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Why do we love the sea?
It is because it has some potent power

to make us think things we like to think.
~Robert Henri

Until I wrote the first post in this series I had not heard of a “she shed”. Or maybe I had and did not comprehend the implication. I even have a board on Pinterest pinned with interesting and inspiring “barns, sheds and outbuildings”, but none of those pins had the qualifying adjective “she” in its description (although many would definitely embody the concept).

It was shortly after that first post that a “she shed” pin popped up in my Pinterest feed. And suddenly She Sheds were everywhere! There are Facebook sites, Pinterest and Hometalk boards devoted to She Sheds, and apparently soon to be (if not already) TV shows about She Sheds. Every magazine with a female audience has recent articles on She Sheds. Apparently She Sheds are the new trend. Who knew?! I finally had a definition (and justification) for my crazy venture.

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After painting the new paneling, it was time to re-seat the windows.  We used a non-drying, flexible product called Mortite.

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A ribbon of corded caulk was laid against the window flange.

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After re-seating the windows, the excess caulk was trimmed for a clean, yet hopefully tight seal.

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The rims, which actually hold the windows in place, were reinstalled on the inside for a crisp look.  What about those portholes! The windows are HUGH (and heavy!), letting a lot of natural light into the now, white interior.  The front two side windows are 3×6 and the back two are 2×5.

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After the windows were completed, I primed the plywood floor …

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…and painted two coats of Sherwin Williams “Surfer” (SW 6946) – the same turquoise as the exterior.

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(and very close to the color of my nail polish)

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Looks like a pool.  Or the sea.  Very cool and claiming.

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The premise of a She Shed is to create a backyard sanctuary.  A place to escape, to getaway, to create, to rest, or simply to think.  But my girls find me.  And wait me out.

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Sally has braved the gangplank and even boarded on a couple of occasions.  Lucy, my 11 year old feist who is not so agile, simply circles the boat.  Round and round, like a land shark waiting for mom to disembark and come ashore.

Up Next:  Le Sieve

Oh, the rains came down and the floods came up, The rains came down and the floods came up, The rains came down and the floods came up, And the house on the Rock stood firm. Children’s Bible Song: “The Wise Man and The Foolish Man Ann Omley, 1948

I wonder if the Cicadas were passengers on the Ark.  I marvel that they may have driven Noah a little batty with their insistent love songs. Just a thought.  For a while they definitely were a curiosity! I quickly began to lose interests after a month’s worth of their deafening, spaceship-invasion-like hum and ever present crunchiness.  I casually noticed their arrival about the time we purchased The Minnow (soon to be renamed) and moved her home.  There was one here and another there, some already leaving behind their temporary dry hull of a body — something that is not uncommon in a southern summer.  But then there were more.  And then more.

If plagues of pestilence was not enough, then came the rains.  It began raining on the Sunday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend.  Not just a shower, but torrential down-pours.  People began to talk about flooding and comparing it to the Memorial Day flood of 1991.  Some suggested we might want to consider loading the boat two by two.  But The Minnow was taking on more water than what appeared to be falling from the sky!

Since we had removed the rims from the windows on the interior of the boat during demolition and removal of the rotten paneling, the windows were no longer flush against the exterior of the boat and the rain poured in.  At the beginning we threw down some towels, sat up buckets and Handi-man rigged a drainage system.  The next morning it was still raining with no relief in sight.  We literally emptied buckets only to have them quickly refill.  The Minnow was sinking fast!

At that point, we decided to invest in a tarp.

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We were quite the site — reminded me of movies you see where people are frantically trying to prepare for a impending hurricane.  Handi-man and I out in rain jackets with hoods that would not stay put, rain pouring down the sleeves of raised arms attempting to pull a hugh tarp over the top of the boat.  We ultimately accomplished the chore, wetter than Noah ever thought to be.

For the next several weeks we would roll up the tarp, complete a task, roll the tarp back down and batten down the hatches for the next shower.  During this time we installed quarter-inch plywood (luan) and trim.  Handi-man had, prior to the rains, installed plywood decking over the separating-at-the-seams fiberglass floor.

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After installing solid sheets of the quarter-inch plywood panels directly over the window openings, Handi-man then cut the openings from the outside.

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DSCN3514 It was readily apparent that years of leaks had caused damage to the ply between the fiberglass.

DSCN3553 In an effort to prevent additional leaks around the windows and continued damage to the fiberglass ply, caulk was applied liberally into and around the window openings.

DSCN3555 Most recently the new paneling received a coat of primer and two coats of white paint.  She’s beginning to sparkle!

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Coming Up Next: A She Shed by The Sea Shore

The day you hear someone call me captain is the day I buy a boat. -Guy Lafleur

Yep. We are decidedly crazy.

We spent the four years previous restoring a one hundred year old house; the culmination of which seemed to be the hosting of our eldest daughter’s wedding. Not that that was the last event held there. It just seemed to be the perfect climax after all those years of working to put things to right in the old house. And not that it is yet all right. There remain (will always be) windows needing touch ups and a front porch that needs to be replaced. But for all practical purposes, it is completed. It is now in the maintenance stage – something it desperately lacked prior to our guardianship.

Apparently, since Handi-man and I now have nothing else to do, we bought a boat. Yeah, I know. It sounds like we have completed our labors, rewarded ourselves, and are now ready to set sail …sail off into the sunset …dip our toes in the water. … no! Wait! Not any boat, mind you. A 1970 houseboat. A houseboat that needs a lot of work. A houseboat that we never intend to put in the water – pretty certain she would not even stay afloat.

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Let me explain how our swashbuckling, tall tale began.

Sometime in the early part of this year, while making upgrades to our home (paint, which leads to new decor), I wrestled with the idea and finally decided to rent a booth at an antique mall. Through our experiences in restoring The Farmhouse, we found a knack for salvaging and repurposing – almost everything in the old house. And, I needed an outlet for all the pictures and decor that I was or would be changing out in our home, as well as all the duplicate and extra pieces I had accumulated and stashed away in the restoration of The Farmhouse. If you’ve ever had a booth at an antique mall, you know that there is a lot of work (and “stuff”) involved. I began to accumulate my items in, what I thought was, a central location in order to sort and price my inventory – my dining room. Needless to say Handi-man was not overly fond of the piles all over the table and stacked in every corner, overflowing into chairs in the study. Neither was he fond of my “stuff” taking up precious room in his work shop.

I declared that I must have a place to work and store my pieces as they were gathered for transformation into the booth. My initial thought was a cute little camper. Old camper restoration seems to be the thing these day and boy, are they cute! Apparently the law of “supply and demand” has driven the cost of old campers as my initial search revealed some pretty high prices – prices for which you could almost buy a new camper! And then Handi-man had an idea! Our neighbor (and Page cousin) had an old houseboat parked in his yard for over a year. Handi-man reasoned that it would have much more space than a camper and was considerably cheaper than the campers we were seeing.

Our initial inspection was what you might imagine for an old house boat – dank and smelly! There was green (I think it was green at one time) carpet on the floor, as well as the ceiling. Yes! The ceiling! It was painfully obvious that she was leaking from the top down. But, there was potential. After some negotiations we purchased the 1970 Fish-n-Ski, sans the outboard motor, and pulled her home. Thus began our new adventure.

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First we gutted her, salvaging all her parts – sinks, faucets, “head”, etc., saving the “wheel” for decor. The only thing we left was one port wall where one of two closets were, and the dinette. Good bye green carpet! (Shiver-me-timbers! What were they thinking!)

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She was pressure washed to remove all the years of nasty,

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and received a coat of cool-sealed on top in hopes to stop leaks.

The surface of the hull of the boat was badly crackled, especially the white (or what once was white). Two coats of a nice, thick exterior paint was liberally applied.  The nondescript blue was not bad, just very faded and hazy. I washed the blue areas with TSP to remove any existing wax. I painted the white areas – being the largest areas, then taped off the areas for the existing blue and added back a stripe that had at one time run the entire length of the boat. She came out gleaming!

I chose an ocean turquoise – Sherwin Williams “Surfer” and as bright a white as you could get – “Super White” in a best exterior brand house paint. House paint you say? Well, she is a houseboat! And she would not be seeing water, except for that which falls from the sky.

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The only foreseeable issue is that she is parked under shade trees (for Southern coolness sake!) which emit sap and other earthy dribble that will stain the boat. Hopefully with the semi-gloss paint which is touted to be stain resistant and washable, she will hold up. She, like a lot of other out door structures, may have to be washed often and touch up with paint periodically.

Before and After:

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Up Next:  Batten Down The Hatches!

Previously…

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About Me:


At present, I am a wife, a mother, a mother-in-law, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend, a legal assistant, a minister, a weekend construction contractor / foreman (said with some jest), a weekend construction laborer (said with all truth), a gardener, a dreamer, a planner, an organizer, an administrator, and sometimes a general pain in the butt. I enjoy spending time with my family, reading (when I have the time), and restoring old farmhouse windows.