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Brewer Burns

Sunday, June 18, 2006

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Let’s see...I demolished our old deck and rebuilt with new decking, watched a lot of world cup soccer, took full advantage of our DVR and expanded cable package, installed just this week, visited friends on the other side of the mountain, finished the Lotus Blossom Tank and made the punk rock backpack from SNB.

Let’s talk about the deck. The old deck was not only ugly but also poorly constructed with completely inappropriate materials. Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures because my camera ran out of memory as I was taking pictures of the demolition process, but I didn’t realize it until we had rebuilt the deck. The old deck was constructed of non-treated plywood and non-treated 2x4’s, nails that were not waterproof (seriously, how cheap are you if you don’t even buy steel nails?) In addition, it was constructed like a big box off the back of our house. Instead of having a railing, the deck was enclosed with plywood (on the inside) and vinyl siding (on the outside) and the walls were about four and a half feet high. Sitting out there made Stephen and I both claustrophobic.

The original plan was that we would demolish only the walls of the deck on Monday morning. We didn’t plan to tear off the decking material. Then it did something completely unexpected. It rained and it rained and it rained. We had record breaking rain on Monday and on Wednesday. So, we didn’t demolish on Monday. Instead, we tore off the railing on Tuesday morning, during intermittent rain showers. On Wednesday we went to Lowe’s and priced railing and decking materials. Then Thursday we worked all day. You see, by the time we got the railing off, we realized that the decking (untreated plywood!) was also rotten and would have to come off. So we spent hours removing the decking. Then, about 5:30-6:00 p.m. we bought new decking: pressure treated cedar and really good decking screws. Then we constructed until about 9:30 Thursday night. Stephen finished up actually screwing the decking down Friday morning. I confess that I am useless with power tools. I don’t possess either the coordination or the brute strength to control them. But we do now have a deck that we can hang out on, and we plan to put the railing on by the end of the month. (Funny story: we decided to hang out on the deck last night and have a beer before dinner. One of the neighbor kids, he’s about 12 or 13, had a friend and three girls out on the trampoline they’ve got set up in the backyard. It was pretty clear that we were totally cramping their style. They kept attempting to get the girls to play “truth or dare” with them. Finally, two of the girls went home and we went in. I’m certain they were happy to see us go.)

Now, the punk rock backpack. I have admired this pattern ever since I bought the SNB book. I think it’s cute and versatile. Once I decided that I didn’t want to knit socks or cell phone cozies or anything else in my stash, I settled on the backpack. I figured that I could probably use the leftover LP from the Manly Sweater. I was almost right. I managed to get 99% of the backpack from leftovers, but ran out when I was about ¼ of the way done with the strap. I had to buy one more skein in ruby red. The backpack is currently blocking, as I try to remember how to use my sewing machine.

So what do you have planned for your summer vacation?


At 4:36 PM, Blogger Cynthia said...

HOly crap woman! A deck - a whole deck - off and back on - and knitting besides - you are the equivalent of Xena Warrior Woman! I love the backpack; it totally rocks!


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