Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Since last Tuesday I have been over scheduling and my body is paying for it. I ache everywhere. On Thursday painters were coming to repaint the ceiling. The interior of the little house is basically a square and the ceiling is basically the inside of a pyramid with two porthole skylights. On the west facing side is a large round glass skylight and on the west facing side is a small recessed glass skylight. When the roof was replaced a year and a half ago, the roofers left a tiny pin prick hole at the base of the larger of the two skylights. So the slow seep from that hole left a line on the inside of the steeply sloping panel of the west side.
The owner of the roofing company came by to check out the damage and then we scheduled the painting of one of the four sides of the ceiling. (Now the other three are slightly less brightly white). At the base of that portion of the ceiling is a camel colored wall that is twenty feet long. Against that wall was a a lot of art work and one very valuable single piece of hand crafted Stickley furniture--a hall chair, tall backed with a beveled mirror top center of the back and hooks on either side. The chair seat lifts up and could contain a chamber pot. But I keep winter hats and gloves in it. In the Winter I use it for coats, scarves and hats, as well as tucking winter boots under it. I have kept it in the little house for sentimental reasons, but it's too crowded in here as it is, and there is no way to appreciate its beauty when it's hidden under coats and dripping scarves. So I finally got smart enough to let Ms M use it in the main house. She has always coveted it anyway. Now it's back where it looks best. But it is oddly heavy. So I started the moving with that piece of furniture.
My two favorite book cases are also on that wall filled with a few hundred of my favorite books. The taller of the two book cases has a glass door with a lock. But I wanted to turn the glass to the wall to protect it from accidental bumping. And in order to turn it, I had to empty it and move all the books into the greenhouse. The other bookcase is also glass fronted but can be moved in four pieces. As one solid piece of furniture I would not be able to turn it. So I remove the top--a lovely lid of oak, and then empty the top glass fronted piece of its books move them to the greenhouse and lift that section and move it to the greenhouse. And so on. I have no idea how many pounds of books I moved on Tuesday and Wednesday.
On Wednesday I had to move my two ton couch. I wanted to get the Persian rugs up and out of the room. This involved a lot of vacuuming and the lifting furniture to uncover every inch of rug. I stacked all the rugs, rolled them up together and leaned the round tower of rugs against a corner of the greenhouse. Now the greenhouse is completely filled. There are more books than I can pack into the space in the greenhouse so I start putting them on the couch. And once all this is done, I have to drape most everything with plastic, including the red leather club chair I got from my grandfather's office in the Judge building. It was built locally in the 1920's by a local furniture company. It's the only thing I own from my father's side of the family. I move it and drape it.
It's tricky, but I manage to move the TV to my bedside chest of drawers. I have to tent it in plastic, but I cannot go an entire day with no TV. It's on MSNBC all day and I'm taping news programs I can't watch all at the same time. Then there is Cyrus, who thinks the space between my bed and the closet is a fancy kennel. He has a very large dog bed and another smaller round dog bed rolled up as a barricading pillow. He's fine with the guys, but the taping of plastic on the walls to protect the camel colored wall beneath the ceiling unnerves him a little. A portion of my bed is draped in plastic.
I had a great time with the two hispanic painters. Omar is the crew boss for the roofers and the fix-up boss for repairs. I thought Omar would be alone on Thursday but he has a helper named Ricardo. They are careful taping and draping. While they work I'm watching Hillary in Mexico talk about the drug wars. She talks about our responsibility for this war--our insatiable apatite for drugs, and our assault weapons going to the drug cartels. So now I want to talk to the Mexicans who are working in my house. It is a fascinating conversation. What would have been a couple of hours work max, turns into four plus. I especially like the new guy, Ricardo. And in talking with him I discover that he is a handyman. I ask him what he can fix. His answer is "everything." I like him even more. And he's so obviously smart. He's thirty one or two and very nice looking. His manners are lovely as is his English. By the time they're through I have his phone number. I have many things that need fixing between this house and the main house.
After the guys are gone, I have a large expanse of painted concrete floor and it needs mopping. So the mopping begins. Once dried, I shift furniture from the north side of the house to the west side of the house. Oh my aching back. I know from past experience with a year of sciatica, that I'm getting close to doing more serious damage to my lower back. Two things are verboten for those with sciatica or even a propensity for sciatica--vacuuming and mopping. Once the floor is dry I begin the rearranging of my big room. And back come the books, now in need of alphabetizing by author's last name. There is nothing worse than wanting to find a book and not being able to locate it. Well obviously that's a bit of hyperbole, but you librarians know what I mean.
And so it goes with the rehanging of paintings, the rearranging of furniture, the filling of the two big bookcases. I'm exhausted just writing about it.
Friday I start preparing for dinner with L. And you know all about that. I do one nice thing and seem to have to negate it with nit picking about literature. What the fuck is wrong with me?
Saturday, I am nearly paralyzed with muscle pain and fatigue and too much guilt. Do I call him and apologize? No. I do not. Why? I'm not sure. At least I didn't poison him.
Sunday I'm worse than exhausted. Due to the Warfarin I take to keep my blood from being too thick and therefore too clotty, I'm covered in bruises.
Monday I get a call from the owner of the roofing country. He says Ricardo wants to paint the other three sides of the ceiling. I say I can't spend money on anything until I finish paying my property taxes. He says, "He's making you an offer you can't refuse. Can I put him on? " "Sure, why not?" Turns out he likes my company and wants to be my handyman. But first he plans to paint the other three sides of the ceiling for free. Can't beat that. But I will pay him something. It won't be what he's worth, but it will be more than he planned on getting. Is it me or is it the glimpse of Ms M, when she came home from school on Thursday? It is Ms M. And if he hopes to court Ms M, he will need my advise. And only I know how long he will have to work here before they can first become respectful friends. It may take a decade for her to find out he is the love of her life, or not. But I will enjoy the story no matter how it turns out, and now I have a handyman. And he has a fantasy future grandmother-in-law to talk politics with.
Tomorrow I had a doctor appointment, vet visit for Cyrus, and the belated birthday date with Nick. I rescheduled the doctor appointment, but Cyrus is almost out of pain meds and needs to have blood drawn for another liver check. And Nick will wait until we're through here. Then it's lunch in a nice restaurant and the movie of his choice.
The next round of painting starts Friday, mid-morning. Thank god I only have twenty cook books or so.