Thursday, January 12, 2017

Angel, First

If you haven't read the last posting, this won't make as much sense to you. So for what it's worth, you have been warned.

The remodel is proceeding, slowly. I've done my bit, not just clearing and cleaning. (I mean, would you want to work on somebody's bathroom that hasn't been properly cleaned due to inability to run water, for one thing?) The last three days have involved my sitting out on the patio table, painting.

Both bathrooms had ugly shelf units mounted on the walls, one for mine, two for Steve's. By ugly I refer to color, style, and years of dirt. Start with Steve's bathroom. One was a two-shelf slick plastic monstrosity in intense Pepto-Bismol pink. After washing, it was the only one to become actually clean. But the reason for that is that the surface is so slick that not just dirt, but paint too, wouldn't stick to it.

It was a relief when Steve agreed with me that painting it wasn't an option, and it could find a new home somewhere. Say, in a landfill. He hadn't really used it anyway. There were no ridges on the edges, so a little bump would knock any contents off, no mean consideration when you realize that it had been placed right over the toilet.

That left us each with a two-shelf unit, maybe 18" long, with a rail or raised edge that would actually hold things in place. And surfaces of sufficient roughness that paint would actually adhere. Steve's was some thin kind of metal, perhaps tin, solid shelves and vertical supports, filigree back and rim, scrollwork supporting the bottom. Very not masculine. It had already once been painted, a color formerly prized by institutions, that my ex used to call peach-barf-pink. Yes, ugly. But usable.

His bathroom walls were getting changed to a medium blue, a deeper shade than the living room, kitchen, and hallway for those of you who have seen our house, but same general color tone. We had some leftover deep blue paint, one you perhaps could call copen, perhaps navy. I dug around in the workroom and found the leftover half can of that, along with a small brush, stirred it until both the black on top and the white on the bottom were uniformly mixed in (hey, what's with that, anyway?), and began to paint.

It was kind of a mess. I started with the filigree in the back. It took a lot of brushing from multiple angles to get all that peachy crap covered, and while I was doing that, I wasn't paying any attention to where the thick drippings off the brush were landing. Hey, I'd covered the table with cardboard, so who cared? But most of them landed on the surface of the bottom shelf, and the dry wind made it impossible to properly smooth them out by the time I'd finished the back. Lucky for me, Steve's not fussy. But shhh! Don't tell him! Anyway, I kept painting what I thought was the rest of it, noting that brush marks were appearing due to the stark contrast in colors, and my attempts to correct them were just causing other ones to appear. So, second coat next day.

It was a good thing too, because with all the scrollwork, in addition to the filigree, there were lots of spots I missed the first time. But two coats, and two overnight dryings, and it was good to go. Looks great in there, and I was right about how the colors would mate. As a bonus, the more stuff he packs on the bottom shelf, the less lumpy it'll look.

My shelf unit was both simpler and harder. Simpler because the nasty old dirty white shelves were both just flat arcs with a straight, open back. Harder because the metal connectors, rails, and finials on the top did not disconnect from the unit. I'd have to do my best to avoid painting them, and keep a wet rag handy. Since my paint was left over from the current repaint of my bathroom, making the paint thinner, any drip was much more easily dealt with. My unit required only one painting and a single night drying, and I brought it in to sit on top of the new sink until the handyman could get it installed.

Steve and I were both using my facilities at this point, and I got a kick out of him commenting how well the new shelf color matched my bathroom!

Ya think?

The shelves are up now, and it is time to begin moving back into my bathroom. There is still some tub work to do, but I can use the rest of it. I like knowing where to find things, just where they used to be kept, rather than trip over and sort through boxes of stuff on the floor next to my bed. The first thing to go back was a little ceramic angel.

Now mind you, I don't consider this "my" angel. I didn't buy it, do not collect them, and don't actually believe in the religious tenets that espouse them, not in any superstitious ability of them to bring me luck. But this one comes with a story, and that's why she went back first.

My ex brother-in-law, John, has been married three times. Pam was #2, the mother of their children. Pam was the collector of angel figurines, and had a generous soul to match. So far as I know, she'd be married to him still except for one little thing: liver cancer. Several years ago, after the funeral when the close relatives and friends gathered at the house for food and remembrances, we were all invited, in a giving way that was impossible to decline regardless of one's personal thoughts about angels, to pick out our favorite one to take home as a final gift from Pam. I found a cute one I could live with, and she's been on display somewhere ever since.

So when the newly painted shelf went back up, she was the first thing to be placed there. I don't think of her as an angel or a religious symbol. She's a reminder of Pam, and all the love she was capable of.

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