Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Welcoming the Guest

A big incentive for me to get a lot of work done on the house this summer is the impending arrival of a guest on the 2nd of September. She's an old friend from Kansas City who'll be staying with me for nearly a week, while we both attend the North American Festival of Wales in downtown Pittsburgh.

My dream was to get at least the 1st and second floor halls and their stairs done, with the upper walls painted and the lower walls papered and the refinished trim around and in between. And, if things had gone well, to have both sets of stairs and the 2nd floor hall wood floor refinished. And maybe the new ceramic tile on the 1st floor installed as well.

Alas, alas! It. Ain't. Gonna. Happen. What with plaster disasters in June and locating ingredients for the shellac and my pathological perfectionism with the faux finish, I am Nowhere Near That. Not at all.

So I'm taking myself in hand and concentrating on what absolutely has to be done to assure that Ruth* has clean, comfortable places to eat, sleep, and bathe, and that the obstacle course that usually encumbers the Sow's Ear is cleared away well enough so she won't break her leg manuevering between them.

The place to sleep, first. Earlier this month I finally finished repairing the guest bedroom closet back wall where the plumber attempted to get at the bathroom sink piping last February. Repainted it using the base and glaze colors I got for my kitchen five years ago. Yep, another faux finish, but combed this time, so it looks like faded denim. I think it came out rather well.

With that accomplished, I was able to reinstall the shelving and rods and put away all the closet contents that'd been lying for months on the guest bed. So once I've done a little more cleaning, the guest bedroom should be fine.

What about the bathroom? About a week and a half ago, I completed the process of repairing and repainting the plaster ceiling in the main bathroom. I'd hoped the cracks I'd been semi-ignoring over the bathtub were just in the paint or the finish layer, but nope, the whole piece of plaster was coming unkeyed and had to be dealt with. Got out the Big Wally's and secured the plaster back on . . . but for nearly a week I put off sanding the joint compound I used to fill the holes. Oh, gosh, I hate sanding! I actually preferred to live with the plastic drop cloth over the linen cabinet and the bathtub! The red metal step stool living in the bathtub! The toiletries moved into the guest bedroom against the time the sanding would actually get done!

But as I said, I screwed my courage to the sticking point and got the repaired bathroom ceiling sanded, primed, and painted by a week ago Saturday, and as soon as I figure out how to remove the newspaper I stuck to the top of the linen cabinet with the slops of the Big Wally's conditioner, the upstairs bathroom will be nearly in a condition to receive a guest.

However, I have no shower in my upstairs bath. The only one in the house is in the basement, and Ruth may want to use it. But it's been two years since I renewed the paint over the concrete shower pan, and it was worn and mildewed. Not nice for her, not nice for me, not nice for anyone. Yesterday's project, then, was to begin to rectify that. Shower pan and bathroom floor scrubbed with mildewcide, Simple Green, and then TSP; let it dry, then a coat of primer. Earlier this evening, the shower got a first coat of porch floor paint; second one goes on tomorrow, but it looks more civilized already.

While I was at it, I mounted a shelf unit given me by a neighbor who moved to Florida in July. It'll do fine.

That left another massive task for the basement. It needed cleaned. Badly. I was starting to run into things trying to get to the downstairs shower.

Besides, it had to be straightened and vacuumed before I can start shellacking my wood trim down there. So Monday evening and into the wee hours of Tuesday, that was dealt with.
Looks a little better, eh?

Now if I can only keep from obsessing about the least little wisp of cat hair I find on the stairs between now and next Wednesday . . .

1 comment:

Bathroom Vanities said...

the renovations you have done to this house r amazing!