What we’ve been up to

In case you’ve been getting radio silence from us over the past few weeks, we’ve been spending most of our time tackling house projects.  The day I got back from England, Sydney started planning out how to build porch columns to replace the old ones that had rotted.  I thought that sounded like a great reason to repaint the house trim, which was four kinds of dirty beige.  Now at least a quarter of it is bright white.  Along the way, we’ve been replacing and redoing: Sydney discovered some rotted wood as soon as he took out the first column, so he rebuilt part of the porch frame and redirected water flow from the roof.  We replaced the porch lights and house numbers and will be painting shutters, gutters, tables, and anything else that happens by at the wrong time. I’ve learned that I really don’t like being up on the roof, and I think I deserve a major prize for painting around a wasp nest at the peak of our roof.  Sydney, however, scoffs, and practically did a jig on the roof to tease me.  I’ve learned that I have almost no practical skill to contribute to my carpenter/gardener/repairman husband, so I’m doing painting.  I’m not good at that, either, but you can’t say I’m not dedicated!

We are also providing entertainment for the neighborhood; Sydney’s muttered more than once that we ought to put out a bucket to collect viewing fees.  Most of the neighbors have come by to inspect Sydney’s construction up close, and at least a dozen cars slow to a crawl, stop in the middle of the road, or pull over so the driver can holler out encouragement or ask for the names of plants in the front yard.  Yes, things are slow during summer in a small town, but people are also just trying to see what all of this activity is going to yield.  Sydney’s construction work will be over, we hope, this week, so that he can get on to preparations for the school year, but I’m sure I’ll be dragging him back into my painting troubles on a daily basis until I’m done (perhaps by the end of the month?).  I am, however, just finishing up my preparations for my fourth course for the fall, so I should be in good shape for the semester.  Of course, I say that now . . .

My perch from near the roof gave me a good view of the backyard.  There are benefits to painting there: I had to put up with being higher than I liked, but each time I came back down I could swipe a blackberry from the vines directly under the ladder:

This picture makes the house look a lot more “done” than it is, but, still, you can see the contrast between old and new under the roof line on the upper left.  Part of me wonders why I’m bothering with the paint, however.  The vine on the wall on the left is a wisteria that will, we hope, soon cover the entire side with beautiful flowers and leaves.  And the little tree in the box front and center is a magnolia that will eventually get quite large.  Soon nobody will even be able to see the outside of our house.


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