And it is a much needed one.
I started cutting the boards and replacing the rotting ones in the ramp. I got all but four done before the sun moved and it was too hot to stay out there. I'm waiting till about 4:00 when I think the area will be in the shade again, and I'll finish those four. Oops, I should say it will be all the straight cut ones. There are several on the two landings that are diagonally set, and I will still have those to do. I did the easy ones first. I probably won't get all of them replaced today, but I think it will be finished by the weekend.
Then I moved the lumber pile. We will probably have more rain this weekend, and I don't want the lumber sitting in the rain. I piled it all in the bed of my truck (the easy part), and began stacking it under my deck to be protected from weather. This is much harder, as I have to duck through a "door" that is about shoulder high. I can move just one board at a time because of the weight, so it is back and forth from the truck, about 15 steps, ducking, stacking, and returning for another. It is slow, uncomfortable and even in 68° and in the shade, I have worked up a terrible sweat! I have about 2/3 of it done, but I had to take a break and hydrate. My back is gonna be stiff tomorrow!.
I've had to be creative about lifting the boards, too. My whole right arm is not 100%. My shoulder is still hurting from trying to start the lawn mower several weeks ago, and I can't lift it comfortably; a combination of arthritis, tendinitis, and a 50 year old crack in the elbow are all bothering that middle joint; and a few days ago I was walking up the steps and stubbed my toe, causing me to pitch forward, and I strained my wrist when I caught myself. None of the three areas is awful, but all together = a weak arm. So I learned a way to sorta roll the boards atop the right shoulder, using only my left arm to lift. It is working very well. When you gotta get something done, you figure out a way, right? Git 'er dun!
I'm going to go out an finish moving the lumber in a while, and later will do those last boards. I won't work on it again till Friday, but I will hopefully be able to finish it then. There is one place that I need to do a little work on the support underneath, and that may take me a while, but I don't anticipate a big problem there. It will be so nice to have a safe ramp again.
And next it will be time to get the deck refinished. I dread that. Everything has to be moved off the deck, it will be sanded, and then a new finish applied. I 'spect it is going to take a good week. Labor intensive and not cheap. but there is no choice. ugh. The pleasure of that wonderful deck, however, is worth it.
This is a part of living alone that is bittersweet. One one hand, I'm really pleased that I can do as much as I can. I actually enjoy it, and the physical work keeps me in decent shape. On the other, I would surely love to have someone to help me with it. Some of the tasks would be so much easier with another set of hands, arms, legs or an extra back. But I do what I must!
A funny story .... while I was working on the ramp earlier, a hummingbird was checking out what I was doing, They have become highly friendly once again, and although they scatter from the feeder when I walk out, they return almost immediately after seeing that I'm not after them. So this one little guy seemed to be almost watching over my shoulder as I worked. He'd been hovering near me for several minutes. I stood up to get another board, and I guess I startled him, and as he came out of "hover" and into "flee" mode, he almost ran into the railing of the deck! Poor little guy was dipping and dodging, finally scooted through two of the rails, hovered a few feet away and chattered at me as if he were scolding me for frightening him!
OK, time to go finish up. sighhhhhh.