First Things First…ish?

I’m not sure where to start with all of my current and upcoming projects… let’s just say that 2016 is setting out to be both awesomely productive and awesomely challenging, as predicted. Technically the first thing on my list this year (if you don’t count the failed attempt at leveling the upstairs bathroom floor, and let’s not) is prepping for the film crew to come back to the farm in, uh, four days.

While they’re here I’m going to be building some much-needed locker-style storage in my mudroom, which I haven’t fully designed yet. Or even started designing really. But maybe something like this…

(Except not at all that complicated.)

And last weekend I felt like the best way to prep for my upcoming mudroom project would be to, ah, tear apart the laundry room?



Well, okay, also while the film crew is here we might shoot some of the beginning stages of the kitchen remodel which means a week from now it’s possible I’ll no longer have a working kitchen. In order for that not to throw my entire life into a tailspin I have to have a temporary kitchen somewhere, and the most feasible place would be somewhere like here…


Except, laundry.


Also, organization.

And let’s not talk about that paint color.

(It’s actually not a bad paint color, but it’s also not the right paint color… in this house there are only 2 colors: Moonlight White (aka OC-125) in 50% opacity for the walls, and 25% opacity for the trim, and Roycroft Mist Gray in 100% opacity in the entry, and 50% opacity in the mudroom and downstairs bath. That’t it. I’m not complicating my life with more paint colors… been there, done that, not at all worth the time or energy expended on it.)

Soooo… even though what I want to be doing is taking a nap working on the kitchen, I guess what I really need to do is build some shelves for the laundry room. Shelves that will allow me to clean out the cabinets, so the cabinets can turn into my temporary pantry. And the laundry room needed shelves anyway, so I’ll be damned if I’m going to put up shelves just to take them down and paint everything eventually. Which is exactly how I ended up stuck–naked from the waist up–in the 12″ space behind my washing machine.


Wait. What? 

Well, yes, because I decided to, first, empty everything out of the room, and then just paint the damn thing before I started building shelves. Since I only use two colors of paint in this house I always have extra gallons on hand, so I grabbed a gallon of Roycroft Mist Gray and got to painting…


And since I was painting I decided to swap out all the old, dingy electrical outlets out for new bright white ones…


And when I was swapping the electrical outlets the voltage detector fell behind the washing machine…


In my house a voltage detector is critical to not electrocuting the shit out of yourself. In this small 5×7 laundry room that only has 3 electrical outlets, I had to shut off three separate breakers to turn them all off.

So I slowly lowered myself into the narrow space, being careful to avoid the wet paint on the wall. Then, once I was down there I realized that I was wearing a “good” tank top (ie one I didn’t want to get ruined with paint) and I was already 50% stuck (I mean, does it look like a full-sized human can fit in that space??) so I did the only reasonable thing one can do in a situation like this… took my shirt off.

And then I did some weaving and maneuvering between all those hoses until I found the voltage detector on the ground (along with 2 pairs of leggings, 8 mis-matched socks, and a shirt I forgot I owned) which was all well-and-good until I tried to stand up and… no. Whatever yoga positions I did to crouch down did not work in reverse, and at one point there was a hose wrapped around my neck and I thought, shit. Good news: I could still reach my phone on top of the dryer. Bad news: Who the fuck do you call to come help you when you’re stuck– naked from the waist up– in the 12″ space behind a washing machine?

No one. That’s who.

Just the idea of having to make such a call fueled an incredible surge of adrenaline and I managed to somehow work my way out. I have no idea how. I’m still not sure how I actually fit back there, but I’m not going to start questioning the laws of physics now.

Instead I’m going to question my paint choice.


So, here’s the thing. Very often I have very clear picture in my head about what a room will look like when it’s done. The kitchen, for example, I can already see in it’s finished state (even mentally swapping out things like counters or flooring that I haven’t decided on yet), but the laundry room was a total blank. What kind of shelves should I build? Floating? Bracketed? Should they be painted or wood? I figured it would all just come together in the end, and then, as I was standing in the lumber aisle of Lowe’s, it did (in my mind at least) except what I was picturing had white walls. In the room I just painted gray.


I just couldn’t get around it, so, at 7PM on a Sunday, I got home from Lowe’s and started painting. Again.


Literally the only room in any of my houses that has been 3 different colors in the same day.

But definitely not the only time I’ve accidentally overbalanced while painting and landed head-first on to a wet wall…


Yeah. This saga ends with me doing a fair impression of the cat in all the old Pepe la Pew cartoons. #because2016

Eventually I’m going to get to the damn kitchen, but first I need to get this paint out of my hair.

17 Responses

  1. “Who the fuck do you call to come help you when you’re stuck– naked from the waist up– in the 12″ space behind a washing machine?

    No one. That’s who.”


    Thanks for the guffaw!

  2. Hilarious! Thank goodness you repainted! As soon as you said gray, I could not focus on anything else. Laundry is depressing enough without gray.

  3. Very funny story. You almost made your mother say, “Don’t make me come up there.” Your hair is stylish with the paint in it – more so if you had chosen red paint.

    Is it possible for those of us in blogland to see the show that will be filmed next week? I’m sure there will be some entertaining moments there as well.

    Thank you for making us smile and laugh. Again and again.

  4. I love these “When you give a mouse a cookie” type renovation stories that you always write.

    Love your blog. I needed a laugh today.

  5. You are awesome ! The hair is great,matches the nail color.Much good luck with the kitchen ; hope you don’t have to do it twice , with or without clothing.

  6. Oh my goodness! I love how you started in the mudroom and ended up painting the laundry room…twice. I’m laughing because I’ve been there!

    Good luck on the filming!

  7. is this filming going to be tied in to the last bit of filming they did when you built the pagoda, and combined all together in the spring? or did i somehow miss when the last bit of filming aired? the laundry room looks so much brighter white!

  8. Oh my god, Kit. Seriously thought that it was only me that that stupid crap happened to. Seriously have just snorted out coffee. It’s only paint…right? Well, paint and dignity.

  9. No longer being agile, I think I might have lain across the top of the machines, with a giant maglite and some tongs. Maybe the tongs wouldn’t have reached, though.

  10. Haha, this post highlights the need to address the issues which are most pressing first. However don’t neglect longer term issues because you think they’ll go away – often they’ll just get worst and you’ll fall half naked behind the washing machine (or equivalent)

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I'm not interested in a mediocre life. I'm here to kick ass or die.