Monday, February 24, 2014

One Little Thing Leads to Another

When my husband took me to lunch for Valentine's Day, we did not foresee anything more than a very enjoyable meal and time together. But when we left the restaurant, we wandered into the home furnishings store next door just to see what fun things they had. A couple of very large paintings immediately caught my husband's eye and he stopped to look at them, to really look.

He has a painter's eye - has painted many beautiful oil paintings in years past when we were in winter climes when he was snowbound and couldn't play golf during the long winter months. He liked the paintings! I liked them too, but I don't have a single space left on any of my walls, much less for two 40x40 inch paintings! But as I looked at them and realized how much he really did like them, I thought of my front bedroom - which isn't a bedroom at all anymore with a sofa and love seat and book cases everywhere. It's the grandkids TV and game room and library and where I do my Wii exercises (when I remember to do them!)

After our three week cruise to China, Cambodia and Thailand, I had framed pictures of us climbing the Great Wall of China on my husband's 75th birthday, and Glenn cutting his birthday cake with a giant Samurai sword. I put our jade dragon and little terra cotta warrior there, along with the butterfly a darling little Chinese girl gave me when we visited a school and donated school supplies. I put the little painted elephant on a carved elephant shelf - my remembrance from our stop at the elephant preserve were we watched Suda paint her pictures and sign her name and we rode an elephant through the jungle, feeding it bananas to keep it going. (Not just single bananas, but clumps at a time!)

I had a large collage of the people I photographed in those countries - babies, toothless old men and wrinkled old women who smiled into the camera for me. A beautiful young girl getting her first collar that would crush her collar bones and make her neck to appear longer. The hanging coffins along the Yangtze River and the Royal Palace in Bangkok where there was more gold than I'd ever seen in my life! Granted, I had also put all these pictures in Shutterfly books, but my husband loved to take visitors into that room to give them a quick taste of those beautiful countries instead of handing them a book.

As I thought about that room, I discovered I was tired of the cluttered look and the royal blue walls behind them. We had taken that color from the Persian carpet we brought back from Armenia and I thought it looked very chic when I painted two walls that lovely color. Here was the solution: remove all those pictures and artifacts, paint the walls and Glenn could have his pictures. So we bought them.

 That necessitated a trip to Lowe's to pick out new paint, an ordeal in itself as the pictures had different background colors. The next step was moving furniture, wiping down walls, and prepping to paint. The white walls only required one coat of new paint - of course, the blue required two. My husband hates painting. He doesn't prep. He barely puts down drop cloths. I'm happy when he's dong something else and I can take the time to do all the prep and do the job right, but he felt obligated to help since he'd chosen the pictures. Bless his heart, it was nice to have him do the two blue walls while I did the two white walls as that really cut down our painting time! Then I did all the cutting in and cleaning up, and touching up spots on the ceiling and baseboards where he was overzealous. Sometimes it really is easier to do it yourself.

Painting done, we put the furniture back where it belonged, all the books back on book shelves, washed the big window, of course, and then it was time to hang the pictures. My husband is an engineer. Need I say more? When it comes to hanging pictures. I just eyeball where I think they should go. With your fertile imaginations you can imagine the process he goes through to hang pictures properly. So - three days after that fateful innocent Valentine's Day lunch, I have a new room! It is beautiful, refreshing, and I was happy with the result.

 Then as he looked at the finished product, Glenn said "You ought to paint those bookcases black. They'd look great with the room this way." I had just finished this room! I was happy with it even though I could hardly walk from climbing up and down the ladder all day.! Then I visualized the corner bookcases black and realized he was right. So Saturday (instead of blogging and after another trip to town for paint) I removed all the books, took the bookcases outside and painted them. But I can't put them back for a couple of days so I'll just post the blog after the shelves are dry, the books replaced, and the room back together!

May think twice about our lunch dates from now on!