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(c) 2010 Trina Lambert

I am sitting on my front porch, proud that that not only is the painting job finished, but also everything is cleaned up and put away. Turns out the porch glider is a pretty good substitute for an office chair. Not so sure how conducive, however, one particular dog (ours!) who thinks he’s in charge of ranch security is for my writing, though.

Exactly one month ago we began our house-painting odyssey; yesterday we finished the job. Of course, I think it’s beautiful, but I feel even better because we visualized the project and then managed to carry out the project to completion. The only thing that remains to for us to do is to put away the one paint roller that hasn’t dried yet.

Sherman and I have really great ideas, but so often we get sidetracked from finishing them. A lot of that has to do with our ADD-tendencies—it’s much more stimulating to start something than it is to get around to the mundane activities, such as dabbing paint on spots or putting away equipment, that mean that all steps of the project have been completed.

But the other obstacle to finishing projects has been both routine and out of the ordinary family duties. And all of the sudden, we don’t have nearly so many of those. I am starting to remember how things used to be before we had kids. Sure, we had ADD and were easily distracted, but not by so many urgent and necessary tasks. We worked on projects on the weekend, but we could often finish them and still have time to relax.

We like to accomplish things at home as well as go away from the home, but for years it seemed we had to choose one or the other.

(c) 2010 Trina Lambert

The thing is it’s just easier to get things done with fewer people in the home thanks to fewer dishes and dirty clothes, as well as less wear and tear on the home. That leaves me with more energy for catching up on work that has been left undone for years—or for even more than a decade.

That doesn’t mean I don’t want my kids to come back home for breaks—if there weren’t so much longstanding chaos in our home, then it would be easier to deal with the everyday clutter and tasks associated with living as a family and still have time to enjoy ourselves together.

Finally I feel hopeful we will make real progress toward having a house that’s clutter-free enough to be truly relaxing for Sherman and me.

This newly painted house is a symbol of possibility. Sure, it’s easier to complete tasks, such as painting, that have clear steps, but as anyone with ADD knows, unless you can get yourself through the tedious parts of any job, you still won’t finish.

We finished. Turns out we can trust ourselves again to carry out our plans.

But before we start the next project, I think we deserve a little breathing space—there’s plenty out here on the porch. Just say, “Ah . . .”—and look with awe upon all we’ve accomplished.

(c) 2010 Trina Lambert

"3 Margaritas"

(c) 2010 Trina Lambert

No, that was not blood spatter on my face last night. It was just one of the trim colors we are painting on our house. Despite my ominous description—so far—of the color, it is a very happy color, one that resembles the juice that goes into making the jelly from our ripened grapes most Octobers.

After over a month’s worth of hot sun and dry air that has turned our state into a tinderbox that erupts into fires with the slightest spark, it is raining. Finally. And throughout many of these past rain-free days we have been painting our house.

That explains why our house seems to glow a bit, despite the current grayness outside. You see, our house is now the not-so-mild combination of Benjamin Moore’s “Farmer’s Market”, “Classic Burgundy,” and “Salzburg Blue.” In reality, it is pretty much salmon-colored, accented by burgundy and teal blue. (Before you ask, we don’t live in a covenant-controlled neighborhood! And, yes, I’ve taken to calling it “3 Margaritas” even though I don’t know how to make margaritas.)

We’re not done yet, but I like the change. The lady at Guiry’s, the local paint store, blames our trip to Taos for the combo, which may be a little bit true, but our “adobe” house is a richer color than you see in Taos, thanks to our desire to match the Colorado flagstones set in our built-in planters. The bland white-washed stucco box Sherman bought so many years ago has finally, with its porch addition and the new colors, come up to the detail level in those planters and the archways inside.

(c) 2010 Trina Lambert

You may not like the colors, but they make me feel happy. Just the other day, I realized that for years I’ve been adding happy colors to the home.

Early in our marriage when we first started painting, I wanted paints that hinted at color and now I’m not satisfied unless I can debate the exact the color with anyone who asks. No, my office is not pink, it’s coral—with orchid accents. The stairwell and bathroom aren’t yellow, but butter. And the bedroom, well, it’s bubblegum pink, accented with “Starry Night”-type swirls of sky blue, midnight blue, and sea green.

Can you tell that one of my most treasured childhood possessions was the box of 64 Crayolas (complete with crayon sharpener) I received to help me through recovery from my tonsillectomy?

And apparently I’ve passed on my color addiction to the next generation. Once someone asked my daughter Christiana what she would like to give to the world. She answered, “Color.” The woman told her you couldn’t give color. In whose world? She obviously doesn’t live in my neighborhood!

Sometimes when you’re feeling a little blue—all pun intended—it is the little things that get you through the moment. As much as I love cool colors, I always add warm colors to the mix in our home. I guess the yellow—I mean butter—is like sunshine to me, whether or not it’s the month of May.

And the salmon/burgundy/teal?

Last night as we were pushing through painting until the last rays of light disappeared (and before the bold Harvest Moon brightened the skies), I glanced toward the west while checking to see if I had missed any spots on the porch’s ceiling. The sun setting over the mountains stopped my breath, as it so often does. The colors we were painting sure looked close to what I saw—and that made me feel very happy. Who needs margaritas (most days, anyway) when you can drink in colors like that?

Now I’ve got both sunshine and sunsets—even on the cloudiest of days.

Ooh, ooh, ooh.

(c) 2010 Sherman Lambert

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