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Saturday, August 19, 2006

House update

Lisa from Amazing Grace pointed out that I haven't mentioned the house recently, and asked if that meant I was done. Hah! I say again, Hah!

So here's an update:

I basically lost all of July. July was just unreasonably hot, and when it wasn't hot, it was raining. Bad combination for getting stuff done. I didn't get anything done in July. At least, nothing much. At least, not since early July.

Oh, the sides of the steps are now painted. Also I've painted the edges of the porch boards. This is mainly so the porch will look sort-of painted to casual passers-by (especially shorter ones), but also so I can get the rest of the painting done from the comfort of the porch itself. I've also painted the boards that we used to replace the rotted-out boards in late June.

Lat week I planned to paint the last two parts of the steps that need painting: the toeboard on the top step (which runs under the porch itself) and the toeboard of the bottom step (which is directly above a large slate sidewalk.) I also planned to make a start of scraping, sanding, and painting the porch itself. Hah, again.

The top toeboard was a mess. Peeling paint everywhere, long cracks in the paint. This will be easy, I thought. Wrong. The top layer of paint was quite willing to come off, but not all at once. I was taking off little sheets of badly-applied paint one or two inches at a time. And every once in a while there would be a tiny spot of paint that had decided to hold on for dear life. So I spent the entire allotted time hacking away at the top layer of badly-applied paint with a putty knife, and never got to the bottom toeboard, or anything else. On the plus side, I think I got it all off, revealing the dark blue color that the porch had been painted decades ago.

Today, groggy with the aftereffects of a late-night phone call and an early-morning dental appointment to get a filling replaced, I went over to the house around 2:00, armed with my rechargeable weedwhacker and big plans. I whacked weeds until the battery was drained, and then it was time to deal with the porch.

By now it was raining, so I decided against priming and painting. Instead I would focus on sanding. I sanded the hell out of the top toeboard and then turned my attention to the porch floor. It didn't go as fast as I expected. A half-hour to do five boards, about 15 inches of a 30-foot-wide porch. 15 down, 345 to go.*

I called it quits after a short while because it was time for church. I nodded off a few times during Mass - God's way of telling me I really need more than three hours of sleep, even on a Friday night - walked back to the house, and dozed for about a half-hour in a recliner. I decided to pack things in. Since I would be toting a wheedwhacker covered with wet grass and weeds, I left through the back door.

I looked at the lawn. Hmmm, I thought, this could do with a little mowing. So I fired up the reel lawnmower and jogged back and forth across the lawn in a light drizzle while at least one neighbor watched from the safety of her porch and wondered what species of madman had moved into her neighborhood.

Then I discovered that a wheedwhacker with a fully-discharged battery, when allowed to sit by itself, will rebuild some of that charge. So I carried on with the weedwhacking. Twice.

And then it was time to go.

More fun tomorrow!

*Actually slightly less, since I've already painted the extreme edges, maybe six inches on each side. So, let's say 27 down, 333 to go.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Remember when I said I laughed at your home improvement schedule? I'm still laughing! :-)