Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What's Love Got To Do With It

If you follow any of my social media posts you know that I am in the process of re-modeling another home. The last go round I had a few advantages: time (14 years), money (faux was big and business busy) and help ( Bruce and I were both healthy).

Lots of things change in a year.  Most of you know about Bruce's illness and retirement from Surfaces. At the same time, people really cut back on faux-especially walls. So while I am taking over Surfaces I'm also re-evaluating my business plan.

This meant hustling to up-date the studio,

my samples,

my web-site, and my classes to reflect the changing tastes in decorative finishing.

I also worked on commission pieces:

Now people (and by people, I mean my Mother) question why I would also tackle a home. When you buy a fixer-upper there are always "taste" issues. These are the things that you change to reflect your personal style.  But there are often things that are just gross. Like nasty stinky cat carpet. Or stained cracked popcorn ceilings. And hideous wallpaper stuck right to the wall.

I adopted my alter ego: Wreck-It Rebecca and tackled the worst areas first. I started with the Guest Rooms so we could welcome out-of-town students again.

I pulled carpet, re-surfaced floors, removed popcorn, painted walls/furniture and decked them out.

Bruce was feeling good. With the help of my Dad, we created an outdoor space to enjoy with our friends and the dogs.

Now by this point I 'm getting a little worn-out.  Even the Energizer Bunny needs to charge the battery.  When did I realize that I was, let's say, loosing it?

My sister is helping me move a sofa out of the garage and into the house.  It won't fit through the door. I knock over a wall of brooms and rakes. It won't go around the stainless refrigerator also in garage because it won't fit with the kitchen cabinets.

I, as we say in the South, loose my religion. 

I throw boxes and brooms. My use of profanity would make a sailor blush.  My sister who works with special needs children is witnessing an adult tantrum. She adopts the inside voice as she asks me, "are you OK?"

OK? No. I am a tired frustrated mess. My back hurts. My neck hurts. My brain hurts. A year's worth of sadness, pain, and fear is bubbling up right to the top. I'm thinking of what we have lost and what we stand to loose. It is just a house but it feels like so much more.

"You know it will be good," Sally tells me.  "It will be beautiful. You always make things beautiful. And you and Bruce will be happy here."  She calls me that night and the next day to check on me. Wow. I must of scared her.  My sister is the best.

I finally tell Bruce about my trip to crazy town. He looks thoughtful and then this happened...

I came home from work to a house covered in plastic. Bruce contracted with our friend Jon to remove the wallpaper and all the popcorn. They repaired the ceilings, skimmed the walls, primed and painted everything.

Now many of you don't know this but Bruce decided to be an Uber Driver. It allows him flexibility and the chance to get out of the house. Plus it generates some extra income. This is how he paid the workers....for me.

"I want you to have a house you like. I don't want you stressed.  Now you will be able to work your magic and create a home you are proud of. When I'm not here, I want you to be happy and not thinking about all the work ahead."

So you ask me? What does love have to do with popcorn, priming, plaster, and paint?

I will tell you....."Everything."


  1. Rebecca, Mets and I just read this and we loved it. We have followed your progress with your "fixer upper" and have been inspired by you and Bruce in our own" fixer-upper venture". Love conquers all, even home improvements......haha. What matters most is having somebody stand by you during the good and bad days. That is what makes every day worth the crazy.

  2. Oh Rebecca, you lovely soul! Thank you for being human and for sharing this. Bruce is one in a million.

    Warm thoughts, love and light to you both.

  3. Thanks all! I think working on a home is a love/hate thing for most couples. Your own mini reality show! I'm grateful I may share our journey. Grief, frustration, happiness, sadness, silliness...all are universal themes.