Chapter 95: This Porch is On Fire

January 6, 2019 • Written by Christina Berry

So, for ever and ever, I’ve wanted a porch swing. It’s some sort of deep and meaningful desire that I can’t put into words, other than, “Baby, I want a porch swing soooo bad.”

And that’s why my baby bought me a porch swing; a really nice one with cup holders and everything.

It came nekkid, so we disassembled it, and painted it, then reassembled it. God, why is everything always so hard?

Hard work, but damn look at that comfy, lovely swing!!!

Much to Errek’s chagrin, when I started swinging on the porch swing I started to notice all the other stuff that needed improving on the porch.

See, when we painted the house ages ago, we sort of left the porch for later. Well, now is later. So we turned our attention there.

First, we finished out the trim.

Then we smeared wood putty on all the nicks and cracks.

Then sanded it all smooth.

Then painted it pretty.

Then we popped the door off its hinges and painted it, too. The trim color we’re going with is a “gunmetal” gray, which matches the window color at the back of the house, and all over the new building. On the main house it will be the color for the window screens and the front door.

Rehanging the door.

One last thing we needed to do was oil the porch wood to bring out the color again. So we cleaned it all of with a powerwash, and then used a rose oil, which we applied it with an old t-shirt, and then wiped the excess oil off with a different t-shirt.

So, you know how on the cans of some oil products they specifically warn about how to disposed of oil-soaked rags? Well, never ever ignore that advice.

When we were done oiling the porch, we were exhausted and left the t-shirts we’d used in a little pile just inside the front door. It was out of the heat, out of the sun, so we figured it was safe enough, right?


That night, everything was fine. But the next night I was standing in the kitchen hollering to Errek who was watching some game on Twitch in the bedroom, “Baby, do you smell that?”

“Smell what?”

“Smells like something is burning?”

I then move from the kitchen into the living room, sniffing. When I get to that pile of oily t-shirts I smell it stupid, crazy strong. They are actually, OMG, smoking!!!

Hollering again, “Errek, the t-shirts we used to oil the porch are smoking.”


I try to pick them up, and they are ridiculously hot to the touch. “Oh, my god, I think they’re on fire.”


“Come here!”

So Errek comes out, sees that indeed, they are smoking. Grabs some tongs from the kitchen and hurriedly carries the whole mess out to the backyard where we hose the whole thing down, then spread them out, and yeah, look at those shirts.

If you’ve never come close to burning your dream home down, let me just tell you, it’s an eye opener. Considering all the blood, sweat, and tears that have gone into this place, it’s not just four walls with a roof and a floor and some furniture and keepsakes, it’s kind of our baby. We almost burned our baby.

So, anyway, if you’re using any oil-based product, follow the warnings, listen, believe. Trust me. It’s legit.

On the bright side, we didn’t burn down the house and look how pretty this porch is. Woot!


Saucy Jack says, “Hey, boo!”

After the porch, we also put some money and energy into the gutters.

And then as part of the gutters, I wanted a rain chain for the downspout of the front porch. And so we found a cool fishy rain chain.

And now, when I get this notifi… cation…

I get to watch this!

Also, my view from my office on the couch is lovely. Look how pretty the Lucy Tree is in the fall!

Next up, we enclosed the bottom floor of the new building so we can move all of the construction gear out of the house and reclaim our guest room for one of our all-time favorite guests, Heather from London!