Monday, Dec. 06, 2010
Dear Diary:

I don't consciously plan to procrastinate. It's more that I have a gift for it.

Nowhere is this more evident than painting. I hate painting. There. I said it. I hate painting.

But alas, the spousal unit can't do everything and I am quite able to paint, so almost all the painting around here falls to me.

There is a subset of painting I particularly loathe, and that would be painting ceilings. The spousal unit's joke is that when I paint a ceiling we buy a gallon for the ceiling and a pint for me to get all over myself. I am a sorry sight when I paint a ceiling.

In my defence, I want to point out that every ceiling in this place is made from boards, so it all has to be done with a brush. The brush has to be worked between the cracks that open between the boards. It is tedious. Very, very tedious. Drips are almost unavoidable, especially if you're me and you have the attention span of a gnat.

A few years ago we wrapped the house with screened porches, which pretty much qualifies as The Best Thing We Ever Did. It means I eat outside in the summer and enjoy my gardens without having every ounce of my blood sucked out of my body by various biting insects.

There has been a downside to the porches however. They cut off a fair bit of the light that comes into the house. Being a log house, it's already a tad dark inside. Cutting back the incoming light turned the place into The Bat Cave, especially during the winter. I mulled over options.

Spring always fills me with optimism. Spring gets my ambition levels up. I should be physically restrained for my own good during spring, but alas, this year I wasn't. So in a fit of spring madness I resolved to paint the ceilings of all those porches white.

I started with the ceiling of the smallish porch that covers the entranceway into our home. I put the white stain on it. It was an even worse job than I expected, with a bazillion nooks and crannies between the boards, endless, endless fussing. And when I stood back to admire my handiwork, I realized that one coat wasn't going to cut it. It would take two coats.

It took me all day to do one coat of stain on the one tiny section of porch. While it didn't look great, the unstained section to the left of our entranceway now looked incredibly shabby. I did the math on how many weeks I would be standing on a ladder painting porch ceilings.

Why is it that you're never struck dead by a lightning bolt when you want to be?

Behold my tacky crab apple treeIt took me ages to do it, but the porch ceilings got stained. I was miserable at the time, but today as I sit in the kitchen alcove sipping my tea and watching a snow storm blow in, I have to admit it was totally worth the grief. The ceilings bounce light back into the house. The white really gives everything a summery, cottage-y feeling, even in the middle of a blizzard.

Which brings us to my kitchen ceiling. The ceiling that now looked incredibly dingy in comparison with the porch ceilings visible through its windows.

The last time the ceiling in my kitchen was painted, my mother-in-law yelled at me because she was sure that as I twisted and turned to paint the ceiling I was wrapping the umbilical cord around the neck of my then unborn child. She fussed and fumed that said child would be stillborn.

The child in question is now 32 years old.

Yes, it has been that long since my kitchen ceiling was painted. Feel free to bow down before my awesome powers of procrastination. Instead of knuckling down and painting it again, what I did was wash the ceiling from time to time and tell myself that it looked perfectly fine.

Amazing what you can tell yourself, eh? Well, now, even I couldn't delude myself anymore about the piteous state of my kitchen ceiling. The contrast between the two ceilings made a sorry situation look even worse.

Remind me. Why is it that you're never struck dead by a lightning bolt when you want to be?

I think that I speak for us all when I say that it's hard not to be bitter.

Looks so much better.The ceiling in our kitchen is a misery to paint. It's made of six inch planks, supported by oiled log beams that are natural wood colour. The only way to paint the bits that butt under the logs is to get in with an artist's brush. Some of the cracks between the boards are big enough I can get a regular paintbrush in to paint them. Some have to be done with an artist's brush.

The picture of one small corner of the kitchen ceiling gives you a sense of how much misery was involved.

The original kitchen ceiling paint had yellowed so much that one coat of even the super-duper-guaranteed-to-cover-anything-in-one-coat ceiling paint couldn't do it. Sigh. Two coats it was.

Again it looks great, but between you and me I've decided that I fully intend to allow at least another 32 years to lapse before I paint this ceiling again.

Since I turn 60 in May, that would make me, um, most likely dead by the time my self-imposed deadline rolls around again.

Perfect.

--Marn

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Want to delve into my sordid past?
She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -


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This template is a riff on a design by the truly talented Quinn. Because I'm a html 'tard, I got alot of pity coding to modify it from Ms. Kittay, a woman who can make html roll over, beg, and bring her her slippers. The logo goodness comes from the God of Graphics, the Fuhrer of Fonts, the one, the only El Presidente. I smooch you all. The background image is part of a painting called Higher Calling by Carter Goodrich which graced the cover of the Aug. 3, 1998 issue of The New Yorker Magazine.

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