It’s Not a Home Without Home Improvement

June 14th, 2006 at at 9:30 am by Brian

This has become Barb’s mantra over the past week.

Finally time for an update, as we have the DSL all hooked up, though our desks are still in Hartford, so I’m typing this from the floor.

Things have been progressing bumpily with the new house. Our closing went well and we got our intial things into the new place, along with the AeroBed from Hell. It had a two hour leak, where after about two hours you’d discover you’re lying on the floor. Not a very restful night, that first night. The next day we went to Hartford and picked up a matress to sleep on. Much better.

As for the house itself, we had three rooms that needed painting: living room, office and master bedroom. The office and living room went without a hitch. The master bedroom, however…

We started with taking up the carpet in the room. That was no biggie and wound up being a great thing to do. The house has nice hardwood floors throughout, so we figured that’s what would be under the carpet. Sure enough, the floor’s beautiful. We just had to pull up a whole mess of staples and the floor’s taken care of. The ceiling, however…

So Barb decides we need to paint the ceiling. We go down to Benjamin Moore (we decided this house is getting the best paint around, not that Home Depot/Behr crap we used in Hartford) and spend around $350 for our three rooms of paint. Barb and her mom get started on the bedroom ceiling when Barb notices the paint bubbling. She rolls over one of the spots and the paint peels right off the ceiling. Uh oh. Back to Benjamin Moore she goes with an unpainted paint chip and the paint guy tells her it’s because of a chemical that was mixed in with the plaster on houses built before 1950. Calcimide? Something like that. I’ll correct it later when I read the paint bucket.

Anyway, this stuff will just randomly decide to reject latex paint over a period of time and that period was now. He gave us some special oil-based calcimide-blocker primer to put up there, and said that later on we could apply latex over the primer and it would be okay.

At this point, we have rather large patches of missing paint, so we decide I should soften up the edges with some joint compound. It turns out that the part of latex paint that the clacimide reacts with is the water. And what’s in joint compound, kids? Water. I apply a bit to one spot, move on to the next and turn around to see the paint at the first spot drooping to the ground. Once I realize it’s the water, I relay my findings and suggest we just apply water to the ceiling to get the old paint off. Barb’s Aunt Sis comes up with the brilliant idea of applying the water with a paint roller and the fun begins.

Of course, that means we have to wait for the plaster to dry. Then Barb and her mom paint the primer. Then we wait for the primer to dry. Then the paint can actually be applied. So what was originally a full day’s work turned into a three or four day long nightmare. Whee!

But now everything’s painted and we’re anxious to get our stuff moved in. The movers are coming to pick up everything from Hartford on Monday, so Barb has to do a lot of packing between now and then. My surgery’s in about two hours, so I probably won’t be able to help out much. I stopped by the house yesterday and loaded up all of my lumber (a full pickup’s worth) so no one else would have to deal with it and it just destroyed me. Many, many trips up and down the basement stairs.

But now my resting time begins. Wink wink. My thymus gets taken out in a couple of hours and then I get to float on clouds of painkillers for awhile. The whole idea of this process continues to weird me out. I mean, there’s something inside me right now, and in five hours or so, it’s going to be gone. Weeeeeird. One thing I’ve been wondering that I’m going to ask the doc about is, what happens to the space that used to hold the thymus? Sure, we’re all just big bags of goo, but which bits of goo will fill the void? I’m especially wondering about when big organs get taken out, like your spleen. I’ll let you know what he says if I can remember the answer afterwards.

Well, I’d better go get ready for the hospital. Barb’s coming by in about an hour to pick me up. Then all of the fun begins!

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