Tag Archives: weather

Random musings…

.

Telemarketers have gotten clever over the past few years. They spoof actual businesses and use real people’s names with local numbers to trick you into answering.

Last month our caller ID came up with my own name and number. Though why I needed to call myself has yet to be determined.

Last week?

This:

.

.

It’s like they’re not even trying anymore.

.

.

Covid warnings, Maine style.

.

.

Deer and fading backyard foliage, just because.

.

.

Damn.

I knew I shouldn’t have let my National Geographic subscription expire. Slutty ostriches would have been a good read.

.

.

Deep fried pickled asparagus is not my idea of an acceptable appetizer, but they’re very popular at our local pub right now.

.

.

This describes our current weather quite well. Something for everyone.

And finally, fluffle.

.

.

Because we all need a tad more cuteness in our life right about now.

.

It’s a miracle.

 

We started building our big barn in 2012.

It was a daunting task made all the more so by the fact we only worked on it nights and weekends.

 

 

It was a lot of work…. and though the husband is still actively working on the inside, he’s pretty much had it with the outside.

But the windows, porch door and corners were never trimmed out, and no soffit was put under the eaves.

So…. miracle of all miracles?

I finally talked him into letting me hire the job out.

 

 

Yes. It’s true.

Maybe he was feeling guilty. Maybe he had a stroke.

Either way,  when miracles happen you have to jump on board… so I’m getting estimates for it to be stained barn red with white trim as well. I’ve wanted it painted since day 1, but it’s been an ongoing battle.  Now…. because it’s weathering unevenly and is turning black in spots, I think I won.

 

 

Why don’t I paint it myself you ask?

Because big barn is too frickin’ big.

 

 

This was the apparatus needed to put the siding on years ago.

 

 

Ladder to staging to another ladder?

Oh hells no. Not this chick.

I know all this work is going to cost a fortune, but I’m past the point of caring and just want it done.

 

 

I’m going to keep the porch natural though, and put a lightly tinted sheer stain on that myself.

Yay!

And to think it only took 8 years to talk him into it.

We don’t need no stinkin’ downspout!

 

Or so my husband said when we were redoing the deck railings.

He took the old one down and elected not to put it back up.

Why?

Oh, he mumbled something about tearing down all the old gutters and replacing them, but honestly I think he just didn’t want to mess with it. Which was fine, until rain was in the forecast and I told him it might be a good idea to put it back up.

Life would be so much easier if he listened to me…. but no.

So, it rained.

 

 

Not a lot, but enough so we had a torrent of water flooding the garden bed and sloshing mulch and dirt everywhere.

I didn’t say a word… though I might have smirked.

I mean really. How could I not?

 

IMG_4803

 

So out he went, poor guy.

 

IMG_4804

 

And naturally the downspout didn’t pop back on as easily as it came off.

Numerous adjustments were made.

 

IMG_4805

 

With a hammer and some colorful language.

By the time he was done, he was soaked and the spout was screwed. Literally and figuratively…. because he broke a piece and had to Jerry rig it.

Now wouldn’t this have been easier…. not to mention drier…. if he had just listened to me in the first place?

Men.

You never learn.

Why do they never listen?

 

Yes men, I’m talking about you.

Remember the tree planting miracle I posted about a while ago? When the husband dug up and transplanted 3 maple trees to the far corners of our backyard?

 

IMG_4242

 

Yes, the ones I had to water everyday because we were entering drought conditions.

Well, that stopped when I broke my toe and I told the other half he’d have to take over the job if he wanted his trees to survive.

Water every day I told him.

Which is what I did, religiously, with his little patch of grass seed next to the baby barn.

Under my watchful eye the seed sprouted…

 

IMG_4683

 

And is now green…

 

 

Thick and lush.

The trees?

That the husband didn’t bother to water because of course I don’t know what I’m talking about…..

 

IMG_2322

 

Not so much.

 

IMG_2321

 

After brown?

 

 

Came bare twig.

 

 

If only he’d listened to his wife…

 

 

 

Slow and steady wins the race.

 

But it doesn’t get your deck railing project finished any sooner.

We were back at it and it was still hot.

 

IMG_4662

 

Unfortunately the heat wave coincided with an extended dry spell and our lawn was starting to crunch.

 

IMG_4648

 

But old railings were torn down.

 

IMG_4649

 

And rusty nails exposed.

 

IMG_4650

 

I stained the new wood we had to waste almost 2 hours going to get that morning because someone… I won’t mention who… cut the other pieces incorrectly.

 

IMG_4654

 

And then that someone  (oops, my bad)  discovered a sander in the barn and wanted to play.

 

IMG_4666

 

He was fine on the flat surfaces, but scared me to death when he started trying to sand in between. That thing would hit a beam, jump out of his hand and spin wildly across the deck. It happened a dozen times but I could never quite catch it on film.

 

 

In between his legs.

Close to the power cord.

I knew something was gonna give, and it did.

 

IMG_4669

 

That thing jumped up and sliced his jeans right open. Thankfully he wasn’t hurt, but at that point I said no more sanding!

 

IMG_4663

 

Which he completely ignored and kept sanding.

 

IMG_4659

 

After sanding, and almost slicing his leg off?

He hammered nails.

 

IMG_4661

 

And swept the same portion of deck I had just swept.

Apparently I didn’t do it right.

We did manage to get a few pieces of wood installed before dinner.

With some gentle persuasion.

 

IMG_4678

 

So this was basically it.

 

IMG_4679

 

For a whole days work.

Good thing no one is paying us by the hour……

 

 

 

 

Day 4… deck project.

 

Four days in and we were finally ready to start adding the balustrades.

 

 

This involved a large amount of math, which as we have previously discussed… is not our strong suit.

 

 

Measuring was required. So much measuring. The fractions, the division…

Oh! The horror.

I carefully calculated the spacing of 8 rails for each section. I checked and rechecked to make sure it was accurate.

 

 

Which meant 7 of them fit perfectly.

Am I good or what?

 

 

Okay, so there were seven instead of 8.

 

 

It still looked good and things were flowing smoothly.

 

 

Until the screw heads starting popping off.

 

 

Once they were in the railing.

Which made me cringe…. and the husband grab his all purpose fix it tool.

 

 

Have hammer, will travel.

Thankfully no harm was done and we finished 3 out of the 4 sections before calling it a day.

 

 

One more section here..

 

 

Then we’ll move on to the other side.

Hopefully the heat wave will be over by then.

Hot flashing menopausal Maine women with broken toes do not fare well in temperatures over 90.

 

Another scorcher.

 

Temperatures and humidity rose to an unbearable level but the deck railing project moved on.

Slowly.

And with copious amounts of sweat.

 

 

Rotted wood here.

 

 

Rotted wood there.

And then my husband decided to add the piece of J channel that he was supposed to add 16 years ago when he enlarged the deck.

(No judgement on the dirty siding please, we have yet to buy a new pressure washer.)

 

 

The existing piece only ran halfway and the task of replacing it has been on my honey do list for almost two decades.

So off to the store he went, coming back with white J channel, while the old piece is beige.

This was a problem.

 

 

That he knew he could solve.

 

 

Hours were spent on this tiny annoying detail.

The old piece wouldn’t come out without tearing off the siding, and the siding had been caulked around the door and corner post so that was more hassle than it was worth.

 

 

He tried to slide it over, then under, and then up around the old piece but nothing worked.

 

 

Hot and frustrated, he ended up cutting a section of the old piece out and we were left with this.

 

 

A gap which will probably fill with water when it rains, but hey… it matches.

 

 

And if you’re wondering what I was doing during this time?

 

 

I was breaking the little toe on my right foot which isn’t so little anymore.

Ever the helpful wife, that’s me.

For something so small, it’s amazing how much that sucker can swell and hurt.

The result of my injury?

 

 

Husband had to do my job of staining the new wood.

In what little bit of shade he could find.

An entire day, and only we accomplished 3 things.

Yay us.

And the deck project begins.

 

But not before another trip to the store to buy wood.

 

 

(Yes, I know the husband is wearing his mask incorrectly but his glasses kept fogging up)

Two perfect pieces for the top of the railing had to be found. And even though we were searching through the more expensive smoothed cedar boards?

 

 

They were rife with holes, chops, cracks and warty blemishes.

After 45 minutes…

 

 

We moved on to the 2×4’s.

 

 

Is it any wonder our small weekend projects turn into 3 month long slog fests?

 

 

So this is our deck, and those are the railings that will be replaced.

Hopefully by the end of summer.

Of 2020.

 

 

First step…. remove the old railings.

The first few were easy as they had been screwed.

 

 

Then it got harder with massive doubled rusty nails that didn’t want to let go.

 

 

Did I mention we picked the middle of a heat wave with record breaking temperatures to start this project.

How hot was it….?

 

 

Okay, not quite. Though it felt that way.

That thermometer was sitting on the table in direct sunlight.

It was actually this hot, in the shade.

 

 

And for Maine?

That is insanely frickin’ hot.

 

 

But progress was made.

 

 

And halted when rotting beam sections had to be cut out.

 

 

With 1950’s era tools.

 

 

Yes, I’m afraid so.

And you know what happens when you use power tools from the middle of the last century?

 

 

Nothing good.