Five months later … where does time go?
Sorry I haven’t updated this blog in quite a while, but truth be told, I have not had any health issues to report on. Rather, with the summer off from medical appointments, I’ve concentrated on my small business. I started by hiring the contractor/friend Rick always called for large projects, and he came and replaced the clapboards that were falling from the front of the shop … backing them with strong tar paper and exterior plywood sheets. Then he pulled the over sized, antique air conditioner from the side wall, taking with it the previously-modified (cut and shortened) six over six window, and rebuilt that wall’s resulting, gaping space with more exterior plywood and a new window and storm that match the still existing one. With a friend, Donna, I re-installed the newer air conditioner in that existing window..
I had heard animals below the raised floor of the shop’s second room, so we looked for and found entryways chewed into the wallboard of the shop’s original office. I had to remove a lot of stored clutter from that space to be able to locate the holes in the upper and lower wall beside the desk (a beautiful honey-oak teacher desk discarded by the school department when they remodeled the elementary school where I taught.) We fixed the lower hole by sliding a plank of wood in front of it. The upper hole remains in need of patching with wallboard, but the exterior holes are now blocked from the outside.
There is still one open hole at the peak of the roof, in the air vent, and I suspect squirrels are still accessing the barn by that route. The contractor will come back in the fall with a ladder and a grate to seal that off before winter.
I’ve begun painting the new clapboards and window, having had the older painted clapboard’s color matched at the hardware shop. I’ll also be painting the shop door a dark blue, to match the doors on the house, which also need to be repainted. I bought the paint at the end of May, but until last week did not have three dry days in a row, below ninety degrees and 70% humidity, to use it. I can paint for about twenty to thirty minutes before needing to take a break indoors with my feet up, to avoid the recurring pain in my ribs that has haunted me for years. Slow but steady will get the job done. I have the first coat of white on the new window frame, and will fussy-paint the munions of the window ‘s twenty-four-panes in cooler weather this fall. The right side of the door’s clapboards are nearly finished with the light blue (all but the bottom two rows, which I’ll wait and paint after I dig a trench and fill it with pea-stone to stop mud spatters on the wall) … the wall to the left side of the door will take a bit longer as I’ll repaint the faux-sliding barn doors along with the new clapboards.
There is a lot of touch-up painting on the house itself to be done, using the same gallons of paint as the barn … “Prelude” (light blue/gray) for the clapboards, white for the trim, and dark blue for the doors… I’ll begin that work in the fall, when the barn is finished for now. It’s a New England tradition … take care of the barn before the house, for the barn is the reason the house exists…
My medical-appointment-free summer is ending this weekend … two doctors to be seen next week … and the skin surgeon pending in the wings … I continue to do the best I can do, and be the best I can be. Baby steps.
Oh – and speaking of baby, I have a new granddaughter, born the second week of August.
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