i blink and it’s two months later…  seems to be the story of my life this past year and a half since i started home schooling and taking on infinite new projects.  but i’m still a happy one, so that’s good.

if you don’t like woes, skip this post:  long story as short as possible… last august we contracted a painting company to paint our house.  i did tons of research on historic paint colors most popular in 1919, which is when our abode was built.  i picked five hues that will probably surprise those of you who haven’t seen them yet (they were quite popular when the house was built but probably not so much the way we ended up doing it).  the contractors tested our house for lead and we had lead paint on it.  no surprise with a house as old as ours, but they assured us they would take all of the state and federal required precautions to protect us.  cool.  hired — deposit paid.  ready to go.

color interruption: rural green (main color), inkwell (blackish trim color), gingery (highlight color), gregorian revival blue (another highlight color), and french roast (porch floor)

colors of house paint we used
in a not-so pretty nut shell, a week and a half project ended up taking them over six weeks and they took NO precautions to protect us, our home or our yard.  free lead lesson: anything above 400 ppm (parts per million) in soil is considered severely hazardous or potentially lethal to children and pets. food can no longer be grown in it as the plant can leach the lead from the soil and harm you.  they knew that the side of our house was going to be a big huge berry patch with blue berries and currants.  nope, not any more — it was tested by a lead risk assessment company and turned out to be 2100 ppm.  so lots of blood tests must happen for the little man of the house and very sadly, our cat died last week showing all of the signs and symptoms of feline lead poisoning.

yesterday i received the final report and discovered that not only was our entire yard contaminated by lead paint chips and dust, but much of our interior due to being tracked in on our feet or blowing in through the windows (they started scraping the house with the windows open!!).  guess what the recommended plan of action is?  you will faint when you read this… or at least i almost did.

  • hire a certified lead abatement company to clean main floor of house (huge ordeal to clean lead dust), stairs and upstairs hall
  • scrub and potentially refinish hard wood floors on main level of house
  • remove and dispose of carpet on stairs and in upstairs hall of house, replace with ??
  • clean all exterior flat surfaces and areas dust/chips were collected: roof, gutters, tops of  cars, garage roof, porch, etc.
  • remove ALL soil/sod in entire yard, 4 inches deep (we have a huge yard for this area)
  • till 12 inches deep to mix up soil and lesson the toxicity
  • replace 4″ of soil in yard
  • replace grass with all grand new sod
  • fill garden areas with new organic mulch, replant all NON FOOD plants with all garden areas (i will be the one to pick or they can go to hell — i’m already furious, thank you)
  • remove raised garden beds and replace with new raised beds once new earth is in place, fill with new organic soil blend (we can grow only in raised beds now)
  • trim walnut tree branches to ensure proper sunlight reaches new planted sod and does not pose future risk
  • put pea gravel over all bare soil areas that cannot be planted in: base of walnut tree, chicken coop, etc. (if unsafe to have gravel in chicken coop, pour concrete slab)
  • since we have a 1920s little cute driveway with just the two strips, that may be ruined while trying to do recommended abatement tasks so new driveway may need to be installed

how much do you suppose all of this will be?  oh, based upon my research, anywhere from $15k to $50k.  we don’t have even half of that… so hopefully the paint company will fix their huge negligent problem and i won’t have to deal with taking them to court.  i just want it fixed so my son can safely play outside and none of our other three cats (or our soon to be adopted dog) will die.

to add insult to injury, there are lots of teeny tiny touch ups to the paint that need to be done BUT it looks fab from the street and much prettier than it was.  here’s a peek of a corner of our big, windowed front porch:

big front portch
you know the little over-hangy bits on the roofs of houses?  we’re going to paint the underneath of those green and black stripes next spring.  gotta add a bit of fun flair — that’s totally us.  but i don’t even want to think about house paint right now.  this has been serious hell.

so… because of all of this, i’m extending the zine deadline an extra month to the end of november.  i have had time for literally nothing since all this went down.

BUT, i’ve gotten some gorgeous zine entries so far!  i’ll post more about that soon.  i haven’t even had the time to respond to people yet.  and i will be posting about the tallest book in the world, too.  i have some HUGE thank you notes to send out and some stunning pages received.  🙂  xx to all!