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This is our new front door that I’m finishing:


In the dining room, because that’s the only place that works. When I do just about any home-improvement project, and especially anything involving permanently pigmented liquids, I tend to make a huge mess and inexplicably end up surrounded by every tool we’ve ever owned. Hence, the perimeter of the dining room here. Even I can’t figure out how the mess got so big when all I’m doing is staining and varnishing new wood. As his name implies, Captain OCD does not do well with messes such as this, but he does a very good job of not complaining.

Because I’m also lazy, I often convince myself that I’ll be very careful and so don’t need to change into old clothes before prying open the can of dark brown, oil-based stain. But every time I don’t change out of my paint- and stain-free clothes, those clothes end up as my new painting clothes. Perhaps I’ve grown up a bit, because this time I’ve been careful to change into old clothes before so much as looking at the can of varnish. After changing into the same T-shirt and sweat pants I’ve worn the last couple of days while working on the door, I wiped on a fresh coat of varnish last night before I went to bed. Once in bed, I was surprised at how strong the varnish smell was in our bedroom.

Not till I got up this morning did I realize that I forgot to change and slept in the varnish-splashed T-shirt.