Monday, July 04, 2005
I had made no promises to my self. I had had no high aspirations. I had neither crossed my fingers nor had prayed for higher intervention. I must have been emotionless, because I could remember no emotions. The only thing I could say with any degree of certainty about this morning, was that I must have woken up.
A mindless automaton, programmed on adrenalin alone, had orchestrated the final stages, the results of which I gazed upon. There before me was a bathroom, an ordinary bathroom, a bathroom not unlike any found in any number of homes. But this bathroom was intimately familiar. I was aware of the recent melding of the old with the new. It was clean, but brighter than I had remembered so long ago. Was it really that long ago? Alas, it was seven days ago. The walls clad in the Sunday-best wallpaper seemed to glow in the sunlight from the freshly painted window. That same light played upon the latest accruement to the room. The crowning achievement, I suppose was the border that completely surrounded the room, overlooking all that had been accomplished.
You would be safe to surmise that I was probably numb. Already the facts were becoming muddled. Details were starting to slip away. If I were to be interrogated tomorrow, I seriously doubt that I would be able to explain why I took a vacation to paint and wallpaper a bathroom, and a small bathroom at that! I can take solace in the fact that in weeks or months from now, I can simply go to my own site. I wonder, in all of Blogdom, has there ever been as much documentation of one home project?
When I read my own account of that week, will I wonder why it took so long to complete? I might be stunned, on the other hand, by all the setbacks. Maybe I'll see something that could have been done differently. In fact, I know of one now! I should not have leaned that window against my truck, knowing full well a storm was brewing. For now, I don't need to know to remember the details. "Details? We ain't got no details! We don't need no details! I don't have to show you any stinking details!" * But some are becoming clearer.
Putting up borders is a whole different ballgame than hanging paper. For one thing, you are working on a horizontal plane instead of a vertical one. The principle is the same though; unroll paper, apply paste and hang. I was working alone, but all things being equal, I could have used another set of arms. With the wallpaper I was only dealing with a 53 1/2 inch run. The border however, required 96 inches on the two longer walls.
I had to use a step stool, a dining room chair, the radiator, and the rim of the bath tub as a makeshift bridge to hang the first run of border. You want to have as few seams as possible, and when you do have them, it best to do so in the corners. I'm lucky I didn't break my neck, looking back on it. After getting about 2 feet stuck in place in one corner, I then had to tip-toe back and forth to straighten and wipe with the damp cloth as I worked back and forth. The opposite wall required a similar strategy. I used the tub, the sink, the step stool and the toilet seat. Nonetheless, the trips across those precarious "stepping stones" served my purpose. The rest of the runs were comparatively easy.
If my ordeal, adventure if you like, can impart anything to anyone at all, I hope it is the following simple items. If you are going to wallpaper, buy pre-pasted paper, and the same goes for the borders. Above all, try to have someone help you. I would be remiss however, if I didn't offer the most valuable tip of all -- hire someone!
*( Schnoodlepooh, substitute "badges" for 'details' and you have the whole quote. I have seen The Treasure of Sierra Madre several times and I like it very much.)
Curmudgeon responsible for this post: Hale McKay at 12:30 AM