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February 10th, 2008

Long time, no see, everybody.

I finished another book. Finally.

If I was truly honest about it, I wasn’t working on the story for all that long. But it seemed like forever. For the good of my art, I was celebrating Christmas, until Groundhog Day. Ho, freakin’, ho, ho, ho.

And, Wisconsin weather being what it is, we were having everything but a rain of penguins. The highlight, which happened after I threatened the entire family with death, if they didn’t ‘get out of the damn house right now, and let me finish this book in peace. I MEAN IT. I DON’T WANT TO SEE ANY OF YOU SET FOOT IN THIS OFFICE UNTIL FEBRUARY FIRST’, was a beautiful spring day, immediately followed by an ice storm, a forty degree drop in temperature, and wind chill factors that subtracted another 20 or thirty
degrees to bring us to around -30 Fahrenheit.

Along with a brief power outage.

And, of course, a day and a half of school cancellation, and my husband having to work from home and share my office. When he made that decision, he came home with a bag of cookies and a bunch of flowers.

Held out at arms length towards me. I think he was using them as a shield.

But, the book is done. I took a few days to fall on my face in a light coma. And now, the sun is shining (because the chill factor is around -30 again) and I am in the process of pulling my life back together.

When you get trapped in the house for a few months, you start to notice how grim and seedy it’s gotten. You start to want home improvement.

Normally, I would grab a ladder and some paint. But I have this tendency to step back and admire my work, especially when doing the edge near the ceiling. And we have nine foot ceilings. And I already fell down a flight of stairs this month, while trying to walk the dog in the blizzard that came between the two sessions of sub zero chill (Damn, I love this state). So, I figure, I’m not up to doing my own painting right now.

For the first time ever, I hired a painter. His name was Steve.

I gave him a couple of cans of paint, moved all the furniture out of the dining room, and sat down on the couch to watch a movie.

He talked to himself for a while.

Five hours later, the room was done.

My husband came home, and I told him I was leaving him for Steve. Ok. Not really. But I had decided to fork over the embarrassingly small second half of my novella advance to get the livingroom and the back hall done as well. Steve came back with a friend. Five more hours, and a little muttering later, and they were gone, leaving color behind them.

My dining room is willow. Which I guess translates as:
Family:
“Darker than I expected.”
Me:
“But very pretty.”

My living room is copper wire. AKA:
Family:
“Well, this is going to take some getting used to.”
or
“Whoa.”
Me:”But still very pretty. We’re in the 21st century, now. This is the color palette.

And I had the back hall painted “Fun Yellow.”

Now, anything is better than what was there: cobwebs, dirt, and half smudgy green, half messed up yellow. I ran out of paint eight years ago. I never went back.

I can live with the results. But “Fun Yellow” is “Too much fun.” It does not harmonize with the harvest tones in the front of the house. It is louder than the kitschy yellow/aqua/red of the kitchen.

It says “Hey. You! Yeah, you. Over here. I’M YELLOW!”

And it already needs touching up.

THe reason the hall gets so dirty, is partly do to the fact that Kaiju, the golden retriever, uses the wall as a support, when he hauls his dysplasic carcass up and down the stairs. On the very first trip outside, on new paint day, I checked the hall to make sure it was dry.

I checked at people height.

Kaiju checked at dog height.

And then he went out to roll down the snow hill, and make dog angels in a fresh drift, and left a trail of “Fun Yellow” where ever he went.