Wordless Wednesday 8.2.17




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invasive species

lust blinds, binds, burrows
deep into the flesh of those
harboring desires


ivy 2

The Daily Post daily one-word prompt: Lust

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Weekend Wildcard: Failing the Pitchfork Test

1 WILDCARDIt’s a sunny summer Saturday, and I’m sitting on my back deck enjoying the morning coolness before the day heats up.

Technically, I have only three quarters of a deck right now. It seems that after 50 years, the wooden planks have decided to disintegrate. Not totally surprising… after 50 years my body began the same process.

I’ve been trying to cajole the deck into surviving another three to four years so I wouldn’t have to address the situation (and pay for a solution) any time soon. But I noticed a couple of spots that were getting downright spongy, so I had to do something.

Not to worry. I had a plan. I grabbed a rusted can of coagulating red paint from the garage and figured I’d go out and mark the soft spots so people would know where to avoid stepping. The more I inspected the deck, the redder it got. I wondered if I was going to run out of paint before I ran out of rotted areas to mark.

deck 2

Then I decided to give the deck a more definitive safety check, the pitchfork test. Very few people realize that the pitchfork is a well-tuned, precision measuring tool. And I just happened to have one in the back yard. The test involves positioning the pitchfork over a suspect crack in a deck plank and plunging the tines into the wood to see how far they sink in.

The deck failed that safety check most resoundingly, as about half the length of the tines disappeared into the board. The toughest part of the test comes with trying to pull the pitchfork back out of the board, but I managed with some effort.

deck 3

Okay, so the three to four year timeline on repairs would need adjusting. Significant adjusting. I decided to rip up the worst part of the deck, inclusive of the skewered test board, and figured by the time that was accomplished, inspiration would have struck and I would have a plan for resolving this matter. Apparently I worked too efficiently; by the time I got the planks off there were still no inspirations in sight.

The planks had been attached to some humongous creosote-laden beams that looked like railroad ties on steroids. That was promising. Maybe I could just buy a few boards to replace the worst of the bunch, hide the remaining red stripes and call it good.

But then I noticed some interesting splintering on one of the beams. Time once again for the pitchfork test. Aaand…

deck 4

another stupendous fail. By the time I got done establishing the extent of rot to the beam, I had pitchforked my way clear through it.

deck 5

So, yeah. It’s time to regroup here and figure out Plan B. Or C or D.  In the meantime, I just won’t be playing with a full deck. Not something all that uncommon for me anyway.

Oh, I almost forgot. How do I know the deck is at least 50 years old? A lovely woman named Ruth stopped by my house the other day with an envelope of photos of the property from 1967 or thereabouts. She and her husband had owned the home at that time. One photo shows the deck, which at that time appeared to have no red paint whatsoever.

deck 7

Anyway, it’s getting too warm out here on the partial deck, so I guess I’ll head inside and see what the rest of Saturday has in store for me.

I wish you a happy weekend, and I hope nothing rotten happens to you.

deck 1

Posted in humanity, humor, Weekend Wildcard | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments


still waters run deep
shallow waters laugh and play
dancing over stones


The Daily Post daily one-word prompt: Shallow

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boot camp

break with precision
grind sharp edges to conform
redefine wholeness


numbers4 (3)

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Numbers: Anything with Numbers on It

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looking glass

tell me what you see
hidden deep within my soul
mirror remains mute


The Daily Post daily one-word prompt: Hidden

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What Money Can Buy

dining room1

I was talking with my eldest daughter the other day (okay, maybe it was more like complaining) about how much I’ve been spending on all my DIY home improvement projects; projects which include reviving the hardwood floors that I discovered under my grungy living room carpet, ripping up the ugly linoleum from my bathroom floor and laying down vinyl tile, making a bathroom sink back splash out of art glass squares, constructing a stained glass privacy panel for the bathroom window, remodeling the kitchen (still in progress), and redoing my dining room to… well, to make it look like a dining room and not a staging area for all my other projects.

dining room

dining room

And those are just the indoor projects.

My daughter asked me if spending all that money brings me happiness. ‘Cuz, you know – that whole thing about how money can’t buy you happiness. I didn’t have to ponder that question long at all before giving a resounding “Yes!”

I never had much occasion to practice any handyperson skills up until the past couple of years, so every home improvement project I take on involves a learning process of new skills and knowledge about the workings of “this old house.” (Does that phrase sound familiar? I could probably start my own DIY TV program).

LR floor

living room floor

The projects have varying levels of success. Some turn out well, some have to be completely redone. Some results are “interesting” and “unique” to say the least, so I just pass those off to my eclectic artistic license and try to imply that that’s where I meant to go with the project – I just didn’t know it until I got there.

Regardless of how I rate the outcomes, I can honestly say the process itself is almost entirely fun and satisfying. I love the challenge, the chance to research and learn new things, the hands-on real world application of what I learn, and the gratification of a daily tangible result.



So despite my complaints about the cost of my myriad DIY projects, it is indeed money well spent. It buys a more comfortable, appealing home atmosphere. It buys an “experience” in addition to paying for material goods. And – you might well say – it buys me happiness.

home improvement 1

bathroom sink glass back splash

The Daily Post weekly photo challenge: Satisfaction

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