The Challenge: "Kick its Scrawny Little Tail"

I've sat through many promotion ceremonies, and on more than one occasion listened as a husband thanked a wife for managing to turn multiple houses into homes. I have a friend who painted her house on post from top to bottom even though she had to turn around and paint it white again when they moved. Now that's dedication.

We've occupied 11 residences so far. No two were alike, and some were frightening at first glance. Wherever we've lived, I've been determined to put our own stamp on the place. If we were there for one year or three, I wanted our home to be a reflection of us. And I wanted it to be a sanctuary from work for my husband. Some places were much more challenging than others....

This past weekend, I did something I haven't done in ages - I turned my cell phone off and didn't answer email for two days. I did this because I can't resist "The Challenge."

Well, that, and because I'm a cheap, do-it-yourself kind of gal!

I've painted virtually every wall in our new house since moving in, but there was one area I couldn't touch because the ceiling is over 25 feet tall in some places. And of course the only area I couldn't reach was painted a horrible color. It looked like a rotten lemon had thrown up all over it.

IMG_1227 The photo doesn't reflect the true color because of lighting but it wasn't a nice shade of yellow. According to this, yellow is "cheerful" or "perky." Not this yellow. More like "depressed" and "sour." In fact, one of the first things my girlfriend said when she saw the house was, "You're not leaving that color there, are you?"

Knowing that my husband and I couldn't paint this area, I obtained estimates. At between $600 - $850, it seemed like a lot to spend on a stairwell. But still, the color was horrible, and it occupied a massive area right in the middle of the house. It wasn't as if I could shut the door and not see it. But I didn't want to pay that much money to have someone paint it, either. So, on Saturday morning, I began work onOperation You-Can-Do-It but it's Gonna be Painful.

And it was.

There were times when I questioned the intelligence of this decision. There were ladders on top of stairs (yikes), extension rollers, paint brushes taped to long poles and a little hanging upside-down. Don't ask.... But after two days, the job was completed and I was so happy with the results.


And thanks to my husband, the anti-painter, who braved a very tall ladder propped up against the stairs to help me.

It's PCS season and I know many of you are packing up and heading to new places. You'll be turning yet another house a home. This past weekend reminded me how much I like the challenge of taking a home that may or may not have the ideal bones and turning it into something my family loves to come home to. So when that challenge comes knocking on your door - Open the door, let it in, and then proceed to kick its scrawny little tail! And that goes for non-PCSing spouses, too!

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