The One About the Surprise Home Makeover.

When I was a kid, my parents used to leave our dog with my grandmother when we went on vacation. Long story short – one vacation, my grandmother decided that it was Pepper’s time to visit the ranch in upstate New York, or go over the rainbow bridge, or whatever euphemism you use – yes, my grandmother put our family dog to sleep while my parents were on vacation. My dad didn’t speak to her for a year.

My parents are off on a little vacation right now – they went to Texas to go antique shopping. My mom asked me to water her plants a few times while they are gone.

My parents live in the house they bought 30+ years ago. It’s a lovely house, a la Brady Bunch. For example, here’s a picture of the far wall of the family room:


See that lovely faux wood paneling on the wall? Yeah, that. Every time I walk into their house it makes me gag. I’ve been threatening to remove it for about 10 years.

So the other day I was over at their house watering the plants. As I gagged, I was reminded about my threat and finally decided, since they would be out of town for at least a few more days, to do something about it. I called a contractor and said, when can you be here in the next four days?

So the dog and I traipsed back out there the next day to meet the contractor. The faux wood paneling nearly jumped off the wall; it was just dying to be removed. G-d bless my mom, the crazy labeling packrat. I had anticipated that I would go to the local hardware store, get some paint swatches, bring them home, find the best match for the other paint in the house, and go back and get the new paint. No need. I checked the garage for old paint cans, and voila! A can marked in big black capital letters “LIVING ROOM PAINT” (in case you weren’t sure that there was paint in that old paint can).

Two and a half hours later, the paneling was removed, the wall patched and painted. I actually stayed for another hour, literally watching paint dry, so I could re-hang the pictures.


I think it’s possible they might not even notice when they get home.

I am comfortable that even though I did it without their permission, it’s definitely an improvement!

And I am quite sure that this is not the worst thing that anyone has ever done to them while they are on vacation. (Thanks for that, Granny!)



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3 responses to “The One About the Surprise Home Makeover.

  1. Susan Hazel

    Wow – that is a bold move, but I think you read the signs correctly. You’ll have to update when they return home!

  2. susie

    you are one, brave girl! 🙂

  3. Evelyn – the best kid ever!
    We’ve hated that panelling for decades, but were too lazy to pull it down. Not Evy, she just jumped in. The difference is absolutely astounding. I noticed that the room somehow was 50% larger, but it took several minutes to realize WHY.
    What a difference a kid makes.

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