Friday, August 15, 2008

Yesterday Once More

It has been very hot the last couple of days and wouldn't you know it, this is when I got around to tackling the big summer project: painting The Child's room.

I hate painting. Love the results, hate the taping and cutting-in and second coats. I really hate doing it in a small room when the temperature is pushing 90°. Also, not so fond of the aching back and continuing to find bits and blotches of paint on myself, no matter how diligently I think I'm scrubbing.

But I told The Child there's be one more re-do of her room, something a little more sophisticated (and something that will work for me when I take over the space after she goes off to college). So we moved everything she owns out onto the deck (the plus of having a hot spell) and got to work. Yes, yes, I'll show you pictures, but not until it's done.

We work fairly collaboratively, trading brushes and rollers and keeping The Dog from dipping his muzzle into the paint. It's hot and we're sweaty and continually encouraging ourselves with talk of how great it will be when we're done. And there's the music. She plugs in her iPod, puts it on shuffle and so we have a soundtrack. Sure, there's all the stuff that makes Uncle JP's brain bleed but there's also a hearty mix of 80s classics, Abba and, of course, the soundtrack to "Moulin Rouge". It's delightful.

So there I am, paint on my nose and some Miley Cyrus thing playing, the smell of drying paint in the hot air and all a sudden I am The Child's age. I'm perched on my bed, using historically accurate colored pencils to fill in my "Henry the Eighth and His Six Wives" paper dolls while Dame Judi is transforming my room. Deep plum paint goes onto the walls...the first time I ever remember picking the wall color for myself. But the real challenge of the project is that Dame Judi is papering the ceiling. She's using gift wrap we found at Pier One Imports. It is wildly floral; not chintz but more of a Peter Max sort of op-arty thing. The flowers are, I think, purple, pink and green. I seem to recall accents of gold. I'm sure it was garish and dreadful but I was in love with it. And as if papering a ceiling with gift wrap wasn't project enough, she was also creating a valance all along the top of the wall, cutting thick strips of the paper and trimming around the flowers so the valance had a scalloped effect.

It was one of the hottest weeks of the summer and there we were, in a stuffy upper bedroom. I don't remember that I was actually helping (although I may have done some of the cutting of the floral border). Dame Judi says my job was just to keep her company. I don't know if I ever told her but the one thing I do remember about that week was a feeling of profound gratitude. My room was going to be soooooooo beautiful and Dame Judi was giving over a whole lot of time to the project.

It's all of a piece: the gratitude, the heat, the smell of paint...the pear tree out my window, the paper dolls and the music. We had our music, too; listening over and over again to the Carpenters "Now and Then" album. Oh, say what you will, but Carpenters were, for me, actually the portal to a lot of other music, the sort that wasn't often allowed in our house and which was otherwise foreign to me. The genius of the "Now and Then" album is that the song "Yesterday Once More" (shoo-be-do-lang-lang) was the entrée to a medley of oldies hits. It was very "concept", snippets of a "DJ" weaving between the clips of "Da Do Run Run" and "One Fine Day" and the like. I loved it and while I'm sure we were listening to other records as well, the B side of "Now and Then" is the soundtrack for that DIY summer

Redd Kross "Yesterday Once More"



Blogger Kimberly Ann opined...

Oh my gosh, I am verklempt. What a lovely post, truly.

Can't wait to see the pix of the redo. Papered ceiling? Wow, sounds very groovy.

August 15, 2008 9:17 AM  
Anonymous Dame Judi opined...

Granted, the Peter Maxx ceiling bit was true maddness, but remembered, it was a great room for a hip teen.

What came later - the next owners of the house were of an ultra-conservative religious sect. When seeing the room in question were certain that all manner of orgies and unspeakable wickedness had taken place there. Hardly the sort of space that should belong to a less-ultra 'church' family as we were!

So be it and so much for first impressions. It was a great time, a great room and great memory.

August 15, 2008 9:49 AM  
Blogger Molly opined...

Oh I am glad. I mean, Dylans room has always portrayed her quirky-ness but now that she's not 8 anymore (Seriously, she will never be more than 7 in my mind. She is not allowed to grow up! She is our little Boof!) and she's going to high school sooner than later, I think a change is in order. I can't wait to see the pictures.

weird how things like that bring back memories once buried. :)

August 15, 2008 10:06 AM  
Blogger Anne opined...

i can't even get into The Girl's room, much less paint it. Can't wait to see pix.

August 15, 2008 10:14 AM  
Blogger Anne opined...

No wonder you're mom's "Dame Judi." Sounds great.

August 15, 2008 10:15 AM  
Blogger Caitlin opined...

Was that the house on 211?

August 15, 2008 10:15 AM  
Blogger TWISI opined...

I can't wait to see the finished product! I know it will be beautiful!

Drink lots of fluids, I don't want you ladies overheating.

August 15, 2008 10:19 AM  
Blogger sageweb opined...

Great story! How cool to be in hot room painting. I can't wait for the photos. Love the video/song.

August 15, 2008 10:49 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

It was way groovy, KA. But much as I love my child I can't imagine attempting such a thing. My mom was NOT the worst mother in the world (waa waa).

DJ, not to mention that we moved, like, the next year. An awful lot of effort, under the circumstances but it was a truly great room. You are the best mother in the world (waa waa).

Mols, you won't believe it when you see it. Seriously.

Anne, trust, first stage of the project was a dumpster. (And she is the Damest of Dames).

Yep, Caitlin...the farmhouse. Good times.

Twisi, it's coming together really nicely although we have some touch up issues because there are 2 shades of the color (given that one was magnetized). But I think the final result is going to be stunning.

Or suck.

You know, either way. And we are drinking LOTS of water. Lots.

August 15, 2008 10:50 AM  
Blogger Buck opined...

Someday, The Child will be blogging about this very same event. I can't wait to read your comment.

Oh, and come paint my apartment. I want to paint the curvy trim a dark blue. I have no idea how to paint. At all.

And, by the way, The Carpenters are absolutely brilliant.

August 15, 2008 11:45 AM  
Blogger rosemary opined...

I remember giving permission for one red wall....then came the giggling and my daughter and youngest son with their fingers in the white ceiling paint throwing splats all over the red wall....and my son loved it until the day he married and moved. I had paper dolls that were used for photos in the Fredrick's of Hollywood ads.....the artist was the daughter of my godmother and she gave the "dolls" to me and my godmother's daughter....we were "cousins" by Italianism.

August 15, 2008 12:47 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Sage, I don't know if "cool" is the operative word at the moment. Wasn't that cover awesome? I dug it.

August 15, 2008 12:59 PM  
Blogger Sling opined...

I'm guessin it will be stunning when completed!..sorta like sittin' on top of the world,looking down on creation. :)

August 15, 2008 1:34 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Buck, I know you know the Carpenters are brilliant. And you have to go back and read the post. The part where it says how much I hate to paint. I think white is nice.

Rosie, sounds like fun to me! When The Child was little I took up the nasty blue carpet in her room, painted the floor gray and then painted her feet, first yellow, then pink and had her walk around leaving little baby footprints all over the floor. It was cute. Not so much 11 years later and yeah, we'll have to do something about that, but still.

Sling, and hopefully the impact will endure so those rainy days and Mondays stop getting her down.

August 15, 2008 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Love the song, love the original, love this version even though I'd never heard it before.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with The Carpenters. (musically speaking...)

Dame Judi rocks.

I will be bringing magnets next time I come to visit.

August 15, 2008 6:00 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

JP, I'm so glad you liked it. Yes, DJ does rock. And please see to it that the magnets have pictures of the Jonas Brothers on them.

August 15, 2008 8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Ba Ha Ha Ha (Note no W)

If the paint is drying too fast add just a touch of water and stir well. It also can give you a smoother finish and easier roll for the rollers but watch it for the trim. Trim likes thicker paint so it wont run as much and the color stays the same so dont worry on that aspect.

Really loved last weeks on JJ.

Stay cool - buy a fan.



August 15, 2008 11:53 PM  
Blogger greeny opined...

Love the redo idea and the skip back down memory lane. It's a beautiful one.
Hope everything is/was smooth on the painting. What a job.
I am always struck by how creative and busy your family is and apparently has always been. Thanks for sharing.

August 16, 2008 5:35 AM  
Blogger Mom opined...

Hail to Dame Judy! You have a great mother.

August 16, 2008 8:36 AM  
Blogger Willym opined...

And what Dame Judi did with you, you are now doing with the Child - sorry we really do have to change that nickname if she's gettting a new sophisticated room!!!!

The Carpenters - weren't they everyone's guility little secret back them... oh yeah you pished and tushed (well okay nobody actually ever really pished or tushed)to your friends when they showed up on Sunday night televison but....

August 16, 2008 1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

First time I ever heard the
Carpenters was when I was standing
on the porch of your 211 house.
I thought you all were the
coolest ever.

August 16, 2008 6:07 PM  
Blogger Caitlin opined...

Oops! I forgot to add my
name to the previous comment.

August 16, 2008 6:08 PM  
Blogger ~lifedramatic~ opined...

I bow to you, oh painting maven. My house is still all white. Maybe it will take kids to get me to paint :)


August 17, 2008 8:13 AM  
Blogger Miss Healthypants opined...

This was a lovely post. :)

And Buck and I LOVE the Carpenters...too bad Iwanski can't stand 'em.

Still, I need to download some of their stuff onto my Ipod. :)

August 17, 2008 10:17 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Anonyba, the fan is my new best friend. And thanks for the tips.

Greeny, my love, thank you for the encouragement. I am easily the least crafty of any of my family. I can see it in my head but the execution not so much.

You said it, Mom. She's the bestest mother in all the land. Always was, always will be.

Willym, darling, she will always be The Child. When she's grown and bred and painting the rooms of her own offspring (oh, and I rub my hands with glee at the thought) she will still be The Child.

And yeah, except for Iwanski, I really don't know anyone who doesn't cop to a little Carpenter love.

Oh, Caitlin, we were only cool to you because you didn't suffer from that "condescending New Jersey attitude". (Do you know, last time I saw your brother he still remembered that?)

Why, thank you very much, Charlene...and thanks for stopping by.

MHP: I suddenly have a nearly uncontrollable urge to call all y'all up and start singing "Close to You" to Iwanski.

August 18, 2008 10:59 PM  

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