You can likely guess the theme.

Picking up from the last episode…the main level water closet is officially complete! The new pedestal arrived in good order (like, the next day!) and over this weekend I collected the print from the frame shop. Ta da!

The print is a reproduction Audubon of the Great Blue Heron, my stalking love both in Türkenschanzpark and here along our shoals.

As if goes with home improvement, as soon as one room is updated, the rest cry out for attention. This is especially true as we walk around the 1989-2021 timewarp that is our home, and was most glaringly discernible in the master suite. We have a gorgeous new bathroom…but from it we walk into too many square feet of Quintessential Beige.

“Before” from the Sellers portfolio.

On a lark I messaged the contractor who renovated our Sun Room to see if perhaps the team was looking for some pick-up work and could replace the carpet in the Master Bedroom and closet with hardwood. I wasn’t expecting they might be available the following week, so Tony and I had a whirlwind weekend repainting the walls.

Why did you leave a great big open space? is a perfectly valid question.

Well, last July we ordered the flooring, fully intending on taking a DIY week. (This pandemic has put some crazy thoughts into our heads.) But the flooring arrived with too little time before Tony’s surgery; and, not knowing when we might either resume the DIY notion or hire it out, the flooring was returned. I had also ordered a wallpaper mural as the decorative element in an otherwise calm and light reflecting grey Pantone series room.

But now the Sun Room contractors were returning! Post haste the Home Depot card was set ablaze with the flooring reorder; and in a whirlwind three days Tony and I painted the room and installed the mural, our thinking being it would be less stressful to drop wallpaper adhesive on carpeting that was being removed than to clean it up from the newly installed flooring.

Hoo boy. Do you see that 1989 mauve peeking through?

Unlike with traditional wallpaper there is little room for error with a mural; if a panel doesn’t quite fit, or worse, tears, there is no backup short of purchasing two murals. So I made Tony watch the video; we measured everything multiple times, along the way learning that the wall is not square. Go figure, right?

“They” say the whole mural can be installed in a couple of hours. It took us nearly 45 minutes to properly soak and apply the first panel. Optimism for calling an early lid waned.

But what do you know? The remainder of the panels went up in about an hour! A high-five for us! We actually knew what we were doing! (In case you need an assist, the mural is an abstract depiction of magnolias.)

The following day the room improved by 1000%.

The grand reveal. I had the framing painted and ready to install once the flooring was in, and then the room was reassembled. The new linens are delayed but that’s a minor detail.

The home renovation excitement doesn’t end here. On Friday last our bathroom contractor messaged and asked if he could come by on Monday to “take a look” at the upper level hall bath project to refresh his memory. Indeed, he did drop by on Monday to “take a look”…and began demo the following day! My AmEx is still smoking from the rush to procure all of the components. We have made a conscious effort to not buy “Made in China,” in general, and while outfitting this bathroom could easily have been done with a visit to Home Depot, their cabinetry is all manufactured in China, so down the Internet wormhole I went to find acceptable alternatives. The result will be spectabular, I can feel it.

Moving along. I could likely write an entire novella on the story of the Town Center being built here in our little hamlet. But I will cut to the punchline: a small and obnoxiously vocal group of people are adamantly against this development because it includes–gasp–apartments.

Apartments bring riffraff, don’t you know? The Ringleader and his Minions of the anti-apartment crusade hijacked the local social media sites for weeks, pushing out so much propaganda and false information that I would not be surprised to learn that Pravda had sent them.

Several months ago these people mailbox-bombed everyone with anti-apartment flyers. I complained to our HOA that it is illegal to place non-mail into mailboxes. My complaint went nowhere, because our HOA President is one of The Minions. A few weeks ago, before the final vote on the development proposal, we set out for our morning walk with CTF to discover that the fools had decided to tape flyers to mailboxes in an effort to skirt the illegality of opening post boxes. Except, they were still in violation.

One of the anti-apartment group’s main arguments is that our elected officials are not following the rules with respect to the rezoning request. (Spoiler: rules are being followed) I could not stop myself from pointing out their own hypocrisy on our community social media.

I know better than to argue with fools. They dragged me down to their level and beat me with their experience. Below I present just a small sampling of their responses, underpinning their experience.

Yes, these are comments from the good people of Tennessee I live amongst. They held their thinly veiled racist rally and got on with their business. In the end the vote was unanimous for the development of a Town Center, a destination you just know each and every one of them will visit.

To end this episode, our neighbor’s dog. Because he is 9 whole pounds of adorable.