Ever have a project that you started but you just could find the time to finish?
It looms over you like this dark cloud. And it’s even worse when you are a blogger because people have expectations. People accuse you of trying to be deceitful and act like you are hiding something. Well…I am here to admit that I have had one of those dark clouds. Actually it was half dark because part of it was finished and the other part was not at all. It was our deck…
When we tackled it back in the early spring, we had every intention of finishing it. But Jeremy is one of the world’s slowest painters (he does a great job but it’s just a painfully slow task and he gets antsy and frustrated so usually I do the painting) and I am terrified of heights so there was no way I was gonna finish the outer part of our deck stain job.
The other problem we have is that you have to stain when the weather is right. Too hot, too cold, too wet…all bad for staining.
So for the majority of the year, it looked like this….partly finished. OH THE SHAME. Go ahead. Judge me now. Judge like you have never judged before. I can take it.
When we revealed the Home Depot Patio Challenge results some folks were like….show us the other side! Show us what you did there! The answer was like um….nothing. we did nothing. we didn’t even bother staining the baby gate.
And I didn’t want to show the outer railing….
and definitely not the steps…
It just was plain ugly. ignored. and like past episodes of Oprah….pretty much erased from our memory. Sometimes those unfinished projects are easy to see when they belong to someone else but when they are yours…they eventually become unnoticed.
That is…until Carlos our painter arrived and we bundled in ‘finishing the deck’ with our painting the inside cost. We wanted to pay about $400 for the task and in the end, he did it for $500 plus supplies. We calculated that each segment of outer deck railings took about an hour for Jeremy to finish and he had 16 segments left including the baby gate plus a second coat on the upper deck, two coats on the stairs and the stairway railings to do. All in all, we figured out that it would have been about minimum of 24 hours of constant work for us to do all of it. That’s about $20 an hour for a skilled laborer. I’d pay that any day!
So I wanted to share with you the finished deck. This is not staged. This is how it is all the time…rain or shine. Well…sometimes we fold the umbrella down if there is wind. You might notice that it isn’t as snazzy as the staged look we did for the deck reveal but that is okay with us….this is real life.
The whole deck is completely stained and we didn’t sweep it or do anything to prep for these photos. We do leave our seat cushions outside so that is completely normal. The throw pillows are all stashed inside in an ottoman…if we wanted to spruce it up, we could in about two minutes.
When we got home from our beach vacation, it was complete and we do still need to do touch ups on the house (there was two little areas of overspray that Carlos offered to touch up but we couldn’t find the paint at the time so we just told him not to worry about it). We moved the lounge chairs up here in the corner and the boys LOVE using the cushions as ‘slides’.
The middle of the deck seemed like wasted space so we moved the grill there. I think we should probably put the extra gas tank inside 🙂
So the real use of this deck now is a place for plants to be half dying half rehabilitated. The succulents did REALLY well but now I think they are getting too much rain. I have no idea what is happening to that tall one with the flowering tops. Any succulent experts out there? Help!
The white geraniums almost died completely (gray pot) so now I am trying to nurse those back. The top I cut off a pineapple I just threw in a pot of soil and now it is the only thing really thriving. I pay perfectly good money for plants and they die but I put trash in a pot and it grows. Go figure.
My mossy art is completely dead. I have no idea what I was doing with it. I knew in my heart it would happen. It’s like when everyone knew Miley was about to lose it. Or Britney. Or any celebrity tween girl in the spotlight. I decided I am gonna Brit-brit this back to life though. I have a plan. Just call me Simon Cowell.
I had some container tomatoes in the driveway and they did ok at first but then they got super leggy. I moved them back here and now there is a little more green on them. I think they only have a couple more months so we shall see what happens. Next year I think I might have a proper garden again so these might be herb containers 🙂
All the little potted plants were house plants but they weren’t thriving so I moved them outside. This is a really shady deck so I think they only get SLIGHTLY more sun than inside the house. One of them has a fungus. That is what my mom said. The others weren’t getting watered enough. I take blame for the watering….not the fungus.
You can see we had to replace our flag holder. The old one bit the bucket. Is that the phrase? Kicked the bucket? Bit the curb? What is it?
Oh and the ferns we moved to the front porch so our $20 tall planters are empty.
But the outside of the deck looks great.
I didn’t even bother moving the hose or raking the mulch back in the beds. Real life problems. This takes me back to when I started blogging….everyone had crap pictures and it was always unstaged. My how things have changed 🙂
The plants overall are doing okay down there in the ground. I amended the soil enough that they should grow okay. We still have a few little things we want to do…like replace that fluorescent light over the window and spray paint the light near the basement doors.
It’s not too shabby considering four years ago it all looked like this 🙂