Swimming in Stain

I’m going to let you in on a little secret :: The trouble with starting home improvement projects is that you have to finish them.

I know this because I feel like virtually every moment of spare time has been dedicated to completing ours. The house is a disaster – and I mean a must-clean-it-up-before-our-cleaning-peeps-come-so-they-can-get-to-things disaster.  Until tonight, I hadn’t been to the grocery store in 10 days.  There are mounds of laundry to be done.  I will probably have to start over on my current book of choice (Marathon Woman by Kathrine Switzer, the first woman who ran the Boston Marathon, in case you’re wondering) because I haven’t touched it since I got two weeks ago.  And, it’s been pretty quiet around here for the past week!  (Somehow, I still found the time to run nearly 50 miles last week, and got in a great 55-mile ride on the tandem on Saturday.  I wonder if my priorities are a little off?)

Anyway, let’s start from the beginning . . . For years now, we’ve talked about adding a pergola to our back patio.  Lacking the time and motivation to start, this project stayed on the back burner.  But, our recent distraction with the idea of getting a new place gave us the motivation, which was apparently all we needed to make the time.

Enter :: Home improvement extravaganza.

First, we cut an access door to the attic and created additional storage space.  (Note: The door and trim still need to be painted.)

Then, we fixed the driveway gate and added a second layer of boards to our fence. (Note: At about 200 boards x 1 cut per board x 6 nails per board, this was quite a process.  We still need to stain it all.)

We were on a roll, so we figured why not really make some progress and finally tackle that pergola project.  What were we thinking, you ask?  They’re crazy expensive if you buy them from your local home improvement store, so there’s no way we were paying someone to do it.  Thanks to the first set of projects, we were getting pretty handy with lumber.  We had to rent a truck anyway to pick up the rest of the fence boards, so it made sense to get lumber for the pergola while we were there.  Fall is right around the corner, so we should get it up in time to actually enjoy using it.  All completely rational explanations, right?!!  🙂

As with most projects, this one has turned out to be a much bigger undertaking than we originally thought.  Because we technically didn’t have a “plan” when we started, there have been a lot of on the fly measurements and design decisions.  And, staining takes forever, especially when you’re interrupted by real live tornado sirens.

Basically, our backyard has looked something like this for the past week…

I promise to report back when the pergola is complete.  Heck, I’ll be so excited that it might even get its own photo shoot!

I have no doubt that we will use the snot out of it for entertaining this Fall.  (If for no other reason than the sweat equity we have in it.)  When we finally get around to having a house party, consider yourselves invited! 😉

In the meantime, I promise to check in more often if you promise to bear with me.

xoxo  ~your busy little b

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About Beth

Wife, daughter, big sis, aunt, friend, attorney, runner, cyclist, amateur chef & aspiring photographer. Thanks for keeping up with my life on the run!
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2 Responses to Swimming in Stain

  1. Brad says:

    Uh, it was 8 nails per board and around 4 nails per board on the underlying boards… The gate alone was around 70 boards, so might check the receipt for the boards purchased. Even my blister’s blister had a blister…I’m requesting a nail gun intervention next time I think I’d like to have the extra upper body exercise okay? Thanks for all your help this past week!

    • Beth says:

      Ok, so I can’t count. Or maybe I just blocked it out. Or maybe it was so crazy I couldn’t bring myself to say it out loud. Regardless, you are a rockstar for (literally) knocking it all out. There will be an intervention of some sort next time… don’t you worry!

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