Jul 16, 2010

Applied Mathematics

Quick!  If a deck has 12 sections and each section contains approximately 12 balusters, and each baluster has 4 sides, what does that equal?

Put away the calculator - if you mentally tallied somewhere around 600, you're close enough. But what it really equals is 6 man (err, woman) hours, 1 now-spent brush, 1 gallon of stain/sealer, 1 big blister where the brush rested in my hand, 3 sweat-bee stings, and countless redwood colored sealer splotches on my feet, which I will wear to show my solidarity for our "oh-no-it's-mono" daughter who is out of commission for a few weeks.  (Word to the wise for health care professionals: even if a teen tests positive for strep, please do a mono test before you give them Amoxicillin.  Amoxicillin and mono don't play nicely together, and the rash is heartbreakingly awful for the patient.)

But back to the deck.  Here are a few before-and-after photos of the deck after I power-washed it and gave it a good scrubbing last weekend.  And of course, nature decided to immediately give us plenty of rain for several days, so that meant waiting out the storms to do anything further. I'm glad we hadn't planned to have anyone over for dinner this week!
As awful as it looks, I'm embarrassed to admit it still looked better than before the power washing.  Oh well...it's what happens when you let three years sneak past you without an annual deck scrubbing and re-touching.  (Snicker..yeah, we'll see if THAT actually happens or not!  Good intentions make great paving stones, and all that.)
Here it is after it's had two coats of deck sealer applied and the balusters and rails all re-coated.  It should be good to go at least until fall or next spring, when it will be time to give it a good cleaning (having a shady deck on the north side of your house in the humid south has a big downside, namely mildew.)  I was so excited to have the project done that I went ahead and re-laid the rug and hauled up the table and chairs - let's hope the thunder rumbling tonight is all bark and no bite.

The grill and the big deck planters will have to wait for some help - from somebody with more upper-body strength and who doesn't have a hernia threatening to pop back out like a Butterball turkey timer.

Now to get the hot tub heating element replaced, the cover scrubbed, the fireplace re-painted and moved back into place and the bench stained and sealed and the deck should carry us through fall and into winter in good shape.  (Looks like I know what we'll be doing this weekend!)

In the interest of equal air time for our animal menagerie, here's a picture of Brice's cat.  Her name is Luci.  Short for Lucifer.  Apparently we're in the hot cat days of summer.  She blends in nicely with the chair, one of her favorite hangouts.

P.S. a shout-out to my mother-in-law, who is celebrating her birthday today - I won't say how old she is.  She's the kind of mother-in-law I hope I can be some day, and every day I'm thankful for the awesome job she did raising my husband.  Hugs and love to Memaw Katie!!!