Friday, August 26, 2005

Old business: staining the deck. After Dan and C's trip to Pennsylvania for Opa's birthday, Dan pressure-washed the deck in preparation for staining it. And we waited a day for it to dry. And it rained. And we waited a day for it to dry. And it rained. Throughout this period, Dan would not allow anyone, including the dog, to step onto the deck for fear of getting it dirty again, so getting into the backyard was rather annoying.

Finally, we looked at the sky, decided that the gathering clouds would just have to blow by today, and got to it. The poor, mistreated deck, which had been neglected for several years even before we moved in, soaked up the stain like a sponge. We barely got one coat on it with the first gallon, which was supposed to provide enough coverage for two coats. So back to the store for Dan and A, unfortunately too late for us to start the second coat until the following morning. We still have trim to finish up, but we're done with the walking surfaces, so we're allowed to use it now. It does look better, but unfortunately due to the bad shape of the wood it still doesn't look especially good. We can at least count on it lasting a bit longer at least. Half-joking, I suggested to Dan that we start replacing the boards that need replacing with Trex plastic lumber, and eventually we'll have a new no-maintenance deck out there; he didn't seem to think the idea was too far-out. Will post photos soon.

This past Sunday was a traditional summer family-fun day of berry-picking at Indian Ladder Farms (blueberries and raspberries; the raspberries are eaten up and the blueberries fill our freezer), followed by a backyard campfire in celebration of the NWF's Great American Backyard Campout (which Dan had planned to participate in, but forgot until 7:30 p.m., at which point none of us were up for it). Dan baked rolls and we toasted them over the fire to make Brown Bears: rolls dipped in butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar. They were excellent, and we told C he could have as many as he wanted. He was shocked. The rolls were so filling, however, he only managed 2 or 3. Will post photos soon.

Tuesday was Aunt Maureen and Uncle Gene's 45th Anniversary Celebration, with Aunt Jeanie as the Special Surprise Guest, a Re-Enactment of their Marriage by Puppets (and aren't we all puppets, really?), a Photo Video Chronicle of their Past, and of course Games and Refreshments. Will post photos soon.

A has been on an unfortunate sleep schedule for the past few weeks of waking up around 7, napping from 11-1:30ish, napping again from 5-6:15-ish, and not going to bed until after 10. (And then, of course, keeping us up all night, but that's unchanged.) We had her getting to bed around 8 for a few heavenly weeks, which is C's bedtime, and we then had some evenings to ourselves. No more, until she's able to go down to one nap a day I expect (currently not possible due to crankiness). But yesterday and today, Dan at least has taken advantage of the situation and gone out at night with her- yesterday to a Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace meeting, today to an outdoor movie. He'd been frustrated by our inability to get out to evening events for much of the summer, and now he can, a little bit. I'll be interested to hear how the movie went when he gets home- she's not usually a fan of hanging out in the dark- but I hope it went well.

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