Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Progress report and miscellany

As promised, here's the record of the work done over the holidays. Since I never took any "before" pics, you can have no real idea of the utter transformation that's taken place, but I can try to describe it: first, the beds in both rooms have been moved as far away from the doorways (the position of the camera in both photos) as possible, to emphasize depth. Before, the beds were right next to the doorways. In the room on the left, my desk and its jumble of computer and office mess were where the bed stands now, under that window. The walls were a busy pink and white floral print above the wainscoting (oh, don't ask!) and a very warm terra cotta, close to the color of the bed ruffle, below. It was a claustrophobic jumble. (The desk and computer are now where the bed was, in an alcove behind the camera. They're invisible if you're just passing the room, and take up no usable space. We should have thought this arrangement years ago. True, I have no window to gaze out as I sit here now, but I do have a nice African batik on the wall in front of me.)

The room on the right had a less-objectionable wallpaper of vertical stripes in shades of green above the wainscoting and a dark, forest green below. These new colors are much more soothing, and the position of the bed makes the room look huge. We put smaller rugs in both rooms, again, to emphasize openness, as well as the rich floors. All in all, we're pretty proud of this new look. Gee, maybe it'll add $10,000 to the price of the house! (Right!)

The temperature outside is currently 34 and it's raining. We're promised a high of 35 and continued rain for the next 24 hours. My walk was curtailed this morning when I started getting soaked. I am fighting a tendency to sprout greens and turn into a parsnip. I was completely inert yesterday, a blank slate. This is not good--boredom begets boredom. It's times like these when the thought of going back to work is the strongest. But all I have to do is think that notion through completely in order for good sense to return. I'd enjoy the company, there's no doubt. But having to go out in this mess just to fill a chair? I don't think so. (Still, I'll do it if I have to, or if that proverbial offer I can't refuse knocks on my door.)

I've been given an assignment that'll keep me busy and give me a sense of accomplishment: take some medium-grade steel wool to the stairs to clean them and rough up the finish a bit so a new coat of polyurethane can go down. I'll put Diane Rehm on the radio and start that after I finish reading the paper.

Oh. The paper. Finishing reading it won't take long, I'm sorry to say. The poor Washington Post has lately become a shadow of its former self. The reporting staff has been reduced by hundreds, there are fewer pages to read, and what there is to read is supplied more and more by wire services. Home-reported Congressional and overseas coverage are still first-rate, but the paper is obviously hurting. It's sad to see this former bastion of aggressive investigative reporting so reduced. The spunk is still there, but it's been diminished.

Thanks for all your faithful visits while I was off in the vacuum yesterday.


Linda (SE PA) said...

We are expecting a wintry mix here! Temps in low 30's and it seems the course of our winter so far with icing at night and early am. As with you, I am happy to be indoors during the storms and not have an office awaiting my presence (and on time to boot).

I like the new bedrooms. Especially the green as it is the color theme on my email inbox. Is the other one a yellow or gold?

Sorry to hear about the newspaper. I read a considerable amount of speculative discussion on the future of newspapers. Maureen Dowd of the NYT had an interesting piece on a newspaper that started outsourcing commentators. Available still on line if you are interested - short and to the point read.

Sounds like an interesting project to keep you occupied with. My day stretches ahead with an open schedule.

Ralph said...

They're shades of yellow, Linda. The consultant who comes with our real estate agent had recommended the pale tan that's on the walls in the living room for the color below the wainscoting, but we found it too close to the pale yellow she'd recommended for above it. So we took her suggestion for the top, and just strengthened the yellow theme below it.

Thanks for the heads up on the newspaper commentary. If I feel the need for a downer I might read it. I know "other" papers are suffering. Just never imagined my old good old WaPo would!

Cuidado said...

I like your bedrooms. The first one has elements of two of mine. One, my son sleeps in a white iron bed like that with brass parts to it. My bedroom is golds and terra cotta but in a much different way. I love terra cottas rusts and golds.

Your rooms look very nice.

Ralph said...

Thanks, Cuidado. We have terra cotta in a lot of places scattered around here--we like the color, too. Very warm. It's just an accent now in this room, but it's still here. The bed was a present from my Peace Corps friend Michele, whom I'm written about before. She and John were moving and had no place for the bed in their new house, so they gave it to us. She painted the bed herself.

Zoey and Me said...

They had a huge staff reduction here at Florida Today owned by Gannett. My daughter is the Cocoa/Rockledge reporter and thankfully her job was saved. But the paper is thinner, less local news, many pick ups and the AP now controls the front page. Sad to see. I used to read the WaPo daily as I took the Metro to Capitol Hill. Those were the days. Hello Watergate.

Ralph said...

Wow, glad your daughter survived the cut. Must be hard to be a newspaper journalist these days, not only because of the job security issue but also if you believe in newspapers.