Thursday, November 4, 2010

Facing My Fears

I did it.  I faced my fear of the indoor ladder.  Or, more precisely, I faced my fear of falling from the indoor ladder.  Ever since February, when I plunged off the top of my old aluminum ladder onto my hiney and my left wrist while hanging wallpaper in the dining room and ended up in the local ER, I've been afraid to get back up there again.  I bought a new ladder.  I climbed it to do some cutting-in when I (briefly) started painting the parlor again.  I dragged the ladder into the dining room.  But every time I tried to scale it to start on the wallpaper again, my hands got sweaty and my heart raced.  Returning to the scene of the accident, I guess.

A couple of weeks ago at Taco Night I confessed this to my friend Cookie, expecting sympathy.  "Oh, for Pete's sake!" he said, "Just get up there and do it!"

"But, but--" I began.

"But my ass!" he said.  (Which was actually pretty funny and had both of us laughing for a good two minutes.)  "No buts.  Just do it.  What's your other option, cheapskate?  Paying somebody to finish the wallpaper?"

Well, no.  Of course not.  Me, pay someone else to do something?  Heavens no.

So Monday night I climbed up there.  The new ladder is taller and sturdier than the old one.  That's a good thing, because I have 11-foot ceilings in my house.  I'm pretty sure the reason I fell earlier this year is because a 7-foot stepladder isn't tall enough to safely stand on while trimming paper at the junction of wall and ceiling 11 feet from the floor.  I was standing one rung above the warning label that reads "Do Not Stand Above This Rung" and stretching up into the corner of the room, utility knife in hand, when the crappy ladder gave way.  I'm lucky I didn't cut my own throat with that utility knife on the way down.  (Instead, I put a deep gouge in the dining room floor.)

Anyway, I climbed up there for the first time since February...and nothing terrible happened.  I put up one strip, and then another, and then another.  Then I took everything out of my great-grandma's china cabinet (which took almost an hour because my grandma's glass shoe collection--about 60 little glass shoes--is in there along with about a thousand other things) and moved the china cabinet out of the way and hung up some more paper.  And then more paper.  And then I went to bed.

And then Tuesday I woke up sort of early (about 1 p.m.) and started in again.  This damnable paper is really hard to match.  Get it even and nicely matched at the top, and halfway down it starts to go wonky.  Straighten that out, and it's crooked at the top again.  Repeat twenty times per strip. 

The good news is, after all of that, the dining room wallpaper is almost finished!  Only three-fourths of one wall is unpapered.  The bad news is, I was on a roll and I had to interrupt it by going to my paying job for three nights.  I'll be back at it Saturday afternoon.  And then, there will be pictures.


  1. I completely understand the fear factor. I also understand the short ladder issue. We also have a new ladder. That crazy doll wallpaper border in the parlor is going to become history soon. As soon as I face my own fears.

  2. Yeah! Can't wait to see the "new" dining room!

  3. Oh, good for you for getting back on the horse that threw ya, or at least its big brother! Provoking, ain't it? when the warning labels turn out to be right.

    Looking forward to the photos, meticulous matches and all.

  4. YAY for YOU! Way 2 go and ROCK THE FEAR!!!