One would think that for all the HGTV I watch and for all the crafty stuff I do, that I would be God's give to do-it-yourself-home-enhancement.
One would be wrong. Very wrong.
My cottage porch was in great need of restaining (among other things) and the weather has been so lovely, my time so open, it seemed like a plan.
Step one: Buy the stain.
Step two: Wash down the porch thoroughly, inside and out with bleach. (Only the parts getting stained, I might add... not that the rest couldn't use it.)
Step three: Put on painting clothes (this consisted of an inside-out Weight Watchers t-shirt, white of course. And my favorite (and dark) shorts.
Step four: Start slapping the stain on.
Well, so far, so good. I did the exterior first, knowing the sun would dry it more quickly, because it is, after all, a beautiful sunny day. (I did leave the tall parts for Rick because there's no way I'm standing on a kitchen chair or a folding beach chair to paint the top.)
(Let me add here that apart from the fact that I don't like being on unsupported heights, even short heights, I was more worried about the chair collapsing. It's time to start counting points again.)
I took a break to read a marvelous funny book about knitting (more about that below) and have a Tab. Then back to the inside.
All of this to the melody of classical music from the public radio station. I would rather have had show tunes or Celtic to move me along, but the rousing pieces inspirational. (I did, however, want to throw the paintbrush at the tenor singing Mahler. I didn't know Mahler wrote songs, I just thought he did music -- but I digress.)
I should add that my Executive Assistant, Mr. Gyps, was no help at all. He looked at my holding the porch door open to apply stain to the edges as his opportunity to cruise the 'hood. He did not cruise long. About 30 seconds.
After that, he proceeded to retire to the comfort of his favorite chair, till I kicked him off that to get to the inside beams and he took up on the chaise.
The WW shirt came off after a particularly aggressive brushing into a pine knot spattered me with deep Wedgewood blue (which is supposed to dry gray).
I will say stain comes out of clothing (and skin) much better than anything Golden. I nearly went to the dermatologist after Craft Camp, thinking this odd mark I could barely see on the back of my arm was skin cancer. Kate reminded me it was permanent violet dark, and three days later, after persistant loofaing, it was still there, but fading!
That was replaced by a Hawaiian print tankini top. Let's just say I was glad the neighbors weren't around. So are they, though they may not know it.
After doing most of the inside, I turned about and boom, tripped into the wall. So, the shorts are on the line with the shirt.
I was very glad the roofers working on the house on the other side of the wooded lot weren't looking about as I trotted the shorts out while in my underwear, uncertain of which clothes to risk next.
I've a wee bit to go near the floorboards, but the back was aching and I needed a break! Having said that, I heard thunder in the distance... back to it.
I am so grateful to have a house to come to like this that I shouldn't grouse about caring for it. But oh, I want to work on my journals, read my book and play with my new toy. (Yes, Beth L., I bought a Cuttlebug!)
After all that work, I was delighted to enjoy at lovely dinner on the patio at my friend Annette's cottage.
Annette is an terrific photographer, but an even better hosta-master and her garden in this sandy northern soil is magical and amazing.
She also has one of the best views on the lake, on a high bluff with a western exposure. We didn't have the greatest sunset of all time, unfortuately -- too many clouds. But the view at twilight was lovely enough.
Now, about that book...
If you have a chance to buy this book...
Do it now. Don't wait. Not if you love laughter, and not if you love knitting (is the best part of the book the wonderful, laugh-out-loud humor or the 14 patterns at the back, all of which include a wine recommendation for knitting that particular project?!).
My friend Maryanne introduced me to Crazy Aunt Purl and I can't put it down! The good part is that when I finish, I can still revisit Crazy Aunt Purl online here or make one of the patterns!
Most of the projects are nice normal things like purses and scarves and hats and blankets. But anyone who can knit a cat-tunnel is all right by me!
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