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Snowball Express

Published March 05. 2011 09:00AM

I've got a snowball rolling and it's building momentum. I think it may be out of control. Where it finally lands and what destruction it will leave behind in its wake is too soon to tell.

See, the flooring in our kitchen and dining room needed to be replaced. We both agreed we wanted hardwood floors.

We shopped around, got prices and finally agreed on the look we wanted. All we had to do was wait until our choice went on sale. It might be a few days, could be a couple of months. No hurry.

I told you about how I love my country magazines. I'm into the look of painted primitive furniture and accents. So when I saw a really cool painted wood surround on a fireplace from floor to ceiling, I started thinking about how eventually we would have these gorgeous new floors and wouldn't it be really neat to give our dining room fireplace a little bit of a facelift.

I pushed the picture under Harry's nose with a little butter, "You're my favorite Handy Man. I just know you could do this for our fireplace."


I walked away and bided my time. I planted my seed. I just had to wait until it germinated.

One day the magazine, opened to my fireplace picture, was on the dining room table. Another day it was on the kitchen island. A day or two later it was on his desk in his office. One day I saw a tablet with measurements sitting on top of the picture.

My seed was sprouting. I knew I was going to get my surround.

Then, nothing. Not a good sign.

One night we were in the car and he said, "I've been thinking about the fireplace. I really hate those red bricks and I never liked the mantle." My Mason Man didn't have an opportunity to build his own fireplace because it was already in when we bought the house 33 years ago. "I've got so many boxes of leftover cultured stones from jobs we've done, how would you like it if I refaced our fireplace in drystack stone? And I know how much you like the rustic look so how about an old barn beam for a new mantle? It wouldn't cost us a thing."

How would I like it?

Does a dog like ice cream? I was positively salivating!

"Really? We could do that? Oh, you're my hero! I love you! That will look divine with the wood surround!" I exclaimed emphatically.

The next day he gave me the bad news.

"I don't think the surround will work over the stone. So I guess you have to decide which you'd rather have."

Chalk one up for Mason Man.

An amazing sale came up and the flooring was ordered. Carpeting was torn out.

I got a call one day.

"Whatever you do, don't open the garage. Don't go in the garage. I got the barn beam for the mantle and I want to be there when you see it for the first time."

He went on and on about how it had such character and how it was the coolest thing and if I didn't love it and didn't let him put it in, he just might have to divorce me.

Helloooo. Divorce? Over a piece of wood?

Now I have to tell you. I am blessed with the man I married. I have taken this poor guy places he has never wanted to go. I have asked a lot of him and he has always been my biggest supporter. And when it comes to the house, he pretty much lets me do whatever I want. This is probably the first time he has ever wanted something this bad when it came to doing any home remodeling.

But divorce?

As I walked into the house, all I could think was, "please let me like it" because I really hated the thought of starting to date again at my age.

It is perfect! It's a gorgeous seven-foot long piece of solid oak beam that supported an old 100-year-old barn that has fallen down. It has a rusty old iron ring and a rusty hook still in it. It even showcases a mortise and peg joint.

Now you can't have a new floor, a new fireplace without painting the walls first, so we went on a painting frenzy.

Then I struck again.

"Honnnnnneeeeeey," I said with enough sugar to put him in insulin shock, "there's one thing more I'd like to do before we lay the floors."

I got the evil eye.

"I've been thinking about how neat it would be if we tore out the soffit above the kitchen cabinets so I could display baskets and stuff up there. And if we could do that, we should do it before we lay the floors, don't you think?"

The eye got more evil.

"Are you nuts?" he asked.

Well I don't know why he even asked me that.

He knows I am.

"You watch too many of those #&!% HGTV shows," he said.

He's right. I am absolutely nuts about HGTV and all those remodeling shows. They get in your blood until you too want to rip and tear and make everything look brand new and beautiful.

A few flutters of the eyelashes and a couple of "pretty pleases" and the soffit was out of there.

Now we have no flooring and a large gaping hole above the cabinets because he's not going to put new drywall up yet. I've decided they need to be repainted because I want to try glazing them to give them a more rustic look.

If I squint my eyes just so, I can almost get past the look of a war zone and make out the vision of what it will somday look like.

All aboard the Snowball Express! Whoo Whoo!

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