Haven't written one of these bad boys in a while, which is usually a sign that:
Right now, it's all 3. But let's start with some fun stuff...Freckles' DNA test results.
For Christmas (not sure if it was a present for her or me) I ponied up for the same DNA test I got for Roscoe a few years back. Here are the results:
When I adopted her she was about 8 weeks old and the story was that she was a pointer/lab mix. As is usually the case, that was relatively inaccurate. I was excited to find out her ancestry nonetheless, and just like with Roscoe it makes some sense; she's a strong, fearless little girl who LOVES to run - she's plenty fast - and while her feistiness sometimes gets in the way of it, she's a smartypants like her big brother. Given the DNA test results, that sounds about right for her genetic makeup.
And then there's Roscoe. Things have reached a point where I can't really tell if he's got 1 more week or 3 more years. He threw up a TON overnight on Monday and then last night the puking was even worse, which had me a little concerned. It's weird...the one knock on Roscoe is that he's a barker. Always has been. It's not incessant, but any noise outside, he barks. Truthfully, at times it can be super annoying. This week however, no barking. And I really, really missed it.
But he ate some chicken and rice for dinner tonight, which was a good sign, and he even barked a little bit, so maybe he's getting over whatever made him puke so much. Maybe. On the bright side, the meds he's on has made his hair grow back with no noticeable side effects, so there's that. If the weather's right this weekend and the porch build goes the way I want it to, I may see if he's up for a hike.
On to the house news -- the past couple months have been SUPER busy on that front.
I had a tree service come out and clean up the sugar maple tree in the front yard.
I cleaned up the rest of the busted up sidewalk by the porch, and much to my surprise, found a stupid amount of "clinker" underneath it. What's clinker? It's the byproduct of burning stuff, basically, and it looks kinda like the lava rock people sometimes use in landscaping beds. I think the sidewalk location was always the path from the front of the house around to the back, and way back when, somebody used the clinker to make that path. I hauled a stupid amount of it to a dumpster I'd rented, but there was so much I still have a giant pile I need to get rid of.
I did a little landscaping, planted some flowers, and relocated a whole lot of existing plants in an effort to get out in front of the lawn care stuff because this porch is gonna eat up alllllll my time for the foreseeable future.
While I was working in the yard, my neighbor happened to come outside and I asked if I could go over to his yard - my house sits along the line between our properties - and pull the ivy that'd been growing on the side of the house. That stuff had been growing for a long time and if it doesn't get pulled, it starts to tear up the mortar between the bricks.
It was late in the day and I was really only concerned with giving 'er about a "B" level effort; what's left on the walls are the little fuzzies from the ivy stalks that would take hours to scrape off.
I ordered framing lumber for the porch. It's ridiculous how lumber prices have returned to peak crazy pandemic prices; I didn't order it yet - because it's borderline impossible to find unless one lives in the Pacific Northwest - but the flooring (5/4 x 4 cvg t&g Douglas Fir) will be another painful chunk of money. Then there's the ceiling, and the roofing material, and the trim boards...so, so painful.
That stuff got unloaded in the street and I had to lug it all to the back yard. It was mostly mindless work, but those 6x6x16s...no fun. They'll look good when they're milled, painted, and standing up, but maaaaaan...I was sore for a couple days after that little chore.
And then there's the porch. Got the floor ledgers on the house. Mocked up the porch footprint so I could locate the footings. Got the footings poured (1 turned out better than the other but that's a story for another day), which required 13 80lb bags of concrete. Set the scaffolding back up. Got 1 of 2 roof ledgers on the house. Tomorrow, if the weather cooperates, I'll get the other ledger up and then start working on the posts.
Last weekend it was WINDY, which made things a little extra challenging. The primary challenge to date has been getting things cut to fit properly given that the brick walls aren't real plumb or flat; it's not a technical challenge, but one of logistics...lots of test fits, shaving something here or there, climbing up and down the scaffolding, etc. but the better job I do of getting the first few sticks level, square, and plumb, the easier the rest of the framing will go.
I haven't been able to get much porch work done during the past week due to rain, but I did go (finally) pick out some paint colors.
I do NOT get excited about paint, or paint colors. 30,000 ft view, the 3 primary stages of any build process are design, build, finish, and I definitely love the build portion more than the other two. But this porch has to get painted, and the house will eventually have to get painted some day as well, so I had to give the color scheme a little thought. I didn't enjoy agonizing over color swatches, but having picked out some colors...it's kind of a relief. And I'm happy with what I chose.
I won't give away what will be what color, but the general color scheme of the house and porch will involve these colors:
That's where everything stands for now. Took a couple days off next week and if things kinda break my way a little bit, I hope to have something that resembles a porch halfway constructed by the end of the following weekend.