Friday, August 3, 2012


I had no idea how many things the word "prime" could refer to, but here's what the dictionary had to say about it:


[prahym] adjective, noun, verb, primed, prim·ing.
1. of the first importance; demanding the fullest consideration: a prime requisite.
2. of the greatest relevance or significance: a prime example.
3. of the highest eminence or rank: the prime authority on Chaucer.
4. of the greatest commercial value: prime building lots.
5. first-rate: This ale is prime!
6. (of meat, especially of beef) noting or pertaining to the first grade or best quality: prime ribs of beef.
7. first in order of time, existence, or development; earliest; primitive.
8. basic; fundamental: the prime axioms of his philosophy.
9. Mathematics . (of any two or more numbers) having no common divisor except unity: The number 2 is prime to 9.
10. the most flourishing stage or state.
11. the time of early manhood or womanhood: the prime of youth.
12. the period or state of greatest perfection or vigor of human life: a man in his prime.
13. the choicest or best part of anything.
14. (especially in the grading of U.S. beef) a grade, classification, or designation indicating the highest or most desirable quality.
15. the beginning or earliest stage of any period.
16. the spring of the year.
17. the first hour or period of the day, after sunrise.
18. Banking . prime rate.
19. Ecclesiastical . the second of the seven canonical hours or the service for it, originally fixed for the first hour of the day.
20. Mathematics .
      a. prime number.
      b. one of the equal parts into which a unit is primarily divided.
      c. the mark (′) indicating such a division: a, a′.
21. Fencing . the first of eight defensive positions.
22. Music .
      a. unison ( def. 2 ) .
      b. (in a scale) the tonic or keynote.
23. Linguistics . any basic, indivisible unit used in linguistic analysis.
24. Metallurgy . a piece of tin plate free from visible defects.
verb (used with object)
25. to prepare or make ready for a particular purpose or operation.
26. to supply (a firearm) with powder for communicating fire to a charge.
27. to lay a train of powder to (a charge, mine, etc.).
28. to pour or admit liquid into (a pump) to expel air and prepare for action.
29. to put fuel into (a carburetor) before starting an engine, in order to insure a sufficiently rich mixture at the start.
verb (used without object)
33. (of a boiler) to deliver or discharge steam containing an excessive amount of water.
34. to harvest the bottom leaves from a tobacco plant.
Today I accomplished #25 (verb used with an object): to prepare or make ready (kitchen cabinets) for a particular purpose or operation (painting).

I find the English language fascinating. I always have, but learning another language has made me appreciate my "mother tongue" even more. And I find it especially intriguing that we learn all the complexities of language as we are growing up, without putting a lot of thought into it. Yes, we "learn" English in school, but when you really think about it, most of what we know is instinctively learned from interacting with those around us and from reading. So that when we are "taught" some fact about our language, we are able to place it in our memory bank with real life examples and experiences. 
In other words, we "get it" because we've experienced it. It's one thing to be taught that "I do" something while "he does" it, but we instinctively understand the truth of this because we have been hearing people say "I do" or "he does" our whole lives. 
And it's a prime (adjective) reason for teaching children a second language when they are very young. Or at least when they're in the prime (noun) of youth, and their brains are still little sponges. Being on the other end -- learning a language as an adult, when it's REALLY HARD -- makes me see more and more the wisdom of this. If I had it to do over, I would push for Ivan to teach the kids Spanish from the cradle. Sadly, there are no do-overs. Es lo que hay. A prime (adjective) example of a wasted opportunity.

Okay, enough with the vocabulary lesson...
In order to have room to paint inside (where the wind couldn't blow leaves and debris onto my freshly painted cabinets) we did some furniture shuffling, spread a tarp down in the dining room, and voila! Paint Central was created. 

It will take me a few days to finish the cabinets. I plan to do at least two coats, and preferably three, to ensure a nice, durable finish. Years ago when I painted the kitchen cupboards at the parsonage I ended up doing three coats and it held up really well, only needing touch ups every couple of years. 

We bought the primer and paint last night, and I have to tell you, it was not easy choosing a color when all we had to go on were tiny little 1"x1" samples. In the end I chose Marshmallow, a.k.a. Sherwin Williams #7001. Which I just looked up online and what I'm seeing on my screen (again a small sample) looks nothing like what I saw in the store. I thought I was picking a grayish white, because I don't want the cabinets looking yellowish after a while. On the screen it looks creamier. I guess we'll see once the cabinets are done!

Looking at all the shades of white last night made me think back to when we were painting the interior of the parsonage before we moved in. Ivan told me I could paint it any color I wanted, as long as it was some shade of white :) He pointed out there are many, MANY shades of white. But for this lover of color, that was a hard pill to swallow. I did manage to sneak in some very pale pink (called seashell) when I painted 8" stripes in the bedroom, along with the white. Which was called "organdy", by the way.

A couple years later we were visiting friends who had just painted their main living area a lovely shade of butter yellow. Ivan commented how much he liked it, and faster than you could blink an eye, I'd gone and bought several gallons of it to paint our main living areas :) In the end, by default and not by design, there wasn't a white wall left in the parsonage. In fact, most of the rooms were some shade of yellow (my favorite color). 

Which is why it might surprise you to learn I'm planning on painting the interior of the casita white! Yes, WHITE! Not just the cabinets are getting a makeover in blanco. My reasoning is simple: it's a small space with only one window per room, so to avoid it feeling like a cave I'm going for bright white and plenty of it! On the walls, on the ceiling, on the cabinetry... It should also really suit the rustic style of the structure, along with the reddish and perfectly imperfect ceramic tile we'll be installing on the floor. 

There's also the distinct possibility I'll choose white for the house. But that's a year or so down the road and I could change my mind. And probably will, about forty-eleven times, before making a final decision. Because at this point I am having a serious case of DMD (decision-making disorder). I love me a little color, but I'm wondering if color on the walls, color on the furniture, color in the accessories might not be too much? So should I paint the walls white, like a blank canvas, and let the furnishings sing?

What's your advice? Are most of your walls white or another color? Do you have a favorite shade of white? If so, what is it? I could use some help!


Betty WSch. said...

Most of our walls are off white. Hielo, they call it here. I like colored walls, but get sick of them quickly and getting my hubby to say yes, for another coat of a hard thing....
I had to laugh at your explanation of the word prime. Reminded me of our WwF games. Y

Mari said...

I think all our walls used to be off white, until I decided I needed color. Now we have tan (Living room), green (bedroom), rust(dining and kitchen) and blue(Bathroom). Good luck in choosing your shades - it's a terribly hard decision for me to make!

wallymetts said...

We have no white walls...

The Bug said...

We have tan walls in the living room & kitchen & cream ones in the bedrooms. We rent, & although I'm sure the landlord wouldn't care as long as it looked nice, I'm also sure that I'M not going to be painting :)

But I love some colorful walls. My old boss had a sort of brick red living room that was gorgeous. Of course, that limits your decorating possibilities...

Anonymous said...

Our kitchen cabinets are white, and they have gotten so dirty from spills and splatters (and dogs) that I don't think I would choose it again. I like magazine pictures of pristine white kitchens, but in practice, it was a blank slate for dripped sauces and dribbled dishwater and splashes of oil. Our upstairs hallway is white as well, but our dogs rub up against the walls (much like little children drag their hands on the walls) and there is a dirt streak all the way down the hall. So, while I like the idea of white, in practice I prefer colors that hide dirt more.

rita said...

Prime definitions! You've got to be kidding!
Know whacha mean about never knowing what the color will turn out from just a tiny swatch. I am so grateful how ours turned out. Only one I hope to do over sometime. Not any time soon, tho.
The laundry/utility room is a bright white, very bright. I'm just glad that room is finished. My other one had unfinished areas.
I'm sitting here in our living room, watching the Olympics, reading blogs, and sending an occasional word to my brother all the way in Argentina. Isn't that amazing?