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Trading home improvements for fantasy football

Fried RiceHeidi RiceGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

“Are you getting ready to go back to school or something?” I asked husband-head curiously. “Do I need to buy you a new SpongeBob SquarePants lunchbox?”Husband-head had carefully placed a shiny new notebook and a plastic football container that held all sorts of colored markers on the kitchen counter.”Nope,” he denied. “This is for my fantasy football draft this weekend and I want to have all my stuff ready to go.”I just slowly shook my head.”WHAT?” he said defensively. “You may not like it, but it’s that time of the year, toots.”It wasn’t that I didn’t want him to play fantasy football. It was the fact that we were in the middle of a big home improvement project that included painting the walls and sanding the hardwood floor in our upstairs bedroom and husband-head had promised he would get it done over the weekend.I knew that once the regular football season started, I would not get his happy butt to do anything around the house, so I was trying to beat the NFL clock.”I want a bedroom with a Tuscan theme,” I suggested. “Something with terra cotta walls and earth tones, lots of plants, billowy white curtains, natural wood floors, feather beds and a wall fountain with water sounds.”Husband-head looked in horror at what that would entail.”It’s a BEDROOM, for the love of Pete!” he pointed out. “You SLEEP in it. Your eyes are closed. Why does it have to be all gussied up?”I gave him the “because I said so” look.As it stood, our bedroom was all white. White walls, ceiling fan, bedspread, pillows, curtains and the wood floors were painted white as well.”It looks like somewhere you’d go to have surgery,” husband-head had complained about my choice of decor. “I hate white.”As it turned out, it was a breezy beach theme gone bad because, with our entourage of animals, it ended up being way too hard to keep clean.Husband-head was smart enough not to say “I told you so” and was happy to get rid of the white. But he wasn’t real thrilled about what the new decor would entail, either.”Slave driver,” husband-head muttered under his breath, thinking that I couldn’t hear, as he textured the walls, painted them and then went over again with a darker color, making them look old and then using a dry brush for the finishing touch.”It’s beautiful!” I exclaimed when he was done. “Just what I wanted!”Even husband-head had to admit the color was a big improvement.Then came the fun part – sanding years of paint off the wood floor in the bedroom and the hallway, which had accumulated over many years before we owned the home.The huge heavy sander made a lot of noise as husband-head ran it over and over the floors for several hours.One of our dogs, Wyatt, and I were having a tender dog/owner rub-my-tummy moment (his, not mine) on the couch downstairs when we suddenly heard a huge thud, followed by a shower of plaster that rained down all around us.We both looked up to see husband-head’s leg dangling through the ceiling in what used to be a vent between the upstairs and downstairs.”Ummm, Wyatt … I don’t think we’re supposed to be seeing Papa’s appendages in that location,” I said, brushing plaster off myself, the couch and the dog.”You know, even Santa Claus knows to come through the chimney and not a small vent!” I yelled out.There was no answer as husband-head slowly pulled his leg out.”The NORMAL response in this circumstance would be to ask if I was OK!” he finally yelled back.He was, but apparently after removing the grate, he had slipped while sanding.Three million trips to Wal-Mart later, he was finally finished painting and sanding and staining.”There you go, lady,” he said when he was done. “Now you owe me a wheelchair. My back is killing me.””I didn’t expect you to get it done in one day, you know,” I retorted.”Yeah, but if I hadn’t, you wouldn’t have let me do my draft,” he said. “This was by far the most painful trade I’ve ever made.”With that, he picked up his shiny new notebook and his plastic football and headed out the door.Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.


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