Thursday, October 1, 2009

After work today I was going to finish the kitchen, but a good deal turned up to keep me from it. Yesterday I noticed that the Chinese Chef was closed, and that there was some kind of work going on there. I drove up to the building to check it out and found that it was closed for remodeling. A sign in the window advertised twenty chairs for sale at $5 each. That was too good to pass up, so this afternoon I took the truck to town and brought home twenty chairs. When the guy asked what I was going to do with them, I told him I'd keep some and sell the rest. But on further reflection, I think I'll keep them all. It will be handy to have them here for family gatherings so I don't have to go to town to fetch borrowed or rented chairs. That pretty well shot the afternoon, and Mike really liked La Fiesta, so we went there to eat again.


Friday, October 2, 2009

This morning I finished cleaning the kitchen. After I vacuumed it, I mopped while Mike vacuumed upstairs. Once the house was in order we went our separate ways. Mike had made the mistake of ordering tires from the Ford dealer because he didn't know of any other place. So he was punished by having to wait from noon to almost 4:30 to get his tires installed. Meanwhile, I went grocery shopping and laid in a supply of goods for our family reunion. We had planned a driving tour of old country schools where aunts Mary, Jereldine, and Ernestine had taught. Cousins Mary and Carol showed up for the tour, and we waited an hour for any more participants to show up. The three of us went ahead with most of the tour, and when we got back people were arriving for the evening cookout. We grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and and enjoyed eating and visiting under the trees.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

The reunion continued. My cousin Elizabeth and her kiddos Bella and Austin stayed here at the farm, and this morning I took them for a walk through the wood lot and up to the cemetery where we visited the old timers we miss so much. By the time we got back to the house a lot of the other relatives had arrived, and we all enjoyed visiting and catching up on family news. We had a catered meal, plus more of our own hamburgers and leftovers from last night. I always enjoy these gatherings, and I wish more people had been able to attend. There were just eighteen of us this time, and I hope next year we'll see some who couldn't make it this time.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

This was getaway day for the long distance visitors. Elizabeth and I spent a lot of the morning looking at old family pictures, then she and the kids went to town for lunch with her grandma, aunt, and uncle, before heading back to Wisconsin. Soon after noon Mike took off for California, and I took care of a couple of post-reunion chores. One was returning the cooker-smoker I had borrowed for the cookout. When I got back from that errand, I spent the rest of the afternoon replacing one of the roof tarps that had blown away from where I had it. I hope I got it fastened in place well enough not to go wandering in the wind again. I really don't want any more rain leaking in.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Today I drove the pickup to work because I had to return rented tables this morning. Having the pickup there, I loaded up a pile of corrugated packaging scraps and brought them home. Instead of going to the dump, they'll provide some heat this winter. Part of my afternoon was spent doing some online research on various types of roofing materials. I want to use something that will stay on, not leak, and last as long as possible. The ideal roof would be one that outlasts me, so I wouldn't have to deal with it again.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This afternoon I started scanning pages from a family history booklet to send to my cousin Elizabeth. It was printed forty years ago. She's going to bring it up to date and work on a family chart.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Today I spent most of the afternoon scanning the rest of the booklet and sending the pages to Elizabeth. As it was a rainy day, I also spent some time mopping up the flood upstairs. The tarps covering the roof project aren't keeping out all the rain.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

It was another rainy day, so my first job when I got home was to empty pails catching the leaks upstairs and to mop up the overflow. The seemingly eternal leak over the west kitchen door continues. Nothing I 've done so far has stopped it. I think what I need to do is empty the room upstairs over the kitchen and open up the west wall. Maybe that will let me see where the water is getting in to drip out above the kitchen door.


Friday, October 9, 2009

With daytime highs in the fifties and low sixties and overnight lows in the thirties and forties, it's time to take down the screens and put up the storm windows, so that's what I did today. The only fire I've had so far was Saturday night when the relatives were here and we cooked hot dogs in the fireplace. But soon collecting and bringing in firewood will be a daily activity.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Well, some unexpected events turned up. As the old saying goes, life is all the stuff that happens to you when you're making other plans. Yesterday afternoon when I was in town I stopped at Foster's Furniture to look for a chair. The easy chair that my aunt Ernestine bought for the living room about twenty years ago is past being worn out. I've cobbled the mechanical part of it back together a couple of times and the upholstery has holes worn in it in a couple of places, so a replacement is past due. Bob Foster decided it was time to retire and nobody in his family was interested in taking over the store, so after more than sixty years in business the store is closing. That means some good deals, with some items going for less than half price. I found a suitable chair and bought it, and said I'd come and pick it up today. So this morning after doing laundry, I intended to do just that. But then I had my adventure in Okieland. I've been thinking about some pictures I'd like to take with the old Ford, so I decided to take a little drive down into Kay County to scout possible locations. After the recent rain, one of the roads had some puddles deep enough, and I went through them fast enough, to stall my car. So I spent a couple of hours with the hood up and the wind blowing into the engine compartment to dry things out enough for the car to run. After doing the puzzles in the paper and reading all of the new Vintage Ford magazine I got the car started and headed home. It stalled a couple more times before it eventually ran normally, and I made it home about 1:30. I went out to start the truck to go get that chair, and found the battery dead. So I put a charger on it. I'll have to get the chair tomorrow. As usual on Saturday evening, I went to eat in town this evening. As I drove by the hardware store I noticed that the sign advetising 50% off on plants had been changed to 75% off. So tomorrow I'll go get some plants and do some fall planting so they'll be ready to take off in the spring.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

The cool weather has arrived early this year, so this morning I had my first fire for heat. After looking at the forecast last night, I laid a pile of trash and wood in the fireplace. When I came downstairs this morning it was 45º in the living room, so I lit the fire and warmed up the room with junk mail. I should have got to town earlierthan I did today. By the time I got to the hardware store for the 75%-off sale on plants, the only ones left that I wanted were one rose bush and one butterfly bush. So I bought those two, then went downtown and got my chair. Once I got that moved into the living room I finished the window chore I started Friday, taking down the screens on the front doors and the back porch and putting up the storm windows. Once they were up, I even washed them.


Monday, October 12, 2009

I got home from a visit with the dentist this afternoon to find that a package had arrived. Brother Mike found an outfit that makes custom glass items, and had them make a new piece for the light fixture in the living room. This story goes back over seventy years. The house was electrified in 1935, when my cousin Wayne was three years old. Sometime after the light fixture was installed Wayne, a rambunctious lad, was playng with a ball in the house. The ball knocked one of the glass panes out and broke it, so for the next several decades one pane was missing.

Ernest, Wayne, Sandy, & Parker School about 1938


Fifty years after the famous incident of the broken glass, Wayne commented that he was tired of hearing about it. Fast forward to 2008. Last year Mike borrowed one of the four remaining pieces, hunted up a glass shop that does custom work, and had them make a replacement. That's what arrived today.


The light fixture with its new pane.


A closer look.


One of the original panes.

The new panel is a bit thicker and darker than the originals, but it's definitely an improvement over the former empty space.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Not a terribly productive afternoon. By the time I went to the bank to deposit a check and then went to the dentist for an x-ray (preparing to get a bridge) the day was pretty well shot.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Last spring I was so busy that it looked like I wouldn't make the deadline for filing income taxes, so I took a six-month extension. The time is about up, so today I spent the afternoon finishing up the federal and state forms.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

The first half of October it's seemed that we skipped October and went directly into November, with a lot of cloudy and damp days and colder than normal temperatures. Today the break finally came. Sunshine returned this afternoon, and the forecast is for several days with little or no chance of rain. I aim to take advantage of the opportunity to get some work done on the roof.


Friday, October 16, 2009

The first order of business on the roof project is to build a scaffold on the west side of the house, so that's what I did today.

Here are my three helpers. Zeke, on the right, and a couple of his neighbor friends took advantage of the returned sunshine while I worked on the scaffold.

My cousin Wally contributed some double headed nails, which are easily removed when the job is finished, and I used them to put up a scaffold on the west side of the house. As the picture shows, I got most of it up today, and should have it finished sometime tomorrow morning. Then I can move on to actually working on the roof.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

This morning I finished the scaffold. Because of the awkward nailing postitions I had to use in several places, I bent a lot of nails and didn't finish the thing until after noon. It wasn't just the difficult nailing that slowed my progress. I heard a major canine fuss and went to investigate. It turned out to be Zeke, and he had himself in quite a fix. He had gone to visit his friends across the road at Robinsons', and going over the fence had got his leg caught in the wire, and was hanging by one hind leg. I managed to extricate him and brought him home. He spent the rest of the afternoon on the end of a chain. He raised a fuss over it for a while, but I didn't care to have him getting into more trouble at the neighbors'. With the scaffold finished, I went to the upper roof. I took off the tarps and removed more of the old roofing, then started pulling nails and taking off boards. Some can be reused, but several will need to be replaced. Some were pretty bad when they were used in 1932, and some were rotten after being soaked by leaks for years. The west side of that upper roof is going to need extensive rebuilding, and I just hope I can get enough of it done to keep the weather out before winter sets in.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

It was another day of work on the house. The 36º when I got up was a bit too chilly for my taste, so I waited until about 9:00 when it got up to 40º before I got started. I took off more roof boards, replaced some rotten framing in the west wall, and started putting on new boards. The picture on the right shows the inside of the attic and the west chimney. Those shingles are on the original part of the house, and the part I'm working on now was added in 1932. While I worked on the house I listened to a new CD by Joan Sebastian. He's a good singer and a great song writer. He wrote all the songs on the new CD, and all the songs on Para Siempre, the big hit by Vicente Fernandez last year.


Monday, October 19, 200

How nice! The early November that blew in here a couple of weeks ago has finally abated, and we're now enjoying a normal October. A breeze from the south today warmed the temperature to the low seventies and made work on the roof more pleasant. After work today I replaced one rotten rafter and got started on another.


Some rafters are rotten and have to be replaced.


One rafter replaced, one to go, and a new one to be added.

The forecast is for one more dry day, then rain likely on Wednesday. So tomorrow I'll need to spend the last hour getting tarps in place to try to keep the rain out of the house.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I was in no mood to cook much this evening, so after the ususal celery, cucumber, and tomato, the main course was popcorn. I was late getting in because a job I expected to take about an hour took almost two. I was putting up tarps to try to keep out some of the rain predicted for tomorrow. What made it especially interesting was the stiff south wind that kept blowing the tarps around as I tried to arrange them. I know there will be some leakage, but I'm hoping the rain won't be heavy enough to make it a big problem.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I visited the lumber yard this afternoon and bought more boards. I said the delivery guy can leave them on the front porch. That will keep them mostly out of the rain. There hasn't been much rain yet, and I'm hoping what we get won't be too much. I know the tarps on the roof will leak, so the less rain there is to leak in, the better I'll like it.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

After work I did a little grocery shopping, checked the weather forecast and my email, and went out for a run. I haven't been out since Sunday, when I did the three miles in a slow time of 31:40. Today the clock was reading 29 and change as I chugged up the hill toward home, and when I crossed the finish line at the mail box my time was 30:12. That's better. On a good day I can get it under 30.


Friday, October 23, 2009

I went to work early today because I had to leave for a morning dental appointment in Wichita. By the time I got back to town from Wichita and did a little grocery shopping it was a little after noon. I spent the afternoon working on the roof. With the temperature about 50º and a cold north wind under a cloudy sky I used up a lot of tissues.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

After doing laundry, I spent the day on the roof project. This is one of those things where the more you get into it, the more you find there is to do. I spent a couple of hours moving things out of the northwest upstairs room and taking down a quarter of the ceiling. For the rest of the day I took out old ceiling joists and installed new ones.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

And the project continues. Today I finished installing the new ceiling joists and then put in new lower rafters. The last construction job of the day was putting in boards to fill the spaces between rafters. After that it was time to put on the tarps to try to keep out some of the rain that's forecast for tonight. It may take another couple of weeks, but each day I'm getting closer to putting new roofing on this section to eliminate leaks on the west side of the house.


Monday, October 26, 2009

I was going to work on the roof, but got sidetracked on the computer. My bank's website required a change of password, so I spent almost an hour just on that. I have to change that password every few months, and it's always a time-wasting hassle. I always have to phone the bank and have somebody talk me through the process. It's not exactly a user-friendly set up.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I got a little done on the roof project, cutting a board and screwing it in place, but I need to get longer screws to do the job properly. To be continued.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Well, I got the screws but I probably won't use them until Friday. Today I enjoyed a session at the dentist's office, preparing for installation of a bridge. The forecast is for rain tomorrow, so I won't be working on the roof until Friday. The good news is that Friday is the first of several days with a forecast of 10% or 0% chance of rain. I expect to make some good progress on the roof this weekend.


Thursday. October 29, 2009

I'll sleep well tonight. Last night I got only three or four hours. With a 100% chance of rain in the forecast and wind gusting above 25 mph, I lay in bed and listened to the sound of tarps on the roof flapping around and the bumping about of boards that were supposed to be holding them down. Eventually I got to sleep, but I got up at 3:30 to go up on the roof and survey the situation. It wasn't as bad as I had feared. Most of the tarps were still in place. The wind had calmed down considerably, so I replaced the tarps that had moved, laid the boards back over them to hold them down, and hoped that everything would stay in place. Fortunately, that was the case. Enough rain leaked in to make puddles on the floor and drip down into the kitchen, but the buckets and other containers upstairs caught most of it. The rain was pretty much over by the time I got home this afternoon. I spent an hour or so emptying containers and mopping up the mess, and I hope that will be the last time. I really want to get that west roof back together and get the shingles on it before there's any more rain.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Brrrrrrrr. It wasn't really all that cold, in the low forties, but a cloudy afternoon and a 25 mph wind most of the time made today's work on the roof a pretty chilly exercise. I was at it from about eleven until nearly five, but with frequent breaks to go inside and warm up. I even made a pot of tea to get something warm on the inside, but it didn't stay warm very long. I did get some good work done, and tomorrow looks better. The forecast is for a sunny day with not much wind.


Saturday, October 31, 2009

It was a great day. The weather was much improved, with a cloudless sky, no wind, and warm temperatures in the sixties. I got the new siding up on the west wall, trimmed the new eaves to the proper length, and nailed the new roof boards on the eaves.