Sunday, November 15, 2020


When I moved into my house in Year Of Our Lord XIIBV, one of the first things I noticed was that all the walls were beige, which I didn't love. 

"I'll paint them later," I optimistically promised myself. And then I moved all of the crap I've ever owned into the place.

Look. Let me give you some old man wisdom from this old man. Listen carefully. What I'm about to tell you is one of the most important things you'll ever hear in your life: if you buy a home and it is not the color you want it to be on the inside, do not move your sh&t into it. Leave your sh$t out of it. Paint the d@mn place first.

I bleeped out all of my swears for my mother.

The point is, painting an empty home? A pain. But a manageable pain. Painting a home full of your life's worth of hoarding? An unmanageable pain. 

Do not do that to yourself.

I give this advice knowing full well that I could have never followed it myself when I was young and dumb and so excited to sleep under my own roof and start saying things like "are we heating the neighborhood?!" whenever someone left the door open. I couldn't have forced myself to wait several days to get the painting done before moving in. 

Nonethenevertheless, it's good advice and you should do as I say and not as I do. 

I've been putting off the painting for 6 years because it all seemed so daunting. For a while I had aspirations that I might do the job myself, but I finally gave up on that dream about a year ago after I started watching youtube videos about proper techniques for all the prep work and I realized I do not have the patience to do something like this even remotely well.

The next barrier was finding a painter who would do a good job. A few years ago Matt hired a company that nearly destroyed his house. Days after they finished paint was spontaneously peeling off of his walls. He nearly ended up in court over the whole thing until the company finally gave in and left. He ultimately got the job done himself and it looked great. But when I asked him when he was coming to do mine he responded with a lot of profanities, which he did not bleep.

Finally a few weeks ago my neighbor Lynne told me her painter was doing some work on her garage and she raved about him and said she's used him for years and he's the best contractor she's ever hired. The next day she sent him over to my house to give me a bid. "You're never going to call him yourself so I'm forcing him on you," she astutely observed. 

The next Sunday night Sky and I spent several hours shuffling furniture and an alarming amount of knick-knacks into different parts of the house. Because we had him paint the entire upstairs, the whole week became basically a living rubik's cube where every evening we tried to move stuff from one room to another so he could get in and do some prep work or painting, but we couldn't move it through work areas or into unfinished areas. I promise you this was a lot more complicated than it sounds.

To make matters more interesting, in part because our Utah Covid numbers are approaching the infinity symbol and our governor has directed us back to an April-like lockdown, we felt like we really should avoid being in the house while he was working. This was easy for Sky because he's off at his rotations and affairs all day anyway, but it was trickier for me since I'm trying to avoid my office to a reasonable degree but also it's very cold out. 

I'm a trusting person. Probably overly-trusting. I've had contractors take advantage of me before because of this. I get this from Cathie McCann who wouldn't stop someone from mugging her if she thought it might hurt their feelings. But even still, I don't know if I'll ever get used to leaving a stranger in my house all day every day for a week unattended.

In any event, Lynne's recommendation was truly not an exaggeration. (If you're looking for someone in the SLC area, his name is Alex Bowman, Painting Elk Country.) I've never had a more positive experience with any contractor. 

A sampling of pictures for you to over-analyze and pick apart our design choices:

And now, please enjoy some Strangerville:

This time in Strangerville, we discuss Four Seasons Total Landscaping and our attempts to disconnect from the news of the day for our own survival. Plus, a story from Eli about playing the recorder in fourth grade.


The Beehive State, by Eli McCann (music by Gillicuddy)

Production by Eli McCann, Meg Walter, & The Beehive

~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. The stained glass windows are to die for.

  2. Please tell us the paint colors that you selected! Brand and name of the color, please.

    1. The walls are Sherwin Williams "Rhinestone." The trim I think is called "bright white."

    2. This sounds like you Bedazzled your entire house and I am here for it! Sign me up for more rhinestone walls. (For reals, I can't choose a color, but I really like that one.)

  3. Just lovely but maybe please tell us about the blackboard. E has six and C just two?

  4. I'd say its good advice to do stuff before you move in, just not too much. We bought a total trash heap of a house and it took us exactly 1 year to get half of the home completely remodeled enough to move in. It looks beautiful but it's one of those NEVER AGAIN situations. I love the paint colors you choose and your hardwoods are gorgeous!

    1. This. My advice is really limited to a paint job. If you know you're going to want to paint it very soon, do it before you move in. If you have other big projects you know are going to be on an ongoing basis, move in and live with the nightmare.