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Therapeutic DIY

I’m spending as much of this weekend as I can outdoors and away from the computer.

A dose of sunshine (however watery and cloud-filtered) and a dose of physical work are just the thing to burn away depression. Feels good to get things done, too.

On Tuesday The Wandering Monk and I got the north gable end repaired, trimmed, and almost ready to paint.

Since then I’ve been slooooowwwwwly cleaning, caulking, painting, and otherwise finishing the wall, eaves, and fascia.

Except — drat! — for one spot no more than three feet square. It’s too high to reach by ladder and too far to reach from the scaffold (which can’t be moved by one person alone).

I probably could have put the ladder up on blocks or taped a paintbrush to a stick and leaned out from the scaffolding to finish the job. But why tempt fate? When the Monk returns next week, we’ll tug the scaffolding into place and I’ll have that bit done in an hour.

In the meantime, I’ll rejoice at how far that north wall (and the whole back side of the house) has come since the restoration of Ye Olde Wreck commenced lo those many (5) years ago.

We ended up with one bad cut where the fascia boards join at the roof peak. Long story, but the glare of the sun coming over that peak (even on a cloudy day) makes it hard to see what you’re doing. Rather than further cutting good cedar boards to get the proper angles, I just told the Monk to leave it and I improvised.

The diamond-shaped block is carved in an art nouveau design. I bought a bunch of them on eBay a few years back from the guy who makes them. I’ve used them various places around the house. In some cases, they’re pure decoration. In other spots, like here, they’re decoration that covers a multitude of sins.

Tomorrow is second-coat and touch-up day. I’m glad to have an excuse to keep working outside. Summers sure have gotten short lately. I intend to soak up every moment of this summer’s healing beauty.


  1. Jim Wetzel
    Jim Wetzel July 22, 2018 4:28 am

    You’re doing great work! Keep being careful and don’t get hurt. Even a young woman such as yourself doesn’t bounce so well, after a fall from ladder or scaffold, as she did when she was a little girl. Taking a minute to think keeps your descents nice and slow.

    And there’s your daily safety lecture from an old guy. Carry on …

  2. free.and.true
    free.and.true July 22, 2018 5:32 am

    What an amazing transformation you and the Monk have brought about.

  3. Shel
    Shel July 22, 2018 7:17 am

    What a wonderfully healthy, both physically and mentally, way to spend a weekend. Your neighbors have to be as impressed as the rest of us. The place really is amazing.

    And you were equally wise not to take physical risks. The very day Irma was coming in, I decided I needed to make sure my gutters were cleaned. At the end of one the stepladder support isn’t level and it’s always a little touchy, but manageable, cleaning there. This particular day the stepladder decided it no longer wanted to be upright. Fortunately I know how to fall, so I was unhurt. Lying on my back mostly on grass but partly on concrete it belatedly occurred to me that breaking a bone the day a major hurricane was coming in wasn’t the brightest move I could have made. So you were very smart about that, too.

  4. Joel
    Joel July 22, 2018 7:56 am

    I know I’ve said it before, but I can’t ever look at a “before” picture without thinking “Her neighbors must love her…”

  5. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran July 22, 2018 8:10 am

    Wow, it looks great, Claire! You and Monk are doing a heckuva job on your house!

  6. Comrade X
    Comrade X July 22, 2018 9:35 am

    Ditto’s on what Joel said!

  7. coloradohermit
    coloradohermit July 22, 2018 3:00 pm

    What an improvement! You and Monk sure do nice work!

  8. John
    John July 22, 2018 8:46 pm

    F’ing awesome.
    Example to those who aspire to do stuff!
    Attitude, and that effort thing.
    We could even send Pelosi and Feinstein to Mars or Andromeda !!…

    Um, I left out some other candidates…

  9. fred
    fred July 22, 2018 11:31 pm

    So glad to hear you stayed safe.You have a great eye for color.

  10. Noah Body
    Noah Body July 23, 2018 12:05 pm


    Don’t send THEM to Mars. I want to go there myself.

    Believe it or not, I saw this on some home decor, and I agree completely:







    Moving to Mars, where humanity has a second chance to get it right.

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