Monday, November 5, 2007

Brick bonanza

Our most fabulous porch contractor, Justen, started today. (And we're not JUST saying that because we know he reads our blog). I had the day off and went over to the house after lunch to work on guessed it...painting. When Eric dropped me off Justen had already removed all of the railings and several of the decking planks on the porch. All the better to view the amassed garbage under the porch. From bottles and cans to another gazillion nails, the "mystery of what's under the porch" did not seem too exciting. While Justen continued the porch disassembly, I primed the nether regions of the living room ie., the cathedral ceiling. All was going swell until 2/3 of the way through it my super-find of a telescoping handle from a mop that ever-so-conveniently also fit a paint roller...snapped right off at the base. So I had to go to plan B. That was duct-taping another, shorter roller extension handle to mega-long telescoping handle and finishing the job...the whole ordeal took me 3 hours. That seemed like a really long time to paint the upper half of a single room. I decided I earned a break and headed out for a smoothie. By the time I got back Justen had then entire porch apart and had uncovered lots of bricks. We Martineaus have a little brick fetish, at least for the higher quality old paver style bricks. There had been a dozen of those just lying under the deck. My "overhead arms" were cashed so I decided to help out by cleaning up the crap from under the porch. I was halfway into the 3rd 5-gallon bucket of random bottles, cans, nails and plastic bits when our friend (and avid blog-reader) Andy pedalled by and stopped for a tour (hi Andy!). Next up was brick hauling. I started crating the uncovered bricks back to the "brickyard" that is now our backyard. I think Justen was a little confounded to learn that we've even go our bricks organized (well, sort of) in piles in the back. City pavers go against the fence. The facing bricks from the house go to the back pile and the crappy, crumbly porous red bricks go to the front pile. It sounds a little ludicrous, but we've got plans for each type and we may as well separate em now! Eric arrived post-work and three of us carted armload after armload back to their respective piles. Then Justen uncovered an old porch base made of street pavers. It was another dozen of the bricks we think might make a great patio someday. He good-naturedly dug them out for us only to realize that there was another layer below...and maybe next to that one. We let him off the hook on those and sent him on his way for the day. Then Eric and I dug up as many of the pavers as we could easily remove. By this point it was really dark and the storm hit our side of the city full force. So we went inside and I convinced Eric to "just put a little of the paint on the ceiling" in the living room that I'd primed. 1 1/2 hours later the ceiling was aglow in Jersey Cream. Aside from some aerial edging, that ceiling is almost done! Can't wait to put up the wall color tomorrow!

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