It's like Who's on First? We all know the definition of insanity and sometimes, at moments like this one, I feel that I may go insane. But instead I will reach for brush and paint. Not a canvas, but a wall. I love paint. House paint. One of my favorite things is paint, or actually color. There is nothing non-living that gives me greater pleasure than color. It has the ability to lift my spirits and correct my attitude like nothing else can. I don't know why but it's always been this way. When I was younger and felt sad, mad, or just needed a pick me up I would head to CVS and pick up a new shade of lipstick and a nail polish. This always did the trick. If you haven't tried it you should. My mother was upset one day so I put her in the car and took her to the pharmacy to give it a whirl. She looked at me sideways, this was a fix just for me it seemed, not for her, and steered me straight away from the door and into Brigham's for a hot fudge brownie sundae with extra fudge and extra walnuts. Comfort comes in many forms and this was hers. When I walk down the street and see a house I don't think, "That door would look better in green, but rather, "Wouldn't that house be happier if it had a granny smith apple green front door?" I can't help it. Six years ago we bought our home. It was a disaster plain and simple. Over one hundred years of neglect and decay but I loved it and I wanted to rescue it. I looked at the cracked and crumbling walls and ceilings, bare bulbs hanging, squirrels running in and out of the broken plaster and felt an obligation to help. Papa was still living in Lawrence at the time he but reluctantly agreed to bring his crew down to help me restore the structure of the house. I had put my life on hold to care for my mother when they needed me and I was not above leveraging the money in my guilt bank. I believe dad's exact words upon seeing the house were, "Dee Dee, I am 70 years old. It will take the rest of my life to fix this house." My response was, "It may Dad, but I am only 30 so it won't take the rest of mine." And we were off. Dad sat in a lawn chair barking orders while his loyal crew of French Canadians worked for weeks to reframe and side my house. Like any good cobbler's child, Papa was useless around our own home. His two favorite words have long been my two least favorite. They are Good and Enough - in combination. Budget being an issue I had to choose a long lasting, low maintenance siding solution. We decided the best course of action was to cover the house in vinyl. As a side note, this house wasn't just covered in asbestos, it was clad in asbestos shingle that was won in a jelly bean counting contest at the Topsfield fair in the 1960s. I wasn't thrilled to be putting vinyl on my house as I embrace change and love to have flexibility with color, but economy prevailed and it was the only option. I settled on Oxford Blue. All the other houses on the street were white with the exception of one which belonged to my friend and neighbor, Big Al. Yellow has always been my favorite house color, but out of respect for someone I liked and who was here first, I moved on down the color wheel. Three sides of the house were to be done is standard vinyl with the front side covered in something they call "cedar impression." This means that from far away you can fool your neighbors into thinking you're house is clad in cedar. Sweet. So with three sides finished and only the front of the house remaining I am approached by my carpenter and asked to choose a color. "For what?" I ask. The house is blue. We're almost done. Unfortunately no one had mentioned to me that this new material came in only two color options at the time. White and Cream. Dad pitched, what to me would turn out to be a total design fiasco, as "adding an accent color. It'll give it some interest." I took design advice of a man who wore clogs with a silk blouse and installed a colored water fountain on our front lawn. Tonight, six years after the fact, we are still discussing affordable options for replacing this blue siding. While it might go unnoticed by many and it might bother even less, for someone who gets excited when Rustoleum releases a new product, I experience a physical reaction every time I drive up. It's akin to going to an interview and realizing you're wearing navy pants with your black suit coat. It's a clear cut mistake and if you are anything like me, you will want to go home immediately and change. At dinner tonight in an attempt to drum up a common conversational ground with Papa I say, "so Dad. I had an idea today. Instead of taking all the blue off three sides of the house, maybe we take the cream off the front and make the whole house blue." "The white is good." "I know Pop, but it's more economical to try and correct this in the other direction. You know. Fix one side vs fixing three." "Fix three what?" "Three sides of the house." "Why would you do that. It's good enough." "I know it is Pop, but it bothers me and people comment on it." "Tell them to go f themselves. It's your house" "No Dad, I can't do that. And it's not for them, it's for me. Never mind. I'll just make it a blue house." "Blue? Our house is blue?"