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Category: Home improvement

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…

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Busy day, quick post

Today The Wandering Monk and I began repairing and preparing to paint the gable end on the north side of Ye Olde Wreck. It’s worse than it looks in that rather sunshiny photo. For instance, the soffit boards … aren’t boards. Those drunken geniuses Jim Beam and Jack Daniel used fiberboard. In the wettest climate in the continental U.S. Fiberboard. Also, there was so much tar on the first two courses of shingles (from an old flat roofed addition, now gone) that we concluded it was more efficient to rip off and replace the affected wood than to attempt to…

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Too darned hot

It’s Too Darned Hot and I’m loving it. Sweating. Cutting walks short. Staying inside with the ceiling fan running. And loving it. I did manage to make use of myself this weekend. The general store had all its plants and a lot of its garden pots 50% off. Although I’m normally too black-thumbed to bother, I spotted a whole lot of pretty succulents. Even I have a hard time killing succulents. So I made these two mini-gardens for the new front porch. —– More missing cats around town — really around town. The latest beloved house pet, posted LOST at…

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Well, that was pleasant

Summer arrived suddenly Wednesday afternoon, and with it a burst of energy and mood uplift. Yesterday I spent very little time at the computer and lots working in the sun. I prepped for next week’s house projects and completed earlier ones. I cleaned windows, put up screens, and let air into the house. I raked and swept and scoped out the work ahead. Then in the afternoon I stretched out on the lawn swing with a glass of iced tea and enjoyed the kind of relaxation you can really enjoy because you’ve earned it. —– Sometime during all this, FedEx…

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Construction guys: Lend me your brains (please)

The fun part of the summer house projects is over. Next it’s getting up on the gable ends of Ye Olde Wreck to clean, paint, de-rot, and add soffits and fascia boards. For that, The Wandering Monk and I conferred and I ordered this extra-wide scaffolding. The Monk doesn’t want to do weeks of elevated work on one of those 27-inch wide jobbies. Or on one of his own perilously improvised contraptions. On June 8, Home Depot made the mistake of entrusting the shipment to an outfit named Non-Stop Delivery.* I will not say that N**-S*** D******* is so incompetent…

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Porch progress in the rain

The Wandering Monk finished up his part of the porch project on Friday. We now have steps. Since then I’ve been working in desultory fashion (and a steady rain) cleaning up the site and making a start on giving visitors a way to get to that nice new porch. The concrete chunks on the sides are only to hold down the black plastic, but the ones in the center might become permanent if they embed nicely in the gravel I don’t yet have. Mostly, I laid this out because I didn’t feel up to hauling all that heavy stuff away.…

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Another good day’s work

Another good day’s work for The Wandering Monk and me … The Monk was embarrassed that it took us 5-1/2 hours to create this simple-seeming frame for the porch cover. But doing so involved a lot of tricky decisions. We had to work around weird roof lines and Ye Olde Wreck’s general oddities. Two of our hours were occupied thinking out the technical problems and putting up a rough proof-of-concept version before heading to the lumberyard for final supplies. We’ve done an amazing job salvaging materials on this and the earlier deck project. By the time we’re done with the…

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Front porch project begins

The Wandering Monk and I began the front porch project yesterday. It was a day of breaking old concrete (him), wheeling concrete slabs and bricks uphill (me), wheeling cartloads of dirt downhill (us), and generally sweating in the sun. Our progress was satisfying, though nothing for the world to admire (so far). As usual with projects on Ye Olde Wreck, though, we’ve “come a long way, baby” from that day, just over five years ago, when fools rushed in and I bought this place. Here’s what the front entrance looked like in May 2013. The overview: The lovely details: Within…

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Garage sale-fu strikes again

Yesterday afternoon The Wandering Monk and I scoped out the next step of the summer projects, a small porch. The front door is on the weather side of the house. So part of the plan is for a simple, transparent cover to keep rain off the Mormon missionaries and out of the house. I wanted 1/4-inch plexiglas, but reality disabused me of that fancy notion. We decided on corrugated fiberglass/acrylic. This morning I was on my way to the lumberyard to see what they had when … yard sale! Yup. Garage sale-fu strikes again. Never before in my life have…

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