Sunday, August 24, 2008

8/24/08 Color-shopping

Today we took a drive, then short walk, around a neat neighborhood in central San Jose that has lots of older houses, many built in the era our house was. We did this to get an idea of what colors houses of our era were painted. I'd like to get away from white if we can, though white is quite historically accurate for old farmhouses.

As usual, any outing was complicated in spades by having our so-not-go-with-the-flow youngest member of the family along.

Cute as she was, she immediately insisted on stopping or going her own way, and within a few minutes got into a full-on rage that had me just wanting to pack up and put my faith in 1" square paper samples at the paint store.

I'm thinking light gray, Dave's thinking greener, and we saw enough shades inbetween that we're pretty sure we can easily find the right thing. If the factory-painted fiber-cement shingles we have in mind offer a color that's acceptable, that means the whole second story won't have to be painted -- ever! That's a very appealing idea!

Still, we hit paydirt stopping to look at a house whose owner happened to be outside, painting it! He called for his wife, and they explained to us how they'd completely redone their house, and put shingles on the 2nd story as we're considering doing, but weren't happy with the installation. They did exactly what we were doing, driving around looking at other houses to get color ideas, and painted their first story a slightly darker shade than the second (hmm).

They also had an adorable 2-1/2-year-old daughter, who played pleasantly in front while we hurried through the conversation, aware of our little time bomb strapped into the car. The fuse was lit upon being released from the car and given the opportunity to walk around. Boom! There was no winning.

Squarely in the OCD-worrywart department: today I noticed a comment in Gabriel's school's newsletter that congratulated Mrs. Olifant for her retirement from teaching first grade. Mrs. O---?! That's the name of the teacher who gave daily homework! A mom I'd met whose son had just finished first grade with her had told me that it blew them away. I thought the mom had said Olifant, but when there was no Olifant, and there was an Olsen, I figured I just didn't remember right. Retired!

Really, my relief is ill-founded. The school doesn't heap unreasonable work on, and this is about our child's education, after all. In fact, the CDC is offering a "homework club" in which the CDC staff sits with the kids and helps them get through homework. On the surface, it sounds like a great idea, but I'm balking at it. Dave and I -- and Gabriel -- got a lot out of doing his kindergarten homework together. When he's older, the supervision will transition more to just getting it done from how, but I think in first grade we'll still get a lot out of doing it together. So, daily homework...if it happens, we just buck up and deal with it. I have lots of bucking up to do anyway.


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