I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Friday, June 15, 2012

Too much for this old lady.

This is how I feel today.

Yesterday we prepared the porch deck for refinishing. We let this go way too long and now it's in desperate need. 
Ten years ago I refinished the whole deck, when the Prospector was gone for a few days. All by myself. Imagine!
 I didn't know it, but I was young then. It's all a matter of perspective. 
 Lowe's, our successful and much visited "do it yourself" store, advises that you refinish every two or three years... max. Of course they are selling the PRODUCTS, so they would always recommend this be done more often than is probably necessary.
 However, water does not "bead" on this deck anymore. It hasn't for the last few years, so it was time for a serious cleaning and staining, whether Lowe's thought so or not.
Yesterday I volunteered to work on the porch FOR A WHILE. The job required using a vacuum and metal spatula to dig out ten years of accumulated gravel, dog hair (that's six dogs in 16 years.), oak leaves, bird feathers (yes, baby bird feathers.) dust and dirt from between the boards. This is a down on your knees, labor intensive job that required a 20 to 40 year old body without arthritis in the hands and feet. The Prospector had started the job, got about a third of it done and came in saying he had some "other stuff" to do. I know, living with this man for forty seven years, that this now translates to "My #&@# knees are killing me." and that this was going to be a long day.
I went out and thought, "This doesn't look so hard.", so I sat down and started working the cracks. Once I got started it, somehow, became a competition... with myself. It became an issue of endurance. I was determined to finish the whole blessed porch. I couldn't stop myself. 
Yes, well... that is what happens when you get old. You feel you have to prove something. I'm not sure what it is that I felt I had to prove, but when I stood up an hour or so later, I knew that I would have this "PROOF" for a few days, maybe a week, afterwards. I could hardly move.
There was so much "debris" in between the boards that you couldn't see through to the ground below. 
YOU CAN NOW! After an hour or so of digging out the solidified sand and dog hair with the scraper and vacuuming it up, the boards are ready for some sanding and our neighbor's power washer. With the temperature going over 100 degrees this weekend the porch should be dry enough to stain by next week.
We had to replace the steps.
The old ones were shot and no amount of stain was going to bring them back to life. Glad we didn't wait too much longer or we might have had to replace the whole porch.
So today we rest. This was more than our 67 years old bodies could almost handle and we are realizing that we now have LIMITS. You know... the ones you ignored when you were younger, and now... you pay dearly for your efforts the next day (or two... or three... or a week later.) 
I'm trying to accept being a senior citizen person but it sucks (excuse me.. no other word fits as well.), so I complain and I take naps.
It's part of the sensual delight of living past middle age.
Carl is tired of listening to me. He's leaving.
And Cutter...
Well... he is chillin' in the air-conditioned living room and he says, " Just rub more Aspercreme in, Farmlady. Stop whining.... Can I have a biscuit?"


  1. oh my....you worked hard...gonna look good when done...good job...smiles.

  2. Farmlady I loved this post. It made me smile tonight. I am sorry you are hurtin' though. I followed you when I was on blogger and have you in my google reader. I moved a year ago from Blogger, Rural Rambles, to Wordpress and still read you in my Google Reader and when I read about Minden, since we are looking for no humidified places to retire I just really got hooked on visiting you! Just wanted to say Hi and my 60 year old body is screaming limitations to me too!

  3. THAT is alot of work...old or not, my gosh, I can't believe you did it in one day! When I get something done I usually need a good two days rest afterwards, and a nap! relax..;j

  4. Oh this was rich.....had me belly laughing....sucks indeed.....we need our deck done....oh my
    But I love the results...good work ..you showed 'em
    the gals still got it.....
    but enough already....rest and listen to the pooches

  5. I LOVE this post! Actually, I just noticed the quote at the top of your blog and absolutely love it as well! In fact, I'd like to "borrow" it. It would fit well with a discussion that's been going on on my Canine Rescue's Facebook page.

    Then, the picture of the squirrel!!!!
    Where did you get that? Did you take it? OMG ~ it is the cutest thing! And it truly does epitomize exactly how we 'post middle aged' folks feel on a hot day when we've over done things. Heck! That's how I feel on a hot day PERIOD!!!

    Great job on the porch...

  6. I know how you feel, I used a knife a few weeks ago to clean out some of the dirt, dog hair, junk out of the space between deck boards, like I said "some" then hosed "some" more out. Then I lost my ambition, LOL. I sit in a chair to do it .... if I got down on the deck I would never get back up, but then I am older than you. LOL.

  7. That was some job. Looks good will look even better after you put the stain or whatever you put on.
    Rest and take it easy for a while. Have a blessed day. Madeline

  8. That was a job but it looks good. Will even look better after you have finished it. Rest and take care. Have a blessed day. Madeline

  9. You touched on an OCD obsession of mine LOL

    Every year, I have an old steak knife I use to clean out the cracks on the deck. Once I start, I can't stop and my fingers usually hurt. What kind of scraper do you use? Better idea than a knife!!

    Of course, I have never stained it or taken care of it otherwise!! Shame on me. I sit Indian style and do it. Good on the knees, but back hurts!

    It will look beautiful when done and worth the work!

  10. I read this post during the week but was distracted just as I was about to comment. But a few times during the week I've thought about you saying the deck should be redone every 2-3 years. Really? I did mine 2 summers ago, you mean I should do it again next summer? Mine still looks fine - honest. I'm the same age as you so maybe I should do it again, if I put it off for another year, I might not be capable. Yep, this old age bit sure does suck!!


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