Monday, August 26, 2013

How To Make It Rain Every Weekend

It's simple, really.  If you need it to rain in your neighborhood, plan an outdoor project that requires NO chance of rain at all.  You know, something like painting your front deck.  We purchased the Deck Over (a Behr product that smells absolutely horrible but does an amazing job on mistreated wood), the deck cleaner for our power washer, and the various disposable brushes and rollers right before the 4th of July.  Since then, it has rained Every. Single. Weekend. (Except for the one when we went out of town, and therefore couldn't have painted the deck anyway.)

 Can you tell it needs a little TLC??

So this weekend, finally, we had a forecast of decent weather.  Greg got out and power washed the deck on Friday, killing all the mold and mildew and other crap.  Then we replaced the handrails, stair treads and a few of the deck boards that were not salvagable.  Our grand plan was to paint it on Saturday!

But God has a sense of humor.  The forecast for Saturday had a 50% chance of rain.  We knew we didn't have anything that we could cover the deck with if it rained, so we decided to, once again, delay the project.

Sunday morning we headed off to church, while the local meteorologist mocked us soundly with "Zero percent chance of rain and low humidity - it's going to be a beautiful day!"  ::sigh::  There's no way we could finish that massive paint job in an afternoon.

Or so we thought....

The philosopher decided, on the way home, to see how dry the wood was on the deck.  It had been incredibly waterlogged, and even though we didn't actually get rain on Saturday we'd've never been able to paint because of that.

Dry!  By golly, it was dry!

So in our complete insanity... I mean, desire to finish the project ... we donned our grubbies after lunch and started painting at 1pm. 

Have I mentioned how much this product stinks?  And that's it's about as thick as concete?

Yeah.  That.

 But we persevered, and if I do have to say so myself it looks darned good!

(Pardon me while I slather on the muscle rub now...)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

North Georgia Adventure

We just got back from a wonderfully relaxing trip to Ellijay (in the North Georgia Mountains).


It was a beautiful weekend, and surprisingly cool for Georgia in August.

This is where we stayed:

It was perched at the top of a ridge looking down into the valley below.  Although there were plenty of other cabins nearby, you couldn't see or hear anyone else at all. 

We went hiking on the Benton Mackaye Trail on Friday - the first good hike we've gotten since last fall.  (How quickly the time flies!)

And just to prove that we were actually there, here we are at Fall Branch Falls.

The falls weren't far from the trailhead, but we hiked on past them for about 5 miles, so all told it was around a 10 mile there-and-back hike from the Fall Branch Trailhead to Scoggin's Knob... with a 1800' elevation change in the process.  (Oh, my aching calves!!)

We saw an Ent looming over the trail - he didn't introduce himself, but I'm convinced it was a relative of Quickbeam.

Lots of beautiful mountain views, too.  I'm sure in the winter the vistas are even more gorgeous!

 And then we came across... this.

 We suspect gnomes.

And I have to give props to our little Ford Focus - it really was a trooper!  Our cabin - and the trailhead - were both deep in the woods on several miles of forest-service roads.  Like this:

No, that's not the trail.  That's the ROAD!  The road up the mountain to our cabin was even more alarming, very steep and gravelly and narrow.  Thank goodness we didn't meet any SUVs coming up or down!

We ate dinner in Cherry Log (that's the town, not the restaurant) at a place called the Pink Pig.  And we headed up to Blue Ridge to Mercier Orchards, where we picked up a bag of early apples and some fried apple pies.  YUM!

All in all it was a most excellent adventure - I read several books on the porch swing, the philosopher got some writing done, and we didn't answer the phone or check email at all!  So now, I suppose, I should go check that email and listen to voicemail and get on with the rest of my week!