What I did on my summer vacation

By Mir
July 19, 2008

Otto isn’t here, so apologies in advance for my pictures, such as they are. It turns out that my dining room is both small (hard to maneuver!) and low in lighting (unless it’s the middle of the day, in which case I could probably blind myself in there), so just PRETEND the pictures came out great.

So. The dining room is DONE. Yesterday I put all the furniture back, like so:

Jesus, whose idea was it to have EIGHT heavy chairs that needed to have felt discs attached to all the legs and be brought down the stairs?? (Mine? Oh. Nevermind.)

So that up above is a pretty decent view of how the *$(&#% Venetian Plaster came out—a nice mellow terracotta, just like I’d hoped. You know, just like I’d hoped thirty-seven layers of paint and wallpaper and plaster and trim-painting ago. (Note to all drug addicts: If I could get through this without the use of tranquilizers, you too can kick the habit! I swear!) The blue is rendering a bit too brightly in that shot, but I don’t know how to fix it. Oh well.

So how’s the whole effect, with the floor and everything?

You know… I think I’ll take it. It was a long process that I NEVER EVER EVER WANT TO REPEAT, but I’m pleased.

And while I was sitting in the family room typing this (no pics of in here until the rug comes, because right now this space is an endless sea of beige and brown, WHOOPS), I was thinking how great it feels to be DONE and not have to worry about any house stuff for a while. No more contractors! No more sawdust! No more feeling like things are unfinished!

My happy thoughts were interrupted by a funny noise. Against my better judgment, I investigated. Hey, GUESS WHAT!

There is… SOMETHING… in the wall. Something ALIVE. With CLAWS.

I am not even kidding. Yeah. So. Um, let’s all go admire the dining room some more! With the MUSIC TURNED UP!


  1. Jamie AZ

    Very pretty! It was a lot of hard work, but it looks beautiful in the end. Enjoy your “I don’t have to do anything but pick up the kids” weekend.

  2. otto

    I cannot wait to get home. Or go in for brain surgery …


  3. steph

    I love the walls! in Florida, all the walls seem to already have that plaster-y texture so I just needed to paint! Those chairs are amazing…and I love how they’re not matchy-matchy with the table!
    and the thing in the wall? be glad you can here the scratching (you can find something ALIVE) vs. getting a nasty DEAD THING smell and not knowing where it’s coming from!

  4. Chris H.

    It looks gorgeous. We’re planning on putting down new floors this year – your story has us a little more cautious as we live in the hot, humid SE as well. But seriously, your floors look amazing from here.

  5. elizabeth

    the dining room is most fabulous.
    as for the critter, um yeah, good luck. been there, all I can say is sticky traps and green bait blocks.

  6. TTULizzy

    Wow! That looks GREAT! I love it all!

    Except for the creature in the walls. Ack.

  7. Astrogirl426

    The room looks gorgeous, and you have exactly the same taste in furniture as me (in other words, excellent). I love the whole thing.

    Hmm, scratchy thing in the walls. I’m guessing it’s a mouse (they tend to sound bigger than they are as they scurry around the insulation). We get them in the walls/ceiling every once in a while, and the only thing that seems to get rid of them is green bait blocks.

    Why yes, we do have a cat – she eats moths (…the hell?) but won’t touch anything bigger.

    Recommendation: Tequila is cheaper than brain surgery, and margaritas taste better than hospital food. Although most likely your insurance won’t cover it…

  8. MomCat

    It’s probably the Ghost of Renovations Past. You disturbed its long slumber. Google “exorcist.”

  9. Leandra

    It looks exactly like I imagined — GORGEOUS!

    Is that Joshilyn’s rabid, needle-toothed possum in your walls? Or perhaps a rampant weasel?

  10. Debbie H.

    Beautiful room! The things in the walls, that makes me a little thankful that I wear hearing aides. Wierd noises, turn down the volumn, wierdness gone. I leave those sounds to the husband and children.

  11. arduous

    MomCat, that’s hysterical. Mir, the dining room looks beautiful. I am sorry that you have creatures living in your walls.

  12. The Other Leanne

    Ooooh, purty!!
    MomCat is right.

  13. Joshilyn

    Dude the room is gorgeous and it is just a squirrel. It will leave on its own. We have one get in in the bedroom wall sometimes where it goes scrabbling about at midnight PRETENDING to be an ax murderer. But really? A squirrel.


  14. suburbancorrespondent

    Just get the thing with claws before it dies. That can really stink up a room.

  15. RuthWells

    I have serious chair envy!

  16. Sheila

    I’d try mouse traps in the attic. I don’t know how they bypass two whole levels in our house to set up shop up there, but they do, and they like to travel via walls. Whenever we (read: ME) hear that telltale scratching in the walls, we (read: MY HUSBAND) reset the attic traps and the problem is solved. Good luck.

    P.S. You can wait till Otto returns, if you can live with the scratching for a few days. (I believe Rodent Removal is automatically assigned to the less-delicate person in every domestic partnership arrangement, pursuant to Section 17a, lines 34 through 41 of the Manual. Seriously.)

  17. Mother of Two

    Mir –

    I love your new room. It is breathtaking! I am glad you were able to have your aha moment… when everything was perfect.

    Now.. for the “animal” removal… I don’t know when Otto is coming home, but if not soon, I would get a room at a nice hotel until his return. Look at the link below.. you will see why…


    Here’s to hoping you have better luck than she did!


  18. catnip

    Eh, it’ll die eventually, and it won’t stink for long. Really.

    ps. beautiful walls!

  19. LiteralDan

    The room looks great! I just hope you aren’t dragged into the walls and eaten before Otto gets home. Good luck with that!

  20. Mom24

    We had a squirrel in our walls 8 years ago, when my baby was weeks old. I called the exterminating company and they informed me ‘no, I didn’t have to pay the emergency rate (it was Sunday), but squirrels are know to chew on baby’s faces. Yes, I think he saw me coming. Anyway, he came out, collected his fat emergency rate, then came back A WEEK LATER, to check the traps. Good luck!

  21. susie

    Has Bob moved in?

  22. Randi

    Looks beautiful! What are the odds of you coming up here and doing some painting for me?

  23. Ani

    Awesome room.

    As to the scritch scratching…um, well, I thought I had a mouse in my wall and it turned out 20+ BATS were living in there. Against the master bedroom wall. Scritch-scratching day and night for three weeks until we could get the little buggers evicted.

    Hopefully it’s just a nice cute little mouse. But, if it’s not, I can give you the name of a guy in your neck of the woods who did the bat removal for us (er, the bad news though…you can’t evict them until Aug 15th in Georgia without a special permit. They are preshus protected varmints)

  24. just beth

    oh, good WORK! This is gorgeous, really!

    We have something in our walls too. Something that sounds like the size of my cat. I pretend it isn’t there. Maybe that can work for you.



  25. Peggy

    Beautiful room!!!!

    Noise from downstairs.I called my husband crying cause I thought someone had broken in. It sounded REALLY loud. It was a mouse in the wall.

  26. mama speak

    The room looks awesome!!! Lurve it!

    Sorry to hear about you’re new room mate(s). Hopefully they’ll be evicted soon.

  27. Karen

    The room turned out gorgeous!!! And that thing in the wall, at least it’s in the wall, right?

  28. Flea

    Squirrels in the walls? Previous owners’ hamster, perhaps?

    I love the look. I had envisioned the terracotta as more orange-y and was afraid, honestly, but it’s gorgeous. That second shot looks like something from a magazine.

  29. angie

    The walls are wonderful!!!! The floor is nice, too. Congratulations! And Orkin can take care of that pest problem, really.

  30. Lisa- Domestic Accident

    Fancy shmancy.

    The thing in the wall will die. Don’t worry until you smell something.

  31. Trisha

    Beautfiul dining room! It was worth the effort.
    The crawling thing . . . sounds a bit scary. Hope the music drowned it out so you can forget about it until Otto is back.

  32. Elena

    Mir, that is a seriously beautiful room. I love the blue, love the terracotta, and have loved reading about your every aggravating minute from my peacefully unrenovated yet crappy looking living room.
    My first thought about the scratching in the walls was right there with Leandra–it’s the weasel from Joss’ comments! It has sashayed RIGHT THROUGH the ethernets and TAKEN UP RESIDENCE in Mir’s pretty new walls!
    Who knew etherous comment weasels had such good taste in walls?!?

  33. steff


    there is a FAT RAT in the wall…call the exterminator…so he can crawl in the attic to put one of those traps out…then call him back if it starts to stink cause it means they caught him!! Never had to deal with that, nope, not me – living in TX in a subdivision nestled on ranchland…i can look in the eyes of cows from the front lawn in the evenings and the coyotes could sing me a lullabye.

  34. Cele

    Love the walls, but now I know I will never do that, thank you for the example. As for the knawing, get so rat poisin – It’s always worked for me, and find out where they are getting in.

  35. Erin

    Oh man. Last summer we had a family of raccoons (Mom and two or three babies) take up residence in our walls. That was fun. Only not.

  36. Miss Elanor Ouch

    The room looks good! And you have inspired me to write too, so thanx. Read my blog if you get the time and til then take care and good luck:)

  37. Kimmers

    Your new floor looks EXACTLY like my new floor… i love it. The walls look amazing too although I don’t know that I’d ever be brave enough to try that myself.

  38. dad

    Can I use the second photo in our office brochure?
    Your dining room is fantastic. Eclectic but wonderfully balanced…or was that the ’82 cabernet?

  39. Amy

    Wow! That looks great! I couldn’t picture the colors together at first but now that I see the finished thing – it looks great!

  40. Jenny

    That looks so sleek and pretty and uncluttered! (Care to guess what my dining room looks like?)

    We had squirrels in the attic when I was young and they used to scrabble around in the wall behind my headboard. They never did get in and gnaw on my face, but I sure was convinced that they were going to.

  41. Aimee

    The room is bee-YOU-tee-full. Seriously, I love it.

    As for the thingie in the walls… Yeah. I don’t really know what to say. In my experience mice DO sound much larger than they are, so we’ll just hope it’s that and not an alive weasel like in Joshilyn’s comments last week.

  42. Sharkey

    I love the way your dining room coordinates perfectly with your blog’s color scheme. You planned that, didn’t you?

  43. PolkaDotGirl

    Hey there,

    I told your floor story to Mr Wise Contractor Husband, who says the key to wood floor installation is to have the materials in your house for 7-10 days, to acclimate it prior to installation. You may have done this, but he’s just sayin’.

    Dining room is gorgeous!

  44. jennielynn

    Your dining room is stunning. I love the floors and the blue and the venetian plaster. Though after hearing of your experiences, I think I’ll just come to Georgia and enjoy yours, rather than do it here.

  45. Lulu

    What a wonderfully elegant dining room! I’d love to have that Venetian plaster look. However, no more remodelling projects get started here until at least half of the ones already in progress get finished.

    And that noise in the wall? Maybe Monkey has learned to ventriloquate noise or something. Or, or, it’s a marble rattling around in the venting system. Yeah, that’s it – a cracked marble with sharp edges that just sound like claws. Right, I know – there’s a cracked marble alright, but not in your poor air conditining vents….

  46. Jeni T

    It looks wonderful. I absolutely love the dining room set. You must tell us where you bought that! :) My friend has squirrels in her attic & she heard that they don’t like the smell of moth balls, so she threw some up there. now her whole house smells like moth balls & they just moved to a different side of the house!!

  47. prophet


Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest