Friday, 27 November 2009

How Much Longer?

For any of you who have followed this blog since its earliest days, you will recall that it began as a recounting of our kitchen renovations in the fall of 2007. You can find the link for those early posts on the bottom right of this page. Home improvements have been a constant theme throughout the course of my marriage. We are always attending to something. It could be as basic as cleaning the gutters, or as involved as gutting the kitchen. Most of the responsibility for this constant state of redecorating and renovating turmoil definitely lies with The Husband.

I am forever in awe of my guy's abilities. He has a fix-it gene that seems to lay dormant in most Jewish men, and he has a way of looking at a project that can foresee the underlying beauty as opposed to wanting to attack every problem with a sledgehammer and circular saw. The Husband also has an innate need for constant change. I think that it is the curse of the truly brilliant that they bore easily and endlessly, and therefore require the new and improved in order to keep them truly engaged. This defines The Husband to a tee. He is always searching for the next great thing. Often he can satisfy these urges with a new toy. (At the moment, his new iPhone is filling a tremendous void!) Sometimes, a new project can fulfill his needs. (This is an ideal time for a commercial for Still Waters Vodka, now available at a location near you. Please pick up a bottle to help enhance your holiday celebrations.) But, every so often that home renovation urge kicks in and my man has to scratch his itch. Such is the case with our supposedly simple bedroom project.

Many months ago, it became quite apparent to the both of us that our bedroom required an upgrade. We had been sleeping on a mattress that was well past the expiration date, our threadbare linens dated back to the Clinton administration and the paint on the walls was washed out and depressing. Given the economy, and the knowledge that the changes required were little more than cosmetic, we came up with a scaled back plan of redecoration by which both we and our bank account could abide. The first job was the bed. We had been sleeping (or attempting to sleep) in a worn out mattress that fit in an over-sized wrought-iron 4 poster frame. The frame was far too big for the room and we desperately wanted to scale it back. The Husband went to work on the bed, removing the posts and replacing them with finials that created a much more comfortable and relaxing environment. It wasn't any easy job and it required a few tools that I am still unfamiliar with. It took several weeks to work out the issue, but work it out he did. We were ready for step two; mattress removal and replacement.

A trip to Sleep Country Canada had been on our calendar for weeks, but I hate shopping on Saturdays. For several years I have attempted to keep Shabbat in my own way, and shopping on Saturday is one of the things that has disappeared. The Husband is only available on weekends due to his busy schedule, so finding a suitable Sunday to test beds was a challenge. High Holidays this year all gathered on the weekends, so our mattress dancing journey was inevitably delayed. Just as we were about to venture forth into the world of Sealy, Serta and Simmons, The Husband abruptly decided that maybe we should search for linens at the same time so that we would be prepared when then new mattress arrived.

The white sale was my domain. Anybody who has ever tried to procure decent and beautiful sheets in Canada, does so in the States. We just do not have the same kind of selection that our American cousins have. Since a trip to Buffalo was not in the cards, I did the next best thing. I went south on the internet. After requisite stops to the usual haunts here in the GTA and coming up unsurprisingly empty-handed, I went for a virtual shop. I found what I was looking for on This wonderful company buys up overstocked merchandise from retailers and offers them at cut rate prices on the web. Overstock recently began shipping north of the border and I was able to find wonderful thread count sheets and finishings at a very decent cost. Ordering done, The Husband and I headed to lie horizontally on a dozen or so king-sized. An hour of foolishness later and our new mattress was ordered and scheduled to arrive at or around the same time as the linens. All was going well, and it seemed that the only task left in our mini reno work was to paint the walls.

The inevitable fly in the ointment. I knew that it was too good to be true. I begged The Husband to hire a professional painter. It wasn't that I doubted his abilities to paint. Far from it. I know how good he is at this stuff. I just wanted the project to take a day or two at the most, and I was concerned that if he tackled the job, it would take weeks or months. He laughed and mocked me. "It is only four walls and a ceiling", he sneered. "It won't take me long!!" Famous last words. We picked our colours on October 24th. How do I know the exact date? Well it was Parashat Noach (the Torah portion for the week was Noah) and we ran into a temple choir member at Home Depot who was also doing some painting and had chosen Noah's Ark blue for her basement. Kitsch? Maybe, but the date stuck with me. We bought all of the supplies, save the paint, because The Husband wanted me to bring home the samples to be absolutely certain of the colours. He didn't bring the paint home for another 10 days!! Why? Don't know! But something always seemed to get in the way. I came home from a Saturday morning service a week later to find the trim and doors painted. The next week, he did the ceiling and the following week, he taped the walls. We had decided to paint three walls a honeysuckle gold and one wall, the one with the bed, a cherry red. The gold had to come first. Two Sundays ago, I finally had gold walls. A couple of days later, hoping to finally complete the job, he stripped the tape off of the gold so that he could re-tape on the soon to be red wall. Disaster. (You can't be surprised!) For some inexplicable reason, the tape between the ceiling and the freshly painted walls stuck mercilessly, and stripped huge chunks of gold paint. He was crestfallen and sulked for three days. This past week, he hand painted the entire perimetre of the room. It was frustrating and time consuming, but brilliantly done. Hopefully, the red wall will get done this weekend, but I will believe it when I see it.

It is really amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do for a room. We had decided to spruce up without breaking the bank, and the finished product will look spectacular if and when it ever gets completed. My guy is truly great at this stuff, but speed is definitely not his strong suit. I should have learned my lesson about home renovations and The Husband years ago, but it seems as if I am doomed to live a Groundhog Day existence forever more. Six weeks and counting? It could be worse.


  1. I thought all women wanted a man that was "truly brilliant" in the bedroom, and if "speed is definitely not his strong suit" in the bedroom that would seem to make it even better!! Why are you complaining about the perfect man?

  2. Just to be clear it was not Noah's Ark blue - it was more of a coffee colour, and it looks fabulous. Here is a hint though - you need to take the tape off before the paint dries otherwise it cures, and sticks to the tape and then takes sheets of paint off when you finally take it down.

    Good luck


  3. I stand corrected on the colour! But I seem to remember you repainting at least once! ;) I will pass along the hint to The Husband.