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There are so many things that need to be done around here on any given day that if I think about them all, my head will explode. I’ve intentionally chosen not to make a list of what I hope to accomplish during my week off, because I don’t want to feel forced to adhere to an agenda — even if it is an agenda of my own making.

It was gray and cold this morning. Just cold enough that even in a sweater and slippers, I had to turn the heat on for a few minutes to warm the house up. I did some reading while sipping my morning coffee. When I felt sufficiently awake I went out and rounded up the water containers from the chicken coop and gave them both a good scrubbing and a bleaching. Then I decided to stain the decks while it was cloudy and cool. Seemed like a better plan than doing it in the hot sun. I worked a few hours on the staining, then came in for a BLT salad while the decks dried enough for the dogs to step upon them. When dried, I let the dogs play for about an hour while I regrouped and the Mad Scientist went to the store for more stain. We’re going to need a lot of stain.

After he returned, he joined me in the task and we put a couple more hours into it. Everything is starting to look really good. Clean, uniformly colored, and protected. It’s pretty clear that nothing has been done to protect the decks in years and years. They’re gray and cracked and very dry. Most of the boards are sturdy and strong still, though there are spots of rot that need to be replaced. I stained the rotted boards too, since I’ve no idea when we’ll actually get around to replacing them.

By late afternoon I was beginning to question the wisdom of buying a house with so many square feet of decking. No wonder they’d not been stained in ages…it’s a lot of work. We’re not nearly done, but what is done looks great.

[In the photos above you can see where we left off when we had a good sunny day way back in about early May. There’s some not touched at all, some patchy coverage of a first coat only, and then there’s a shot of an area with today’s second coat (and edging) in contrast to a top step that still only has the one coat.]

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Meet the Beeves


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One of these ladies is the mother of the cow that will be slaughtered for us in the coming months.

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