• Jodie Barringer

Mistress of the Pines


My new house is perfect except for one thing. The porch is driving me insane. I feel like I am in a box out there. This is the set up: You walk into a great entrance hall. Then, there is a seven foot doorway right in the middle that opens to my living room. At the end of the room is a wall of windows. Through the French doors, you walk into a cell block of wood. The deck sides reach seven feet tall- I can’t see out and the only thing that comes in is sun rays and pine needles which I can’t blow out because there is not a place in the deck to blow them out through. I have to pick up every single pine straw and bag it with the other 1,957,000 of them that fall every single day- and even while I am sweeping up their friends. I could start a one straw company over here. I have started to hate hate hate pine trees.

Needles are on my car, my shoes, my roof, my gutters, my mailbox, my hair, my food, my floors, my couch, my plants, my bed, my bathtub, my refrigerator, my lamps, and my deck. I think I am becoming obsessed with them. All I see is needles. Maybe I should start making Christmas presents out of them. I could make little pine needle dolls like people used to make apple head dolls. Mine would just be pine cones with skinny little needles for arms and legs, and lots of needles for hair.

I’ve been looking in magazines for porch ideas ever since I noticed that my houses was morphing into the bale of pine straw that it has become. The guy I date suggested that I add a retractable awning, but I looked into that, and they were $10,000. I am not going to cover a poorly built awkward wood deck with seven foot sides with a $10,000 awning. Talk about good money after bad…

So, I need some suggestions for a covered porch off on my living room. I would love for the roof to have some sort of skylight so that my living room would not lose all of the sun. I need to somehow be able to clean off the roof when the pine needles fall on it. I would love to have a retractable awning so that I could have the sunlight and have protection from the rain when I needed it.

I would love to have the privacy that the walls give me, but I don’t want to feel boxed in. I need some air flow. I would like to see out. I feel like a very hot sweaty captive out there. Even my fan hates it out there.

So, there you go. I need some help with design. Have any of you worked with a great porch company? I need someone who can help me design it and build it. I would love to get this done before winter… I will reward you with a bottle of wine or a few bales of pine straw- your preference. All ideas accepted and needed.

Thank you.

Signed, Jodie, The Mistress of the Pines.

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