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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

spring cleaning

Rachael is doing her spring cleaning. Now she learned to spring clean from ME so I really shouldn’t complain, but she is like an inexorable force plowing through the house. The dogs are all confused because she is home all day and they are used to having their days to themselves and me. They have their morning run and beg for bits of my breakfast then as soon as R & M leave it’s in on the bed for their morning nap. Nothing disturbs them until I go out for lunch; then, if there’s no rain, they go out for their noon tear-around-the-backyard. Annnnd then back in to snooze the afternoon away. This week everything is topsy-turvy.
First off, late Sunday evening R & M moved all the living room furniture to the garage. Lots of people content themselves with simply moving the furniture around. Not my Rachael! The furniture goes! I haven’t been evicted yet, but the promise is that it will happen tomorrow . . .or maybe tonight. I’m not sure.
Maxim's romping room
We have a big living room and Maxim believes it has been emptied to provide him with romping space. The little dogs, too, like racing from one end to the other. Even Mika got in on the fun yesterday morning when she played a little with Maxim. She can’t play long because her arthritis gives her grief, but she was wruffing at him and jumping around a bit, chasing the ball with him.
The only one who doesn’t care for the room is Coal. Cats prefer cozy corners and soft sofas. He feels very exposed in that big empty space, I think.
One of the biggest projects has been the painting of the stair wall and the hallway leading into the kitchen and den. Those areas were still white, the base coat that was on them when we moved in. Late Sunday evening I heard this ratcheting sound against the wall behind me. I couldn’t imagine what it was: Michael was removing the railing from the wall of the stairs.
As difficult as it seems that wall went quickly. Our living room has a vaulted ceiling and the stair wall goes straight up from the floor to the top of the roof. Michael has one of those ladders that adjust to put on stairs so other than the stretch to run the roller it wasn’t that impossible. It is now a pretty shade of green that matches the living room.
Rachael was telling me about Maxim’s reaction to the whole process this morning. Labs do more thinking that any other breed of dog, I think. They wouldn’t let him run up and down the steps behind them; that’s what he would have preferred to do. He has to be in the center of anything that is going on to keep tabs on the whole deal. But with the stair painting was more than a bit dangerous to have a big brown dog under foot; other times Rachael is used to just stepping around and over him.

The perch at the top of the stairs

Michael made Maxim stay on the balcony at the top of the stairs. He lay there and watched them paint. The first time they moved the ladder down a couple steps he really thought he needed to come and investigate but Michael sent him back to the landing. He went but then lay down just as close to the edge as possible and still be ‘on the landing.’ His toenails, not his toes, mind you, not his feet, but his toenails hung over the very edge. He looked down the steps at R & M with his wrinkles and ears falling forward around his eyes and nose. He watched intently as they edged and rolled the paint; Rachael said you could see him trying to figure out just what in the world they were doing. Why would anybody spend an hour petting the wall? It was immensely boring, but he watched every second of the process.
Finally they got to the bottom and took everything down. And Maxim was permitted to come down off his perch at the top of the stairs. He is so funny.
All day yesterday Rachael painted, edging the walls and finishing the kitchen. I’m sure he was relieved when she put the refrigerator back in place, and washed her paint pan and brush before she quit to go take her shower. Whew! What a long day! He was ready to lay down in the den chair to rest!
And today will be another big day. I believe the beautiful expanse of play space in the living room is gonna get scrubbed at some point in time-whether before or after the windows get washed. I don’t know.
More tomorrow. 

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