Today, progress was made on two critical fronts on the homestead: we don't live on a country road anymore and the deck is much happier.
Paving All Done (we hope)
Several months ago, the city decided to repave most of the streets in our neighborhood. The streets had issues in places, but overall seemed reasonably OK. Since then, we have been banned from parking on the street five or six times - once was for three days. A couple of these days absolutely nothing happened, while on others a small amount of stuff would get done. It was like they took delight in disrupting our routines.
The aggravating part was that they would usually ban the parking on all of the streets at once, making it really hard to find a place to park the cars (and being California, we are all required by law to have WAY more cars and trucks and SUVs than even vaguely necessary).
About a month ago, our streets were left looking like this.
A lot of these rocks were actually glued down, but a lot of them weren't, and it felt like you were driving down a cattle trail. The rocks would get stuck in your tires and noisily come loose while going down the freeway. Our driveway would get drifts of these things.
This is what we were left with after today. It's fairly nice looking and relatively smooth - and kind of unusual looking with no patches, potholes, or blemishes.
The neighborhood is starting a pool for who will end up digging up this street first to fix a sewer or water issue.
Maintaining the Deck
I am really bad about properly maintaining our deck. I've only sealed it once, four or five years ago, since we have lived here, but I was determined to get around to it this summer. We ordered a new retractable awning to cover a large part of the deck, and this supplied the motivation needed to give the deck some love.
This is what the wood looked like before we started.
We started by cleaning the deck. If you are curious, the deck is about 400 square feet. It is big. Which means it can hold a LOT of stuff.
The lawn is currently keeping all the deck stuff company (except for the larger pots that were too clumsy to move).
This is what the wood looks like now (it was not dry at this point). The color of the sealer (Rustic Red) was a very disturbing color when first applied, but once allowed to dry a bit, it looked much better. I swear I could hear the dry wood slurping down the stuff - it even belched a few times.
The awning is going to be mounted on the far wall in this picture, going all the way across the deck and pulling out to just before the door on the right. It should provide a large dry area in the winter and a large shady area in the summer.
But first we've got to figure out how we managed to fit all that stuff on the deck and how we're going to make it fit again.
That's it - move along...