Oh Boy, stick a fork in me…

…I’m totally done. Done staining, done in. Last night was a sleep is optional night, I may have slept for 3 hours, but was awake when it was light and it was cool out, so I donned my painting clothes, dug through old deck stain until I found a gallon and a half of penetrating oil stain, grabbed a couple of brushes, stirred up the stain with the stirring attachment to the power drill, and tackled the coop. Here is a before picture.

The wood was so dry it soaked up a gallon and a quarter of stain. My efforts put me in a rather uncomfortable spot trying to get the peak on the pop door side, it is too high to reach from the ground because of the slope. The step stool was not level, the end with legs pushed down into the ground. That end of the coop sits on several cinder blocks while the other end is only on a thin half block. And the pop door side is the side that has a fencing roof over the pen that doesn’t go all the way to the coop roof, just high enough for us to slip in to open and close the pop door. The sides you see above are the east and south sides and lack any real overhang. When the coop has to be resided in a few years, I hope we can remedy that.

This is after on the west side. To do the coop, I had to hold the gallon can in my right hand while I stained with my left because everytime I set it down, the hens came running over to see what kind of goodies I had in the bucket. My arms are spent. Hopefully, my efforts will give this siding a couple more years before it has to be replaced.

A google search indicates we shouldn’t let the dogs go across the stained porch floor for 24 to 48 hours and Ranger, the Mastiff is still resistent to going through the garage. He goes to the barrier at the porch and just looks at me like why don’t you move it for me. I would be happier if the dogs would learn to use the garage, utility room access and egress regularly, it would keep muddy feet off the front porch and the wood floor in the living room.

Tomorrow we are expecting thunderstorms. If there is any energy left in this body today, the furniture will be swept free of spider webs and dog hair, scrubbed free of bird droppings and ready to carefully carry back on to the porch tomorrow between storms.

I meant to get paint to repaint the old milk can that sits on the front porch and forgot earlier today when we went out for a little while. We also need to get paint to repaint both sides of all the exterior doors, it has been a decade since they were done. That will take a whole day to accomplish and has to be done on a dry day that is cool enough to leave the doors ajar while they dry. It will get done eventually, but before cold weather so the house looks fresh and well maintained for the upcoming autumn weather ahead.

The spider plants are back outside, tomorrow, the rest of the houseplants will join them. The fan is reassembled, the decorative birdhouses hung.

And I climbed the 8 foot ladder to reach up and rehang my terra cotta Sun face that was a gift from my Sis a long time ago.

We bought a new door mat and a matching 4 by 6 foot runner to go from the door mat to the edge of the porch to try to reduce the wear on that high traffic area. It can’t go down until tomorrow evening when it has been 48 hours since staining was done. New mats and furniture will complete the task and the porch will be usable again and the exterior maintenance other than mowing and weeding if it ever really rains again.

Hip, Hip, Hooray

The deck stain for the front porch dries to touch in 1 hour at 50% relative humidity. It is a bit more than that here so it probably took a couple of hours, but many hours before last night’s much needed rain. Not enough rain, but some. Today’s rain chances dissipated, Sherman Williams is open for 6 hours on Sunday, and the stain was on sale, $16 off the gallon price, so a nice sale.

Because the older cans were totally unusable, though they were very old. We used a bit more than half a gallon yesterday doing the rails, balusters, and kickboards, so about a half gallon left to work on the floor, so we only bought one more gallon today. After lunch, I donned my painting outfit and got on my hands and knees to brush the stain on the floor. The boards are 4″ wide and I was using a 4″ brush doing 3 boards at a pass. It took about 9 boards before my knees screamed and I sat, scooting back and forth across the 8 ‘ depth of the porch, moving backwards, every 3 boards. When I got to the post that marks the east opening of the rail, I shifted to the west end to work back toward the middle. As I ran out of the first can, my knees said no and scooting was inefficient and I remembered a square oak plant rolling stand tucked away under the hutch. It was perfect to sit on and push myself back and forth. It took about an hour and a half to get the floor done with a coat and it had to wait 4 hours before it could be recoated. The only areas that really needed two coats were the 15 boards that mark the porch exit and the 3 boards on the west end of the porch that gets full west sun year round. We had put a coat on those boards yesterday while doing the other work, so they got their second coat. After dinner, the heavy traffic entry area got a second coat.

This presents a bit of problem as the dogs are used to coming and going through that door. The German Shepherd will go out the back door and down the deck steps or through the utility area and the garage if coaxed. The Mastiff will not do the open backed deck steps and he has been scolded so many times for going in the garage, he resists going through there even on a leash. A leash and a sliver of the chicken we were having for dinner and two adults managed to get him back inside. The dogs will have to take that route at least tonight and tomorrow morning before I am willing to remove the barricade that prevented them from coming up on the freshly stained floor. By Tuesday, I should be able to brush down the porch furniture and put it back in place, move the houseplants back to finish summering out there, and rehang the two hanging spider plants. I’m glad that job is done. The coop is remaining, but there are expected midweek showers, so it may not get done this week, unless it happens tomorrow.

My conclusion is that knees and backs with more than 7 decades on them don’t like this kind of work.

Almost there, but not quite

Up too early for a Saturday morning, but the young one had to be at Basketball Camp at 8:45 a.m. and it is a bout an hour drive over if there is no traffic, no accidents on the interstate, and they aren’t actively working on the expansion and sound barriers that involve the last 15 or 20 miles of the trip. Before we left, I had to make his lunch, pack a cooler with enough drinks and ice to last him til 5 p.m., get the 16 year old out of bed (no small feat in itself), gather laundry for a load, fix him breakfast that he could eat in the car. We made it and got back to the Farmer’s Market only a bit later than usual for a Saturday and yet many of the goodies I wanted were already sold out. Oh well, there will be another day.

On our way home from the market, we stopped to get a few more paint brushes that hadn’t been in the oil based stain so we could start on the front porch rails, balusters, kickboards, and floor that still needed to be done with the latex stain. We don’t want to wait too long as it was freshly washed Thursday evening.

Hubby and I got it all done except for the floor. He had to quit to go pick up the camper and when I opened the two old cans of stain, one was so separated it couldn’t be remixed even with the paint stirrer on the power drill. The other can that had never been opened except to tint it had sat too long (several years) and it was the consistency of set up pudding. We had one new can and used slightly more than half of it, so there certainly wasn’t enough to do the whole floor. We have thunderstorms, much needed, predicted for tomorrow, so I guess we will go get more stain on Monday and try to finish the job. What we got done looks good and the floor should be easier because it is flat and we don’t have to worry about drips or getting latex stain on the parts that were oil based stained. I’m hoping that by Monday or Tuesday, the staining on the house will be done for this summer. Still have the coop to go, but I will get my tall 16 year old helper to assist on that.

I will be glad when it is done and this furniture put back on the porch.

The pullets have been allowed to free range for the past few days. At first, they stayed very near their coop and pen. Today they have ventured over toward the house, especially if they see me come outside to set sprinklers on the flower bed and vegetable garden. I don’t want them to get as comfortable around the flower garden as the old hens did. I don’t need 13 of them digging up the bed. They are a prolific lot. I have gotten at least 8 or 9 eggs from them every day this week. That’s a lot of eggs, but there are folks that appreciate them.

Here is a basketful, but not all of this week’s as a dozen and a half went to daughter’s house, there are a dozen in a wire basket, we have eaten nearly a dozen this week. The spindle and ball of wool were added to the basket for the last day of July spinning challenge. We had to put our spindle with something that was too many to count. I did this, then also did seashells, because there are too many of them to count. And here are gals that provided them right after they were lured in from free ranging this evening. They still aren’t real good at that skill.

One more day of travel to and from camp and then some other chores can be done.