We moved into our house when we had a 4-year-old manchild and a 3-month-old babe- in-arms. Both are now big old hairy, well-over-six-feet-tall guys.

The house we call home has been through a lot and in sore need of a little sprucing up. (Arenít we all?) Paint is always my first choice.

A few weeks ago I started with the dining room. Iíd take down the stripes Iíd been in love with when I put them up well over a decade ago. Iíd paint over the emerald green that once upon a time was a sharp look that now evokes the same ìeewwwwwwî reaction that over-padded shoulders in an 80ís-style dress does.

So off to the hardware store I drove to choose the new color. Something rich, warm and evocative of trendy restaurants with their golden or burnt orange walls, lighted with candles and whispering a hint of Tuscany. Thatís what I wanted.

I chose the rich warm color of my imagination, came home full of excitement with my new look in a can and a few spray bottles of wallpaper remover. Iíd strip the paper and paint the walls. Iíd serve dinner to the Hubster that evening in our lovely new dining room.

I got out a sponge and a scraper and spritzed the wallpaper to loosen it.

It didnít. Loosening was not happening. I scored it to let the remover seep in to do its job.

It didnít.

Thirteen hours later I got the last postage stamp piece of wallpaper off the walls. I was near tears. It was 9:30 p.m.

We did not have dinner in the dining room. We did not have dinner at all. I called the pizza delivery emporium. When it arrived, it took my last ounce of strength to open the door and pay the delivery person for it.

Discouraged and tired I consoled myself that tomorrow would indeed be a new day and that by nightfall I truly would have the dining room painted.

The next morning I got up, put on my painting clothes and assembled my paraphernalia before rolling on the first splash of color.

I covered one wall with what had looked like a beautiful brick in the store.

Instead of a lovely brick, it looked more like red river mud, shiny, oozy and extremely unappealing.

The Hubster came home and stood in the dining room with me and we looked at it together.

ìItíll look different when you get all the walls done,î he said.

ìI sure do hope so,î I said with great reservation. I had a bad feeling. A real bad feeling.

I continued painting, but without enthusiasm. Every stroke brought more of this horrid color to life. A light-colored, gelatinous liver now shone on my wall.

Not only was it not beautiful and warm. It was disgusting.

ìItíll grown on you,î my guy said, trying to cheer me up.

ìYou mean like ëThe Bob?í It shouldnít have to grow on me. I should love it immediately. I am not thrilled.î

Monday morning dawned and I could not have been happier to leave that dining room.

Every afternoon when I came home Iíd stand in the doorway of the now painted dining room. Iíd look at it much like a farmer might look at a field of corn withering from lack of rain. Discouraged and unhappy.

By the next Saturday morning I knew what had to be done. I was at the hardware store when they opened to purchase more paint ñ a cool crisp pale green.

Iíd had enough of earthy and warm.

And from the first stroke I was in love with it, and ìeewwwwî hasnít crossed my mind or lips since.

Contact Judy Watts at jwatts@journalscene.com or 873-9424 ext 220.