White is nice. Bright is nicer – some more thoughts about color



There is an antiques store on 70th or 71st street on Lexington Avenue, on the west side of the street. Its walls are painted the most extraordinary color of sunshine. Looking in, one is drawn to stay and rest forever surrounded by the what is really, nothing more than a sensational paint job. But you know, that beautiful color just makes a person feel good.20150822_100633

White is nice. Bright is nicer. Hence after much consideration, and not a few samples, I took the plunge.








A whirling dervish of clutter and mayhem

20150812_085339Back in the day, early 2005, in fact, my mother was washing a pair of socks in the sink of her bathroom. I had found a gorgeous Russian woman to be her companion, as her health necessitated she have assistance keeping it together. At the same time as my mother washed her socks, she had the television on in her sitting room and I believe, she told me later, the phone rang. The gorgeous Russian was downstairs preparing lunch for them both.

It had been a hard day. The spouse and I were working together, and may have driven home together as well. Walking into the living room, the space seemed somehow different. I looked up and noticed the ceiling had lines running through it like a county map. I looked down and the old oriental rug’s colors seemed darker, more vibrant. I knelt down and the rug was soaked. They had obviously worked hard to clean up the plaster that fell as the water flowed from the ceiling.

We had been in the house about four months, and these were the rumblings of storm clouds in the distance.

The spouse called Kevin and Ralph. They came by, and the ceiling was removed and replaced. Its contents- the room is 12 x 25 feet- were placed in the dining room. The opening was taped off and the contractors were present for a few days. Once Kevin came in and looked around the kitchen. What’s going on here? he asked. Did you have a party?

Well no, it’s just my usual clutter and mayhem. Moving gives you that. It gives you a profound abundance of clutter and mayhem.


A great leap forward and then

many, many little steps backwards. Our water challenge continues unabated. And unpacking. And all of one’s challenges with short comings organizational and domestic rise up to remind one how very modest is the skill set for the above. The folks in the picture below have their organizational selves very, very much together. My heavens. Talk about your black and white story.

The detail on the stairs and door will have to wait for another burst of time and energy. As we count down to the final push, the plumbing’s complexity has necessitated NEW EVERYTHING unlike we had hoped behind the walls, under the floor, above the ceilings.  A mighty, mighty shout out to M.Poz Plumbing and Electrical- they have been so kind and responsive. At first the plumbing seemed like a straight forward re-connect. Instead it morphed into a triage scrambling of exploratory surgery- and these guys just kept moving, getting it done and humoring my marginal approach with improvising and re-purposing all the components and bits required to make the house habitable. So! Without further ado, may I present some Renovation Porn? The following photos have not been enhanced or photoshopped in anyway… this is what happened to my house THIS LAST WEEK.

20150812_085314        20150813_102043     20150814_123309      20150814_094133

The spouse has been emphatic- No camping and no sharing bathrooms (when one has 4 toilets in a residence, that doesn’t seem an unreasonable request)…. As I  fretted over the pink bath, the holes in the walls and ceiling facilitated an unequivocal updating, mitigating the feminine wallpaper quicker than one might say, ‘I declare!’

Not only are the above pics hot Renovation Porn, they also make for good Blog Fodder (that’s a Harry Potter/Black Adder mashup… Oh yes, and then were the power tools and delivery guys who hauled up a mighty heavy, heavy armoire thing I got at the second hand furniture store- It was so compelling, I didn’t pick up my phone to take a picture… Just stood back and admired the magnitude. Stairs up, roaring and up again. Two guys- very much over forty years of age… Closer to sixty, really. Incredible.

I declare!

The sad bits ASSUAGED!

Feelings of neediness and inadequacy lurk in the corners as the countdown to Moving Day looms in the distance. When one is headstrong, one marches, shoulders flung back or hunched forward, depending on mood, oblivious to the often valid reasons as to why one should not pursue one’s heart’s desire. A word one rarely hears in every day NJ chatter. Hubris. Alas, I have it in spades sometimes. Biblically speaking, it’s the Pride sin. What I’ve so often overlooked is that like the bricks which hold up the grey goddess, my foundation could stand some re-pointing.

We failed at this venture the last time. Some of it, although not all, had to do with our own hubris. Then there were our wretched bookkeeping ways, and add to that the maelstrom of the US Economy 2008.  Why should we get to go back? We lost this house and proved to ourselves as well as to the bank, we couldn’t keep it together.

That thing about seeing our parents’ qualities in our partners… My husband has the same business acumen that my father did. Which is to say, he does not. Have any. And it’s nice to love a person despite the absence of common fiscal sense. The challenge is, I don’t have much either.

But, gentle reader, remember- your blogger is nothing if not headstrong. The Move, Part One took place this morning, beginning at 10 and ended by 4.30. Enough strapping lad talent had been secured that they fearlessly loaded the correct size of UHaul truck, brought the junk (which most of it is, really) to the house, rinsed and then repeated. The Move, Part Two takes place this time next week. My spouse does indeed feel some misgivings, but for the Pollyanna that lives in at least this cynical old
gal, I love, love, love it.


Commando Painter Warrior – some words on color

The handsome fellow  above is arriving from Texas- Meet Toby (he’s a rescue from death row)


Alone, gentle reader, all alone, your devoted blogger managed to put the comments section ON THE SCREEN….

I think.  Please, feel free to sign in- still unsure if that’s necessary- and let moi know you’ve stopped by.

Back to painting. Cover it up, cover it up- wipe it away. There’s almost nothing a new coat of paint can’t fix. But the thing is, like the language of flowers, there’s so much to be INFERRED by color…end of summer spain


an entire paint deck of inference…. the mind reels.

And I do, gentle reader, I do love white. But in it’s remoteness and billowy stark-ness it screams the  very austerity the Greeks have been trying to avoid, I think. So much to ponder. So am marching f orward with bits of blue and taupe.


20150801_153621           Yesterday spent ENTIRE afternoon cleaning and taping in preparation for Riccardo to come through and transform gun metal grey former teenager’s room into whispering toque white and light, light grey floors… am still on fence with floor and am tempted to leave as is- slap down some shag and see what happens- but a clean grey floor is          SO much better- No?




The other space is a deep blue with white floor, I refer to the blue as the color of sleep, yet may be just too sleepy for others;

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wtf, if they don’t get it then it’s not for them. These are the spaces which will be put to work chez moi. They are on the third floor and have their own bath, a sitting room and simply lend themselves to a multitude of uses- hence one strives to appeal to the widest demographic. But the preparation seems to be endless. It’s one long struggle with the rag, blue tape and shop vac. Ah yes. the shop vac.

Am now deeply smitten by shop vac. My first ever. Brand spanking new and just sucks up that nasty debris without a so much as by your leave. Really great, really powerful, really new. And yet, and yet.

Being middle aged myself, there are those pesky limitations that hinder one’s zeal. Ye old fibromyalgia and the ensuing tennis elbows of a non tennis player.

But that’s the beauty of paint. Once its on, all those things are covered away. That is of course, one prefers the Betsy Johnson-Ralph Lauren mashup I’ve been dabbling with in master bath (door knobs now in the mail).

   before                   during


Have been driving around with yet another toilet in the back seat. Commandeered a hapless roofer (who came to give me an estimate for the roof) to take it out of the car. Yikes. It was really heavy and I did pull the back a little bit, am in fear of stern disapproval from spouse. “Hayes, you shouldn’t be doing that stuff.” Hence, have begun calling movers to get proper quotes….. My goodness. And we’re off!

Other hot topics of this week’s discovery- how to really manage the blogging endeavor- having turned off ‘comments’ am unable to log in really to anything at all. I cower at the magnitude of mediabistro wordpress class offerings, marvel at the Paris Review’s zombie house blog posting. Oh my, theirs is http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2014/03/19/unhousing/ – that alone just seems so well- it’s easy to be 51 and intimidated. Heck.


The spouse glanced at progress today- was stern re: quality of work- bubbles under spackle on sheetrock, and tonight over cocktails, lamented the state of the house’s foundation.

THE HOUSE’S FREAKING FOUNDATION….http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/0,,20810744,00.html is how to repoint a brick foundation… I have my doubts… You know?