“How did Betty blow-dry her hair?” my husband wants to know as we examine the bathrooms, searching in vain for an outlet for my hair dryer.
Again, I think of my Granna, and realize that Betty probably didn’t. She went once a week to the beauty parlor to have it set.
I feel a flash of joy and tell my husband that I could absolutely go to the blow dry bar myself a few times a week.
He cleared his throat.
And the electrician arrived Friday afternoon.
There are now outlets in the bathroom, along with new but inexpensive vanity lights so that I can see to do my makeup, and an improved light fixture in the dining room — at my husband Tyson’s request, because he thought the ceiling fan was ugly.
And for Valentine’s Day, Tyson tore out all of the carpet in the living room, the hallway, and the dining room — “so that we can eat dinner,” he said, “without being grossed out.”
I have named our temporary home “Camp Sterling,” after my husband’s last name.
I’m feeling a little better about things, but I’ve never been any good camping.
My friend George insists we don’t have it that bad. When he moved into his house in the Encanto historic district, he says, there was a toilet in the entry. And it worked.
My friend Rebecca thinks we should have a ’60s-themed party the night before renovation begins — in honor of our retro home. She suggests serving mini gherkins on toothpicks and wearing a floral apron with a beehive hairdo. Also, there must be doilies everywhere.
She said this after I sent her a photo of the pink tile in the bathroom and the wallpaper in the kitchen.
This weekend, I painted over the wallpaper in the kitchen. I couldn’t take it any more.
(And yes, painting over wallpaper is a huge no-no, but in 6 months those walls are coming down.)
I’ve been told that Bunny — our home’s former patriarch — was a bit OCD about home improvements and doing things his way. Bunny also lived through the Great Depression, which means that every penny was probably precious. Bunny sounds like my Grandfather.
I can tell that Bunny installed this wallpaper — which makes much creative use of “patches.” I’m quite certain he installed the lock on the back door — which requires a key inserted on both sides of the lock to function, which means that last week, when my husband took the key, he unwittingly locked me inside the house.
Bunny also put up faux wood paneling in the two back bedrooms — which I also painted over this weekend, and which will also be eventually coming down.
Because Bunny installed the paneling over two windows.