Just when we think we can’t handle any more of anything, the sanding of our decks finally finished. The motors went silent. The vibrating stopped. We were left with baby-bottom-smooth wood and five inches of dust on everything outside AND inside the house. All that remained was the staining or varnishing or oiling or whatever, to seal the wood against the harsh NW winter. And by harsh, you know I mean wet. Wet was a problem, as it rained off and on over the past week, so the crew had to wait until the wood was dry enough to seal.
Everything was going well as the decks were sealed, until we looked at the front porch. For some unknown reason, the crew began sealing our front porch a very dark redwood color, when for 25 years they had been using a clear-colored varnish to seal the cedar. STOP! The dark stain would have to be removed… and, of course, in order to remove it without an odd transition – the ENTIRE porch (it is a 50′ wide porch with two sets of stairs) had to be stained, left to dry, and then – drum roll please – sanded down to nothing again. I swear the wood on our front porch must be about 1/4-inch thick by now. More vibrating, more sanding, more noise. More dust.
The guys came up for the last touch-ups and clean up Friday (yesterday morning). When they left – seriously, we adore them all and have for years – I nearly cried with happiness. Wait. I did. It had been a very long two-weeks of noise… and they also painted a door or two… railings, and our gutters… and well, one of us practically had to be here all the time.
It was a magical relief to have them finish Friday morning, as we had lunch reservations Friday to celebrate our 39th wedding anniversary. Yeah, us! Of course, we went to the Dundee Bistro in wine country, followed by a trip to Red Ridge Farms to purchase Oregon Olive Oil and have my photo taken by My Driver/Husband of 39 years. (No one was around to take our photo together and My Driver declined a snapshot… but he looked very handsome.)
Shirley and Martin’s eldest daughter, Emma, lives in Portland with her husband and two children. Their second daughter, Kate, lives in Scotland with her husband and two children. Kate’s husband had to go out of town on business, so Kate flew to Portland to spend some time with her sister. They are having so much fun and invited us to join-in with them today.
We met them in Lake Oswego, a suburban just south of Portland, for a stroll in the lakeside farmers market and lunch at Pizzeria sul Lago. Dave and I hadn’t been to this area for years and there are so many nice new shops and restaurants.
The kids devoured an impressive amount of pizza (it was very good pizza) and mounds of pasta. Maybe I did bake Madeleines this morning.
After lunch, we walked down the block to Salt & Straw – the famous Portland Ice Creamery (that now have shops up and down the west coast, including LA and Disneyland). They are famed for unusual flavors, but do offer vanilla. Every kid wanted a vanilla cone, but I was a bit more daring and tried their olive oil ice cream, because – guess what? – they use the same olive oil we use from the Oregon Olive Mill in the recipe. Here are a scoop-load of photos of adorable children eating ice cream:
What a wonderful afternoon with Shirley and Martin’s family. I know a certain granny who is very jealous of how we spent our afternoon.
Until my next update, (which I hope will be soon as the team rebuilding this blog claim they will be finished on Monday), I remain, your very happy correspondent.