When I was in the third grade, I was obsessed with a book about a little boy that was able to see the shadows of all of the people that had ever been in a garden. He could see them because he splashed water from a special fountain in his eyes.
My teacher had the book on her shelf, and I would check it out from her over and over again. Toward the end of the year, the teachers decided to have a contest for the students, then a drawing, and get rid some of their classroom inventory at the same time. One of the prizes was the book that I loved so much!
I won one of the competitions, it was probably for spelling, and got my name put in a hat. And then I sat, the excitement and fear growing the longer it took for my name to be drawn. I kept my eye on the book the whole time.
Half way through, the teachers decided to consolidate items that were still there, and they put the book, my longed-for prize, on the other end of the room. For most kids, that wouldn't have been a problem, but for me, it was devastating. I'm painfully shy. As I've gotten older, I've learned how to deal with it better, but back then, being the center of attention was the most frightening thing imaginable. Hell, who am I fooling? It's still the most frightening thing imaginable. When we'd play BINGO for rainy day recess, even when I got BINGO first, I wouldn't yell it. I would rather stay silent and stay out of the focus of all of those eyes. Then, finally, my name was drawn from the hat. I could still get my book! But it was on the other side of the room. I couldn't get beyond the feeling of dread. I stood up, and as my eyes clouded with tears, I took the prize closest to me and sat back down.
As the years went by, occasionally I'd be reminded of that book. The title slipped away, but the feeling of missing it remained. After the title left me, the story began to evaporate as well, but still, I retained that sense of loss, that regret over a missed opportunity. It was all because of my terror of being the center of attention. Then a couple of weeks ago, I was reading an article about children's fantasy books and was reminded of that long-desired book. I Googled the only things I could remember, "fountain" and "statue" and "shadow," and there, not many lines down, was "The Shades" by Betty Brock. That was it! Used copies were on sale at Amazon! At long last, thanks to the internet, I was able to attain my book. I finally won the prize.
Our planters are filling with food. Don't mind how the greens look pixel-y, that's actually because of the bird netting stretching over to protect our veggies from birds, deer, and squirrels. So far, it's working well. We've had salads from our lettuce, herbs for various meals, and lots of caprese sandwiches made using our lemon basil. While the netting has kept out the varmints, it couldn't protect the greens from a random lightening bolt that singed a power pole, part of an oak, and all of the vegetables in this planter, as well as my Sungold tomato plant in the other planter. Things seem to be recovering nicely, and I need to do some more harvesting tonight, so that my lettuce doesn't bolt. Mmmm... salad for dinner!
Yesterday, we finally managed to install the sliding glass door. We opted for a vinyl slider from Home Depot, mostly based on price. It's not listed on their website, but in-store, it's less than $500. We ended up being incredibly grateful for the light weight of the door since it was just my Charles and me installing it.
The instructions said to make a box from flashing. That way, if water got around the door, it would end up draining back outside and not cause structural damage. Since we had leftover flashing from other projects, Charles just bent it into a box. Essentially, he use a pair of tin snips and bent the flashing up, into a rectangle. To set the box in place, we used DAP Alex Plus. It was recommended by a clerk at our local hardware store, and with a 35 year guarantee, it will most likely outlast us at this house. My Charles ran a few beads along the bottom of the door frame and then set the flashing box along the bottom of the sill.
With the box in place, it was time to install the self-adhesive flashing. We chose it based on the waterproof membrane. My Charles used to install waterproof membranes on decks, so he's quite comfortable with them.
The membrane went across the box and folded over the edge, making more of a "slide" for any water to go. Then the flashing was taken up the sides of the doorway three inches, causing a seal and further keeping any potential moisture from penetrating the house.
A bead of caulking across the back of the box, and it was time to lift the door into place.
With the two of us, this wasn't too difficult. The challenge came after tacking the door to the house with a couple of nails.
Because we opted for vinyl instead of metal, there was a lot more give in the frame. Though the door frame we built was square, we had to do a lot of shimming in order to get the slider completely level. Shimming, checking for level, and then shimming again are what took the most time with the install.
Make sure to take your time with the leveling. Each door frame and each door are slightly different, and if it's not level, the slider won't open and close properly. We checked the sides, top, and bottom until everything was completely level. Then we finished tacking the door into place, putting a nail into each hole along the sides and bottom.
The instructions said to leave the top unattached in order to allow for expansion and contraction. Once everything was in place, the tar paper, which you can see tacked above the door, was let down and stapled into place. All gaps around the frame on the inside of the house will be filled with spray foam insulation.
The slider instructions said that the installation would take an hour and a half. With shimming and checking level, it actually ended up taking us five hours. Then again, we're not pros, just two weekend warriors trying to fix up our house.
Mother Nature didn't let us work on the sliding glass door yesterday. Instead, it poured, hailed, and thunderstorm-ed throughout the day. I promise -- when we get to install the new door, I will tell you all about it.