Saturday, March 31, 2012

Close Call & Answered Prayers

It’s funny how you sometimes you don’t notice in your day to day life what something is really looking like.  You may look at it every day, but you see almost without seeing.  I think this isn’t all bad—how could we survive live every day if we were always aware of how imperfect everything around us was?  On the other hand, it does make for a lot of intense work once the goal is to sell the house rather than to live in it.

A couple of years ago Russ built some shelves in the corner of the school room (aka dining room) to hold all of the school books.  We have loved these shelves and used them every day.  Not only have we used them to hold books, paper, wallets, and other personal paraphernalia, I can now tell you that some parts have been favored with lovely stickers and other parts wear the remnants of spilled glitter.

All of which is fine when we’re living, but not fine when we’re selling.  Especially as this must now function in a dining room setting rather than a school room.


I have been dreading tackling these shelves, and I have put it off repeatedly.  Earlier this week when I had the caulk gun out for something else I finally decided it was time to caulk the shelves.  Places that had been caulked were in need of repair, and many places hadn’t been caulked the first time around.  Since I am now the queen of the caulk gun (that’s in addition to my title as queen of google) I got to work and fixed it all up.  It took a LONG time.


Friday afternoon we got a call that our house was supposed to show today between 1:45 and 2:45.  The kids and I did some cleaning Friday evening, but since I had to take them to a girl scout activity at 6:30 Saturday morning I decided that rather than work late into the night I would go to bed (relatively) early, get up and take them, and then start working on the house as soon as I got back.

My plan went like clockwork.  Right until I got back from taking the girls and climbed into bed and slept until 9AM.  (What can I say, except that the allergy medicine is killing me.  Because otherwise you know I’d be up at the crack of dawn…)

I got up at 9, made breakfast, then surveyed the house.  I had told the boys that there would be lots of work to do, and so I started them vacuuming the stairs and mopping floors while I tackled the built in shelves again.  First I went out into the garage and quickly swiped a coat of white paint on one side of each shelf.  I knew I didn’t really have enough time to get everything done, so the whole time I was praying that Heavenly Father would help me work more quickly.

When the shelves were done I came in and straightened up the laundry room and stashed the clean laundry in my closet to be folded tomorrow during conference.  Then I came back downstairs and realized my next task was to put the stop molding in the last few windows so that the air compressor could go back out in the garage. 

As soon as that was done I brought the paint in and started painting the carcass of the built in shelves.  It took a LONG time—so much wood that had not been painted in so many years, plus having to paint around all of the hardware.  I painted, listened to conference, and prayed that I would finish enough of it in time.

About 30 minutes before conference was over I got one last chore out of each of the boys and then sent them off to a movie so that they would be out of the house.  Then I went back to work.  At that point I had entered the time frame that the realtor had given me for coming to see the house, but I figured that they weren’t likely to be there right away (and hopefully not early again!) and so I had a little longer. 

After I’d gotten the top half of everything painted I brought back in the stop shelves and reinstalled them.  I stopped and looked and decided that I could probably get away with bringing in the bottom shelves (which were freshly painted) and just painting the few places that would be visible if you walked by.  (The back of the shelving unit wouldn’t show on the bottom, for example, unless you bent down to look at it.  And most of the sides wouldn’t show either.)  I did that last bit of painting, then cleaned up all of the paint supplies and put them out in the garage.

I brought the bottom shelves in, two at a time, quickly figuring out where the pins needed to go to keep the shelves all flat and even.  I got the second to last shelf in, and then put in the first 2 pins for the last shelf.  I realized that I was 2 pins short (and the other pins were out in the garage) right as I saw a car drive into the driveway out of the corner of my eye.  Quickly I grabbed a pin off out from under one of the other shelves and stuck it on the side that was missing pins.  I figured that for a little while, it wouldn’t matter if the shelves weren’t supported on all 4 corners.

Then I grabbed my stuff and snuck out the back door and ran over to the neighbor’s house.

As I sat there waiting for them to be done looking, I realized that my day-long prayer really had been answered.  I didn’t finish the project, but I did get just enough done, plus everything cleaned up and put away, and just in the nick of time.



When I saw that the car was gone I came back and spoonful after spoonful of nutella like a crazed person.  At that point I really didn’t care how much sugar was in it, I just needed some chocolate.

Then I ate my very late lunch, got everything out and started painting again.  This particular paint isn’t going on really well so everything that had already been painted really needed a 2nd coat, and there was still the bottom half that didn’t even have a first coat.  I painted through the afternoon session of conference, took the girls to their friend’s house, persuaded Josh to go to the priesthood session, put another coat of paint on the inside of the front door and then started painting the shelves yet again.  I painted while I skyped with Russ, painted while I talked on the phone with Cindy Lynn, painted while I talked for a few minutes with a friend, then started the afternoon session of conference again and listened to all of it except for that first 15 minutes that’s business.  When it finished a few minutes ago I decided that was my sign that I, too, was done for the night.  It was 10PM, after all…(there are still a few places that haven’t had a second coat, but it’s looking much better.)


I will not list out what painting there is left to do in the house because there’s still enough to make me either overwhelmed or depressed.  Instead I will focus on how grateful I am that this big project is almost done, and that the timing worked so well (if a little closely) today.


PS—Wouldn’t it be such a nice cozy ending to the story if I could tell you that all of that work paid off and they made an offer on the spot?  Except that then it would be a fairy tale, and not real life.  And in real life, yet again, the buyers decided that they wanted a newer house.  Actually that doesn’t make me too crazy—because it’s not like I could make the house younger if I worked harder, so I’m off the hook there.  I know that the right buyer is out there, somewhere.  I’m just praying that it’s sooner rather than later…


  1. Wow --- Russ built those? They are so beautiful! But I hear you...I HATE painting shelves. So much time (and paint) to cover such a relatively small area...

  2. First of all- I'm not looking forward to girl scouts if they make you drive them places at 6:30 in the morning. Second- you're my hero. It about killed me to get a much smaller, much younger house ready to sell with fewer kids and a husband who was around. I don't know how you're surviving this, unless it's by the grace of God. As always, you're in our prayers:).

  3. Those shelves would be a selling point for me, if I was house-hunting. ;) They look great! Big kudos to you! Did you I ever tell you that one of the reasons I loved baby-sitting for you (besides your cute and easy-to-tend children) was that after your kids went to bed, I could sit and read from the great books on your dining room shelves? =)