Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pulp Affliction

 They are predicting snow AGAIN!  No, this isn't an old post that you clicked on by accident and no, it's not Groundhog Day, although I do feel a bit like Bill Murray who keeps waking up to the same weather forecast over and over again!

It's not that I don't like snow, heck I have no real place I need to be, so what's the big deal really.  It's just that I woke up this morning feeling less than stellar and I'm on deadline for 2 stories, due on the 11th and neither one is completed.  And I had to cancel one house interview today and likely won't make it out to the places I have to go to get the info I need for the other story, so more snow means more hassles, cold, and mess around here. 

Besides the usual work hassles, I also have this other nagging little problem that accompanies inclement weather of any sort around here...wood floors and water!  You see I love, cherish, and adore our new hardwood floors.  I grew up in a home with hardwood and loved the feel of it underfoot, except when my father put a new coat of bowling alley wax on them once in a while and they turned in to ice hockey rinks, complete with the cold hard reality of falling flat on your back or your face!

So, after agonizing over which hardwood would be best for 2 very active dogs, kids, sand, dust, and messy muddy dirt, I was thrilled to see those gleaming boards running into each and every room of the house, except for the two bathrooms.  I had done my homework, I knew that white oak was hard and durable and that country grade (ie. not select) rift and quartersawn wood had wonderful graining patterns to help hide scratches.   My research had also taught me that by not having any stain applied and by ordering a special finish (one even less shiny than a matte finish to avoid the whole dust problem),  we were assured  years of blissful enjoyment of our wonderful new wooden friends...right?

For the first few weeks after it was installed I wandered around the house admiring my (our) great choice, this was perfect.  I reassured myself that the gorgeous reclaimed lumber flooring I couldn't afford but lusted after was not nearly as pretty as my beautiful new floors.  I even balked at the mere mention of putting down area rugs...what?!...and cover up my handsome new wood floors?!  No way!  But then it happened, the first scratch, I knew it was inevitable, that one day my perfect floors would become....gasp...imperfect, but I wasn't prepared!  I completely freaked and ran out to the store and bought a stain stick, ok two, one to match the lighter grain and one for the darker grain...just in case!

And then another one and another one until finally I just said, you wanted distressed floors so here you go!  I patted myself on the back for my newly adopted live and let live attitude and went about my merry way.  But then this winter rolled around, our first one with the new floors, and it was back...that little, hair on the back of your neck raising, voice in my head screaming, water...on your get a towel and clean up your precious floors!

After the third or fourth snow fall, I've lost count, it finally dawned on me that I was fretting for no real good reason.  Now that may have seemed obvious to some of you already, but sometimes I'm a little late to show up to the party!  All this time I was wanting antique, distressed, 100 year old looking floors, all while babying the heck out of the ones I had!!  The time had come for these floors to quit crawling and learn how to stand on their own two feet, without my towels, Swiffers, or any other sort of coddling cleaning devices!

Now, don't get me wrong, I want my floors to be clean, but worrying about every little drip, scratch, and ding was about to fly out the window just as quickly as the snowflakes were flying in!  The floors I've loved and ooh'd and ahh'd over for years were banged up, worn down, scratched, and all beautiful, so mine would be too.  The farmer's wife wasn't worried about a few puddles of water on the floor of those gorgeous old heart pine floors, and the perfectly gorgeous English oak pub floors I've walked on have seen a muddy boot or two in their time I venture to guess.

Over time I want to achieve that well worn look and have floors as beautiful as these...

Photo:  Mountain Lumber 

Photo:  Mountain Lumber

But for now, things are a lot calmer around here since I've embraced the things that make old floors so desirable in the first place, the dents and marks of the thousands of footsteps and paw prints that have graced them throughout the years.  And everyone here is happy to not hear the constant refrain of wipe your feet and take your shoes off the minute they walk in the door...ok, I still say those things sometimes, just not as often.  I know that there are lots more things worth worrying about, and the good news is that by not worrying, I'm getting what I wanted all along...."woodn't" ya know!


  1. I know..MORE SNOW!!! If it is going to snow... I need skis.. but otherwise.. it can stay in the sky... I am in love with your floors.. divine.. now lets hope they stay clean with this dreadful miser coming in!

  2. When we took up the linoleum in our kitchen, the original fir floors were in pristine condition - they had never been used. The first dog scratch (there would be one billion to follow), the first dropped pan, the first dent left by the guys who delivered our fridge...kinda hurt. Of course, if they were there before they would be called, 'character.' So I've had to remind myself that the dents and scratches we're creating aren't just mere 'accidents,' we're building character! ; ) Trina

  3. What a great post. I too want wonderful hardwood floors, but alas I have carpet. I probably would be like you and drive myself crazy with every footstep on new floors. I am so glad you have learned to relax and enjoy the beautiful floor that you have. Thanks again for the wonderful giveaway. I am so thrilled to have won. Hugs, Marty

  4. We had wood floors installed/repaired/patched up/etc. about 2 years ago. Our wood guy did an amazing cannot even tell where the original wood was vs. the new wood...a talented man! I walked around on eggshells for awhile and then talked to the wood guys wife...she told me to chill out...the hard (expensive) part was done...having them refinished is easy (although a pain to move the furniture). I now try not to look down the hall at certain times of the seems to be where the dog peels out and it full of scratches.

  5. Duh...I forgot...your floors look GREAT! Enjoy them.

  6. I don't think I've ever met a hardwood floor that I didn't like! Love hardwood. -Lili

  7. Your floors look lovely. We are very accepting of the scratches and dents on our year-old floors. Patina is a good thing, you know.

    By the way, I would love my cabin kitchen to look similar to the kitchen with the red and blue chairs. Thanks for that image.

  8. They are really beautiful floors you have. Glad you calmed down, too.

  9. Funny post! Your floors are beautiful, and I'm sure they'll get even more lovely as time passes.
    I'm enjoying your blog ~ think I'll stay and visit a while :+)
    Have a nice day
    Pretty dogs!

  10. Your floors look great! I am amazed at how "distressed" my floors look after only 1.5 years. I think I need to rent the family out to anyone who wants to speed up the aging process.

  11. Those floors are bueatiful, the hering bone pattern is my favorite. your pups seem to be enjoying the floors too.

  12. Your floor is wonderful ... but like you , I love that distressed look.
    Glad to hear you've lightened up a little about your floor maintenance ... I'm sure your family does too!
    That bathroom image is gorgeous!

  13. Your floors look lovely it seems the dogs are enjoying the wood flooring too! :-)

  14. Your floors look lovely it seems the dogs are enjoying the wood flooring too! :-)


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