I had a dream last night that a friend thought I’d discontinued the blog because I hadn’t posted in so long. It shamed me into FINALLY writing a new post. (I’m so, so bad at this. Sorry.)
It’s been a wonderfully full summer that has overall just made us so, so happy to live where we live. It’s really incredible to be able to sit with a beer at the end of the day, watch the sun set over the field, and listen to…nothing. Silence. The wind and the birds. No traffic, no trains, no sirens, no other people (except the occasional yell from the teenagers next door, who are really wonderful and we would never complain about them). We’ve also been really BUSY – several fun trips, plenty of friends over (if you haven’t been over, your time will come!!), and busy (in a good way) jobs. So between the busy-ness and the trying to relax from the busy-ness, there hasn’t been a whole lot of down time for writing. But there HAS been a lot of work done, and a lot of stories.
I’ll start with my “biggest oops” story, in which I lost five years off my life.
Scene: we had just finished re-finishing the hardwood floors, and it was time to paint. I was busily painting the bedroom walls a beautiful dark-ish blue (Benjamin Moore Buckland Blue, if you’re interested). The can of paint had been sitting for a while, so it had settled and needed to be stirred. But stirring takes sooooo long, so I usually shake it first. Good arm exercise and more bang for your buck. I had been painting for hours already (I’d already done the ceiling, and painting ceilings is THE WORST), so I was tired and a little cranky and not quite paying attention. So I have the can between my hands and I’m kind of swaying back and forth, giving it these big exaggerated roll/shakes.
Then I dropped the paint can.
Of course, I dropped in mid-shake, so I actually TOSSED it. It hit the FRESHLY REFINISHED HARDWOOD and EXPLODED. I mean EXPLODED. The lid flew off with what seemed at the time like a giant “BOOM”and paint spewed all over the FRESHLY REFINISHED HARDWOOD and like three feet up the wall. Blue paint EVERYWHERE.
The next five minutes or so were an absolute frenzy. I was so flustered I just darted around my house basically at random, chanting weird, soothing, therapist-ish phrases like “It’ll be fine, just go slow, one step at a time” in a super crazed, singsong-y voice. Long story short and with much hyperventilating, I managed to actually salvage most of the paint by scooping it off the floor and into a tray with my hands (I had blue nails for a week), then doused an entire roll of paper towels with water, creating a makeshift roll of wet wipes. In what might be the biggest miracle of my whole life, I cleaned that whole gallon of paint off that floor with no lingering evidence except where it splashed onto the nearest electrical outlet (oops). Thank God for water-based latex paint. Seriously. I honestly think I popped out five gray hairs that day from the stress.
The rest of the painting went off without a hitch, thankfully, and both the master bedroom and the living room are FINALLY PAINTED!! All that’s left is the trim (baseboards and windows) in both rooms and the door and closet doors for the master bed.
The master bedroom is pretty dark most of the day, which makes it kind of hard to take a good picture but does make it delightfully cool when it’s hot out. I love how the color turned out, and I’m still slowly working on the decorating, which is going really well and which I’ll cover in another post.
The “white on white” living room. You can go ahead and file “Painting primer-white walls a different shade of white” under “Most mind-numbing ways to spend your time.” Also, picking out two “different” shades of white for walls and ceiling is A COMPLETE SCAM. Having spent several hours agonizing over cool whites/warm whites/pink whites/yellow white/gray whites/complementary whites, I’ll spare you the headache and tell you that in the end THEY’RE ALL THE SAME. But if you REALLY need to know, the walls are Benjamin Moore Simply White and the ceiling is Benjamin Moore White Dove. (Open those links, I dare you. They’re the same stinking color.)
Also, the guy at the hardware store thought it was going to be safe to tell me that White Dove was “kind of gray” for ceilings. I think my eyes got extra big when I told him “I ALREADY PAINTED MY BEDROOM CEILING THAT COLOR AND I LIKE IT.” Wisely, he conceded quickly.
All that being said, I think it turned out really nicely.
In other big news, we got a couple of farm kittens! Unfortunately I was duped by the “free kittens” listing and they turned out to be a couple of trapped feral kittens separated from their mother too early. They have slowly adapted to consenting to being in our general vicinity, and although they really don’t want much to do with us, they’re both in love with Buster. It’s the cutest thing ever. They’re 100% outside cats and show signs of being good mousers, which is all we really wanted anyway. Their names are Simon and Garfunkel and I can’t show you a picture because I haven’t yet managed to take a good picture, so I’ll keep working on that.
Finally, our sweet little garden has started giving us produce! We did our very first harvest this weekend and came out with a giant bowl of green chilis, some snap peas, one cucumber, two zucchinis (with which I instantly made these zucchini choclate chip muffins), and a spaghetti squash. The tomato plants are loaded with green tomatoes, and as soon as those are ready I can start practicing my tomato canning skills!
Chalking up as failures this year: the broccoli (we planted too late), the snap peas (too hot?), and the kale. The kale was besieged by little green moth worms, and although we found a good organic pesticide for them (Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt), it requires weekly application and I just can’t keep up. I use the term “failure” good-naturedly – we were bound to have a few things not work out, and I’m not hung up on it at all. Although I am a little pissed at the dumb worms. I love kale.
Chalking up as an EXTREME SUCCESS this year: my little south-facing herb bed!! We’ve gotten an absolute bounty of everything I planted, particularly the basil, sage, and cilantro. The cilantro was impossible to keep from going to seed (which is apparently called “bolting”), so I’ve just let it go and I’ll harvest when it’s fully seeded and dried, because that, as you may know, is where coriander comes from. I cut big handfuls of thyme, oregano, rosemary, and sage and hung them from the beam in the kitchen, which makes me feel VERY homesteady.
(Forgive the unintentionally dramatic lighting.)
I think I’ll call that good for now. We’ve made some big progress in the kitchen and main bathroom, but I’m off work this week and should make even more progress on both, so I’ll wait for a big reveal next weekend! Happy Monday!