And then, we can, do anything, we want…*

*Lyrics from something Anything We Want by Fiona Apple off her latest album. Only her fourth album in 16 years, I think it’s worth a listen. She’s an actual musical artist (unlike so many in the business of making and selling music), and you might like her work. Or you might not. I do. 

BEFORE: Recently, we took some exterior photos while the peonies were still in bloom. The side fence was then just raw, untreated wood left in its natural, weathered state.

Months ago, when we had our side porch and rear porch stairs redone it was too cold outside to finish coating the decking and new railings with exterior paint and stain. So we waited for the weather to warm up. Which it did. But then it rained. Like, a lot. For weeks and weeks, every time it would just about get dry enough to do something outside it would rain again. For enough days to warrant a dry-out period. So we waited. And waited some more.

Finally, when the weather forecast spelled out ten good, warm, sunny, dry days ahead, we bolted and got to work. Waiting for help from Team Carpentry turned out to be a bit of a fruitless experience – they were delayed and behind in their projects from the spring rains, too – but they did lend a hand getting us started (thanks for the partial first coat, y’all). The rest, unfortunately for my back, fell to us to finish. We called in a little help from our trusty helper friend, Kizzle, and plowed through final coats on the railings, the decking, and two coats of white stain on the fence to the east of the house (we stained the west facing fence last year after we planted a tree for our pup, and extended the fencing to corral the compost area).

After about three solid days (not counting the days we spent filling all the nail holes, sanding, and caulking up the joints, the wiping off of which nearly ripped my fingers open) spent rolling around in grass, or with knees balanced on stair treads, or crouching and reaching beyond my back’s flexibility, we finally, finally finished. Well, mostly. I still have the thresholds for the front and side door to finish (since our storm doors were finally installed by the guys), and a bit more exterior paint to coat over the inside of the door jambs (just between the storm door and the exterior door). But really, we’re done. Ahhhh.

AFTER: It was hard, hard work - they don't call it 'sweat equity' for nothing - but the plants pop out better now, and the stairs now have a chance to withstand a proper New England winter.

Just in time to start painting some interior trim. Oy vey. My list is so very long. While I get cracking (nearly typed creaking just then, which is probably more accurate) on my list, why don’t you just enjoy some photos? xoxo