I happened to be in Appleton one day. Since I was close to Fleet Farm, I called Bob and asked if he needed anything. My husband said, "You could get the paint for the living room."
I wasn't thrilled about buying the paint. The last time we went shopping we looked at all possible colors and couldn't make a decision. There were just too many choices. Instead, we just picked up sample strips, but that was as far as we got. Now Bob wanted me to choose by myself.
I told him I wouldn't do it, but then I rolled my basket over to the paint aisle and looked again, remembering color suggestions our children made. They wanted a bold accent wall.
I told them I was going to paint the room white - I even brought a handful of sample colors to show them different shades of white . . . as a joke: magnolia blossom, bridal veil, and star shine - it turned out I was drawn to light green, not white.
Choosing what green without Bob's help frustrated me. He was going to live in the living room, too. Shouldn't Bob help with the decision? We both like fewer choices, not hundreds.
I could have waited for our next trip, but finally, I decided not to. He would just shrug anyway and say, "Whatever you want." I gritted my teeth and picked Green Whisper, a very light green.
The clerk mixed two gallons and I took them home, though we didn't immediately paint. Our children said they wanted to do that for us. After all, they had torn the walls apart and now they wanted to finish the job.
We waited two weeks and then Rob and his sons, Ethan (11) and Seth (8) came to finish the job - Rebecca and Andy joined in, too. Bob and I were to stand back and watch.
Rebecca and Andy arrived first and moved furniture. Bob and I had been using the living room with mudded walls, but that white would change soon.
Rebecca took a brush and began painting around the windows. It looked too light, I was beginning to think I had played a joke on myself and gotten an almost white color.
Andy brought a pan of paint across the room for his wife, tripped on the drop cloth, and almost coated her. Lucky for Rebecca, Andy recovered his footing before painting her.
Soon, Rob and the boys arrived bring a tote full of painting supplies. He had enough pans and rollers for everyone. Rob even had a roller that stored paint in its handle so you didn't have to stop often. That particular tool made the work go quickly.
Since our crew would need lunch, I retired to the kitchen to cook. As a treat, I put rolls in the oven. Anyone who walked close to the kitchen would ask, "Is that cinnamon rolls I smell?" It seemed even the aroma wafted into the living room.
The first coat rolled on the walls and all seemed to be going well. Both boys got plenty of time to paint and get coated, too. When they tired of work, they joined me in the kitchen for snacks. I queried them for news about school - a grandma's got to do that.
When the break between coats came it was filled with cinnamon rolls and cocoa and coffee.
To my surprise, the second coat went on the walls before lunch. I thought the job would take all day - it would have taken us a week - while I set up food in the kitchen, Rob and Rebecca took all the paint brushes and rollers to be washed in the basement - Rob's roller with the paint reservoir took forever to clean. The rest of us started eating before those two joined us. Rob said his fancy roller does save time when painting, but then loses you time with the intense clean up.
The paint dried a lovely shade of green, not white. Our furniture was moved back into the living room. Of course, our crew had smudges everywhere, but most of the paint had gone on the walls.
Today Bob is nailing up trim around the windows. It's a puzzle, so it might take him awhile. But there's no hurry. We should have that back up by Easter . . . maybe. I'm thinking I'd like to change out the carpeting and replace it with laminated flooring. Hmmmm. I wonder if we can get help for that.
P.S. The Farm Show in Oshkosh will soon be here. Bob and I hope to meet people at Wisconsin State Farmer booth. I'll have my books with to sell and sign, too.
Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; Sunnybook@aol.com; www.susanmanzke.net;