Tuesday, February 07, 2017

All hands on deck

This weekend had one job on the list: Re-staining the deck outside our house. We’d had it washed recently, and due to delays in that caused by weather, it wasn’t possible to get the job done. This weekend, we did.

Last weekend I painted the retaining wall next to our deck, but I couldn’t start work on the deck itself because the washing wasn’t finished. Because of further delays, that wasn’t completed until Friday, two or three days later than planned.

At the same time, on Friday evening my current gout attack took a sudden and severe turn, so much so I went to be early and I had trouble sleeping. Had I been bale to sleep soundly that night, I’d have had more than nine hours of sleep when I got up—but in reality, it was maybe seven. I took Saturday off to rest and recover.

Sunday was more promising, but, even after extra sleep again, I was still tired, and still wasn't walking all that well. I took Sunday off, too.

Monday was the Waitangi Day public holiday, and the last chance to get it all done. I went out in the morning and scrubbed a couple spots on the deck that the guy had missed—underneath a couple planters that he apparently thought were heavy because they look like stone (they’re actually fibreglass), plus under the trunk of a tree that bent low over the deck in one area.

While that dried, we went off to run a couple errands and to have an early lunch. We got back just past noon, and were ready to begin, only to realise that the person at the Mitre 10 Mega had sold us the wrong deck stain—even though we showed her a photo of what we wanted and questioned her when it was came a metal can, not a plastic pail. So, while Nigel went to exchange those for the right ones, I started the cutting in with the leftover stain from last time.

He returned, after going to two stores to get the stain, and I continued on with the cutting-in while he started the mopping part. As it happens, Monday was also probably the hottest day of summer at our house: 32 degrees or so (about 90F) on our deck, which, since it was where we were, was all that mattered. The sun was also very intense.

Fortunately, by then the sun was already moving behind some trees and large parts of the deck were in the shade. There was only one part of the deck that was really hot and uncomfortable, since it gets full sun most of the later afternoon.

And yes we were sunsmart: We wore SPF 50+ sunscreen and hats.

Nigel’s sister stopped by and helped us finish up at the end of the afternoon, and we were done by about ten to six. It was still hot then, and Nigel and I were exhausted. We were both asleep by about 8:30 or so that night.

Because I went to bed so early, I got plenty of sleep, so I didn’t feel too tired today—a little sore, maybe, but not bad. The work also hadn’t caused a new flare-up of the gout attack—but, then, that’s what I thought last week at this point, too.

This morning, the deck was still pretty sticky, but the day was warm and the sun came out around midday, so it continued to dry. But last time it was sticky for a couple days, too.

And, despite all that, there are areas of the deck that will need a second coat, mostly because the guy who washed the deck reduced some it to bare wood due the build-up of moss, mould, and such. Maybe this coming weekend, weather permitting.

Even so, the deck looks much better than it did before we started, and it all has protection from the weather now. It’s just that for the sake of appearance it needs some more stain.

And that’s how I spent my holiday this weekend—doing chores, just like last week’s public holiday. It's just what happens when you have to look after a house.

The next public holiday isn’t until Easter Weekend in April. That’s a four-day holiday weekend, of course, but one in which I will NOT plan any big projects. Right now, I feel like I’ve done enough for this decade year.

The photo up top is in the morning, before I washed the parts of the deck. The photo at the very bottom of the post is self-explanatory, except my back was in the sun at that point. But here are two more of the project, each captioned with an explanation:

Detail of the work: before, left, and after, right. I painted the retaining wall last week.

The squarish area in the middle of this photo is where the spa pool was while we pained it's usual spot.

A photo posted by arthur_amerinz (@arthur_amerinz) on

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