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Monday, October 15, 2007
Advanced Mud Pies
Here I am, stylin' in my cowboy boots and baseball cap. This weekend my husband and I went home to Texline to help my parents stucco the house. My sister and her husband went as well, and even my brother made a brief appearance. See, years ago (probably four or five years ago) when I was away at college or something, they started to stucco the house, got the first coat of cement on. Then my dad got busy with other things and the house has been sitting there partially finished ever since.
Everything we've done on that house went slowly, since it's a weekend/vacation project. When I was in junior high we started work on it, dug the basement and moved an old house in, then knocked all the interior walls out and re-did the inside. We built a porch all the way around. By the time I was a senior in high school, we finally moved into it. When I was in school, I hated to work on that house. I've hung sheetrock and mudded the interior walls, helped with roofing and laying shingles, and painted more than I care to think about at the moment, along with whatever other odd jobs were going on.
Anyway, us kids figured it was about time to finish the outside, already. Even if no one outside the family sees it much (my parents live out in the country) it would just be nice to have it done. So we all set a date and got together, and it was hard work, ya'll. Of course, if any of us had had much experience stuccoing it would have helped. My sister Sam's husband Jonathan had done some in high school, because his dad and grandad did a lot of stuccoing, but he couldn't remember much about it. We did have a couple of phone consultations with his dad on how to do it all right.
In the end we didn't finish the house. Two days is kind of pushing it, especially considering that things were done in the traditional Crum way, you know, inadequate preparation and several last minute trips to the hardware store. Then we got rained out Sunday afternoon. We were down to the last wall, but I guess it will have to wait.
Stuccoing basically involves lots of splatting cement up on the wall and smoothing it out. Brandon said "You know, if I were two years old, I really would have enjoyed this." The cement really dries your hands out. Even though I wore gloves, my hands are peeling a little. My biceps are hurting. And my back. But not as badly as I expected, actually. Yesterday I was predicting that I would barely be able to get out of bed, and would hobble around like a little old lady all day.