Busy Busy Busy with Outdoorsy Time!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Yay the weather is nicer!  Yay!  Briefly surely; it is Chicago.  But go weather!  Go weather!

I can finally finally finally start hammering away at the long outdoors list!  Whew.

First, a garage clean up.  Yes again.  And again.  Since my outdoor list is lengthy and I expect we'll be spending oodles more time out back this summer, it's important to start with a clean base.  Yeah?  Yeah.

How does this happen all the time?!
The highlight of this adventure?  My angled 2x4 tool holder bracket-y shelf-like things.

I unearthed a three foot long piece of 2x in the basement, cut it in half then cut the ends at thirty degrees.

As you can see, cut 2x4's on that 30 degree angle.
Two screws per into the 2x garage framing and bam, holds some long handled gardening tools!  Bingo!  I am quite proud of myself.  "Mike, did you see what I did?  Did ya?  Did you see yet?  Huh?  Huh?  Did ya?" 


Thanks to those, I finally feel like my side of the garage is more organized, less cluttery.

Ahhhhh, nothing like a tidy organized garage area.
I also popped a grommet in Finn's outside circle bed, in the zipper flap, pulled a scrap of clothesline from my macrame-ish plant hangars through so now that can be hung up and out of the way too.  Yes, nod, wink, thumbs up.


Next I changed a few locks.  This sadly does not help our multitudes-of-too-many-keys situation considering we have, wait lemme count.......seven different locks throughout the land.  Wow.  It was originally nine so, hey, getting better.

All we had on the back gate next to the garage was a half on half off rusted out knob so I had looped on a temporary cable and padlock.  Figured it was about time to have easy access if we wanted, ya know, be a little less shoddy.

The gate and busted knob in all its glory.
Yes I cheaped out on locks so we know how this will go.  That also made for fussy installation.  Eye roll, yes, I know, I know.  I also discovered that the gate is hung backwards too.  Or I should say the steel lock protecting flap is on the wrong side.  Neat.

Here's the alley side.
And here's the yard side.  That flap o' steel in this photo needs to be on the alley side.  Duh.  Big duh.
They must've found this assemblage in an alley somewhere and jury-rigged it for here.  Per usual.  Good thing the garbage cans reside here permanently and no one ever catches glimpse of the security goings-on.

Especially since the bolt now catches on a raggedy nub in the hacked out opening and doesn't throw the entire way.  I'll see if I can file that down.  Ah, not on my list...repainting the two back gates.

Which I did a coupla' days later and man, yay!  That has been nagging me for a while so it felt very very good to get done.  Pat on back good.

No wonder these things don't get repainted often, right?!?!  Patience, zen patience.
Yay!  All repainted though it's hard to tell here.  Seriously felt so good to get the back gates painted.
The keyed alike second deadbolt went into the other front gate that we never had a key for in the first place.  So hey, at least two locks match!

Next I fixed the back security door closer a bit.  It's tough to do solo when the door won't latch.

Don't get it.  It latched last year.  Sigh.  Shaking fists.

It needed a minor adjustment to get the door to close alllllmost the whole way.  But yes, now I need to figure out why it's not latching.  I bet it's the extender part.

Oh, turns out that extender part on the bottom is not only split in several places, the screws are rusted (who puts screws to something like that on the *outside* of a door?!?!) and despite all attempts to date, cannot get them out.  I will keep trying of course.  Never deterred by "no."

Either way, I kicked it a few times so it's a little straighter.  A little.

And then the deck!  Time to seal the deck.

Thiiiiiirrrrsty.
Mike decided he wanted to keep the deck as is, not change the color with a stain.  I was kinda hoping for a darker warmer color but that's ok so I picked up a waterproofing sealer.  It says it's all fancy with some kind of silicone technology!  OooOooOOoh.  Heh.

Please, it's not that mind-blowing.  It doesn't enhance the wood's appearance as suggested on the canister but it does indeed do its job.  It's a one coat and done (yay!); that was clearly evident when I accidentally applied it in spots where it had already been applied.  Good sign, yeah?

"Look Mommy, the water beads!  Good work, bipedal!"
Which is extra great since this deck is a major not-inexpensive perk so it's important to maintain it.

Hm.  I wonder if I could have/should have used a waterproofer that's similar on the concrete counter instead of the useless crap that I did use.  Huh.  I wonder if it's too late.  Hm.....

Well anyway.  I must've been huffing paint fumes or something -- since the gap between the deck boards is about 3/8" or so, I sat with a chip brush and made sure every side of each board was coated.  Yeah, that's dedication all right.  Since I wasn't spraying the goo but rolling it on, it seemed the stuff wouldn't ooze evenly down the sides, hence the manual labor investment.

Rollin' rollin' rollin'
And yeah, I didn't clean the deck first like you're supposed to.  A.) didn't want to wait an extra day for everything to dry only for it to get dirty again within that span (uh, dog, husband) and B.) didn't want to power spray the wood as that's a cruel thing to do to any wood and C.) didn't want any of those deck cleaning chemicals in the yard destroying the new plants, majority of which have yet to signal signs of life, or Finn.  Or us.

No worries.  It's a deck.  It's outside.  It gets dirty and will continue to get dirty.  It adds character, right?  Right.  It's fine.  Pfffftt, whatev's.

I am getting more and more anxious about plants not coming up yet though.  Too soon?

But now the deck is all sealed, yay, and check mark, crossed off the list!  Yay!!  I get to stand in the dining room window during the next rain and watch the water bead.  And I will too.

Then I was perusing the ol' Craigslists again, this time for patio furniture.  I swear, that site is way dangerous.

I saw...I saw, oy, that these folks have their ad back up for the lounge chairs they were selling last year.

Crazy thing is:  super bargain.  Omg.  I've seen these come up at various times for $400 each or more.  Yes each.  So not only am I in pain because these chairs, with ottomans!, are so damn ridiculously cool and I want them, they also happen to be a bargain.  Alas, $400 is not in the cards and they are an hour and a half plus away.  In a town brimming with antique stores.  See?  Alas.

But!  On a happier Craigslist note, I did find these!  Yellow!  My favorite.  And at that price for both, yep, sold.  Picked them up the next morning.  Didn't tell Mike, merely surprised him.  He likes them too!
Kids these days, paying each other with apps, technology old person rawr grumble noises.  It was my first CL transaction that way and huh, far too handy.  Like scary too handy.  Like I just may delete the app scary handy.


But hey, aren't they fantastic?!  There's minute rust that was not mentioned unfortunately so I need to find out how to clean it up, manage it; these chairs are powder coated.

A dining table design for these chairs is in the hopper.  Mike nixed my concrete table top idea fearing it would crack and be too heavy.  Fair assessments.  I have a new idea that I'll run past him, ascertain that scenario.

So we'll see.  Hey, plenty more to do outside so stay tuned.  And oy, plenty more to do inside too so gotta run, see you soon!

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