AND THE BEAT GOES ON – Marilyn Armstrong

Falls and canceled medication and rain delays notwithstanding, there’s progress in fixing up the old place. Not as much as I would like, but definitely better and more (with a little luck!) is on the way.

Owen did a first powerwash and finally, on the 4th of July, it was the third day of no rain, so he painted (waterproof with a heavy stain) the deck.

Powerwashed deck

Wet, but clean deck!

We used basically the same color which was used on it when it was built. It’s called “redwood” and it really does look like redwood. I know this because the house in which I grew up was clad in actual redwood and it was really this color.

Of course, these days, you can’t buy redwood but that was the 1950s and we weren’t aware of how much damage was being done casually by people who simply didn’t know any better.

This deck was not made of redwood. Pressed and treated hardwood would be my best guess and all things considered, it has stood up to the years reasonably well. It has also begun to come loose from the house and the northeast piece is a noticeable few inches sunk below the rest of the deck. This needs to be fixed and Owen is planning to fix it using 2X4 beams and a jack to hoist it up to the right level. With a beam under it, it should stay put for another 20 years, give or take. If we could afford it, a new deck would be nice. We can’t afford it and besides that, the deck is in surprisingly good condition for its years.

Owen wants to give it another coat. We have ordered it from Amazon because it simply isn’t available locally. I would have happily bought it from Koopman’s, but they don’t carry it. Neither does Home Depot, though they carry other products by the same manufacturer.

So Amazon it was and if it gets here by Wednesday, we will have a second coat and hopefully enough to spray the stairs and the fence too. I’m not sure the deck needs another coat, but I think the fence and stairs need at least one coat.

Deck with the new color on it. It was much redder and has sunk nicely into the wood.

Maybe we have found someone who can repair our back door, too. The problem is I really don’t want to replace the back door. It’s a Dutch door that opens on top. You can’t buy them anymore and this is a good oak door that isn’t rotting. It just needs some loving care. I suspect we’ll have to replace the screen door, but we’ll see.

Also, a bit of progress on finding help with the house. The problem is money. Our taxes went up by almost $80 a month and our heating went up by $75 a month. Prices keep going up and our income does not go up.

But we need help with the house. We aren’t getting younger or stronger and now my knee is really sore. AND we have company coming. At least a light cleaning is in order, like it or not.

Looking at the pictures of Garry and me from six years ago, I was struck by how much we’ve changed over these past six years. It was before my heart surgery and Garry’s hearing surgery. It’s not a matter of wrinkles. It’s wear and tear. Hard to explain what I mean, but the pictures say it all.

Meanwhile, one of my no longer available medications has been replaced by something that actually works better, but the other medication hasn’t been replaced because it was a holiday weekend. Hopefully, I’ll get in touch with the doctor tomorrow and we can make this work. In the meantime, I’ve been asleep a lot of the time.

That’s what happens when you take medication away from a narcoleptic!

Categories: housework, Marilyn Armstrong, Photography

Tags: , , , ,

9 replies

  1. Thanks Heaven for Owen…. He did a great job and it looks stunning! Having decks is a thing of beauty and one I don’t see in Switzerland (with very few exeptions).
    Just before I read your next sentence, I thought: They do look so timeless, unwrinkled, no ‘plissées’ (lines) – and they didn’t have an easy life – and then it came: Looking at the pictures of Garry and me from six years ago, I was struck by how much we’ve changed over these past six years.. I tried to take a ‘selfie’ of my heavily swollen side of my throat where some beast or other – moscito or else – had yet another field day….. All I could make out on the photo was the multiple wrinkles, uneven pores and a doubtful look of my eyes!!!! 😉


  2. I feel ya. “They” (the world at large) keep raising the cost of things (mostly for no good reasons I can see) but they tend to forget those who don’t get a raise very often, if at all. Perhaps those blinded in such a way will have to go through that scenario themselves, but from our side of things. The deck looks great. I like the idea of a sealant/stain for wood items and I have two or three that could use a coat, plus my outside bench (metal) which needs to be spray painted with a rust retardant/sealant. Like you I’m in far too much pain most of the time to endeavor doing these things on my own, but I also can’t afford to pay someone else to come do them (plus finding the money to buy the supplies for the project). It may be of a little comfort to know you’re not alone.


  3. The deck looks great! My gazebo collapsed completely and unable to reconstruct during the last strong wind and rain storm, so just the deck and four supporting posts remain. And will stay that way since it’s too expensive to replace. One of our fences also collapsed into the street, but friends were able to put it back together for awhile. Another expense. In these coming weeks, we are having the living room carpet cleaned, It’s the only one in the house; all the rest are wooden floors. We’ll also have the windows washed and the house professionally cleaned, something that hasn’t been done in years. Our house is 80 years old, and time will have its way. Fortunately, we did have it retrofitted several years ago, and it has survived the last two earthquakes this week. They were rolling ones, much easier on a house than the jolting ones, although it is a little queasy having the floor roll underneath you for some time. I hope your medication arrives soon and that it will be available to you from now on.


  4. These are the years where most changes are’s all down hill from here….


  5. The deck’s looking Good! And you look as young as ever in the pic with Rich! 🙂

    The taxes went up almost $1000 a year? Our council taxes are not even $1000 per year, our annual increase is usually around $40-50, but with our low inflation rate i expect this year to be more like $30.


  6. A lot can change in 6 years. I probably wouldn’t recognise myself from back then as I’ve changed a lot too. Glad to hear one of your medication changes is beneficial, and fingers crossed for more positive news on the other. And the deck looks great. Strangely, we power-hosed our patio too this weekend and it doesn’t look bad. Not as good as your deck though. 🙂


  7. Owen does a mighty job fixing stuff around the house for you but some help with the daily chores would be really good and I hope that you can get something sorted without it costing too much.


  8. We have also changed a lot especially Mr. Swiss with hi s extreme weight loss and walking problems. One of the lesser good thoughts is whether it is worth having something repaired for the next 20 years when you will be 90 years old if you get that far


    • That’s how I felt when we bought the lifetime guarantee for the water heater. We finally decided if we DIDN’T buy it, it would break down in a year and we’d be screwed for good. Or worse, we would live forever. And that was too terrible to contemplate.

      Liked by 1 person

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