Sunday, April 17, 2005

What I Did On My Summer Vacation, Part 1

Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day. No heavy rain causing basement flooding, no heavy snow causing highway closures. Nope, just sunshine and mild temperatures, and a whole list of things that needed to be done while the weather was nice.

Mortar Work
First on the list was to attempt a repair to a stone step that has been broken since the beginning of winter. This meant that Friday after work I needed to get some mortar mix and the stuff that goes into doing such a repair - some gray cement dye to make the repair less obvious, and a bargain general-purpose trowel. I couldn't find, and didn't really need, a mortar board, and a coffee can and a broken piece of trellis sufficed for mixing the mortar, and I already had the leather gloves that are a must when dealing with mortar. (Helpful hint: when shopping for mortar mix or masonry products in general, do not wear black clothing.)

I don't know how well or badly I did this repair - this was my first mortar job ever. Right now I have the broken/repaired part of the step guarded by a flower pot and a plastic garden statue, so the mailman or paperboy won't step there and break their necks. I'll let the weather test the quality of my fix.

Adirondack Chair Priming
Now it was time to start on my two new Adirondack chairs. Open the boxes, lay out the pieces, get out the wood primer, begin priming. After an hour or so of applying white primer to the disassembled bodies of two chairs in bright sunlight, I was pretty much snowblind.

Grapevine Trellising
Next came the problem of what to do with the mystery grapevine that spontaneously appeared in my back yard last year. I bought some steel stakes and twelve feet of galvanized 1/16" wire to string through them. Planting the stakes was a bit of a pain, but the grapevine has lots of tendrils that made handy hooks for hanging it from the wire. Maybe this fall I'll have some mystery grapes from my mystery grapevine.

Rosebush Pruning
While waiting for the primer to dry I pruned all the rose hips off my Royal Highness rosebush. When you're dealing with a rosebush that's five feet tall and eight feet across, that's quite a feat.

Adirondack Chair Assembly and Painting
After waiting a few hours for the primer to dry it was time to assemble the chairs. This takes some doing, but I got it done fairly quickly. Now it was time to paint the chairs, the same shade of milky green ("jade sandstone") that I painted my first Adirondack chair last year. This took a lot of time with my little 2" chip brush.

Dinner and Shower
Now it was time for a quick dinner - Burger King hamburgers, shared with Haley - and a quick shower before the final event of the day. During my shower I discovered that I had gotten my first dose of farmer's tan (restricted to head, neck, and forearms), as well as a lovely sunburn on the small of my back. (Good thing my shirt rode up instead of my pants riding down, or this burn might have been a lot more painful than it is.)

Blue Sundaze Show
Now it was time to dash off to see my friends in Blue Sundaze play in a bar some 20 miles away.

Blue Sundaze: Derrick, Ray, Rose, and John Posted by Hello

The show was great, as always. The crowd really livened up when the guys from Black Dog showed up with their families and friends. Hopefully, Blue Sundaze will have another show scheduled soon.

Then I went home and went to bed. The End.

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