Busy Weekend 10/6/2007


We had a busy weekend for the second week in a row.


The primary thing we accomplished was to get the deck stained.Last weekend we got the equipment to wash the deck.We got most of the old stain off the flooring and stairway treads.Then we allowed it to dry for a week.We got a little rain but not too much.Rain was forecast for Sunday, so I took Friday afternoon off and came home to apply the oil base primer to the deck.We accomplished that in good order.We finished just before dark and we were still talking to each other, but both of us were stiff and very tired.


Saturday afternoon we applied the solid color latex stain to the deck flooring.It was much easier to apply than the oil based primer.The primer went on thick and it was hard to spread.Both days, leaves kept coming down and landing on the deck.A few leaves tried to get incorporated into the stain.I didnít take any work in progress pictures, but I took several finished project pictures.Wink agonized over the color of stain to get.I think she found a decent match.The railings and risers have a semitransparent stain on them.We may stain them with the solid color stain next summer.But at least the deck is ready for winter.


Freshly Stained Deck


We went to a house warming party Saturday afternoon immediately after we finished the deck.The weather cooperated and the stain dried over night.There was some heavy dew but no rain yet.


There was a lot to do over the weekend.There was the traditional Quilt Shop Hop.This year Wink made it to 9 of the 10 Quilt Shops.I drove her around Sunday afternoon to three Quilt shops.Frodo came along to keep me company.The other six shops Wink did by herself Friday, Saturday morning and Sunday morning.


There were many other things we would have liked to do this weekend.There was a Humane Society benefit called Woofstock.It sounded like fun but we missed it.There was also a two day book festival at WSU that sounded like fun.


On our travels to the quilt shops, we did see a few houses decorated for Halloween.It does seem to be sneaking up on us.This house was so extraordinary that we back tracked to take a picture of it.


Halloween Decorations


We have a few other home repair projects demanding attention.We plan to replace the shake roof with composite shingles.Hopefully this will help reduce the brown recluse spider problem.Apparently silverfish thrive in the shake shingles and they are the brown recluse spiders favorite food.We plan to bomb the attic when the shingles are gone.We will have to take the birds out of the house when we do that.


We have some masonry difficulties as well.It seems that in an economy measure when the house was built, the builder left out a few things such as the reinforcing in the masonry.So the front steps rock when you step on them.You can see the undermining of the steps.We can patch them as a temporary solution.The best fix would be to remove them and have them rebuilt.


Rocking Steps


A bigger problem is the fascia masonry over the garage door.It is separating from the framing.This may be contributing to our garage door difficulties.The mason is not sure what is causing the problem.If the reinforcing material was left out, it will need to be taken down and rebuilt.The bricks are old and getting matching bricks may be very difficult. Hopefully they can reuse the ones currently in place.


Garage Door Problem


Another problem is that they werenít allowed to use wood preservatives when the windows were installed.Quite a few houses of our vintage are having to get new windows installed already.Here are two examples of problems.The exterior window framing is pressed wood.Here are two places we know of where the pressed wood has fractured.One has a repair that has failed.I am not sure what we can do to get it fixed.


Cracked Frame


Failed Repair


It is all part of the joys of home ownership.One other thing is that the carpets are original to the house.They are showing their age and donít clean up satisfactorily.So if it is not one thing, itís another.It just seems like things sometimes come in bunches.


I took pictures of the Quilt Shop Hop.The camera is not single lens reflex and so the lens and the view finder are separate optics.The lens has an automatic lens cap that is supposed to open when the camera is turned out.It has been periodically sticking.I didnít check today and it didnít open.So the quilt pictures are all black screen.It is an old Kodak 3.1 mega pixel camera.There are a few things I donít like about the camera.The worst thing is I had to buy a base station to get the batteries recharged.The software was not easily configurable and didnít work well.So I put alcohol on the lens to try to wash it out.If it does not recover, I guess I will need an early Christmas present.


This Wednesday I head up to Detroit for Parents Visiting Day at Cranbrook Schools.Meg is a senior this year, so this is my last one.I will be up there from Wednesday night to Sunday afternoon. On Thursday I will have lunch with some old Ford friends. Friday I will go to classes with Meg. Saturday Meg, Andrew, and I will hang out.Iíll try to get some pictures for your viewing enjoyment.



Mark and Wink


PS The camera is in the garbage. It is a dead soldier. Guess Iíll need to find a new one quickly or else use Megís in MichiganÖ