The porch before renovation

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“It’s all fun and games until some one gets married or pregnant,” a dear friend observed. Looking at this photo is a reminder that for all the whimsy, optimism and cans of groovy paint, if one doesn’t come to some kind of satisfactory arrangement with the loan service provider, its all for naught, ain’t it?  The following is a list of players in this story:

Countrywide Mortgage

Old Merchants Bank





Making Home Affordable

Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac



There are many websites and blogs and countless stories of heartbreak and loss, which I won’t go into, because if I did, this post would never be published!

So that brings me to The Urban League.

As mentioned in my previous installment, a gentleman named Charles at the Urban League of Union County counseled and advised me through numerous applications and reapplications for a Mortgage Modification which I mistakenly believed was unattainable. Last week, Ocwen- the service provider for Wells Fargo- who ironically has my checking account as well as my mortgage- offered me a Trial Modification according to the Hamp2 guidelines. Which should be all very well and dandy, shouldn’t it?

Isn’t it ironic that when you leap over an enormous hurdle with a loved one,  you’re presented with a new challenge? How do you leap over the next one, together as a team? Look at all those great duets: Fred and Ginger, Lucy and Desi, Dino and Jerry, Simon and Garfunkel- None of them last.

Folks who are so brave and so amazing when times are tough can be so petty and arrogant and rude and generally hateful as things start coming together.

My Dad would say, it’s a conundrum.


But we are different now. Our trials and tribulations have changed us. I hope. So, if we’ve  made this huge circle back, to the scene of the crime, as it were, how do we play this hand so as to come out happy and strong and living comfortably in our kick ass big ass house?

The building department closed us down last week when the barter to repair the porch began.


The IRS wants serious money if we’re going to seriously put that difficulty behind us.


We need a new roof.  It’s such a lot of dough to come up with in such a short amount of time.

When my husband paints the ceiling of our youngest son’s bedroom, it all flakes off and falls upon the floor.

The ominous warning, “More tears are shed from answered prayers than-” But we are changed, aren’t we? Please, God. Tell me I won’t just throw up my hands in tears. Let me find the moxie to take no prisoners and get current with this debt.  Let me steer my ship back to the novel I was writing not two months ago and finish it. And do it justice, Lord. And  please Lord, give me the grace to lighten up a little. Amen.

The only fitting Post Script is that in an effort to continue my march towards gracious living nirvana, I knocked over a can of blue paint on the white broadloom of our youngest son’s soon-to-be bedroom.

The pigment is very- well, durable is a fine word. After scrubbing followed by the Rug Doctor for several hours, the spouse removed the broadloom, and guess what?



The floor is also very blue on the original wood floor now, too.

But there’s no use crying over spilt paint. So, on a brighter note, behold oldest daughter applying silver leaf  to my bath tub. Very nice, very nice indeed. Subtle perfection she calls it. Such a class act.


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 – 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….,,20810744,00.html is how to repoint a brick foundation… I have my doubts… You know?