i wish this was the post where i reveal my spiffied up cottage. bedazzled with her glowing white walls and gleaming trim. alas, it is not so.
hector has hit the skids so to speak. his work was getting gloppier and sloppier with paint drips gone unnoticed, nail holes gone untended, trim left as lumpy and bumpy as it ever was. each day i left sticky notes with arrows gently guiding him towards touchups, but finally he cracked.
with a doleful expression and downcast eyes he informed me that if i wasn’t pleased i could find someone else.
i let everything slide for a day or two figuring i would ride out the storm, but finally decided it was best for hector to move on down the road and for moss cottage to find a new caretaker.
enter larry, stage left.
larry is my neighbor and has done many a job for me over the years. this begs the question why didn’t i hire him in the first place, and the answer is simple. he has a full-time job and is only available nights and weekends. as i type he’s outside putting bondo on a hole in my porch rail and earlier he was hanging new curtain rods in the living room.
what do either of those have to do with painting, you ask? well nothing directly, except an effort to get back to normal asap and not have my house turned upside down. hector was slowly muddying all the floors and moving from room to room in a trance. there wasn’t a single finished room after 2 weeks and i was sick of living with sheets over everything.
so this weekend i cleaned every surface and assessed what still needs to be done – mostly the trim in every room and fixing mistakes. i had my neighbor larry come by to take stock. he can only work on sundays, so he’ll tackle one room at a time starting in december.
i decided i couldn’t go a single night more drinking tea and writing in my journal at my desk by the window. lamp casting a soft glow, while neighbors trudged up the lane walking their dogs. 2 weeks is long enough to be without curtains! and…rain is coming this week so the hole had to be repaired.
i have plenty of stuff packed away still and that will stay like that until EVERYTHING is finished, but in the meantime i’ve got my living space back.
the walls & trim behind the bookcases had already been painted, so i started with unpacking my little library and putting everything back on the shelves.
the star i’m orbiting dims without books to surround me, and mine was flickering and threatening to go out.
i even repaired a knob on my flat file that had been out of order for at least the last 6-7 years.
true, the new knob doesn’t match, but who cares?!
hector completed the walls in the art room first. they are plastered and fabulous.
it’s difficult to fathom the downhill slide from there, but it happened.
and it was growing worse by the day.
oh by the way…please meet the new kitchen chair that i found in the foothill community of sierra madre last week. there’s a stamp from a furniture store in massachusets on the seat bottom. it had a “free” sign on it so i adopted it. there were 2 but the other one was broken.
i’ll keep you posted on the moss cottage paint job that’s now dragging into december. the dream deferred, but not for long. and well worth it to be rid of H. and his mountain of excuses and shoddy work.
i found this photo while replacing the knob on my flat file. i like the expression on this girl’s face, the set of her jaw, the little smile beginning at the corners of her mouth. here is a girl who grew into a woman who bought a little house who hired a handyman who fired a handyman who found a neighbor who painted her house and set things right.
i’m sure of it.