining room wallpaper had to be pried off almost inch by inch--a very tiresome job.
Howard suggested a troweled plaster finish which has a country look.
I love this paint color [Banana bread!] which is slightly lighter than it appears here.

The plants which I divided in May and brought to the strip along the front porch have settled in well.
I am especially pleased that I will have the spicy scented dianthus which is a favorite.

Cosmos and zinnias in a strip visible from the window over the kitchen sink.

The veg garden has gone wild during the recent heavy rains and hot humid weather.
Jim worked full time for a friend in town during the past month, so his labor in the garden was limited.
With my painting gear tidied away I spent a half hour pulling out all the bean bushes.
Not being there every day to pick beans resulted in some growing too big to be useful and it appears that at least a third generation of bean beetles had created havoc.
I seem to have picked and canned a plenty of beans.
I have given away beans.

The okra which sulked during July went into high gear this month.
I trust we will remember that half a dozen plants is more than sufficient for another season.
We like it in stir-fry, and Jim likes pickled okra--of which we have a goodly stash from last year.
I froze 5 bags of the whole pods this morning--they will be good sliced and added to winter soups.

Okra pods grow rapidly.
They have a rather phallic appearance.

The sunflowers at home, self-sown and early to bloom, are now spent and brown--no longer handsome.
These later planted ones should carry bloom well into September.

The most cheerful of all flowers!

This cleome seems to be one of a kind--a soft lavender--all the rest are from saved seed of 'Rose Queen.'

I bought a packet of mixed cosmos to add to my saved seed from the pink of several seasons.,
I must be sure to gather and label seed from this one.

A boldly hued zinnia--beloved of butterflies.

I was pleased to see that we have a garden spider in residence in a cleome by the front porch.
I spotted her about two weeks ago when she was a small spider.

The feral cat who comes to eat--having been fed by the former owners of the house.
Two kittens are sometimes with her; one is the image of her mother, the other is a tabby with white bib and paws.  The kittens were eating when I stepped quietly out of the garage yesterday.
At sight of me they fled--legs stretched, alarm in every frantic stride as they flung themselves down the drive, into the road and from there into the soybean field.
Sometimes they don't appear for days.
Mamma cat will hover and meow while we put kibble in the bowl--then back away hissing warningly.
I put my hand out to her just once--and she struck at me.
We call her 'Mamma Hiss-Hiss.'

View from the front porch.
Renovating is finished for now and we expect to begin moving in during the second week of September.
It will be a new experience to sort ourselves out with painting and such done beforehand.
Still, moving even 10 miles away is a daunting prospect.
At least this time it needn't be accomplished in one over-whelming effort!


  1. You have worked so hard on your new house. Glad that the paints matched pretty well once dry. I agree with you - the previous wallpaper was too dark, especially as you want it for your space so should get a say in the matter! I can't do ceilings as my neck and shoulders lock up if I put my hands up, so that is Keith's job . . .

    The garden is looking good and being productive. I have just given myself a break from preparing and blanching Zebra beans for the freezer (stripey French beans, and ones I will definitely grow next year as they are prolific.)

    Will try and email later today. Meanwhile, check out new blog post. I can climb BIG hills again!

  2. You are so busy, and everything looks great, from newly painted, colorful walls, to lush gardens filled with flowers and veggies. Plus critters in the field and in the driveway.

    You inspire me ~ FlowerLady

  3. When we bought this place 2 years ago, we liked the paint colors, but they were ten years old and some places needed touching up. We knew what the brand was, but after so many years, we figured there was no way to match it by buying the same paint. We ended up taking a chip off the wall from behind the thermostat and taking it into Home Depot (I think) where they scanned it into their computer and analyzed it. It mixed the paint and it was an exact match-pretty amazing!

  4. Thanks for the tip on layering tablecloths on a round table. It's so hard to find the round versions.

  5. Well the move looks very exciting, and it is good to be able to paint without furniture as well. Best of luck for the move, hope the pussies move happily..

  6. You have been working hard again! I use to love to paint, now it's just a job to get done. Good luck on the move.