Monday, November 28, 2016


So close. We're so close.

And like a dream, where you strive to get somewhere, only to find something holding you back, like a horror film, where no matter how fast the victim runs to escape the slow-moving monster, the monster catches up, there is some unseen force working against us.

The second wall needed to be tiled. Last weekend, our friend helped us tile the important wall: the one that was to hold the range hood. That essential device was installed on Thursday and paved the way for the gas oven to be hooked up.

That happens today. As of today, our kitchen will be fully functional.

That doesn't mean finished.

This weekend, my chores were clear. Finish the tiling on the long wall, around the window over the sink. Five outlets to cut around. After that, paint the ceiling, which has been ready to go since the electrician has installed the lighting and the dry-waller has filled in all the holes. I looked at the old covering, still in the original builder's white, with the stains from applesauce after our young toddler learned what happens when you drop an open jar squarely on the floor.

The tiling took longer than expected, even after we learned, last week, that it takes longer than expected. Except, as we drew to the end of the wall, close to the back door, it became apparent that we had miscalculated the number of tiles we needed, that we had broken and wasted tiles that we could not afford to lose. One dozen tiles short.

When we learned of our shortcoming, we counted our remaining tiles, calculated the remaining outlets that needed custom cutting, and applied those tiles to the wall so that the rented wet saw could be returned. A dozen full tiles are missing from the wall. The tiling project was incomplete.

To keep the rest of the tasks on schedule, I focused on that ceiling. One four-litre can was enough to apply two coats, my calculations told me. I had worked in a paint and wallpaper store, in my late teens, knew the coverage for a flat surface.

A stippled ceiling is hard to calculate: The material that is sprayed onto that surface is porous, can soak up paint like a sponge. But a flat ceiling, I figured, would follow the same rules as a regular wall.

Many parts of this ceiling had been repaired after the electrical work had been completed. Some sections had seen water damage before our roof had been re-tiled. New plaster had been applied. Also, the paint that had originally been applied was cheap and did not provide a solid seal.

I stood on a ladder for two hours, holding the roller close, moving slowly to prevent spray. Two hours, craning my neck, arms up, shoulders strained. And it became clear, as I worked myself across the room, that this ceiling was a porous as the stippled section.

One gallon did not even provide a full coat. About 12 square feet remained uncovered, the roller tray sucked dry.


Today, I return to the tile shop to purchase more tiles. I'm getting a full box, allowing for plenty of spares. I also return to the Home Depot, to pick up another can of paint, maybe two. While the first coat was heavily absorbed, I'm hoping the areas that have already been covered have provided a barrier for the second layer. Fingers crossed.

We are so close. The grout will have to be applied on Tuesday evening, the paint sometime this week. If life isn't like a bad dream or a horror movie, we will make it to the end of the week, with an area that we can live in, where we can entertain and be proud to show.

So close. We are so close.

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