After dinner on Friday, Dan took Peter to a friend's house for a sleepover. While he was gone, I got out the painter's tape and started taping the floors of the stairwell.
Dan has painted the stairwell and hall twice now because he loves me very much. He could care less about dirty hand-prints down the entire length of the hallway (which is why we (he) painted it the first two times) or a bad paint color choice (which is why we are painting it now).
I had just finished taping the lower portion when he got home and I helped him bring the giant ladder up from the basement. Our ladder is an adjustable ladder like this one:
It can be be made into a short ladder, a medium ladder, a long ladder or scaffolding depending on how you lock the hinges.
After we brought the ladder up from the basement, we put down the tarps so paint wouldn't spill on my new wood stairs. When we had the wood floors put in down stairs, we also had them put in going up the stairs.
The whole project of painting the stair well had me very nervous. The stairwell consists of steps going up to a decent size landing, and then there is a turn and the steps go up to the second floor. And it's 15 feet from the landing to the ceiling so painting and taping this area is a huge pain in the rear end. However, Dan is cheap so it's a pain he's willing to deal with.
I helped him adjust the tallest position. Like the picture on the right:
Because of the design of the stairs, Dan had the top portion of the ladder leaned against the wall over the stairs and the bottom portion situated right up to the wall on landing. Here's a picture to help explain better:
And just for a little more perspective, if I stand underneath that window, and reach my arm straight up, I can reach almost half way up the window. So it's tall in that stairwell even though it doesn't appear to be in these pictures.
I was paranoid about Dan going up the ladder but he's done it twice before and he's not afraid of heights like I am. All was going well until we adjusted the ladder a bit so he could reach the ceiling right over the top of the stairs and then THE LADDER SLIPPED. (When he painted before, the carpet kept the ladder from slipping. But now that we had hardwoods, the ladder/tarp slipped.)
I screamed at the top of my lungs and y'all that scream was blood-curdling!
But instead of Dan plummeting to his death as I had envisioned, the bottom of the ladder got wedged into the wall and the top of the ladder went right through the wall:
Dan managed to hang on to the ladder while it was sliding down the wall and didn't even fall off.
However, in the split second that it took for the ladder to slip, I had envisioned the ladder slipping down the wall until it reached the air, then the ladder hitting the bottom steps with Dan on it and then Dan's mangled body resting underneath it.
Hence, the blood-curdling scream.
I was extremely rattled but Dan was fine. So fine, in fact that he immediately starting googling how to patch large holes in dry wall. I, however, immediately began to ask him if we could just call the painters in to do this job. And as soon as he seemed sort of agreeable, I sent our painter a text and he's coming on Friday. I also sent him a picture of the giant holes in the dry wall and he said he can fix those as well.
I'm so glad I got him booked because about 30 minutes after I did that, Dan started saying how it was going to cost too much, how he could do it himself, how it was a waste of money. BLAH BLAH BLAH. And I knew he would do that which is why I booked the painters as soon as he seemed agreeable. This ain't my first rodeo.
The only downside is now I will have to spend the next 10 years (or maybe more!) hearing Dan complain that he really could have done it himself.
I guess I will just keep this picture around to remind him of the truth!
And just in case you were wondering, we spent the weekend painting some old furniture so all was not lost. And next weekend, we will paint the bonus room which involves zero adjustable ladders - just one really short normal ladder that even I can handle!