She's getting close. I've been saying that for a while now, but I'm running out of things to do in an effort to put off dealing with the railing.
This weekend I got the tongue and groove beadboard ceiling installation finished up, painted the perimeter real quick, and got it trimmed out with quarter round. There's still more painting to do on that front, but otherwise...railing time.
I wanted to throw some paint on the ceiling before calling it a day on Saturday, but the dogs wanted to check out the porch progress so instead we wrapped up the evening by just hanging out on the dusty porch floor.
Roscoe would be right up on the edge like Freckles if he weren't so old and in poor health. He pretty much has to use his front half to drag his back half around; any time he can lay down to take some weight off his back legs, he's all about it. I think he'll like the porch when it's all done and cleaned up. I know Freckles will -- it'll give her a whole new vantage point for squirrel-watching.
Speaking of the dogs, weekend porch progress is usually hampered a bit by meal-prepping for the dogs. I know that probably sounds ridiculous to anybody who 1, doesn't have dogs or 2, has dogs but feeds them "dog food". Roscoe and Freckles do get regular ol' dog food, Merrick stuff, but they get a pretty fair amount of "people food" too. I've always shared food with Roscoe but the older he gets the more thought and effort I put into cooking him food aimed at addressing his health situation(s). Joint strength and pain management/mitigation, really.
This weekend I fired up a new recipe, something with zucchini. Apparently zucchini is pretty good for arthritic dogs, but Roscoe's gotten picky in his old age and meat and eggs are the only thing I can really count on him eating. Freckles, on the other hand, is a little food vacuum. She eats her food, every last little piece, then scavenges around Roscoe's bowl to eat anything he spits out.
The recipe was something like
So far Roscoe's eating the stuff, which makes me happy. I don't know that it'll have any real effect but the deal he and I worked out is that as long as he keeps waking up each day, I'll keep trying to turn back the clock.
Back to the porch. Today, Sunday, I got a little paint up and knocked out the quarter round. It shouldn't have taken me all day but I put in a little yard time with Freckles and some of the quarter round took me a few cuts to get just right.
One post required a coped 135° joint, another post required me to miter a couple pieces of trim at 67.5° each, not a gimme cut on a standard miter saw. But the trim is up and honestly, I really like it. Kinda wish I wasn't going to paint it the same color as the ceiling and make it totally blend in, but no part of me wants to paint it a standalone color.
I'll probably get the rest of the ceiling painted Monday after work, and then...the railing work really begins.
I've really slacked on these blogs, which is probably a byproduct of working every waking minute (not really, but it feels like it more often than not) on the porch. Care to guess what I've been working on the past couple days?
NOT THE PORCH.
I needed a break. And, porch lumber scraps had piled up enough that I needed to get a dumpster out here so that's what I did. I got a dumpster, and I started filling it up...with bricks and stone.
I don't have any legit "before" pics because the original plan was to only spend about half a day grabbing the easy-to-grab masonry debris that you see in the pic and throwing it away. One thing led to another and I figured since I started the job, I may as well finish it.
But that pic doesn't do the situation justice. This spot in the yard isn't viewable from the street OR my neighbors' houses, which has made it the dumping ground for all sorts of nonsense. Any time I've found buried garbage - stones, bricks, whatever - that was too big and bulky for the regular trash, I've piled it up here. Similarly, as I've slowly removed the brick pavers from sections of the yard, they've all gotten piled up here. And not neatly; "thrown" would be a better word. The section in front of the deck, that was the worst by far, just a mountain of busted bricks and broken glass and limestone of all shapes and size.
In short, the piles of brick and stone had created a situation where it was fairly difficult to even walk through the area, and the piles had grown in size to become fairly noticeable from some of my neighbors' houses. It was long past time to do something about the mess.
So I started organizing the stuff I wanted to keep and wheelbarrowing the stuff I didn't want to keep out to the dumpster. In the process of cleaning up the section in front of the deck I unearthed quite a few mostly unremarkable items.
I also found the largest piece of precast material to date. It was buried fairly deep, and for the life of me I don't know what it is or why it was buried. I've found comparable pieces of the same stuff throughout the yard, but never as big or complete as the chunk I dug up a couple days ago.
Somebody on social media said it was possibly a countertop, but I'm not sure I agree. I think it's part of a fireplace surround and mantel, based on the shapes, sizes, and detailed engraving of the pieces I'd found previously. Regardless, this thing was about a foot underground and now it's not.
Anyhow...there have been some accomplishments the past few days. While waiting for the dumpster - it showed up many hours late - on Thursday I removed a big bush, root wad and all, that had been in the middle of the yard and really didn't serve any purpose. Today I finished up the masonry/yard cleanup and got things halfway organized.
It's not a real big physical accomplishment, and I eventually need to find a real home for the bricks and stone, but y'all have no idea how many times I've walked past the mess back there and said to myself "you really gotta clean this shit up". Mentally, this was a MONSTER win. I even planted grass seed by the deck, trimmed up the mulberry tree in the very back of the yard, and burned a few sticks in the fire pit (mostly to keep the mosquitoes away).
And when all that was said and done, I got the scrap lumber under the porch hauled out to the dumpster. Tomorrow, it's back to makin' sawdust and progress on the porch.