Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Description, Dialogue and Painting the House

The time has come to paint the house—again! We’ve changed the original siding to a stucco look. The stucco comes in gold--I got so used it it, I thought about painting it gold. :) I love the New Orleans mix of French, Spanish, African, Haitian but I have no idea how to achieve that with what we have to work with here.

Choosing colors to paint the outside of the house is beyond me. My daughter says I try to match and blend way too much. Maybe she’s right. I was raised by a mother who insisted I dress to the nines even on jeans day; and she was fond of saying, “Greens don’t clash.” Of course, she also said, “Redheads don’t wear red.” And returned everything my dad bought her that didn’t fit her idea of what redheads DO wear. Okay, that’s all another story.

I’ve been totally confused about painting for one reason: the roof. My question is do we match the roof or do we match the brick? Because what matches the brick will not match the roof. It all goes back to Hurricane Rita and the damage she left behind. Some Texans came through with great roof bargains and I chose a very dark color. Unfortunately, they didn’t have that color when the day came to put the new roof on. Did we really want to live under blue tarp awhile longer? No! We took what they had and I’ve regretted it ever since.

Husband and I have driven through many neighborhoods peering at people’s homes. The main thing we've learned is that I’m not the only one who has problems with exterior house colors. Have you ever noticed how no matter what you're discussing, we writers usually apply it to writing in some way? We either use it in our writing or compare it. Here's a dialogue husband and I had while driving around:

Jess: Romance writers look at paint colors to use in their descriptive writing, like, "His eyes were poppy seed brown."
Jim: What color are we getting for the trim?
Jess: It’s called Basketry. I guess I could write, “His eyes were the color of a basket soaked by the rain.”
Jim: Straw doesn’t absorb water.
Jess: It could still have a wet look, couldn’t it?
Jim: Shrugs.

The next day we’re heading to Home Depot for the third time. It's raining. We pass road construction, deep holes in the ground filled with bales of hay.

Jess: Why are they using hay bales in those holes?
Jim: Absorb the rain, I guess.
We looked at each other. Remembering the previous day's dialogue, I'm sure.
Basketry. Poppy Seed Brown.
Jim: I wish they gave these paint samples real names.
I totally agree.

By the way, we painted our stucco . . . Chocolate Swirl. Yum!


Charles Gramlich said...

I love the trees there in the corner of the house. Our new house has siding that will not need to be painted so that is good.

LKHarris-Kolp said...

That color sounds yummy! We are facing the same dilemma...I can totally relate to the choosing the right color problem.

Jess said...

Charles - All our trees had to be cut down after Rita. I miss them--even though they were pines. I wish I had sprawling Oaks in the front yard.

Laura-thanks for popping in. I wish you could come to our BWG meetings.


Looks like fun! The 1st 2 years of my retirement was spent fixing up our home. I kind of miss my daily trips to Home Depot. I'm pretty much caught up on all my fixing up around the house now except for a few minor projects. So all I have to do now days is play on my computer all day. :-)