Three to Go

porch screen

Today’s  already Tuesday.  Only 5 days left before Geneva, our German Shep puppy, arrives at our home.

There’s still much work to do.

Having finally mastered the art of repairing screens, prepping and painting aluminum siding that holds the screens in place, and treating the grilles that will keep Genevan from busting through the screens, I’m now ready to install the next 6 screens in the panels you see in the pic above — providing the rains don’t return.

Unfortunately, the grilles have yet to arrive at Loewe’s — even though I ordered them last Wednesday.  Is it any wonder that Amazon eats the lunch of these big box stores, that don’t even have real checkout cashiers anymore?

So today is going to be busy.

Here is what I have to do:

  1. Drive my wife to work  done
  2. Get a haircut  done
  3. Have the bank cut a certified check for Geneva’s breeder done
  4. Buy a large box of baking soda (to remove the last vestiges of mold from the porch floor)  done
  5. Check if the grilles have arrived at Lowe’s  12 should be here tomorrow
  6. Buy a chaise long at Lowe’s  done
  7. Prep the 3 panels (scrape, sand, primer then paint)
  8. Get some cold cuts and other household items done
  9.  Continue to follow up on the sliding glass door contract  done
  10. Pick up my wife around 4pm  done
  11. Buy a new pair of cargo pants  done
  12. Oil change  done

If the grilles are not at Lowe’s, then I will have to cross my fingers and hope that they arrive tomorrow, and that no-one swipes them before me.

Tomorrow is the last day for outside porch work.

Starting Thursday, I will focus on getting the living and my “studio” (where I do my computer work, and have all my books) Geneva-proof. I am giving a two-day allowance for that, as there’s a chance that we will be picking up Geneva on Sat, instead of Sunday, and there’s tons of things to do inside the house too.

That’s it for now.  Gotta go!

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Getting ready

skin rash on hand
My nasty skin rashes – the brown one on the wrist hurt like hell, forcing me to stop

If it’s dawn, it must be reveille.

I’m sitting at my comp at 5:24 am. Coffee is hot and strong. It’s 40 degrees out, almost unheard of in South Florida.

It might rain later in the day, so I want to get an early move on and finish cleaning the green mold off the beams that hold up the porch screen. (Update:  it did, negating my plans.)

Moldy gravy — 12 to 14 feet up

Yesterday, I had to stop standing on the scaffold and painstakingly sponging off the mold, because of a strange skin rash on my right hand that flared up again. It may be a spider bite, a reaction to the bleach I’m using, or something to do with my immune system (I have Graves Disease, for which there is no cure) going haywire again. (Update:  It’s a severe skin burn from the Clorox bleach that was running from the sponge down to my exposed wrist.  I am going to finish up the job in the next day or so using white vinegar and peroxide. Meanwhile Calamine is helping soothe the burn.  It should heal in a couple of days.)

More moldy gravy at the apex of the lanai — I am 6’3″ and the scaffold puts me 4 feet off the ground.  Still I have to extend my arms to the max to reach this.  One false step and it’s a major injury. At first I was terrified the scaffold would collapse; then I just went for it, and trusted my sense of balance, despite an aging, out-of-shape body.

Only a few sections left, though, and I hope to be done with this dangerous work by today. (Update: never happened.)

Too bad a stiff brush attached to a pole is only partially effective. You literally have to keep wiping the mold over and over with a sponge; nothing else works.

I also made (what I thought was) good progress yesterday with dog-proofing the porch screen (or “lanai,” as they call this around here).

Today I plan to put up the remaining three grilles I have left.

It’s not a simple matter of just drilling them in.  I have to first spray them with clear Rust-Oleum, and that takes an hour and a half doing both sides and waiting for them to air dry. Might be longer today, because of the cold, so I might use a hair dryer.

Then I have to wash, sand, and paint the beams that will hold them in place — after getting rid of the mold that accumulates at the bottom of these porch screen panels.

(Update: see next post regarding the major painting setback that happened when I hosed down the panel — after waiting 12 hours — with a jet of cold water from a garden hose.)

Then of course I have to sweep and carefully vacuum up the metal shards that collect when I power drill in the zinc screws.

white ibis
One reason why grilles and gates are needed

After all that, I have to hose eveything down, to get rid of the bleach underfoot and any remaining debris.

I’ll be paying an 8am visit to Lowe’s to make sure they order more grilles, and also to come up with some candidate ideas as to how to set up a DIY portable barrier that I want to erect on the lake side of my property. (Update: I ordered 10 more.)

portable fence
The gator gate

I might also bring back from Lowe’s a chaise longue while I’m at it. (Update: some other time.)

Later today, a professional window installation outfit will be coming to give me a quote on replacing the sliding glass door that leads out to the porch.

The current one is too old to be of much use any more.  I want to install a new one that can sustain Cat 5 hurricanes. It needs to have a built-in, heavy duty screen so that we can have the door open without letting insects or lizards in. This is likely to be an expensive project, as I also want storm shutters installed.

Grilles and portable fence combo

Eventually, I will be redoing all the windows too, as they are pretty much on their last legs from the fierce Florida sun. I will be needing shutters for them too, as well as the front door.  Storms are likely to get worse in the years ahead, even though global warming is officially a myth in Dixieland.

I am not unaware of what is going on in Washington, but have the impeachment trial on T.V. ignore and am not following any of it closely.

jewish german shep
Haunch-atrophied German shep mixed breed making sure all is well prior to today’s World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem. Nancy Pelosi and Mechanical Pencil and KGB Vlad are all in attendance. The abundance of ironies within ironies, much like a Babushka doll, boggles the mind.

With the acquital of the orange pig a foregone conclusion, the only interesting question that remains is how long will the majority consent to be governed by a right-wing, armed-to-the-teeth minority that subverts the rule of law at every turn in order to remain in power, enrich itself, and force its cultural and religious values on the rest of the country in perpetuity.

By choice, I am forcing my concerns to be far more parochial.

Putting blinders and headphones on to cancel out all the vileness and desperation around me, my sole focus is preparing the house for the arrival of Geneva, our beautiful German Shepherd puppy.

She’ll be here in 10 days, at last.

That event will be far more important to me than anything the orange pig and his enablers could possibly do or say.

As for the rest, you don’t have to be a Las Vegas bookie to know it’s probably not going to end well in November, when Geneva will be all of 11 months old.

But I’m getting ready for next week.

This concrete work provides me with a sense of tangible accomplishment, despite the liminal sense that some are about to cross a line from which they might not be able to return.

Update: Increasingly cold and drizzly today, so I’m taking the day off to read The Lost Archive.  I did go to Lowe’s, bought some frogtape, ordered 10 grilles, and bought a $15 steel, green, folding fence that fit perfectly in the spot where I want to block off entrance to our yard.  The sliding door people arrive at 4pm, but in the meantime, good reading ahead!


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The Doggie Pool

dog pool



Only 6 days till Geneva, our German Sheppie puppie, comes home!

Woke up at 5am, today, and decided I will leave at daybreak to go up to the Walmart super center in Port St Lucie, FL, to buy a Summer Waves 59″ Plastic Kiddie Wading Pool.

It’ll probably be 9am or so by the time I return.

I am taking some rope with me, in order to secure the pool to the rack on my Escape. The pool is made of a hard plastic shell.  Problem with the foldable vinyl ones is getting punctured by Geneva’s nails, or having her rip it to shreds due to her teething.

I hope the wind will die down today — it’s only 5 mph right now, so after the pool episode, I should be able to make some more progress on cleaning the mold beams that hold up the screens that enclose our patio. It’s hot and humid in FLA, in case you did not know:  mold is always a problem that has to be dealt with on a regular basis.

Yesterday was quite windy, so I didn’t do any scaffolding work, but I did get the outside lights (and the doorbell) fixed so that our side yard is illuminated when we walk Geneva at night.

I might take a break mid day — as I have decided on principle not to watch the brain-damaging NFL playoffs — and go to Lowe’s to see if I can find some kind of wire-framed portable fencing to protect the base panels of our porch screens.

I certainly don’t want Geneva to go hurling though them if she sees some critter walking by in our back yard in front of the lake where mostly invisible gators lurk.

I am seriously looking forward to Geneva’s arrival, and going for walks and training exercises with our little sheppie, or reclining on some chaise longue (which I also have to buy) in the perfect South Florida winter weather and reading a book or doing nothing at all, while she splashes about in the pool and plays with her various squeaky toys.

Truly the life of Riley.


ps they ended up not actually having it Walmart, even though their web site said they had it.  Turns out I can get one (slightly smaller) by Thursday or so from Ace Hardware.  Yippee!

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