August brought work and joy for us this year. I am pleased to report that with some experimentation I managed to get my dad’s house’s sheet rock (ceilings and walls, 1,000 square feet) taped and mudded with only two coats and no sanding. How did I do this? After a solid first coat/taping I skim coated the second coat using lots of mud evenly over every wall and ceiling. I just finished painting half the house and stood back to admire my work – not bad at all. It certainly is not perfect but dad wanted me to get it done as quickly as I could (and so did I) you can’t see a single tape line and I sanded absolutely nothing, I wish I had had the courage to try this in our home when I taped and mudded the sheet rock there but, you live and you learn, as always. Now on to painting and I damned near enjoyed myself (I’ve always liked to paint) I did two coats on half the house already and will be finishing the rest of the house this afternoon. All in: around 40 hours from start to finish with bare sheet rock walls and I never want to do it again lol. I’ll be so glad to never pick up another sheet rock knife! I forgot though just how messy painting ceilings are :/ Oh well, paint washes off 😉 And I needed a new profile pic for Grandma’s House anyway! (Wow you can even tell in that pic my eyes are two different colors lol)
August has always been my favorite month. Something about the winding down, the last hard core shot of heat before our weather truly turns. Even now, in the hot sun, you can feel the coolness in the breeze that wasn’t there a month ago and it is absolutely true, summer is almost over. I get melancholy this time of the year, I love summer more then most and even at over 100 degrees you will never hear me complain. August was the month I came home for good six years ago – one of the best days of my life. I drove then down the same dirt road then that I live on today and I remember it really clearly, my dust trail leaving all the abuse and lies behind, I remember the look of home and it was absolutely the best thing I had ever seen in my life, and I never had to leave it again. August three years ago Joe left a similar dust trail behind him when he drove up my driveway for the first time. I never wanted him to leave and, it was in August, that I found out he never wanted to leave either. So I can say my very best days have been in August…
Except for one of course 😉 Our wedding day squeezes just out of August into September which felt entirely like the perfect halfway point for us. You see, Joe’s favorite month is October for many of his own reasons and he has never appreciated summer much at all. There are two kinds of people who live in northern MN: the people that love summer and soak up as much of the heat as they can (like me) and the people that love the cooler weather who can’t handle the heat because they live so far north (like Joe). We have learned not to complain one way or the other too much though – he knows full well not to complain about the heat in front of me and I try real hard not to mourn the leaving of summer in front of him… especially when he had to work on a roof in 100+ degree heat all day! Life is such a balance of grace and change and kindness.
This was our very first summer here and Joe and I were blessed with more free time alone then we had first expected. We canceled some things and got some weekends to ourselves that we hadn’t even hoped for – it was Heaven. We were able to go to several summer time festivals and also spend just a little bit of time at home alone – doing nothing. Amazing how it is absolutely true (as the song says) in the end it feels like the time we waste keeps us alive. But to suggest any time I spend with Joe as a waste seems like an absolute travesty. Even doing nothing with him feels like a far more important act then absolutely anything else I could ever do with my time. This weekend our reprieve is over and I will be working all day Saturday at an end of summer event and Joe will have his son. We will return to each other Sunday afternoon and maybe have a little time before our week starts again. Joe has a big job coming up that is going to take him a couple of hours away – meaning I will lose him some nights besides days during the week now. It will be an adjustment but, work is work, Joe is busy in his new business and that is an absolutely fantastic thing – and such a relief to us both. Everyone seems to want to work for themselves until they realize that they just removed their own safety net in every conceivable way. We are hard workers though (and fighters) we are prepared for the worst but hope for the best and Joe is the most capable man I have ever met.
I will miss him those nights I am here alone though, it will be very strange. I worked here on the house during the renovation for literally hundreds of hours on my own but I have only once spent a night here alone after we moved in. If two people were ever attached at the hip it is Joe and I. Despite our astonishingly independent natures we are never more then an hour or two outside of the last time we communicated or spoke and even when we’re off and about doing our own thing, the other is always entirely there in spirit. I love “us” very much and I do wonder what it’s going to be like to not have him there beside me at night. I’m also a little concerned about my own schedule. To say that I’m a “wild night owl with absolutely no self discipline” is a complete understatement. Seriously, it is a miracle (even to me) that I’m getting up at a normal hour every morning, this is a new thing and it is entirely because of Joe and a little because I have a day job. He is a morning person who tackles whatever he is working on ten minutes after his feet hit the floor. I am a coffee person – do not talk to me for the first hour of my being awake if you want to keep any of your happy morning feelings.
Honestly though it’s not the morning I’m worried about or even getting myself to bed at a decent hour: it’s coming home to an empty house and knowing he won’t be coming home to join me. That’s gonna be tough… my diet is going to go to hell and, honestly, I’m just going to end up working through my evenings now too so I guess it’s not all bad. Some people would fill their time differently but I always have projects that need to be done and blog entries to write – wish me luck!