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During the week of Nov. 5-9,  I ran myself ragged trying to stain and poly the wood for the beam in Cair Paravel and the baseboards and berth trim in Narnia before Ben was ready to install it all.  In addition I was trying to stain the bathroom walls and door before he put the river rock tile down.

When I learned at the end of that week that the river rock tile (paid for and supposedly ordered more than two weeks earlier) had not arrived, it seemed at first like a blessing.  It meant I was able to finish the bathroom walls without trying to keep the stain off the river rock tile.  In fact, those pretty little pebbles caused a glitch that gummed up the whole works.

On Monday, November 12, I got a call that the tile had arrived.  Jon was here to finish painting, and I thought Ben would arrive soon to finish the trim (so Jon could finish caulking and painting) and install the tile.  Unfortunately, Stuart called to say he had picked up the river rock, but they was busy elsewhere and couldn’t make it back.  No trim, no tile, no plumbing, no final inspection, no Jon finishing painting.  Everything came to a screeching halt.

Jon’s daughter Becky put a coat of yellow over most of the primer in Mimi’s Cave while Jon glazed the ceiling in Cair Paravel, but he wasn’t at all happy with it.  Even mixed half-and-half with clear glaze to slow the drying time, the Valspar Metal & Patina Glaze rolled onto the ceiling very patchily.  I should have taken a photo, but I had gotten sick on Sunday and was so miserable I couldn’t be bothered.  THAT is pretty sick, when I can’t summon the energy to care about Narnia!

Finally Jon suggested he try wiping the glaze off.  Although some of it had dried a bit more than others, I liked the look better.  I know Jon still wasn’t satisfied, but Kara and I think that touching up a few areas will make it look perfect, especially with the way the leafy pattern of the light hits it.

In going back to read the directions for the glaze, I realize it is never suggested to simply roll it on.  This seems to be one place where my “sample board system” failed.  It rolled on fine on a 2′ x 2′ sample board, but it was a different matter trying to roll repeated sections on a large surface–especially overhead on (I hate to say it) not the best sheetrock job I’ve ever seen on a ceiling.   All Valspar’s suggested techniques are either additive or subtractive; in other words, wipe on or wipe off.  I’m sure that will be the clue to making the walls look great.

Our Toemi Island Rock in Taipei Green

Unable to finish Cair Paravel because of the unfinished trim, Jon and Becky left sometime on Monday; I was flat in bed feeling ghastly.  Antibiotics rallied me enough to go to Stone Source on Wednesday and pick a grout color–which, of course, had to be ordered!  It seems I can’t do anything the easy way!  Then I collapsed into bed and was miserable for the rest of the week.  (Here is a link for our Taipei Green river rock showing what it will look like enhanced.)

I had expressed to Stuart my concern that by not getting tile and plumbing, we weren’t able to use our space at all due to restrictions in the Building Permit that forbid putting any furniture in or using the space at all until after the Final Inspection.  On Friday Stuart called with some good news:  He had talked to the building inspector and received a “temporary, provisional, verbal approval” for us to use the space, assuming we trust Stuart to come back and finish it.  Yes, of course we do!  So that was the good news . . .


The bad news was that the future guest bedroom (Aslan’s Tent) looked like this PLUS, covering any green carpet that showed, a box spring, numerous cans of paint and bags of supplies from Lowe’s and Ace.  In short, it looked like a hoarder’s house with absolutely no passage through!

Kara has been sick, too, but with company arriving Sunday night, we rallied our befuddled heads and wobbly limbs and set to work.  Herb furnished the manpower to move furniture, but Kara and I made every single object disappear into an appropriate and somewhat less visible space.  A heroic effort, if I do say so, myself!

We stacked craft supplies and Narnia decor in the closet of Mimi’s Cave which Kara has nicknamed “Spare Oom” as being a more Narnian name!  Several plastic bins of fabric and two air mattresses got tucked into what’s left of the attic.

Everything paint and stain-related went into the shower because it can stay there till after the floor is done–accessible, but out of the way.

You can tell we got tired at the end and stuffed a few hard-to-place items in the bathroom corner!  No wonder we were tired, such busy sick little rodents!


By late afternoon, Spare Oom was actually functional.


All it lacks is the daybed and some more storage pieces (that’s on my Christmas list, Herb!)


By Saturday evening, Aslan’s Tent was functional.

Just ignore the stained glass door leaning there for safe-keeping and think of it as a large decoration!

It’s not quite up to our usual guest room standards, but at least it’s clean!

Guests still have to go downstairs for the bathroom, but The Lodge hints at what it will offer once our works get un-gummed-up and everything gets finished.

Thanks to Herb’s cleaning and more organizing on my part, by Sunday afternoon we had the kitchen devoid of every sign it had ever been an atelier.

The living room was free of construction dust for the first time in a couple of weeks, inviting us to sit and enjoy a rerun of “Breaking Dawn, Part I” on Netflix before we go see Part II tonight.

The bad news (wait, didn’t we already have that?) is that Stuart is highly doubtful they will be back here to work at all this week, either.  I guess the silver lining to that is, I have another whole week to make up for being sick.  Once all the Thanksgiving cooking is done, there’s plenty of poly-ing to do on the Dawn Treader berths and a throne waiting in Spare Oom for it’s upholstery to be finished.

So I guess the Red Carpet for our guests will have to be Drop Cloth Carpet for a little while longer.  At any rate, something’s looking up:  When Kara told me today that she thinks I need a curtain for each of the Dawn Treader berths, I said, “Hmm, we could cut up drop cloths.  They’re kind of like sail canvas!”  My Narnia-Sense is working again–I must be getting better!

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