The Decorating Dance

Full Moon Cottage has been having some “work done” on her interior. We finally settled on the brighter paint colors we’d been searching for–I think–and are finishing up the painting in the living room before moving into the kitchen. The goal is to complete all of this before the gardening season kicks in and–if yesterday’s snowfall is any indication–we’ll make it without rushing. We envisioned a sweet slow dance of a project to get us over the last winter hurdle to spring.

Sunlight streams into these rooms from three directions, a blessing and a curse, as Adrian Monk would say. The light is extremely beneficial during darker months, a blessing, but it also makes picking out paint colors an immense and mercurial task for both of us, because we’re also dealing with an old oak wood floor and a walnut-stained ceiling, and we don’t always agree on the undertones we’re detecting. Now it’s yellow; now it’s brown; now it’s orange, green, reddish…is that blue? A curse.

And when we finally settle on a shade and apply the sample, the light and colors shift, sending us back to the paint store, masked, gloved, confused, and considering the option of changing our identities, driving to a new town, and starting over in a home with well-established coordinating paint colors. Might be easier. This is why we stayed with our former colors for 14 years. But hey, life’s a dance, and it’s fun to try new steps…right?

I keep using the second-person-plural-nominative-case-pronoun “we,” as though we’re sharing the labor equally. This is not the case. We started as equal partners in this decorating dance, but then a heavy door, one that perhaps had not been set in an OSHA-approved place and position (never mind by whom), fell as I passed. It scraped down my right calf, leaving it intact but creating the most dramatic bruise I’ve certainly ever had or possibly seen. “Oh darn,” I didn’t say, but I did provide a spontaneous and sensationally colorful kind of poetry as the pain registered. You had to be there.

I don’t think a blood vessel was left unsevered. It was like looking at those nebulae photos from the Hubble spacecraft…and not one damn color worked for the walls or wainscoting. But it did match our recent and stunning sunrises, although I think you’ll agree the sunrises offered preferable views.

So, I’ve been sitting out the decorating dance with my leg raised and iced, then heated, regaling Phillip with suggestions and tips and amusing (yes they are) bon mots as he climbs the enormous ladder and does the actual painting. Well, truly, we’ve also had interesting conversations, or I’ve read to him, or we’ve listened to podcasts, or music. Last Saturday, we watched The Gay Divorcee and then couldn’t get The Continental out of our heads for the rest of the weekend. Today, we watched a recording of the Broadway production of The King and I. Pretty sure Shall We Dance? will replace The Continental as an ear-worm. Or maybe they’ll form a mental terpsichorean duet, and we’ll both be lunatics by tomorrow. Not a huge stretch at this point.

I think I’ll be ready to join the dance and paint again by Friday, crazy or not, and I’ve chosen two accent colors to sample, so if you hear desperate screams pitifully howled from the direction of Full Moon Cottage, never mind; eventually, the light will change and all will be well. Or we’ll just pull down the shades, dim the light, and dance.

Almost finished…

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13 thoughts on “The Decorating Dance

  1. I’m terribly sorry about your injury. I did enjoy your tactful choice of wordsmithery as you described your verbal reaction. Perhaps it would be safest to hire it done, but then you’re almost finished so too late for that. Next time though. And if the colors continue to shift in a way unsettling to your sense of well being, I might suggest a color I’ve used for years. One that doesn’t shift whatever the suns position. Arrowroot. It’s a lovely, creamy, soft off white.


  2. Oh, thank you, Lynn; I appreciate your kindness so much. My leg has healed well. I discovered that lavender oil helped a lot…both with healing and, of course, with its calming smell. 🙂

    Happily, too, the colors are going well. Actually, the wall color was never in doubt. I have a friend who’s an artist and has helped design and paint movie sets, and many years ago, she introduced me to Behr’s Swiss Coffee. Apparently, it’s a go-to color for set designers and is also a soft white, much like Arrowroot (which is gorgeous).

    Stay well and safe, and gentle peace, Lynn.


  3. I’m just smiling thinking if you n your sweetie painting or choosing colors. Or of yourself advising but staying off the ladder. I was choosing a carpet for my living room…. a while ago….. and my Good Dog Sammy ….had an ongoing problem with up chucking. “ no serious problem “ says the vet . I did buy her the best dog food I could find. And I would make rice and chicken for her when needed. But I digress. Back to carpet color s. Her vomit was always the same color. So I picked a nice tweed color that matched her upchucks. This is a true story .❤️🐶☘️

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. Oh, goodness, Katherine, you made us laugh so hard! If you can’t beat them, join them! I hope Sammy’s problem was resolved, but at least your carpet quandary was, right?! What we do for love.

      Thank you for making our evening so merry. Happy St. Patrick’s Day; we’re staying home, making a stew, and counting our many blessings. And painting. Carefully. 🙂

      Be well and safe, dear one.


  4. It’s so nice to know that our home improvement forays are within the “normal” range of human interaction! You make it all sound so delightful when I know in reality, it is not. Still, you manage to get it done together, which is what really matters! Thanks for sharing!


    1. Thank you, Enzo! Haha, I think we’re safe. We are inveterate for-it-yourself ER’s, but accidents happen. Luckily for us, hardly ever. And watching how bruises heal has been fascinating. What a miracle we are.

      I hope your day is blessed with joy as well! Be well—and safe—my friend! Gentle peace.


  5. Dear Kitty, So often your thoughts mirror mine. This time I share the experience of a monstrous
    bruise on my calf–in my case a tall stack of folding chairs being loaded on a cart after church one day (prepandemic) tipped over and swiped down the back of my leg. I felt so fortunate I was not an inch or two closer! The bruise was spectacular and lasted for months. I loved the sunset comparison photo.
    Fortunately the pain wasn’t too bad and I could walk on it. I hope all goes well with your painting.



  6. Oh, my goodness, Sarah! That sounds very painful. I’m so glad your recovery was full, if lengthy. I hope we’re soulmates in joy, too. 🙂

    I’m healing well; back to painting and to my necessary and long walks. 🙂 Our slice of the world has been beautiful this week. Windy, but shining and smelling like renewal. We’ve ventured out a bit–masked and cautious, but deeply grateful–and are just resting in the feeling of happiness, which is enough, gift, and welcome…and, we know, elusive.

    Joy and gentle peace to you, Sarah. Thank you so much for your kindness in writing! xoxo


  7. How wonderful seeing you both getting cracking on the decorating! We are due to start the kitchen this weekend. Oh, your poor calf, that looks truly monstrous, I do hope it heals soon. Trust you to compare it to a sunset! I am smiling away at how you keep Philip entertained. It’s looking truly gorgeous. Here’s the light forever being in your favour! Love and hugs to all.xxxxxx


    1. Ohhhh! I can’t wait to see your kitchen, too! We’re just painting for now, but my crystal ball foresees a new sink this year!
      Leg is healing great; back to painting this week. 🙂
      Thank you for all your kind words and the time you take to visit and support me, dear friend. I sure love your presence in my life. xoxoxo


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