Sometimes things get worse once you dig into them, and sometimes they get better. We got lucky this time. The pine floor that was under the stinky-cat-pee-carpet isn't damaged too badly. There are a couple of spots that need some attention, but now that the offending carpet is far, far away (at the dump), the smell has gone away with it. We also found remnants of an even older carpet - long tan and brown shag. Hideous. But at least our stinky carpet wasn't as old as we'd thought, for whatever that's worth.

We realize that we still need to treat the wood with enzymes and sanding, to prevent any residual stench from surfacing in the future. And just to be sure we really solve the problem, we'll also be sealing, priming, and painting the clean floor with a super-hard epoxy floor paint. Even though the wood is pretty, it's still going to be stained in places, and it's full of holes from the carpet tack. Good paint is the easiest, cheapest option. And if the paint doesn't work... well, we can always go back and do hardwood later I guess... No matter what, no more carpet! Nice area rugs only from here on.

Even though the damage is less than we expected, the project has expanded considerably. It's the Refrigerator Door Phenomenon. You know, like when you go to wipe a smear off the fridge, and suddenly you've emptied the entire thing, cleaned it out, tossed all the science projects from way in the back, and are considering remodeling the kitchen. That's what happened here. We realized the walls in the bedroom also need fresh paint. So, OK. But before that can happen, the vigas need cleaning. Vigas are the large exposed beams - basically whole trees - that support the roof on most adobe houses. They're beautiful, but because they're round, they collect dust super-efficiently, and the best time to clean them is when the room is empty. After the vigas, floor de-stinking, wall paint, and floor paint, the closet needs a new, stronger shelf and some organization... and that leads us to the next project...

Rick and I have shared this little closet for over 10 years now. It's dark and cramped and I've grumbled about it more than once over the years. The other day we moved everything out of it, and into the same-size closet in the office, which is right across from the bedroom, and suddenly I had a Closet Epiphany. Not only has that been a mostly-unused closet all these years, it's also a much brighter room, and hardly used as an actual office, because it has skylights instead of windows. We usually move our paperwork and computers to the dining table so we can enjoy the view. So now the office will be my closet/dressing room, with plenty of space for office stuff that needs to live in there. Why didn't we think of this sooner? I guess it just wasn't time yet.

The last task we can foresee is to paint the floors in the other two bedrooms. And then sometime in the near future, once Julia & Jacob have found their own place, we'll reclaim that bedroom and turn it back into a pretty guest room. I feel like we're a couple of goldfish, growing to fit a bowl that's much bigger than we knew. We'd really like a smaller house, but this is the one we have, and we love it. So as long as we're here, we might as well make ourselves comfortable. The real trick will be to do that without accumulating a bunch of new stuff. We're working hard at reshuffling what we have, moving things around, and making use of what's already here. It's a fun puzzle. And while all of this is in process, we're particularly enjoying sleeping in the living room. It's big and airy, and has amazing night-sky views out the floor-to-ceiling windows. If it wasn't just too silly, we might consider making that permanent. But no... I don't think so...


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