Wednesday, June 25, 2008

If I Had A Hammer...

I'd climb 15 feet into the air and tack shade cloth onto Momma's pergola :) Actually, we used a drill today, and T was the one so high up, but it was still 15 feet high! Some of you have heard the saga-esque stories of my parents' pergola (a trellis-like structure with no roof--just rafters, posts, and beams--that goes around 3/4 of their house), and the saga continues still. Construction began, I think, before I left for college, but I can't remember anymore. After we got the initial structure up, we've added on here and there. We added shade cloth in strategic places along the three sides; we put finishing touches on the ends; we've repaired the old shade cloth and added more; and when Momma designed the back patio, she planned in another taller, 4-post pergola (separate from the one around the house, much taller, but still in the same style), which T and I build when we were visiting last summer (I think). This summer, our pergola task was to put shade cloth on top of the tall pergola and also add rafters from the house to the pergola, putting more shade cloth across those. So we woke bright and early, ready to do or die (not really to die) and get a nice tan in the 6:00 sun, and began! Actually, it went very smoothly. Daddy had shown us where all the tools were, the 15" drill bit, the huge nuts, washers, and bolts, all the fun air compressor tools (I think my favorite is still the pneumatic nailer--putt-putt-putt and you're done!), the air compressor, wooden clamps, squeeze clamps, ladders, extension cords... you name it, my daddy has one :) and we may have used it! We got the rafters up no problem: attach brackets to house; fix clamp to post; rest rafter on clamp and secure to bracket; repeat for second rafter. Drilling bold holes in the ends, however, was a bit more difficult as the hole had to go through two 2x6 rafters and a 4x4 post (hence the 15" drill bit). But we managed, and secured the bolts (with another nifty air compressor tool--the impact wrench. Cool!). The shade cloth was a bit more tricky because it has to be stretched tight enough to not be vulnerable to the high winds in the area. T is a master, though, and we were able to get that up easily, too. See how high T is?! He says he likes to climb up there and sit on the rafters as he tacks the cloth because he's lazy (yeah, right?). He doesn't like to move the ladder around to get at the various places he needs to screw in the boards.. Silly husband :) Anyway, the whole process went well and we finished by 11:00 a.m. We went swimming with some of the nieces and nephews (after we showered) in my parents huge pool (which is a fabulous pool--above-ground, but filtered and maintained with a salt-water system. No nasty chemicals.). Later in the afternoon, I went out back with Momma and picked a couple baskets of apricots from her heavy-laden tree. These apricots are ripening late in the game, since the tree is in shade for a large portion of the day, but I think it was very nice of the tree to be late, because now I get to help her pick them. We'll do some canning later in the visit, I hope. I love bringing back home made jam :D This evening we headed into to town for a nice family bbq at my sisters' houses (they live right across the way from each other). My brother-in-law, Mike (can't use initials--there's a Mic and a Mike who both married older sisters) makes fabulous ribs! OH MY GOODNESS they were so yummy! I think I ate about 5 of them, along with all the other food! We had a yummy pasta salad from my oldest sister and a green salad, and corn on the cob.. There's always so much delicious food when my families (yes, in-laws too!) get together, I think I gain 10 pounds every visit! But it's still really good. And the kids even got spider man Popsicles (from the ice cream truck!) as a treat. I asked for a bite and they all wanted to give me one--except they got a little too excited about sharing and tried to smear me with popsicle. Whatever :) So we're ready for bed after a wonderful family-filled day. It's great to be back with my parents, all my siblings, their spouses, and all their little kiddies! I love that families always keep growing! Tomorrow the boys are going on a bike ride (T is hiking--he's the chauffeur service) in the mountains. Maybe T will write about that on his blog :)

1 comment:

  1. Aah, I see you're already stealing pictures. :D Good, now get yours up so I can do that same. lagbs