Sunday, August 29, 2010

More crazy 'maters - new deck!

Alas, the summer is winding down and we are scrambling like mad to freeze, can, jar dehydrate or use all of the vegetables that have been popping up. We always seem to bite off more than we can chew, so there is always some amount of loss .. be it cucumbers that turn into Louisville Sluggers, peppers that rot on the vine, etc. For the most part, though, we have been on top of it and have been socking away many jars of tomatoes and pickles and have been making our 'summer soup' consistently for a month now.

You recall the mammoth tomatoes in the grow dome from the last post. This is what we are talking about now - tomato plants overflowing from the windows!

The back yard still looks a bit like a demilitarized zone. Slowly, we have been moving the various piles of dirt to places in the front yard that need it. Grass seed to follow.

Katie has spent a lot of time pruning the plants on the inside of the grow dome. You can see the hollowed out section that she pruned through. This way, she can literally walk inside and pick the tomatoes from the inside of the mess!

This house supplies us with an never ending stream of projects. A while ago we cut out the old patio deck, which was in the final stages of sublimating into a vapor state. The last straw was when Aiden went through a rotten deck board up to his hip. Now, we are finally getting around to putting a new patio deck in. Last week - every day after work - I dug post holes and prepared posts. This Saturday and Sunday I put in full 8 hour days in the hot sun getting the basic structure in place. This shot is from Saturday morning - the posts awaiting the support structure to come.

A lot of preparation went into just getting to this point. Aside from simply needing a deck, there are issues with rain water flowage. This meant grading ground beneath the deck to shunt moisture away, putting down plastic and bringing in gravel. Once the deck is complete I will put in large gutters and down spouts which will carry the water under the deck and down hill away from the house.

As the afternoon progressed, I was able to discover where my level line would be and begun hanging 2"x6" joists.

By the end of the day Sunday we had a plan for how to arrange the deck boards. It's actually starting to look like something! When we are through, we will probably rebuild the stairs and use that space more fully - what is there currently was just a temporary solution. We'll hide some of the ugly under stuff with some lattice, too.

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