This week, it was spring in North Texas. I wore shorts and a t-shirt all week, turned on the ceiling fans, and opened all the windows. Every year, we get a week like this. It’s Mother Nature’s little prank, to goad us into doing silly things like planting tomatoes, shutting down the heater, and dragging out the solar screens. In reality, as Neil Sperry posted on his Facebook page yesterday, it’s still one month away from our average last freeze date. Any minute now, it could snow again.
This is the time of year when all good gardeners twiddle their thumbs, and find something else to do—myself included. I started a project I’ve been putting off for five years: renovating the room across the hall, which was once my office, and will shortly be my bedroom. Five years ago, right before I quit my last real job and started Ten Two Studios, I moved my office into the master bedroom, and started stripping the wallpaper in the old office, thinking I’d repaint, do a little extra wiring, and move everything back in. Then I went into business for myself, and both the time and the money for big home improvement jobs dried up. I’ve been camped out in the bedroom ever since.
Over the last five years, I’ve learned to love working in this room. It’s on the north side of the house, facing the street, so it’s nice and cool in the summer, and I can see the delivery trucks when they pull up. I can also see most of my front yard garden from here. It’s really quite a nice spot to work. I’ve waffled for the five years I’ve been in here, about whether I should finish the office as an office, or turn it into my bedroom. It’s the smallest room in the house, but how much room do I really need to sleep, and store my ever-shrinking wardrobe? Shouldn’t I use the bigger room for the thing I spend the most time doing?
There’s also a wiring issue. This house is as old as I am, and not nearly as well-preserved. The smaller bedroom is wired on the same circuit as my studio, and whenever I turned on my small mono laser printer in there, the lights flickered. I’ve never tried using the big color laser on that line. I’m pretty sure it would blow the circuit. If I used the room as my office, I’d have to add a line just for the printers. And while wiring things like ceiling fans and outlets are no problem for me, adding a new circuit breaker is something that I’d need an electrician to do. Now this simple little job turns into something ugly. I can never get a plumber or an electrician out of my house without handing them a fistful of cash—something I’m a little short of for this job.
So. Wandering about the house, looking for things to keep me from digging up the front yard and planting things that will invariably freeze to death a week from now, I walked into the old office, and made a decision: it’s a bedroom. This week, I finished stripping off the last of the wallpaper, put in a new wall switch to control the new ceiling fan, and am now doing some much-needed crack repairs on the sheet rock. I might be ready to paint by the middle of the week, if I can decide on a color for the accent wall. I’ve been shopping for new flooring, and new furniture. I’m buying a new mattress, because my current one is old, and has a distinct valley in the middle.
After five years, I’m thinking this whole job will take me about two weeks. Maybe three. And that will just about eat up the time I have left until the last frost date. Perfectly timed procrastination, don’t you think?