‘New’ Living Room

It’s amazing how a little paint, some new drapes, love seat and chair covers and pillows can totally transform a room.  I’m talking about the former “Man Cave”, as my ex-husband referred to our living room.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, he refused to have any colors but dark brown and while I don’t mind dark brown, it can be over-whelming when it’s everywhere.  So, I bought some ivory colored paint for the walls and white for the ceiling; sage green covers for the love seat and recliner, soft sea green drapes and throw pillows in a combination of all those colors.  And, maybe best of all, I replaced the tired and scarred particle-board TV stand with a corner fire place unit.  It’s not a real fire place, of course, but it looks great and it can throw heat, too; which will be nice in the winter.  The cave is now a light and airy room that I can actually enjoy being in!  No more creepy ex-husband ghosts sitting in the recliner; he has been exorcised from the house!  I am relieved, surprised and so happy about it!  I knew that I really didn’t like going into the living room but I didn’t know just how badly the room affected me until it was re-decorated.

I have painted for a living for a good portion of my life, but it was still quite a job; I had to move out all the furniture by myself, remove all the outlet and switch covers and clean everything well before I could get started.  Then I painted as a wild rain storm raged outdoors.  Wind whipped the trees and water lashed against the windows, but I was snug and dry inside, contentedly applying paint with the practiced rhythm of someone who has painted professionally for years.  It took less than two hours to get all the paint up and then I went down to my garage bay under the apartment and lugged all the pieces of my new fire place upstairs and began to assemble it.  It was a model that had been discontinued and it was heavily discounted, but it was beautiful.  The manufacturer had neglected to pre-drill about half the holes needed to screw all the components together, but luckily for me, I have a Yankee Screwdriver with drill bits and I was able to do it myself.  Once the fire place was done, I placed it in the corner where the TV had been and then tackled the electronics.

I’ve always been somewhat technologically challenged, but I was flabbergasted when I saw what my Ex had left behind the TV, VCR/DVD player and surround-sound system.  There was a mess of wires that was not to be believed.  Now I knew why the cable man had looked at the spaghetti pile back there and just  unplugged the cable box at the back of the box and left the connecting wires to strangle with the other wires that were woven into a veritable Chinese Puzzle.  Luckily for me, all that working with tangled ropes in the Commercial Fishing Industry had given me the dexterity and patience to sort out the Mother-of-all-Snarls and I finally got everything separated and then neatly (with wires coiled and fastened at the back of whatever they were feeding to) installed over the fire place.  It even works!  Woo-hoo!

By now, the paint was dry enough to hang the drapes, pictures and put the furniture back in the room.  I was thrilled with the end result, and also starving and exhausted, as I’d been going for 8 hours straight to get it done by nightfall.  I was liberally splotched with paint and sticky with sweat, so I called the local cafe for a take-out pizza (YUM!  The best pizza ever!) and ordered my usual Mushroom and Onion and then took a quick shower before going down the street to get my pie.   By the time I got home with my supper, it was almost 9pm but I was so eager to enjoy my new room that I turned on the fire place, unwrapped a movie that I’d purchased back when my Ex and I were still together but then never watched (True Grit) and sat down with my pizza and a seltzer and had a thoroughly nice evening with my dog helping me consume 4 (I told you I was hungry) slices of pizza and a purring cat on my lap as I watched the movie.  I love, love, love  my new living room!

My dating life remains interesting.  At first, since I was very aware of not being a nubile female any more, I felt as though I should take up almost any offers from men because I didn’t think I could afford to be choosy.  Slowly, I realized that there actually seems to be a lot of single men out there looking for someone with less baggage than Macy’s and that I need not  jump at every man who asked me out.  Also surprising, are the numbers of young men looking for older women.  Whodda thunk it?  I don’t know what the attraction is, unless maybe we’re less fuss than the younger ones.  I’ve heard about the whole “Cougar” thing but I am not one of those elegantly dressed, perfectly coiffed, surgically improved older women with a personal trainer; I am a 50 year old grandmother and I suppose I look it.  Anyway, I’m turning down more dates than I accept now-a-days.   For one thing, I just don’t have the time and for another, I’m just not interested in some of the guys and it’s really not fair to see someone who seems to be in earnest when you know it won’t go anywhere.

Plus, there’s still my hunky fisherman friend.  He is in touch every so often, keeping tabs on how things are going  with me.  For a shy, quiet man, he can be surprisingly funny.  He had me laughing so hard one night that my dog started to bark in alarm.  I hadn’t had much reason to laugh lately and my dog probably had forgotten what it was.   But, I had my turn to make him laugh one evening, too.  Like most men, he pretty much has a one track mind and he asked me something about our love life and I told him he was like cat-nip.  He was silent a moment but then he started to laugh in a low, soft chuckle.   He didn’t ask me to elaborate, so I hope he understood; I hadn’t been expecting the question and it was the only answer that popped into my head.  Cat-nip = irresistible and intoxicating.  I know that he’s not looking for any sort of a permanent relationship from me – or at least I won’t allow myself to believe that he might be without actually hearing it from him, – so I probably shouldn’t be involved with him, but he is indeed like cat-nip and I would do anything just for a little time with him.

In the mean time, I’m staying busy with work and keeping up with the house and garden.   Now that it’s late summer, my garden is producing more than enough food for me even though I give quite a bit away to family and friends, so I am putting the surplus away for winter.  While out on my daily hikes with the dog, I notice that there are lots of wild grapes this year.  Maybe I’ll have time to make some grape jelly.  The first leaves are changing color already and there’s a new scent in the air: the sweet aroma of a ripening season.  The nights are cooler and the frogs in the pond outside my windows have been joined by a night-time symphony of crickets.

Sweet music, sing me to sleep!