i started working on oiling the backyard deck at 10am, but the prep work took a while and i didn't actually start until 10:30am. i laid out the tarp on my own deck, to block any drips from above. i hadn't been upstairs and was pleasantly surprised that my neighbors actually cleared the deck; i suppose it's the least they can do, since i'm essentially oiling their deck for free. last weekend when i wrote steve about oiling the deck, he asked if his deck could be worked on first, because "he doesn't want the barbecue grill in his living room." how considerate of him! what i didn't tell him was i'd already oiled the rest of the deck, and only his was left.
i used a brush i bought from the dollar store but progress was just too slow - it took forever just to do 4 planks. so i went back to the dollar store to see if they carried any rollers. sure enough they did, but instead of a traditional foam roller, it was a faux fur roller instead. i didn't have very much choices though so i bought one. using a roller is definitely the way to go. there was slightly more dripping, but i already had the tarp down.
after i finished the upper deck, i oiled the 3 flights of stairs. steps are kind of a pain because of the vertical surfaces along the sides, which i tried to minimize contact. when i got to the last flight of stairs on the ground level, i'd oiled myself so i couldn't get back onto the deck, but i'd already prepared for this and simply came back into the house from the front door instead.
with that i finally oiled the deck. of course just the horizontal surfaces, which are the spots that can accumulate water. i've never oiled any vertical surfaces. maybe if i have time come spring i might do that, but there's no rush. i tried to remove the used roller tube from the handle but apparently it's not designed to be reused so i ended up throwing it away.
i finally finished by 2pm. surprisingly, ana had already left the house by the time i woke, whereabouts unknown. while i was washing my hands in the bathroom i heard her returning. today was a warm day, with temperature reaching 72°; i opened the living room window and the back door to allow some ventilation. i assumed ana went over to her brother's place, because she brought back packages of iberian ham her parents sent her from spain. she let me taste some: it resembles prosciutto, but oilier. there's a deep redness to the meat, and it tastes almost fishy, like a rawness to the flavor. i didn't like it that much, but for ana it was heaven. she told me that iberian ham is special because the pigs are fed on a diet of acorns.
i called my mother at the cafe. she told me that my father had already been home an hour, waiting for me to return to belmont to do some painting. so after about nearly 4 hours of on-my-knees oiling with a roller and rags, i was riding to belmont for more manual labor. at least the weather was nice.
when i arrived, my father had already rolled the entire front of the house. it looked like a brand new house, but just a little hard to see hidden behind all the tall bushes that we still haven't pruned down to the proper height. he was rolling the wall behind the back of the garage, and afterwards would do the walls of the master bedroom and bathroom. the only part we weren't going to roll was the western wall, saving it for tomorrow, so we can wait for the perfect sunlight condition (starting at noon) to record a time lapse video as we finished painting the final part of the house.
as for me, i hadn't eaten anything all day, and grabbed a handful of halloween chocolates before i left my house, which i was now eating rapidly. my father brought back some meat buns which i ate as well, before finally going outside to do some work. i was in charge of trim painting with the white semi-gloss. i touched up some areas around the front door, then painted the trims around the back door, as well as the back door itself.
my father left for the cafe while i was still working on the rear entrance. when my mother came home via bike, i was just about to finish, washing the brushes in the sink. she made some duck broth rice noodles. we didn't bother collecting any kale from the garden, fearful of ingesting cabbageworms again. i returned home after 7pm. i was surprised that ana wasn't home, and got a chance to enjoy some solitude. despite airing out the house today, ana must've been cooking something awfully smelly (burnt something), because there was an awful stench which i tried to chase away with a scented candle. she also loaded up the washing machine with dirty dishes. when she cooks it's a complete spectacle, there's enough dishes and utensils in the dishwasher that'd make you think she hosted a dinner party, but that was all from making lunch. my poor kitchen will be so happy when she's gone! 4 more weeks!