What follows is a semi-factual report of this past Father's Weekend at the Richard household.
[Scene 1: Saturday morning]
Yvonne and I got ready for our weekend project, replacing the front steps. While it turned out she didn't do as much as she (or I) wanted, she was still very helpful. And of course Dad came over to help too. Over the past few weeks I had begun collecting the supplies needed for the replacement. Stringers. Treads. Brackets. Screws. Posts. Railings.
We started with the removal of the old steps. I did my best to remove the nails before shoving the old wood out of the way. Everything came off except the small ledger board on the fascia of the deck. After a little cleanup, we were ready for the new stringers.
We started with eight stringers. The old steps were spaced about 18" on center. Not good. So with the extra stringers, it'd be about 12" on center. Then we cut the first one wrong. So we ended up with 16" on center. You see, every stringer had to be individually cut due to some uneven concrete that comprises our sidewalk. Seeing as I had no desire to pour a level sidewalk then build steps, we just measured and cut.
Once the stringer were in place, braced by hangers of course, then we went to work on the treads. Those were easy. The composite material was a dream to work with, just very heavy and extra wobbly in longer lengths.
Rain was coming so we cleaned up for the day. But Yvonne was nice enough to go to town with the family in tow so we could have dinner* and buy the railing brackets I forgot. We dodged most of the rain, had a good dinner, got the needed parts, and headed home. With William screaming. The. Whole. Way. Home.
[Scene 2: Sunday morning]
Saw us get up and running a bit later than normal. Yvonne made cinnamon roles for breakfast and we once again got ready to finish the steps. Dad arrived and work commenced. As we were putting the first post up, composite again, I realized I needed more brackets for the railing. Yvonne was kind enough to get some, along with lunch.
We go the first railing up by the time she got back and enjoyed a decent sub, cold drink, and the knowledge that I could look forward to playing my new Father's Day present that came back with the railing brackets. Mario Kart for the Wii.
We finished the railing, installed the second railing, and installed the last of the treads. Finishing touch was the solar powered post caps. They look so nice at night.
After cleaning up, I headed in to take a shower while Dad headed home to get ready for his trip. Elizabeth was laying down for her nap and told me she wanted to kiss him good-bye. Made me cry seeing her so sad (not to worry, he came over later to drop some stuff off).
After naps, showers, and dinner, we played the Wii (Elizabeth learned forward and reverse very quickly but loved to drive like a maniac). Played on the floor (Dad was the jungle gym as usual). Read (stories and poems). And went to bed (after I beat Yvonne at Mario Kart and she showed me her divine skill at Brain Age 2 on the DS).
[Begin Blooper Reel]
1. I can't believe I forgot to buy the railing brackets.
2. I can't believe I didn't buy enough railing brackets after realizing
3. Despite how bad it looks, I did not try to kill myself shaving yesterday. It's just the worst "nick" I've had shaving. Ever.
4. When using the Mario Kart Wii steering wheel, I promise to use it in the right direction.
5. I'll try to dance as little as possible in public while listening to my Father's Day Card.
* Dinner Saturday night was graced by three lovely ladies who apparently failed fashion school. All three were near to popping out of their tops, showing all the world their wares. Best of all was the spin on a phrase I came up with. You see, we have a family joke about "FM shoes." As in "Frell Me shoes" (as in "frell" stands for F - - - ). Well, I came up with "AM/FM clothes." As in "Anyone May Frell Me clothes." Which pretty much describes what the lady was wearing.