Stairway to Soreness

The summer of 2014 has become the summer of renovation of the Hand household as it has seen a new roof, the application of hardy plank to the back of the house, a new water heater and soon to be new carpeting, hardwood and tile to the floors. Yes, roof to floor redeux. Not cheap and not convenient, but necessary. The latest improvement is a repainting of the master bedroom and master bathroom along with the installation of new light fixtures. While we employed roofers, contractors and plumbers for the previous work, this was the one project I undertook myself. I bought the paint ages ago, but put off the painting out of avoidance of pulling all the furniture in the bedroom and wanting to wait until we found light fixtures for the bath. Now that the carpeting is about to be changed, requiring moving the furniture anyway, it seemed time to go ahead and paint before the new carpet gets installed. We would have to sleep in the guest room, since our room was in complete disarray and we couldn’t get to the bed. With all of this planning, I was unprepared for the lesson I was about to learn.ladder

Our bedroom has a tall ceiling necessitating the use of a three-step ladder to get to the crown molding for masking and cutting in. This required climbing up, applying tape, stepping down and moving the ladder several times per wall. It also meant climbing up, cutting in, stepping down and moving the ladder several more times during the painting process. The first day of painting, I had no problems, but once I took a break for the night and sat for a while, my legs and buttocks began to complain about the abuses they had experienced.

The next morning, I had to try to get motivated to finish the paint job and hang the new lights (which had not yet been purchased), but I found my motivation sorely lacking. My legs and back were still mounting a well-organized protest and I had not slept well because of an abuse-induced RLS attack. By the time I whipped up a breakfast and managed to get motivated to go to Lowes for the lights, it was already after noon. By the time we got back, it was near 4 and I had not even opened the paint can or masked the bathroom. I grabbed the roll of tape and my trusty torture device—I mean step ladder—and set about to masking the bathroom. My legs, butt and back let me hear about it with every step. This was going to be a long day.

I did get the work done, but it took forever and I had to deal with an unfounded scare that I didn’t have enough paint to finish the job. Fortunately I managed to get the paint to stretch, but something was making it difficult to get a good even coat, necessitating some reapplications. By the time I was ready to install the lighting, it was after 10. Of course that meant climbing the step ladder a few more times to mount the light and add the bulbs in the near dark. I only got one of the four light fixtures up before my legs and back gave up, but it is a pretty light and it let us know we chose a good fixture. It was after midnight when I took my tired butt to bed.

Monday, we had to leave for our trip, so I couldn’t finish the lights. We did manage to pull the masking tape (which meant a lot of bending a sore back and climbing those infernal steps again) and get most of the wall plates reinstalled before we started packing. The paint is done in the bedroom and only needs some touchup in the bathroom to be called finished. The light fixtures are still waiting, but should be done before the flooring guys show up next week. My legs, however, have made it abundantly clear that they have no plans on letting me climb that @&#*^ step ladder any time soon.

I have a new respect for step aerobics now. I grew up in multistory houses and have always climbed stairs until I bought this house. I now see how regularly climbing stairs is a good thing and everyone should climb at least one full flight of stairs twice a day for good health. Or at least to keep your butt and legs from throwing a fit on the occasion you are forced to climb one.

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