The Gardens at 173 - An Impressionist Retrospective

July 24, 2016

Going through some pictures, and looking around the yard made me realize I haven't done a "flowers" post yet this summer.  So I decided to take some new pics and some from last year's post and do something a little different.  I found a nice little app in the Play Store called Bonfire (no remuneration of any kind), that did a nice job with artsy filters.  So I thought it would be fun to do the pictures with an impressionism filter, you know - a la VanGogh!  Enjoy!
First, a couple non-flower shots.

Looking down the street.

Cyd - that's right, 173's gargoyle is named Cyd!
Birdhouse on an old birch branch.
One of my favorites from this collection!  And they were volunteers,
 every year we get sunflowers without planting any!

That's a ceramic garden cat in the back!

There you have it - a fun little project.  We're thinking about getting a couple printed for framing, we'll see how they turn out!

The Stoop Stairs - Softening the Blob!

July 23, 2016

You know how some things just bug ya?  And sometimes it's just little stupid things?  Well, I've had a stupid little thing bugging me here at 173.  It's the front steps.  Here's a shot of the front probably 2 or 3 years after moving in:

I have no idea how long those steps had been there, but they were pretty old.  You may not be able to tell in that picture, but there was no stoop, the risers were really high, and the treads way too narrow. Several years back I built a stoop and installed new steps, and it was ---- okay.

Out of love for all things Adirondack, 173 had that whole brown-and-white theme happenin'.  But, a few years later they were beginning to look a little ragged:

But then we had the big porch redo back in '13, and the front stoop ended up looking like this:

So far, so good.  But there's one...stinkin'....little thing that always bugged me.

You see it?  It's right there!  All that work that went into the outside of the house, the total change from brown-and-white to white, gray and black - and yet, the steps remained brown.  And just a big blob of brown at that.  It caught my eye every-single-day when I came home from work.  NO MORE!  Today I draw a line in the sand and scream from the rooftop I DON'T HAVE TO PUT UP WITH A BLOB FOR STEPS!  Okay, dialing back the drama.  Fact is, I decided to paint a little (LOL - probably could have covered that in the first sentence and been done with it!).  Of course with all that dark brown stain I figured some Zinser primer would be a good first step:

I really liked the white on the risers, but there was an almost unfinished look to it for me, so I decided to go with the Valspar Elephant Gray (which exactly matches the Flagstone siding).

So I only painted the risers, and in real-time the treads are a very dark brown - almost black, so I decided to leave the treads as-is for the time being.  Ultimately, I plan to replace the treads altogether so I think I can live with this for now.  At least it's not a huge blob anymore!

Carport: Second Time Around!

July 3, 2016

Yeah time flies.  I hear others say it all the time, so I don't feel quite so all alone when I say - the older I get the faster time goes.  It seems like it was just yesterday we re-built the carport, but apparently that was in 2002 - a full 14 years ago!
First a little background.  The carport was here when we got ol' 173, and here's what it looked like:
There's The Bruegger-Monster - such a great pooch!  That's what the back yard at 173 looked like back in 1997, chain link fence, iron pole and the angle-iron carport with the plastic (?) roof.  The yard went through some subtle evolutionary changes those first five years, then came the great re-do of 2001 and 2002!  Picket fences went up, and the roof of the carport was replaced:
Just starting the dismantling.

Kai, a friend from Germany helped build the roof.

Looks like I was a little ungrateful for the help!

This shot looks kinda posed!

Enhancing the posts.

Because of city codes, I really didn't want to take the carport down, but I did want a more substantial look to the posts, so I bolted wood to the angle iron to give it a totally different look!
The posts look much more substantial yeah?
That was all 14 years ago!  And here's why that is impressive to me - I did it wrong, and it still lasted that long!  For the roof deck I had used OSB, didn't put Ice and Water or even tar paper on it, didn't use pressure-treated lumber, and installed a tiny drip edge.  Like I said - it held up pretty good all these years, but finally tragedy struck (don't you love melodrama??):
You can't really tell here, but the rain gutter had fallen off.

Here's a better shot after removing the metal roofing.

Totally stripped down.
 After totally removing the roof, I put new cross-supports in using pressure-treated lumber this time!  And I also used a combination of Ice-and-Water Shield (almost all of the roof was covered because I had so much left over from the gable project) and a small amount of tar paper.  And for the sake of uniformity, I switched the roof material from brown to aluminum to match the shed.
Before the final reveal - here's another early shot of that corner of the yard and the carport:
And now!
A little better huh? Hopefully, in view of the fact that I "did it right" this time - maybe we'll get even more than 14 years out of this!
Next project!!  Thanks for reading!

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