What We've Been Up To

September 02, 2019  •  1 Comment

Hasn't it been just an odd Summer?   First we had rain and cold every single weekend till like August!   Then it got hotter than blazes and fire season started up in a hurry (lots of fuel).  Now I'm so behind on the "outside projects" I'm scrambling to keep up.  Doesn't appear I will be getting a Fall camping trip in after all but it will just make me more determined to plan a nice long Spring-ish something for next year.

Meanwhile the projects pile up, seems like every time I get one off the list two more show up.  How does that happen?    

I definitely need to get more firewood this year after burning more last Winter than I ever have.  All good but I needed to get what I had split and restacked.   I discovered last year that hydraulic items are not fond of -20F so this year all wood will be split before winter and the wood splitter  will then be safely stowed in the garage.

One other day I got the urge to get up in the Back40 and see if I could get some of the many tree stumps up there removed.  They make mowing difficult at best so I went up with sledge hammer and got to work.  I am happy to report that 80% of the old stumps were ready to give up the ghost and are gone.   YAY!

My next project was to get something protective on the new steps from last year out the sliding glass doors.   Another example of how one project turns into 3!   Oh what  color  to pick?   I knew I wanted to put "deck coat" on them as they were slippery as all get out last year and I'm just not a fan of having to stain every year or maintain that.  That meant I needed to pick a color I knew would work with the NEW house color that would go on next year (hopefully).   So not one decision but 3, deck, trim and house colors.   I ultimately decided on a dark brown knowing I wanted the house back as a tan color (as it doesn't fade as badly).   Chestnut brown it is and I REALLY like this stuff.   It is a Cabot Deck Cote and it is super thick with some texture in it.   Finished those and decided since I had left over I needed to also get the front deck done.   Oh yes in 95F full on sun I was out there with a little foam brush painting between the boards!  THAT sucked.   But it is done and I absolutely love it.  Got a single coat on the posts out front, more for next year but no biggy.  It also turned into a big deal as I had to clean and move everything off the deck.  As I moved my little metal sculptures  I'd set there 10 days prior I was swarmed by wasps and stung.   That was a week of  painful itching fun - NOT.   I also removed the lattice I had on the west end, so I could paint and decided that the trees are big enough now we have shade and I'll just cover the swing with a tarp for the winter and will not replace it.

Next up the already planned replacement of the base board trim on the outside of the house.   The original was 25 years old and was a version of the masonite siding on the house.   The caulk has cracked and I went 20+ years with no gutters so  it was popping off in epic proportions.   Project #2 that turned into more.   As I pulled stuff off I started analyzing the deck out the back door (which is also going to be replaced).   I wasn't going to mess with the boards under that until I discovered the header board holding it to the house had rotted!  Next MAJOR project - deck be gone!   Well that sucker was a mess.  Almost none of the screws would come out so couldn't just dismantle it.  It would require brute force and saws!    I managed to get about 1/3 of it done and since it was built AROUND the utility post was going to need help for the rest.   My friend Robin to the rescue.  She came over and we spent a Friday hauling 2 loads to the dump and sawing the rest of the deck off AND building a temporary step/ramp out the dog door.   I will NOT be replacing the deck but right now have no idea what I'll be putting there but I guarantee it won't be anything attached to the house.    The back door replacement will happen next year and then I'll make a decision.  I was never so glad to have friends that will come to help and to see that thing gone!   Sadly it also means that my old nekkid dogs have to find a new place to lay in the sun as their bench is now  gone.

Out front the board replacement ended up involving removal of my raspberry patch.   I was wanting to replace it anyway so another day spent cutting and using the potato fork to remove root stock.   Will  let the area stay fallow for a few years and keep getting the raspberries that come back out and I'll decide later what to put there.  Removed the fence and that way I have a place to put the snow  off the sidewalk as well (hefting it over the fence was not fun).

I got it all pulled off the front and back (the worst ones) and the nails pulled out, killed more wasps and cleaned up.  Off to get boards for THAT project.   So here is a question, I could get 10' boards (easier to haul) for $20 but when I  looked the same board 12' long was $15.  How do they do that math?  So 12 footers it was and some creative strapping in the truck.

Off to priming and painting the boards which luckily could be done in the shade of the garage and then another friend, Linda, came over one Saturday and helped  me get them put up.  I had just enough to do front and back and it looks SO nice.   It also garnered me a new nail gun which is something I've thought of getting for a while.   Now that they have nice battery operated ones I splurged!  That made tacking them up so much easier.   As of this writing though you'll just have to believe me how good it looks as apparently I've not done photos!     I do want to get 2 more boards to finish  the west short end of the house since I have primer and paint to get them  done.  I don't know if they'll get put up this year but at least they will be ready.

So here I sit today, with my coffee on my front deck going through the ongoing list of projects to do.  Still have to caulk the front boards this morning and then I think it will be starting to get things that are all stashed in the carport (kinda works like a spare bedroom, crap  gets thrown in there) cleaned up, or thrown or whatever so I can get wood ordered.   The glass guys are on the docket to replace one of my dining room windows (it cracked last winter) and the chimney  sweep will be here this month as well.   Who has time to go play - but oh wait.  I kinda did yesterday and those posts will be coming soon (lots of flower photos so buckle up).   Supposed to stay hot yet for another week which will make the boat people happy but means I will be doing projects in the evening


Far Side(non-registered)
Those are some big projects! We have one of those ramps in the garage we used it to get Chance into the car:) Yeah fo0r stump removal and stacking wood. You must feel winter coming on! :)
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