I am officially caught up for the week! I used every drop of stain in my tiny little can, and I think I got all of the visible parts. Though I won't be sure until morning (I have to do all these things at night, you know. The day was spent mowing the lawn, gardening, cleaning, and distracting little boys). Here it is!
It isn't the picture of beauty, but it is coming along nicely. I may go pick up another little can to do a second coat, or just call it good and top it off with some weatherproofing finish. (Probably the latter.) And if I get really fancy I'll make cute cushion for it, but that may be pushing our luck a little far, particularly because we still haven't picked exterior paint colors.
This job took all of about five minutes. Here is the problem:
All the joint tape was coming up and the plaster coming down. So I grabbed some of this...
...pulled down the old tape, scraped off the rough plaster edges a bit, and slapped some tape up there. Since it is clear fiberglass mesh, you really can't see it in the picture. But it is there, just waiting to be slathered in joint compound. Alas, that will have to wait until next week.