I haven't done much writing here lately, mainly due to the past couple of months being complete chaos. Between the porch build, Roscoe's brush with death, truck repairs, and my job...not a whole lot of moments to spare. Let's get caught up.
Most importantly, Roscoe is doing good. Maybe even better than he was before his liver stopped working for a few days and the vets felt like that was the end of the road. He's been on zero medications or supplements of any sort since his stay at the animal hospital, he's been fed a diet of mostly "people food" (grilled chicken thighs, ground beef, steak, fish, scrambled eggs, Greek yogurt, mashed sweet potatoes, and spinach when I can sneak it in), and somehow...it's like he was never sick and never had Cushing's Syndrome. He's still an old dog without a whole lot of gas left in the tank, but still...he's eating good, he's put some weight back on, he does the stairs at the house all on his own, he barks and growls when he thinks he needs to guard the house, and I've even been able to coax him into a couple short hikes with Freckles and I.
Yesterday he even came out in the yard to run around with Freckles and the neighbor's puppy, which was about a 7,000% surprise.
In all the chaos of the past couple months, Freckles hasn't been forgotten about. She still goes everywhere I go, "helps" with the porch, and has now become my primary hikin' buddy. She's getting better about being out and about without a leash although it's still a bit of a work in progress. Roscoe was the same way, and some day, Freckles will be as good without a leash as Roscoe's been for the past 10 years. There's a lot of 2-steps-forward-1-step-backwards with her; a couple nights ago on a walk I let her go about a block and a half leash-free and she did great, and then the following night on a walk she decided to poop right in the middle of the sidewalk. That's Freckles: plenty smart, wildly athletic, and very willing to let me know that she's going to do some things her way whether I like it or not. I wouldn't have it any other way.
As much as I wish I could spend my non-dog-related free time working on the porch, sometimes other things have to be dealt with. Like, a truck with brake pads waaaaay past their useful life. I don't have a real great setup for dealing with that kind of thing but I can usually get by with what I do have. In this particular case I thought I could get away with changing just the front pads, but after doing so I quickly realized that it was the rear pads that were the REALLY bad ones, so...I had to spend a couple evenings after work swapping out pads for all 4 tires. I like doing that kind of work, although I don't do it very often anymore and I don't need any more hobbies than the ones I currently have.
And then there's the porch. I'm a little bit burnt out on it but the finish line is in sight. I haven't taken a lot of pics lately - too much scaffolding in the way, and I never think to take any until the end of the day when I'm shooting straight into the sun - but this is about how she looks right now:
Framing is done. Roof is 95% complete, and I'm currently waiting out some rain - story of this project - to finish flashing the roof/house joint. 2 of 3 railing posts are up. The flooring, railing, and soffit materials are in the basement waiting for primer. The little fascia trim pieces are ready to be picked up from Burkart's. She's close.
I'm taking off Thursday and Friday of this coming week and before I go back to work on Tuesday following the holiday I hope to have the thing pretty much fully assembled and ready for paint.
Probably won't happen, but that's the goal.