What a week! Moving sheep before work, bank meetings after work, showing history movies in the evenings. On Tuesday we rose at 3:45 AM so DH could get off on his business trip. He should be home by midnight tonight.
Between meetings I ran to the hardware store and ordered my paint samples. It is testament to my jangled mind that I ordered two of one color (a color that naturally it turns out I will not use). It is Montgomery White. Maybe I just was hearing my mother say Montgumreh in her soft Southern accent.
Yesterday I got up early to prep for classes, bake a couple of loaves of chocolate chip bread for my evening movie, and then run down to the farm to paint swatches before barn chores. Of course, since I was under time pressure, the truck wheels locked up and none of the usual tricks to unlock them worked. I parked the truck again and carried the bag of paint samples to our car. As I walked the bag split and the cans bounced all over the driveway. Stay calm. Breathe deeply. I collected the dented cans and continued on.
The light in these photos is poor. You will just have to believe me that the colors are much, much louder in person. After seeing these photos, I’m thinking I can never trust the look of any paint photographs online.
These are potential kitchen yellows. They are, in order: Provence Creme, Hawthorne Yellow, and Montgomery White. Hawthorne Yellow is perhaps the most popular yellow paint going. I was almost sure I would use it. Unfortunately, to my eye it is a muddy Dijon Mustard yellow. Montgomery White, promised to be a creamy yellow, is a creamy peach. (It must be all the iron in that Alabama soil.) And Provence Creme is so bright it should be called Kindergarten Yellow. I think if it were multiplied across the walls it might appear neon. So, this weekend I will have to try again.
Here is Navajo White. Again, the color is not registering in the photos. When I look at the wall itself, I try not to think: it looks tan. Or: it looks dirty. I have to make a decision and I may say that it’s fine.
Here is Lucy’s bedroom with her mint. I painted swatches on both big walls. It is much more minty than it looks here, where, bizarrely, it can barely be seen.
I am a timorous person when it comes to style choices. I remind myself that the color will be the backdrop for a lot of cottage white: bedspread, chest of drawers, nightstand. Still, I am going to let this color decision wait until Lucy sees it next week.
After the painting I hurried to barn chores.
I have had a hen sitting on a nest. The entry to the barn (where she is sitting) reeked of rotten eggs. Though I had no time, the stench was so awful I stopped to investigate. It appeared that many of the eggs on which she has been sitting were not fertilized. Instead of developing into chicks, in the warmth the yolks had been rotting — and now, exploding. The industrious hen was splattered with wet, horribly stinking blackish yuck but sitting on, oblivious. To her indignation I cleaned her up as best I could before hurrying on to the rest of chores. Sheep out to pasture, cows fed, hay distributed. Hurry, hurry, hurry. Then I headed home for a quick shower before work. Leaving the farm I was nervously aware that I was driving our good car with hands splotched with paint and rotten eggs. I tried to sit very lightly, perching like a praying mantis.
The wood flooring was due to be delivered yesterday. It was the only day in the ten-day forecast without rain or snow. At 5 AM I’d written to the supplier to thank him. When I got out of my shower, my hair dripping, I found his reply. There had been a miscommunication. I’d have to go to my bank.
I had 40 minutes before work. The bank is 15 minutes away. Oh my goodness.
I packed up my computer and school files, stampeded down the stairs, and raced into town. At the bank I concentrated on looking calm and relaxed instead of crazy and frantic as I waited in line. Out of the bank, I raced back to the farm and then raced to work. My briefcase banged against my thigh as I jogged to the building from the parking lot. I almost skidded into my classroom, just in time for my first class.
At the doorway a colleague was waiting. “Do you mind if I observe your class today?”
“Oh, fine, fine,” I gabbled.
I taught the class in a blur. The colleague later sent me this photo from the beginning of class, a photo mostly remarkable because I am not frothing at the mouth.
After work I drove to Damon’s house to help him with some paperwork, and then drove back to the farm. Before chores I stopped to look at the wood delivery. Nick, who is an athlete, said he’d had his strength workout for the day lugging all the wood into the house. Looking at the many stacks, I was sure this was an understatement.
Here is the tongue and groove pine for the mudroom walls. It is rough, industrial quality. My hope is that I will be able to pick among the boards and cut around knots, cracks, and other imperfections to get the walls decently paneled.
And here is one of the dozen piles of oak flooring stacked through the house.
The wholesaler calls this flooring “rustic oak.” It is essentially the leftovers from premium oak flooring. It is mostly short pieces and they, too, have knots.
Though I am not excited about this, I remind myself that for months I believed I would have to have vinyl floors. Then I discovered this far less expensive option and I decided that imperfect real wood floors were preferable to vinyl. As always when it comes to decisions I make alone, I have done a lot of second-guessing on this one. I hope I was right — but either way, it is done.
I painted a second coat on my wall swatches. Then, after barn chores and walking and feeding the dogs, I went back to school, moved all of the desks in my classroom, and showed my 8th graders the movie The Long Walk Home, about the beginning of the Civil Rights movement in 1955. This is a quiet film and every year it requires energy to keep restless teenagers absorbed in the story. Still, it feels important to teach children that there are many kinds of heroes.
By 9 PM I was home again and brushing my teeth. Despite all my showering and scrubbing, I realized my hands still stank faintly of rotten eggs.
Only one more day until the weekend.