HELLLLLOOOOOOO! GENTLE READERS! Does that read like an echo? It is just Ivy Claire and myself with our thoughts echoing from our cardboard canyons and the towering stacks of storage totes!

We are just beginning to find our way since moving our miscellaneous stuff last week. It has been quite a trial and not one that I would choose to do over.

I am most grateful for help from Doug and Sondra, my Park Falls neighbors who came to the rescue along with my three sons. We hoisted and hefted and stacked and otherwise strained our backs and patience — but all went well in the end and the first floor of our new/old house is sort of settled. The kitchen? Not so much. The upstairs? Not a lick.

Kyle did a lot of the heavy lifting in the end with the help of his brothers, Brian and Chad. But, it was Kyle who prompted me to get started with the painting so the place wouldn’t look so much like a furniture warehouse.

I hired out the work of removing the worn 44-year old carpeting and pads and he also pulled up all that tack stripping along the edges. I put down three coats of polyurethane on the living room hardwood that was revealed underneath the lumpy carpets and it looks great. The second floor? Again, another story for another day. Whew.

The day after the final move-in we headed out to load up on paint. Sounds simple — go to the store and get some paint! Ahhh, but the obvious complication is that paint comes in two bajillion colors and we had to start by picking three, for the dining room, living room and the sunroom.

Kyle knows that indecision is my middle name and so he patiently nudged me along, knowing that after we returned from our paint pilgrimage he would have only one and one-half days to paint three rooms. I am still amazed that he was able to accomplish that feat and help me hang the art and move the furniture into place besides.

In a related matter, a few weeks back I wrote this column about how I would like to be a cartoonist. Simple. Easy language and no meetings to attend. But, I have come across an even simpler occupation for writers — naming paint. I couldn’t believe the huge variety of paints available and each with a different name. Are there really folks out there who sit and name paint?

How does that work?

I am imagining that the “paint namers” are given those same minute chips of paint and told to choose the name that comes to mind. Why do they give you those teensy chips anyway? They only serve to confuse. You find a nice color that appeals to you and you realize that the chip called “Kalahari Sunset” or “Red Chipolte” would blind a person if it were to be painted in a 10 X 12 room.

I can’t quite imagine sitting in a room that is slathered with “Red My Mind” or “Orange Flambe” or a neon turquoise number called “Esmeralda.”

It seems it would make it hard to relax with such vibrant glowing coming from all directions.

Not that there aren’t a whole gambit of natural shades, such as “Juniper Berries” or “Rainforest” or even “Boreal” or “Coastal Storm.” There are so many others of the same ilk, such as “Zen” and “Nature’s Gift.”

I wonder if these paint chip writers ever get writer’s block? The part that seems so easy to me is that once you come up with one or two words to define the color — then you’re done. Punch out. Go home. No word counter needed on your computer.

Those shades seem restful and soft enough for any room in the house and it made me wonder why a similar placid shade was named “Coney Island.”

We ended up choosing “Chimney” for the living room. Oh my. Doesn’t that sound black? It is actually a nice dark blue.

The dining room is now painted “Northwoods” in honor of your lovely part of the state and the sunroom is a soft gray and I don’t recall the name, but it seems like it was “Fluffy Squirrel” or “Squirrel Tail” or something else squirrel related.

I love all the colors we chose, but in the past I have been appalled on various occasions at how awful the colors I selected looked on the walls. I once painted my bedroom a faded color called “Tequilla” and it was not nearly as much fun as a margarita. But, painting is hard work (Thanks Kyle!) and repainting a room because the color is not quite what you want is not an attractive option.

The answer is just to sit back and get used to it. This time I must say the colors turned out beautifully and now with three rooms down and four to go, I have regained a bit of confidence. But, like some of the other jobs that go with a new/old house I have to rest a bit and let my back mend.

I hope all is well in the Northwoods and I will certainly think of all my gentle readers every time I go into my “Northwoods” dining room.

For those of you who are wondering how Ivy Claire is doing — she’s happily spending hours on an ottoman in front of the windows in the squirrel-colored sunroom enjoying watching her many squirrel friends running up and down the trees. Sometimes it just all comes together!

(Copyright © 2019 APG Media)

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