I have been MIA for a while. Company coming so Frank and I have been finishing up some projects we had started, but kept putting aside to work out in the fields.
The biggest project has been the new patio cover. Frank is the master at figuring out what wood he needs and finding the best prices. He does excellent drawings first; makes his list, and starts stockpiling the wood. One great source of very reasonable wood is our local Ace Hardware. A few years ago, they started to carry lumber. Every so often, they go through lumber that isn't selling; or was a special order that someone didn't take; or lumber that needs to be sold soon. It is outside on pallets in the parking lot. About once every couple of weeks, we will cruise by the stack to see what is there. Even if we don't have a specific need at that moment, if the price is right and the wood is something Frank uses a lot, we will buy it and store until we are ready to use it.
Frank is terrific at taking different sizes of lumber and cutting it down to become what he needs. It takes more time, but worth the cost savings.
So about 6 months ago, Frank started putting together all the lumber he needed for the patio cover. The size is 18' x 26', a pretty good sized space. As he cut the necessary parts, he also primed and painted the wood and then bundled it up into the units needed. The last part were the slats that are 2" x 2" x 20' long that go across the beams. This cuts the shade by 50%. It took him the longest time because there are so many.
Frank started putting all the parts together about 2 months ago and got as far as the top slats. The patio cover is tall, I wanted it that way for 2 reasons. One reason is because the house is up off the ground 3 steps and we look out onto our back yard. Reason 2 is if the patio cover was lower, it would cut into our sight line from inside the house.
We kept trying to figure out a way to get Frank some help in putting up those slats, it is tall up there, dangerous and Frank is not a spring chicken any longer and I was worried about him being up there by himself. And I couldn't help him. We tried renting scissor lifts, but none small enough to get into our back yard. Then Frank thought of our new neighbors, the Hysmiths. He is a general contractor!!! They are the nicest and cutest young couple, We rarely, rarely pay someone to come work on our place because either Frank or I usually can handle most that goes wrong or needs repairs. But this required expertise and strength to work up 12' off the ground, walking back and forth on beams, moving wood around and screwing in each piece. And it happened to be horribly hot at the time.
Within a few days, that part of the patio cover was done, next was the final touch up painting. Frank painted a few hours each day before it got too hot, each and every one of the slats. We have an airless paint sprayer, but with all the yard plants, it being next to the house, all the concrete, it would have taken days to just seal off any area for over spray on the house, etc.
While Frank was painting, I looked for new cushions for our lawn furniture set. I couldn't believe how expensive cushions had gotten. Just the settee bottom cushion was $85 plus I needed 4 other chair seats and all the pillows. Celli, my daughter came to visit with the grand kids a few weeks ago, and we decided to go check out fabric sales. I was able to find all the fabric I needed at 50% off at
I sewed a chair piping and seat cover each morning before I headed outside to work in the veggie gardens. I knew there was no rush as Frank was still painting. I did the cushions first so I made sure
They aren't the best, professional job, but they are outdoor fabric, and I can take it off at the end of the year to store for next year.
We can't wait for our company to come next week. Always a good push to get some projects done. The peaches are starting to get ripe and I need to seal up bags of the dried apricots. Always something to do here at Windmill Farm.