Progress report

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. Given the occasion, I have to start with a quick note of love.

Thank you all for reading, commenting and following along on our adventures. I feel like I’ve found so many new friends, even though many of us have never met. Your warmth and support makes my day everyday, so today I have to give some of that love back. I can’t send you all chocolates and roses, but I can say a very sincere thank you.

Valentine’s Day means that we’re halfway through the month, so it’s time for an update on my February goal of painting the main floor hallway and kitchen.

Here’s what was on the to-do list for the first half of the month and how we did:

  1. Patch and sand holes from chair rail. By Feb. 7. Final coat went on Feb. 4, although I didn’t manage to sand it until Feb. 7. Doesn’t matter, though, ’cause it got done.
  2. Buy paint. By Feb. 7. Done Feb. 6.
  3. Wipe down the trim. By Feb. 7. Done Feb. 7.
  4. Remove cover plates on plugs and switches, take down old light fixtures and install pig tails. Feb. 8. Done Feb. 8.
  5. Paint the ceiling. Feb. 8. Done Feb. 8.
  6. Prime the walls. Feb. 9. Done Feb. 8. A whole day early.
  7. Paint the trim. Feb. 14. After 5 1/2 hours of painting spread out across the past four evenings, I can say this one is done as of last night. Another whole day early.

Plus two new additions:

  1. Remove the old doorbell chime box and patch hole. Mostly done Feb. 9. This is Matt’s add-on that still needs one more coat of paste, but it shouldn’t delay this weekend’s plans.
  2. Paint a second coat on the ceiling. Done Feb. 9. Expecting a single coat of paint to cover our filthy ceiling ended up being a bit of wishful thinking.

Even with additions, everything–every single thing–is on track.

Progression of painting our hallway

After the frustration of 2013 where I was not very successful in accomplishing projects around the house, the progress we’ve made this month makes me tremendously happy. Sure wiping down all of the baseboards and trim (9 doorways, remember) was not my ideal way to spend my Friday night, but I did it, it’s done, and I made my deadline. Planning every step and setting deadlines have been super helpful.

Some soundbites from last weekend:

  • “This ceiling is disgusting.” (Matt) It totally, complete was, but no longer.
  • “Why didn’t we do this sooner?” (Matt) Ummmm… we killed ourselves on the basement reno?
  • “This hallway feels wider.” (Julia) “Wider or whiter?” (Matt) “Uh… I guess both?” (Julia)

Here’s an illustration of our disgusting ceiling. The white circle is where the light fixture used to be.

Dirty ceiling before painting

We’ve only primed, but it has already made such a difference. I’m excited to add colour this weekend. Here’s what’s coming up next:

  1. Paint the walls (two coats). Feb. 15-17 (a three-day weekend).
  2. Install new light fixtures. Feb. 22.

I’ve learned that it’s just too easy for me to procrastinate and push projects off. So far with my new technique of mapping the steps out in detail and scheduling each stage, I’m staying on track. This is a major breakthrough for me.

And people, I am so excited to see the final product and to share it all with you. Will the reveal be an acceptable late Valentine’s gift? I think it’s going to be even more awesome than I expected.

What have you been up to this month? Care to share your mid-month update? Do you have any special plans for Valentine’s Day? I think my present will be a night off from painting. Happy weekend, everyone. And happy Valentine’s Day.

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14 thoughts on “Progress report

  1. Your previous post about needing to start getting things done made me very much aware of how lax I’ve been re: the many, many projects I have going, or at least contemplated. One is to finish putting many hundreds of photos into archival plastic sleeves in 3-ring binders. The piles of pictures have been sitting on top of a flat file for almost two years! It’s a wonder Sharynne hasn’t threatened divorce over this. But I’m determined to get it done before our grandson comes to visit in April, since he’ll be using the room, a combination home office and guest bedroom. Otherwise, all work on Dockwood furniture has stopped, because it’s impossible to work outside. I’m going to put film in S’s old 35mm camera this morning and wade through the two feet of snow to shoot a Saint Valentine’s Day picture our side garden – you can barely see the Return-to-Nature outdoor furniture that’s buried in the white stuff. Nature is definitely doing its thing this winter in New York. At least we managed to finish a little sculpture we’re calling “Croc-a-Bye Baby.” A photo will be posted on our blog one of these days. We also shot photos of more furniture, sculpture, and decorative items before the snows began: some of them are already posted. To answer your question: Our Valentine’s Day will be occupied by slogging in to Manhattan to shop – we’re totally out of wine! Please excuse the verbosity, and vicarious chocolates and roses to you!

    • It is exactly comments like this that make my day. Thank you for your verbosity and vicarious V-Day wishes.

      It sounds like you have a defined deadline with the grandson visit. That’s been the biggest help for me.

      And don’t worry about your pile of pictures. I have my own pile on top of the filing cabinet. So not helpful when I have a massive cabinet full of organized folders.

      Enjoy your snowy Valentine’s Day. I hope you were able to replenish your wine!

  2. You have done so well on your list! Your hallway is looking fantastic! I understand the feeling of disgusting ceilings, my last house was owned by a smoker. The walls and ceiling were yellow!

    This weekend we are finally painting our living room and dining room. After changing the paint color about 100 times, we decided on Toll Booth by Valspar. It is a nice gray/tan/taupe/beige neutral color. So I can hopefully check something off of MY list!

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  3. Wonderful progress! It already looks a million times brighter in there. Even the floor looks like a different colour (maybe just the photo, or the lighting?)

    I’ve been going gangbusters around here (as much as you can in a two-bedroom suite that has four people temporarily living in it.) We had some company on Saturday night and we were motivated to try and corral everybody’s stuff so it would look nice. Our problem is not only the downsizing thing, but just having too many people now in our space. It’s temporary, but vague about the actual ending time, so we have to try and make it work as is for now.

    After reading these posts you’ve written about making lists, I’ve been analyzing what works for me. If I’m in the middle of something complex, a detailed list that I cross off as I go works well. Other times, I make more of a general list and the act of making it seems to put the items into my head so I stay aware of them. I redo it every once in a while and just transfer what’s not done to a new list. Eventually that gets on my nerves and I just get the things over with, so I don’t have to move them to another list again!

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