Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Hard To Believe with some Faith Thrown In

We had thought that the decorating of our bedroom would take about a week. We are now actually into the fourth week to see it to completion. The saga began 5 years ago.

At that time I totally changed my colour scheme from dark regency green to cream. The regency green had been painted onto heavily embossed wallpaper, the idea being that we would only have to paint the walls in future and not re-paper as we do throughout the rest of the house. In order to cover green with cream we had to use 3 coats of paint. All seemed well until it completely dried when the paint began to crack. In time it looked like the cracks on a piece of china. We decided to just live with this mistake until we needed to redecorate.

This year I decided I no longer wanted to live with this wallpaper, added to the fact that we were having problems with a strong smell of mildew in my fitted wardrobes. Hence we embarked on completely stripping the room and hoping that we could deal with the mildew problem by heavily venting the wardrobes that are fitted to the outside walls.

Now to the unbelievable part. In moving a strip from the top of the end of the wardrobes to strip the paper more easily we found that the furniture fitter had packed the space between the wardrobe and the front outside wall with all the cardboard packing cases that the flat pack furniture had been delivered in. We removed the front panel and found boxes inside boxes, including off cuts of wood and other odds and ends. Everything was wet and mouldy from condensation and the lack of airflow. It had been there for the 15 years since we first had this particular furniture fitted. We found this mould had spread to other places too once we removed some draws and bedside cabinets. The ‘cracked’ wallpaper was a benefit to us in the end as we may not have redecorated so soon. In the end all things do work together for good though it is often hard to see at the time.

Yes, this is some of what we found

And the space where we found it

In the gap to the left of the mirrored door. We plan to leave this gap open and not replace the panel. Not so neat but space for air to flow.

Some other issues that were nothing to do with the above added to the time it has taken to complete the work. On removing shelving from an inside wall, the plaster decided to part company with the wall so Alan then had a plastering job to undertake before proceeding further. Then as he removed a radiator from the wall it slipped and that black oily stuff that sits in radiators once they have been drained ran out and onto my cream carpet. To cap it all I had sent my velvet curtains to a dry cleaner to be cleaned and what did they do, they washed them when I had assumed they would be dry cleaned. They shrank. As they had only just skimmed the window ledge before it now entailed lowering the curtain rail. This brought the drilling to the height of the lintel above the window and it took Alan almost a day to drill through this, breaking a number of drill bits on the way. Stressful? Definitely.

Fortunately we do have other bedrooms in which to sleep so I was grateful for that but am really looking forward to be back in my Tempur bed which moulds itself to my body and totally supports. For the uninitiated Tempur mattresses are used in space ships to help support the body during space flight.

I had an old missionary friend who would always say when life threw lemons his way, "Now what has God got to show me in all of this?" This I know is the way forward but it is usually a while before I get to this place, often allowing stress and frustration to take over instead. We are exhorted in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to give thanks in ALL circumstances. Even now this is not something I feel like doing or even want to, but that's OK. We are not asked to feel like it or want to do it, we are just asked TO DO IT as God knows the peace that obedience brings. One of the study notes on this subject in my Bible says "People are naturally happy on some occasions, but the Christian's joy is not dependent on circumstances, it comes from what Christ has done, and it is constant." To me that is not speaking about feelings but a person who is joy and peace within us in spite of how we feel.

I recently received this award 'From lemons to Lemonade' again and it aptly fits in here. It came from Margo. This time I pass this on to Adrienne whose blog and life certainly lives up to this award. The most recent difficult time for Adrienne has been the sudden and unexpected death of her son-in-law, leaving her daughter to bring up her children alone. You deserve it Adrienne.


Adrienne said...

Dear Barbara -
Thank you for the award and your sweet words. I can't tell you how overwhelmed I am by your thoughtfulness. I don't take this lightly - it means more than words can express.

Reading your saga of problems with your room redo makes me tired just thinking of all of the work you've had to do. And I wonder why anyone put those boxes where they were. It's a wonder you weren't sick all the time. Thankfully you found them and can get things put back together and enjoy your room - and wonderful bed - once again.

Blessings and hugs to you, my friend, ~Adrienne~

Lorrie said...

Doesn't it often seem that starting one relatively small project leads to more and more? We're in the beginning stages of renovating our kitchen and it just seems like the list of things to do grows longer every day.
Looking for what God wants to teach me through life's varying circumstances is one of my life goals.


(and the word verification is...versess...take off one "s" and there's a clue to where to go to find God's word - in verses of the Bible!)

Andrea said...

You have certainly been through quite an ordeal, and I can relate to a bit of it, for we have tackled a few remodeling projects in the past. It never goes smoothly and always takes much longer than we would dream. I love your words about Christ's working in our lives, even in earthly issues that drive us crazy. Sometimes my husband and I just look at each other and say, "What in the world is God doing?" But, he is always there, waiting to teach us in the midst of our frustration, pain, and suffering. I struggle with trusting him in trying times, but when I try, he provides grace sufficient. Thank you for these lovely words today. I have been blessed. Many blessings to you.

Susan said...

Oh my!!! I wonder how much we have "piled up" "stuff-in" and hidden in the inward parts of our lives that we don't discover until forced by some event to tear out and look inside and under? Something indeed for all of to look at and think about.

On the bright side, what a lovely, reworked place you will be showing us when all done.

Mmm said...

TO have that joy is fantastic. I def. need that!

Whoo--glad you found that box. Ugh. all the hassle tat created and mildew. Ugh. BUT, as you note, so good you found it. Who would have ever guess?!

Winifred said...

Oh dear what a bunch of cowboys. You have to keep an eye on what they're doing when you have people in to do work for you.
Lucky you haven't had problems before now with this. Still at least it's sorted now and you're well on the way.

Vee said...

Ohhhh that really must've been pretty discouraging. Good thing that now you know exactly why things happened the way that they did. (I'd still be tempted to throttle whoever created that situation in the first place.) Everything must look wonderful and smell good again. I'm sorry about the drapes, too. Perhaps the Lord is saying that you may have some new ones! :D

Thank you for all the good teaching. I am so grateful that we don't have to feel it or even want to do it. That way, even I will be able to participate. Ha!

zetor said...

Barbara, that is awful. I am so sorry, I don't like decorating much, we live in an old farmhouse and once one room is done there is usually another to start. I sympathise with you with dampness, we've been there.
However, I did enjoy your bible words, I always remeber reading words of St Therese of Liseaux, 'Happiness is a decision' , I need to remind myself of these words often. God bless.

Anonymous said...

It seems inevitable that one project leads/multiplies into another - but you have taken the whole thing into perspective. Thank you for the reminder :-)

Patsy said...

Wonderful you have your God to get you pass all of this . How do people cope with out our faith.
Just sorry you had the problems.

Betty said...

Bless your heart...I sympathize with you...finally we are finished but I still have 'stuff' that I don't want to use but don't want to dispose of....

We like to fluff our nests but it can be frustrating...

God Bless...Betty (Thanks for visiting with me)

Willow said...

My goodness! That is a mess to clean up. It always takes longer than you think, usually about 3 times longer. I'm glad you and Alan have it almost finished now.

Tea Time With Melody said...

Oh my, this is why I hate to start a project because it always turns into 50 multiples. lol..

Linda said...

Gosh, that really did turn into a big job. I'm sure you will love it once you are finished.

Elizabeth said...

Oh dear!
What bedroom disasters. One never knows what 'a can of worms' we might discover when we start tinkering with things.......
However, I think the results will be super --though I would feel a bit fed up with the cleaner ruining your curtains.
What were they thinking?
Hard to give thanks and praise when utterly frustrated......but it does one good to keep things in perspective.
ps loved the garden photos below.
Greetings from NY!

ChaChaneen said...

Oh Darlin', what a mess is right. Beautiful post though! Your sharing your insight and what you've gotten from it. It happened for a reason and God knew it was going to happen before we did. He already knew the outcome too. Amen Sister! Have a great day!

a woman who is said...

Thank goodness you got that yucky smelly mildew cardboard box out of there. Soon everything will be put right, and you will be enjoying the scent of your garden wafting in through your window.

I am sorry it was such a saga. I do relate.

Boy that bed sounds amazingly comfy!

Jenna is leaving tomorrow and we head over to Seattle with her bed & desk on Sat. I hope I don't have a saga of my own to report:)

The Norwegian said...

I have just found your blog. I'm thrilled. I am a committed anglophile. I love all things British! I became a Christian in 1973 and have loved growing in Christ through the Scriptures. (Best is King James!) I've enjoyed reading through your posts - you've warmed the heart of a fellow saint. Completely absorbed by your post of March 24th...

Anonymous said...

Congratulations and commisserations Barbara. What a lazy fitter. That gap is usually covered at the front only, by a co-ordinating strip. I would post the photographs to the fitting company and explain the damage the fitter did, so it doesn't happen to someone else. There was no need what so ever for them to have been there. Circulating air is better.

Yuk I hate plastering- I always get so messy with the base coat. Sympathies. As for trying to drill into a window lintel! I am so happy for you that you have your bedroom back and your comfy mattress. I'll never go back to the spring sort again.

Elizabethd said...

Unbelievable that they were too lazy to take away the packaging, how awful. Too late now to complain, no doubt.

Lavinia said...

Good heavens, Barbara, what an ordeal. And these people...the furniture fitter, the drycleaner....are supposed to be professionals and to know what they are doing and to do it in the correct and proper way. Unbelievable the carelessness, the ignorance and the incompetence. I am so angry at what you are having to deal with, on account of these people!

Mould can be very dangerous, so thank goodness you found it and got rid of it. Not to mention the fire hazard, your house could have gone up like a pack of matches, God forbid.

Best wishes for a more relaxing time in the near future when all this is firmly behind you. I love a cream colour scheme, by the way. I just finished having my foyer and two hallways, and stairwell painted a very mellow cream tone.

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Barbara you have made a very frustrating experience into a wonderful teaching lesson about all the things that come our way in this life. It is so often the case that a seemingly simple project around the house becomes a long and drawn out series of difficult events! But you have survived, and joyfully too, in the end.

Barb said...

Hi Barbara,

What a mess but you have come through with grace under pressure. Thank you for sharing a very valuable lesson with all of us.

I know you will enjoy the new room even more! How are "the girls"?

Congrats on your award. your deserve it!


Susie said...

It's fortunate you discovered that mold when you did.
We had to remove mold at my Grandpa's house and it was a huge job, so I can appreciate what you're having to go through.
Think how much you'll love your bedroom when it's complete!