Last week Christopher and I built Lorna a porch – Merry Christmas! Today Chris and Jeff started work on Mom's new porch. Steve and I bought the supplies and the boys are supplying the plans and labor – Merry Christmas again!
Here's the way Mom's house looked when she bought it last summer, sort of. This is after I painted the yellow front door dark blue.
The new porch will cover the old concrete and be wider and deeper.
The boys worked together and separately on related tasks.
I sort of make Jeff crazy. We both tend to like to be in charge and this was his job, not mine. I had to make myself a bit scarce so as not to make his head explode.
Christopher finds it easier to ignore me so I don't make him as crazy. I know he selectively ignores me and that's OK. See that look on his face? He has that look when he looks at me a lot.
Steve has a Ph.D. and the boys will each have one. But below you can see the first PHD (post hole digger) that any of them used. Steve always advised the boys to find a profession in which they did not have to use the PHD very often. However, when you need a hole for a 4×4 post, this is a good tool to have.
They mixed concrete to put in the holes with the 4×4 posts. I have watched the guys mix concrete numerous times and I think I could get the correct consistency. But mixing concrete requires a lot of upper body strength so I'm glad I'm a supervisor and not an actual mixer.
Jeff does lots of pushups, every day. It shows. He's also a math/statistics guy. He was keenly aware of the levelness of the new porch. Not that Christopher wasn't… but there is a difference between math guys and English literature guys. And I can 'feel' the difference without being able to exactly put it in words. But it's there.
One of the most wonderful parts of watching our boys work on a project like this is seeing how great at it they both are, in different ways. And they get to the same place, differently. It is a reminder to me that there are more ways to do something, to think about something, than I know. This is something I try to remember when I teach. I know what I know – but that isn't everything there is to know.
The really tall posts will be cut off to make handrails on each side of the steps to the porch. Mom really needs handrails these days – bursitis in her hip. She is not happy that her body is trying to fall apart but to her credit she is not a complainer. And she's still exercising. Way to go Mom!
The guys are consulting, below.
Steve took out the yellow mailbox today and I can't tell you how happy Mom is to see that go. Look close and you can see the yellow one on the ground near the pickup, below. The new, quieter mailbox will go in tomorrow. Also tomorrow Steve will put in the posts for a handrail next to the steps in the yard.
Also today Steve put up outside backyard lights. Mom no longer has to take Taz (a yorkie) out with a flashlight to pee in the dark. The thought of Mom out with the (stupid) dog in the dark and cold with a flashlight makes my head hurt.
I'm a cat person and admit to not loving this dog. That said, Taz was Christy's dog and Mom loves him (even when he pees on the floor). He is there for her to talk to. He makes her move even when she's not crazy about moving. I guess I can sort of like the dog. But my oh my I wish he didn't pee on the floor. At least he doesn't do it often and the floors are not carpeted.
I'll post more tomorrow so that you can see how the new front of the house turns out…