DIY, part one

Today, I finished my first toddling step toward refurbishing the Tumbleweed.

It took four trips to Bill’s, half a tube of fast-drying spackle, a pound of TSP, three gallons of Dutch Boy (two of Gadzooks and one of Half Moon Bay), half a roll of blue masking tape, two full-sized rollers, two weenie rollers, three foam brushes, two dropcloths, five switchplate covers (two for the light switches and three for the electrical sockets) and the better end of fourteen hours to get it done, but Unit Three now has a paint job Martha herself would approve of.

I’m kind of proud of the way it turned out. I need to do something with the floors, which are kind of a dull coral tile with veeeeeeery obvious wear patterns, but I’m about 80 percent sure they’ve got asbestos in them, so I think for now, I’m just going to put some throw rugs over the worst spots and call it a day.

I also need to track down a (preferably cheap) source for one-inch honeycomb tile to replace some of the missing tiles in the bathroom. Part of me wants to strip the whole shower enclosure and replace it with an elaborate mosaic, but I’m not sure I’m willing to take that kind of liberty with something so historic.

In the meantime, I’m going to paint the other four units (well, three of them, anyway; Joey and I watched Across the Universe last night, and he has now decided that he is an artist who should be allowed to express himself by flinging paint at his own wall, which I will probably let him do) and buy new towels and bedding to match the walls and trim.

I’m thinking I might get out Miss Shirley’s old sewing machine tomorrow and see if I can figure out how to turn a falsa blanket into a Roman shade. The existing blinds are pretty much shot, and blankets might help insulate the windows a little bit. God knows they could use it. They’re drafty as all get-out, but I’d like to get this place on the National Register one of these days, so I can’t really get away with replacing the windows with Energy Stars.

I think I am going to have to buy a truck soon. My Firebird is great, but the only thing it hauls is ass, which isn’t much help on a renovation project.

— Sierra

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