Rum Punch


I don’t know how it happens or when. But at some point I finally hit the “fed-up” mark and take action. I like to think that all of that time staring at ceilings and walls finally just adds up and BOOM I’m motivated and all of the energy from those moments of staring just flows out of me and suddenly the ceiling goes from looking like this, to looking like this:


Eric tells me that I think too much. He says this is good in terms of planning. Like we’ll be driving to the supermarket and he’ll say “Oh no! I forgot our bags!” And I just point to the trunk where I put them when he wasn’t paying attention. Or we’ll be at a show and he’ll say “Oh no! I forgot to pack…anything at all” and I remind him that I spent an hour winding cables and packing pedals and straps and keyboards and pretty much every bit of gear for our five member band.

I am good at this. Remembering things. It is one of my superpowers.
But it takes a lot of thinking and a lot of staring.
And then I just spring into action.


I have been on a drop ceiling tear. Literally.
It’s this darn light. It’s gotten me all excited and ready to dig things up and shove my hands into the dirt, but the ground is absolutely concrete out there and I just feel like throwing Grandpa’s GE radio at the wall every time the weatherman comes on and tells me that the temperature is going to be 20 degrees below average, AGAIN. He sounds SURPRISED as if he hasn’t said this EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR THE PAST TWO MONTHS.

I am starting to get angry at everyone in the city for bragging that “SPRING IS HERE! CAN YOU BELIEVE HOW LONG OUR WINTER WAS!?” When I’m like, um hey… It’s 20 degrees below average here and my snow refuses to melt. So instead I tear down drop ceilings.

Uncovering damaged horsehair plaster ceilings and giant original beams that were hacked at to install furring strips is kind of like watching crocuses come up with their flower buds knocked off. It’s thrilling and exciting and it means SOMETHING, but the best part was kind of ruined.

Who cares right? There’s nothing you can do about it anyway except to look for more flowers -or in my case, pull down more drop ceiling. And besides. It’s better than looking at snow (drop ceiling). But will it ever end?


And then of course there is no amount of thinking and staring that prepares you for the insanity that is an old house. It’s like when Mary Poppins gives the children their cough medicine and each time she pours a spoonful it’s a different flavor. One time it’s strawberry cordial the next time, rum punch. That’s exactly what this house is like. One room you pull down the ceiling and underneath is horsehair plaster. The next time you pull down the ceiling, everything has been brought back to the studs and you’ve suddenly discovered where all of the mice and squirrels in the neighborhood have been living for the past 40 years and it’s the most horrible and filthy thing you’ve ever done (even though you play with dirt for a living) and no amount of showering can make you feel clean. (But thankfully you also make soap for a living, so at least there’s that). And then on top of it you realize that now you have exposed a gap where the ceiling meets (or doesn’t meet) the walls to the second floor and because you watched The Goonies too many times as a child you’re afraid that now ALL of the bats that have been living in the attic are going to come flying out and get caught in your hair. All of them. IN YOUR HAIR! I love bats. But not in my hair and not in my dining room. God put that ceiling there for a reason…

But that’s what you get. Sometimes you want strawberry cordial, but you get rum punch… or mice nests. You should know that by now. And no amount of staring can prepare you for that.

2 thoughts on “Rum Punch

  1. Lol! Every time I read your blog I feel like I have come across a kindred spirit, as Anne Shirley would say… We are tearing up the inside of our old farmhouse as well… and we DID have a bat come down through the gap. ( We discovered we have about a foot of space between the original ceiling and the newer one.) But what can you do but keep going… and put up plastic tarp… lots of plastic tarp.

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