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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