Even thought I haven't been posting, we've been busy doing maintenance-type stuff here at the Prairie Box. Most importantly, we finally cleaned the garage. It's been a MESS since Shayne rebuilt the roof connecting the two garages, and we finally decided to do anything about it. That took about 4 hours on Saturday. Then, Shayne put together the wonderful grill that my mom bought us as an early Christmas present (since Shayne and I both have birthdays in December, Christmas in July is becoming something of a tradition...). I'm also in the process of weeding all of the flowerbeds one last time before we put down mulch. The front bed is done, and the large back bed is nearly so. The side flowerbed that borders our neighbors fence needs lots of help. It's been taken over by evil life-sucking vines and blackberry bushes. The utility easement on the north side of our property is also in need of help, but I think that might have to wait till spring or fall, since it's way too overgrown right now to even attempt. Since it's woods, though, it doesn't look bad, but I know it should be more open and less weedy. In spite of all the work that still needs to be done, the yard looks better now than it has all year. I'm going to plan better for next summer and make sure that my projects are wrapped up enough to work on the yard more and the interior less.
I've also been plugging away at the stairway. The railing is a bitch to strip, and I'm not sure if there's a way to make it go faster. I've been using steel wool and denatured alcohol to trip off the shellac and remaining paint flakes. As with everything worth doing, it is tedious and labor intensive. But it looks so much nicer without the paint!
We are having a cookout/open house on September 16, so we are going to be busting our butts until then to get the living room totally finished. We might not have our furniture by then, but I plan on having the woodwork, walls, and floors completely done. That gives us 3 and a half weeks to buckle down and "git 'er done!"