Monday, May 22, 2017

I Built A Screened In Porch! :)


Hi Everyone!! :)

It is raining pretty hard today so I had some time inside to catch up with my blog friends and post an update. I have to say it's been a challenging week! Alex is still pretty sick and spends most of his time in bed, he has no energy. But he is gradually healing so we're both really happy about that! His insomnia is gone thanks to passionflower tincture but he still sleeps pretty much all day and is up all night. He's trying to shift his schedule by staying awake an extra hour each day, he should be back to his usual sleeping schedule in a few weeks. All of the household and pet responsibilities have fallen on me so I've been a wee bit overwhelmed! We had some really hot weather to start last week, but I'm shivering as I type this today. 


My seedlings are doing so well...too well to stay in this window! Look at the pumpkin...the leaves are too tall now, but it doesn't look like we'll have warmer weather until the first week of June. I can probably start to transplant the lettuce, spinach and beets, but the rest will have to patiently wait!


The last hold outs were the carrots, and finally they are starting to sprout! I planted them April 29th.


Despite the cold weather, the lilac tree is starting to come alive! That's good news! So...how have I kept busy, besides caring for my home, pets and boyfriend for the last week? I decided to build my screened-in porch on my own. Bug season is upon us and I need my sanctuary!


Alex wanted to do it for me and asked me to wait, but you know what? He's just too sapped of energy right now and we don't know when he'll be healthy and energetic again. Plus, I wanted to see if I could actually do this on my own. I didn't buy the best material, knowing it would be temporary for the next 2 years. I started with 2 x 8's and sanded them all, all 30 of them.


Then I stained them what I thought was the same colour as the fading brown on the current porch!


Not a bad match! But my colour is nicer. :) I took advantage of the sunny beginning of the week to build the frame on one side and screen it in. Thank goodness I have that arnica gel for my hands!


I finished TODAY. For someone with zero carpentry skills, I'm really proud of myself! Remember I talked about that silly space where I hang my garden tools? I was going to completely block that off because it's about 1 1/2 feet wide and you can only walk sideways on there - such a wasted space!


Instead, I decided I needed the space, but also needed access so I built a screen door. That was my "guinea pig" because I've never built a door, door frame or hung a door before, so it was a learning curve!


This was the real challenge. The front screen door. OMG...the challenge...mistake, fix mistake, mistake, fix mistake...I was so frustrated at the end that I was in tears! But I got it all done. It hangs perfectly, has handles, a lock, and even magnets to keep it shut when I go down the stairs. Alex came out to help me hang it. After just half an hour, he was out of energy again, but I couldn't have finished it without him!


I'm pretty proud of myself. Now I just have to hope that Charlie won't barrel right through the screen on her way to the yard...I think when I go out next time, I'll have to stop by the hardware store for some kind of "kick guard". The only thing left to do is lay down the carpet. I bought some of that green fake grass carpet!!! I love that stuff! :) I'll do that tomorrow, then I can sit and rest my weary muscles!


That porch was a heck of a lot of work for me. Mama Pea, you said your ankles hurt one day after you were gardening...well, my ear lobes hurt, how's that? Lol...The dogs got their walk in the woods each morning still, that was kind of my "nature therapy" helping me through this challenging time! See Jack? He's "pointing" because he saw a rabbit. He's got some hunting dog in him that's for sure!


And look what I got in the mail the other day! Alex ordered this book for me because he said he wanted me to have some fun "porch reading". Even though he's quite ill, he's still spoiling me. Meals have been all over the place. I'm making very bland and healthy food for Alex and by default I've been eating a lot less and have been losing weight. I need my comfort food again! :)  No skinny minny in this house!!! Tomorrow will be warm and sunny again, so I'm going to try to do some work in the garden after I lay down my fake grass carpet. :)  I saw Charlie sniffing and eyeing my seedlings when I brought them out...so I don't need convincing that my container garden will need to be fenced in, I'd like to do that this week. 

I hope the upcoming week will be a little easier but you know, I love Alex so much and I love my little fur family, so even though it's exhausting, I thrive on taking care of them. I just can't forget about myself in the shuffle!

34 comments:

Sunnybrook Farm said...

If you can build a screened in porch you are well along the way to building a chicken coop one day. We have a screened in porch as mosquitoes are bad at times here but I suspect they originally built it because of all the flies associated with the dairy that was once here.

Lisa said...

Oh my goodness it turned out great! Pat yourself on the back!

John M said...

I hope Alex feels better and gets his strength back.
You did a great job.

Rachel said...

I'm so impressed! You're talented with all projects, large and small! I wouldn't even know where to begin lol. Anyway, the porch and plants look great. Hope Alex continues improving and feels much better soon!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Wow, you did a great job! Congratulations.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Looks good to me Rain. Well done.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

You did a fantastic job on that porch -- congrats! And I hope Alex feels better soon.

Nicole Thomas said...

I hope Alex will feel better soon !!!
Your porch looks great. Awesome job :)

Leigh said...

Wow, Rain! I am so impressed with your screened in porch! You go girl. It turned out really well. I so hope Alex gets to feeling better as well as his energy back. It's no fun being sick! What a blessing to have you taking such good care of him.

1st Man said...

That screen porch is awesome! Nice job, heck I haven't even thought to try something like that. I wished we had a spot for one, we could screen part of the front porch but it probably wouldn't work. We'll see someday, we've take about another porch on the back of the house but that would involve building a whole NEW porch before even screen it in. But you inspire us, we're doing to refer back to this someday. Great work!!!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

what a great job! you have some hidden carpentry skills! i hope alex feels better soon!

Ruth said...

get a small piece of the lattice you used in your last post and put it on the bottom of the door, it'll help with the dog running through it risk!

Looks good!

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

Wow! Great job! That is amazing that you could do that. I wouldn't know where to start! Wishing good health for Alex and many hours of enjoyment for you two sitting out on that porch! Seedlings seem to have a mind of their own when it comes to growing! Nancy

Rain said...

Thanks Gill! :) Here it's mostly the black flies that are horrible. We do get mosquitoes and deer flies too. But those black flies are like kamikaze jets coming in for the kill...can't stand them!

Rain said...

Thank you Lisa!!! :)

Rain said...

Thanks John! :) Now I have to figure out how to cage in my garden like you did! :)

Rain said...

Thanks Rachel! :) Honestly, I had no clue where to begin either. I had to go back to the hardware store a few times for supplies, but I did get a lot of advice from the guys at there too.

Rain said...

Thanks Starting Over! :))

Rain said...

Thanks TB! :) I have to say that it gave me a new perspective on using the proper tools...

Rain said...

Thanks Debra! :))

Rain said...

Thank you Nik! :) Alex is still slowly recovering, one day good, the next day not so good...but things are coming along. :)

Rain said...

Thanks Leigh! :)) I think it turned out well too, though next time I'd do things a little more efficiently. Practice makes perfect! And Alex is very grateful I'm taking care of him, he feels really useless and wishes he could have helped me more, but that's okay. His turn to take care of me when he's better! :)

Rain said...

Thanks 1st Man! :)) The porch is a nightmare to begin with...it's not level, all crooked, it was a huge challenge to get the door on straight...if this were my home, I would have torn it all down and started from scratch that's for sure!

Rain said...

Thanks Joyce! :)) I always wanted to take a carpentry course, but I learn as much as I can from You Tube and Ask This Old House!!! :)

Rain said...

Thanks Ruth! :)) Good idea about the lattice. It's light enough for that big door. Charlie has already started to poke her nose against the screen...

Rain said...

Thanks Nancy! :)) The seedlings are going crazy...I thought it would be a little slower considering we didn't have much sun this month, boy was I wrong. I have to keep that in mind for next spring!

Susan said...

You absolutely ROCK! That is a marvelous job, Rain! You might want to consider using a section of hardware cloth on the bottom of the screen door - it would be solid enough to keep Charlie from going through the screen. Or you could put a cross-piece on a diagonal to make a visual barrier. Hope Alex is recovering and that you are not overdoing!

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

OH!! MY!! RAIN!!! Look at that fantastic job! I am so impressed! I would have never taken on something like that...I know myself too well now to know that I would get so incredibly frustrated and annoyed. That is going to be the best screened in porch around - everyone will want to come and hang out now (oh dear no!!!) :)

Love the way Charlie is pointing! So adorable!

I hope Alex is feeling better today - sending him good energy!

My lilac is just about blooming - this one I planted is an early one. Some tend to come out a bit later in June. The one I have is incredibly fragrant and I just love their scent. One of my faves!

It rained 2 out of our 3 day long weekend. Saturday was a "hurry up and get it ALL done" kind of day which I did. I was out in the yard at 9 a.m. and didn't come in until about 4. Which would have been later except we had to be out in the country for dinner with my brother and his family. I knew it was going to start raining Sunday so got most everything planted. The few exceptions are some marigolds and some petunias. Those will go into the pots tonight. My potatoes even got planted - I am happy about this as I hope to get at least 2 harvests from them. My mother in law too was curious about the potato bags as she has never heard about those too.

I hope the sun is shining for you and you are on the porch!
Dianna

Rain said...

Thanks Susan :)) You're always so supportive :) I was thinking about some kind of cloth as well for a barrier because I don't know how much weight that big door can handle on the frame I built. I think if at least it's visual, she'll get the picture. Last summer she ran right through the screen I'd put up. Mind you, it was only like a drape of screen, still though, with Charlie, it's what she wants, she goes for! :)

Rain said...

Oh thanks so much Dianna! :)) You're so sweet :) Trust me, I had to breathe a lot because I was getting frustrated. It's more out of a lack of knowing what I"m doing and trying to wing it, not getting it right, then trying something new. I'm really glad it's done though and I hope it lasts through the winter! I might take the door down in October though. And btw, NO NEIGHBOURS are welcome on this porch! ;)

I can't wait for the lilac tree to bloom, the fragrance is so lovely. If I have the chance, I'm going to try that lilac lemonade too. That's a long day in the yard, I've spent 7 and 8 hour days outside too and it makes for a sore body, but oh so worth it! I can't plant yet!! It's still going down below 10 degrees each night...I have to wait at least until it hits the 15 average...that looks like June 5th if I trust the Weather Network. Good for you for getting your potatoes planted! I'm curious about those potato bags, I saw a video about them and they look like they work really well. The forecast is changing daily now...hopefully more sunshine tomorrow!

baili said...

i am so proud of you to take such responsibility which you never tried before .
you did wonderful job as i can see your screen porch looks FANTASTIC!!!
you are amazing daring lady dear Rain.

I am sorry about Alex as he is not well and all he used to do for you is on your shoulders now.
Hope and pray that may he be blessed with perfect health and happy life with you ,amen.
i can feel your concern for him and for your furry family ,you should not be so hard on you my friend ,take good care of yourself too and eat well too.
sending you best wishes for your work in garden this week.

Rain said...

Thank you Baili! :)) Thanks for the encouraging and nice words :)) Alex is getting better each day. He just has to get his rest, which is tough on him, I know the feeling, when I'm sick, the last thing I want to do is spend my days in bed! I'm too restless for that! I'm making sure I get lots of sleep too, the last thing I want is for me to get sick! I hope the week will be a good garden week too! :)

Sam I Am...... said...

OMG!!!! You are my role model! I have said for years I wanted to learn woodworking so I could do things around the house and when I had my farm I started doing some things, got sick and then lost all my confidence muscle evidently. You are amazing and you did an amazing job!!! You have inspired me to get off my duff and quit skirting the fact that I have things I need/want to do around here and have been using excuses like 'moving' and since that isn't happening anytime soon I need to get busy! There are so many things to clean, organize, paint and build but I am up for it thanks to you! No more being stuck in 'overwhelming land'! LOL! What a great job you did and your plants look great and I just can't stop looking at it! Awesome! I hope Alex recovers....what's wrong with him? I hope it's not serious although it must be to take a young man like that down for so long. I pray he heals soon! I better order some of that Arnica Gel before I get going! LOL! Keep up the great work!

Rain said...

Thank you so much Sam! :)) I do admit, my confidence was lacking when I started, it seemed like an overwhelming job to do. But I just made a list of the steps I had to take, and wrote realistic time frames too. Practicing the measure twice, cut once method helps tremendously! Even though I had to measure 3 times and cut twice sometimes because the darn porch is so crooked lol...I found that the most difficult part was when I needed more than 2 hands. Holding up the wood at the top of the porch to screw it in took some creativity. I had some wires screwed into the siding to hold ends up where I had no hands to help me. You can totally do this, if you're careful, take your time and have the right tools! And never give up! Yes, get that Arnica! It really helps a lot. Thanks again :))