disproving old adages…

at a nearly glacial pace.

Back when I had an office job in the “9-5” world, I got tons done around the house on the weekends and during “vacations.” stripped and painted trim, redid floors, replaced; windows, doors, siding, rotted sills along the foundation as well as started and/or completed lots of other projects that helped me build the skills and confidence to leap into the blue collar world of making other homes nicer.

Nearly two years ago, right before I traded in my software for real hardware, I replaced the windows in the Master bedroom (with ones that actually open!). The windows went in without much of a hitch (or as few as possible considering the age of the house, and I remember finishing the outside trim, and/or replacing some clapboards during a beautiful September week – my first week with Dad.

I must have lost all my tools or ambition ever since. They say that the cobblers kids go barefoot – and, the carpenters home is never done. (Lots started, but never finished. Ever.) How I foolishly thought I’d get so much done on my own house. Back when my Uncle was out building homes on Nantucket, he had a crew at home working on his, and he couldn’t bear the sight, or thought of “clocking-in’ at home come suppertime (or Saturday).

The interior trim just didn’t happen. I was going to stain some poplar to look like cherry to match our bedroom set – just as soon as I found that old Fine Woodworking article that explained which combination of dyes to use and where to get them.

Meanwhile a pair of tacked up curtains fit the bill. A year went by, we just stopped noticing all the abandoned projects around the house, in addition to the missing window trim in the MBR. I still needed to repair the plaster around the windows a bit, or maybe I could just install really wide trim. Almost another year went by.

In this time the room was painted – we decided on a rich dark chocolate color for the walls, and a “vanilla” for the trim. I’m normally opposed to painting wood, but after seeing how nice my daughters room came out, I agreed we could paint the trim. Not that I got right to it. Too many other projects, and life, kept getting in the way. I can’t even think of how many projects were started these past two years. Besideswhich, in this economy, If I didn’t have the materials on hand, it just was going to have to wait until I could afford or scrounge them.

And wait it did. Over time, I’d been able to salvage some usable offcuts of pre-primed 1x. I love keeping stuff out of the landfill, so to that end, I’ve become smart about mapping out my cuts to leave the longest possible pieces left over. Now, in addition to a pile of pieces fit for little more than birdhouses (millions of birdhouses), I slowly collected enough to finally take care of the MBR! Which I ripped, cut, sanded and installed (including the curtains) in less than 2 hours.

I’m glad this is finally done, and off The List! (and before dinner to boot!)

Well,… I do still have to break out the paint, and still do a little wall repair in a couple places as the new windows were a tad smaller than the original ones. But I think I can get to it in less than two years…

now maybe there’s some hope for the cobblers kids getting some shoes.


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