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… While Renovating My Living Room and Sitting Porch.

In an odd quirk of fate, today would have been my thirty-fifth wedding anniversary. I say would have been because I am divorced. Have been divorced for twenty-two years.

I was Happily Married for eight years.

I was, however, married for thirteen years total.

But instead of waxing poetic on lessons learned from that, I decided to list some odds and ends I have learned in the process of doing my Front Room … now used as a Sitting Porch … and the Living Room … now to be used as my Creative Studio.

I know … how presumptuous of me … Creative Studio. But I know Writers have Writers Studios … and Artists have Artists Studios … and I am sort of Creative so … Creative Studio it is.

So without further ado, here are some things I have learned …

Real Friends Are The Ones Who Help – I owe an immense un-repayable debt of gratitude to My Friend Ann and Texas Linda who have been with me every step of the way here. From the beginning with Ann saying “I think this would look better if we took up the rug.” and did … to today with Linda saying “I’m beat today, we can finish the last few steps tomorrow.”

It Is Always Going To Take Longer – There was this delusional thought that the whole house would be done by this month. Silly me. I have been promising before and after pictures here for days. The idea was to wait till it was all done. I now realize it will never be all done. But the pictures will happen when the Stair Runner is finished. Maybe tomorrow.

It Will Always Cost More – Not that I had any specific idea of how much it would cost … and if I did it was only in small pieces as the project progressed. But every day it seemed there were new needs that cost thirty sixty or eighty dollars at a clip. But the end results have been breath-taking. And there is no way I could have afforded to pay someone to do this.

If You Clean Windows Real Well You Cannot Tell The Difference Between A Clean One And One Without Glass – Okay, you know there is a story here. But it is not mine to tell. Let’s just say that in the Front Room there were two windows with the bottom panes out for quite some time. And there was some … stuff … that needed thrown out. You can fill in the rest.

There Is A Five-o-clock In The Morning Too – I learned this when I got a call from Ann the day I had the Drum Sander rented. She wanted to make sure I got as much use as possible out of it. When I answered the phone she said “Aren’t you glad you have friends like me?”

I am.

If You Buy A Staple Gun In A Taped Package It Will Jam A Lot – Not that this happened with the other Staple Guns I have owned in my life. But this one, an electric one, had tape around the outside of the package. That and the crinkled staples inside should have been my first clue. Now I know why the other people returned it. It’s going back tomorrow.

Paint Covers A Multitude Of Sins – And by sins, of course, I mean dirt and imperfections. Who knew? I’d have painted decades ago if I had … no … no I wouldn’t have. But it sounded good for a minute, didn’t it?

Painting Walls Should Probably Be Done After You Take Down The Ceiling And Blown Insulation – Now there really is a reason we did it the other way around. Taking down the ceiling was not in the original plans. It just kind of happened. Do you have any idea how dusty a room can get when you take down a ceiling and insulation?

Sawdust Has A Life Of Its Own – This would explain why I kept finding sawdust in cracks, crevices and obscure body parts. I am thinking this had a little to do with the fact that the small edging sander did not have the dust collecting bag properly attached during the initial edge sanding in the Living Room.

There Is A Reason They Say To Paint From The Top Down – This however did not stop me from painting from the bottom up in the Front Room, the Living Room, or the Steps and Hallway upstairs. But if you were to do it right, you probably won’t have any problems with drips and whatnot. Just call me a rebel.

Don’t Mess With A Woman Who Can Wield A Drum Sander – This is said as much as a warning to any future men I might date as anything else. The parting words from the gal at the rental place was “If the sander doesn’t seem to be working like you want, just pick up the back and tip it a little as you sand.”

The one hundred and fifty pound drum sander.

Trust me, once you have lugged a Drum Sander and sanded the entire floor, and carried it on end for much of that time … well, let’s just say everything else seems pretty light by comparison.

I can hardly wait to tackle my Large Bedroom. I already have the paint.

I wonder if there is a hardwood floor under that carpet?