Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Wednesday's Words for December 4, 2019

December began with our first ice storm in a while, our first real blast of winter. I’d been planning to head to the next city to our northwest, to spend some time with my son and daughter-in-law. We were going to go to Bingo, which I haven’t done in a long time. But I canceled the night before, because I’d checked the weather and it didn’t look good.

When I arose, the freezing rain hadn’t started. But it did a half hour later, and it sure didn’t take long to cover everything. After the thick coating of ice, of course, came snow. Not a lot, but enough. I was disappointed to have missed the opportunity to visit, but there’s always next Sunday – good Lord willing and the river don’t rise.

So now that December is officially here, Mr. Ashbury has decided to begin working on our living room. As of today, he’s finished the mudding of cracks and has finally fixed one good-sized hole. It was situated about three inches from the ceiling on our south facing living room wall. We’ve had that hole since we had the siding put on the house back in 2006. Yes, that was many years ago. 

What happened was that as the siding installers were strapping and then siding this very old frame house, they tapped some nails just right, and bang! We discovered there had been a stove pipe hole we never knew about that had been covered over, but not covered very well. I say not well, because the plaster fell out and there was the hole, piece of stove pipe still there and all.

Mr. Ashbury believes in out of sight, out of mind. He hung a picture over the damage (which was visible above our bookcases) and called it good, as he has sometimes been known to do. Yes, he is a bit of a redneck and he’s proud of it. His red neck shines most when he “jerry-rigs” repairs. Like the time, shortly after we moved into this house when the shower rod that had been held in place by one screw on the one side lost that screw. There were two in the other, it was just the one side that needed a screw. My oldest son caught the rod and held it in place. Until his dad came, with a plastic ball point pen in hand—which he then proceeded to jam into that hole where a screw was meant to go. It was a mighty “jam” because that pen stayed there until he replaced that shower curtain rod, oh, about five years ago.

But I digress.

We had tried buying one of those stove pipe covers, but the one we got, and thought would fit over that hole, didn’t. David ended up enlarging the hole slightly to make it square, then inserting two pieces of 1x 2 into the hole and screwing it through the lathing. He was then able to cut a piece of drywall to fit, and of course, then used the “mudding” compound. Fingers crossed it all turns out—but however it looks it will be better than having to be stared at constantly by a gaping maw.

The three walls he’s going to be working on are all plaster and in fairly decent shape. So there was no need to buy full sheets of drywall to cover them over. He’ll be painting this week, and that will give us a half of the room done.

Why a half, you ask? Well, he moved the television out about four feet from the wall he’s working on, and has it covered in plastic while he’s working. The bookshelf units (all 3) are also out of place, giving him access to half of the adjacent wall. Once the painting is done, he and our daughter will work together to install laminate flooring for that four to five feet of floor that is free of furniture—and then he’ll move things back into place, over the new flooring, and do the rest of the adjacent wall, and corresponding flooring. Then, one more move of furniture toward the television…well, you get the picture.

I did not remind him that is it three weeks before Christmas.

Fortunately, we don’t as a rule do much entertaining. Our Christmas tree is a small one—barely up to my height—so we don’t need a lot of room to show our Christmas spirit. I haven’t complained one bit, either, about his decision to begin this process now.

Why? Well, there was a point in October when he seriously discussed putting off getting our new bed until the spring so that he could do the living room and then get to work on the bedroom which among other things, needs a new ceiling (it lost a part of itself back when that rain hit during the time the roof was off). But he finally saw the sweet light of reason, and we have our new, wonderfully comfortable bed.

And as I’ve often said: if I can just get a good night’s sleep, I can handle damn near anything.