Monday, September 7, 2009

Laboring the Day Away

"Ruth," a small voice croaked as I got out of bed this morning and headed to the door. "I need more sleep. I'm sick."

The missing word that hung in the air at the end of that last sentence would be "again". This is at least the third time in about one month that Michael has been sick, although thankfully this time it appears that no vomiting is involved. There have been some miserable days for my husband of late. It's a good thing we're headed to Greece for a vacation in four weeks - he really needs one! I'll cross my fingers that any sickness will stay at bay during our travels.

In the meantime, we have been preparing for our departure by using Labor Day Weekend as a Weekend of Labor. During my spring Europe trip, work on the bathroom cabinet doors that we were preparing to paint ground to a halt. Not surprisingly so; wood cabinet doors, especially those with beveled fronts and deeply grained wood are a real pain to clean. The process starts with stripping, a messy, foul-smelling task wherein you apply orange goo to the wood and allow it to dry before scraping it off in dirty, rubbery ribbons. Then follow hours of sanding, working your way from 80 to 220 grade sandpaper, going crazy trying to sand those hard to reach beveled corners by hand. Next, the first coat of primer, followed by a layer of spackle that must be laboriously sanded down after hardening, all for the purpose of filling in the wood grain that would otherwise show through the many layers of paint. Now it's time for a second coat of primer, followed by a light sanding and four coats of white paint, a light sanding between each coat.

At this point, after more than twelve hours of actual labor each, including the stripping that was completed in the spring (oh wait, let me amend that - twelve hours of work for me, probably more like 20 for Michael; I should give him credit where credit is due), we are ready for the first coat of paint! Woohoo! Except now that Michael is sick, the project may have ground to a halt for the day. Sure, I could do it on my own, but because of all the crazy beveling (I'm not sure what else to call it, but you can see what I'm talking about in the photo above), it's probably not a good idea. Michael, in all seriousness, is a better painter than I, and trying manage all the picky little corners and then get everything with the sponge roller before the brushwork dries could lead to disaster. I can only hope that Michael will feel well soon, not due so much to the painting project, but just to be able to see him well and healthy for more than one week at a stretch would be wonderful.

And lest you think the weekend was nothing but work for us (no wonder Michael got sick!), we did manage a few enjoyable breaks, including having friends over for dinner last night, when I witnessed this amazing sunset from our porch, and I made it out Saturday night for the Mighty Shiny show with a friend. But don't think I'll be taking a break all day now that Michael's down; I'll fill the time with my own errands, from baking cookies to going to Costco. Labor Day, indeed!

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