Sunday, November 1, 2009


Sorry, kitties. I made good progress on the roof today, getting new boards nailed on all of the west side. By the time I quit, about four PM, all that was left to cover was a narrow opening on top. I laid boards over it, so the cats will no longer be getting into the house whenever they want. I stopped at four so I'd have time to go out and do my three miles. My time was an even 31:00. I've done better many times, but that's not a bad time considering my lack of running lately. The last time I went out was a week ago. Since then I've used the time for roof work whenever it wasn't raining.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Didn't get to the roof today. By the time I did grocery shopping, checked email, and paid the water bill, the afternoon was pretty well spent.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Did get to the roof today. I removed a row of old boards from the upper roof (where you see me in the second picture above), and got a good start on cutting and nailing on new boards.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

This afternoon I finished cutting and nailing on those boards for the upper roof, and that used up my time. Tomorrow I'll do a little more, then comes the weekend. That's when I expect to actually get some roofing on.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

It was another clear, warm day, and I worked on the roof some more.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday being a short work day, I was home by 10:30 and up on the roof soon after. With new boards in place, I got started putting on sheeting. I should get that done this weekend and be ready to start nailing shingles.


Saturday, November 7, 2009
After doing laundry, I spent the day on you-know-what. I got most of the sheeting screwed on. Part of the job involved removing old shingles from the west wall, and I ran into one of those things that make me wish I had some of the old timers here so I could ask them about it. I found that a few of the old shingles were installed upside down, with the big end up. Was it a simple mistake, or was there some reason for it? I'll never know.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

I spent another long day on the roof. I cut and screwed on the last of the sheeting on the west roof and nailed on the metal roof edge. The last part of the actual job I did was cutting and fitting metal flashing around the chimney and sealing it with roof cement. Then I spent a couple of hours quitting. With a 40% chance of rain in the forecast, I had to prepare for the possibility. If I didn't, it would rain for sure. First I tacked on temporary tarpaper around the chimney and on the south half of the west roof, then I arranged two large tarps to cover the upper roof. It was almost six when I finished, and dark. It took twenty minutes to get all the tools and equipment off the roof and put away, and I was done for the day. In the next week I hope I can get the roofing on.


Monday, November 9, 2009

The forecast is for a 100% chance of rain overnight, so this afternoon I gathered up some lumber that was on the roof and moved it into the garage. I'll find out tonight if my temporary tar paper and tarp arrangement keeps the rain out.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It seems I dodged the weather bullet. When I went to bed last night it was raining. There was one small drip at the north end of the northwest room, so I put a plastic tub under it. When I got up this morning the floor was dry, so the combination of tar paper and tarps did the job. Fortunately the total rain was only a quarter inch. Heavy rain with wind might have been a different story. The forecast looks good until Saturday, when the chance of rain is shown as 30%. I hope to get a lot of roofing installed Friday.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Here's a relic from the last century. My dad used a razor like this, and when I reached the age to use a razor I went to the Salvation Army store in Long Beach and bought a used one for 25¢. Years later I lost that one, so when I saw this one for sale recently I bought it. Last night after doing my little three mile run I hit the shower and tried out my new old razor. I'm pleased to report that it works just as well as the one I used fifty years ago.

My work on the house today was clean-up. When the roof was off, a lot of leaves blew into the house, so today I was upstairs with broom and dust pan sweeping up leaves. Once I get the roof shingled and not leaking I plan to move out of my bedroom and sleep in another room while I install new sheetrock, new floor tiles, and probably new west windows. After my room is finished, then I'll do the same to that northwest room which also needs new sheetrock and flooring.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Today's adventure was a visit to the dentist to get a bridge installed. That used up most of the afternoon, and I spent the rest of it shopping for a sauce pan. All the ones at Wal-Mart were very fancy and very expensive, and everywhere else there were none, or they were too small and/or lidless. I think I'll see if I can patch the old one that has a leak.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday is a short workday, so I was home by ten. I got to work on the roof right away, and worked on it until five. I can report that the old rule still applies: everything takes longer than you think it will. I expected to get more done than I did. Fortunately the forecast for tomorrow shows only a 20% chance of rain, so maybe I'll finish what I wanted to do today.


Saturday, November 14, 2009


I got started on the roof a little after eight this morning and worked on it until five. With rain in the forecast I needed to get ready for it. It was a cloudy day with temperaturtes in the fifties. A chilly breeze from the north had me using a lot of tissues for nose wiping. It was slow going, cutting shingles to fit around the chimney and up the valley next to it, and sealing the edges with roof cement. I finally ran out of time with a few rows to go, so that chore awaits in a few days when the weather clears.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

It was raining when I got up this morning, and the rain continued until afternoon. The floor stayed dry! The only leak was a minor drip way at the north end, so I placed a plastic tub under it. Late this afternoon I went up and placed a couple of tarps to eliminate that small leak. Except for that little chore, I spent the whole day at the computer, deleting and organizing files and cleaning off the desktop. There's more to do, but I got a lot done.


Monday, November 16, 2009

It was a wet and chilly day. I did some more organizing of computer files, had a dinner of hot tomato soup, and burned trash in the fireplace. Thanks to all the folks who send me junk mail for free heat.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I stayed after work this afternoon to fix my car. The rod connecting the inside door handle to the latch had come loose and I've been having to roll down the window to open the door from the outside. I removed the inside door panel and installed a little bracket to hold up the rod so it will stay connected. The bracket works like the brake rod supports on a Model T Ford, but is shaped differently and is much smaller. If it works, I won't have to bother with it again. When I got home it was 45º in the house, so this evening I had the first fire of the season in the kitchen stove. After dinner I had a fire in the fireplace and burned some of the trash I've been saving. Corrugated boxes don't last long when they burn, but they put out plenty of heat.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

No fires tonight. It was about 55º in the house when I got home, so I didn't use up any firewood. I've been so busy with the roof that I haven't brought a supply up to the house. I hope to get the roof buttoned up Friday, then spend the weekend getting wood.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Next year's wheat was planted about two weeks ago, and recent rain has it off to a good start. When the weather cools down some more, it will go to sleep until spring. I went across the road to take this picture while I was out doing some planting. Last month I bought a butterfly bush and a rose bush when the lcoal hardware store had its 75%-off plant blowout. This afternoon I planted the butterfly bush west of the house. Tomorrow I'll plant the rose bush in front. I still have a couple of rose of sharon bushes I bought in September at 50% off, and I need to decide where I should plant them.

Last night I lay in bed and listened to the meowing of cats. At first I thought they had found a way into the house despite my roof rebuilding. But after awhile I realized that they were outside on the roof, wanting to get in. With no ceiling in the northwest room to muffle their plaintive cries, they sounded closer than they really were. Sorry, kitties, but you made yourselves unwelcome indoors. You can go poop in the great outdoors.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Well, I never got around to planting the rose bush. I got home about 10:30 and worked on the roof until five. The good news is that I got all the shingles installed around the chimney and on the slopes south of it. I have a little more to do tomorrow, then I'll button up the roof project and move on to other things. Besides planting, I need to lay in a supply of firewood and get started on installing a new gas line out to the shop. I expect to get back to working on the house during the winter whenever weather permits, but the roof will probably wait until spring.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Curses, foiled again! With the roof project about to go on hold, I decided to take some time to drive over to Anthony for an auction. The ad listed a shop heater and an antique key collection. My shop could use the heater, and maybe the key collection would include some Model T keys. The"collection" turned out to be about a dozen skeleton keys plus another dozen more modern keys, and the heater was sold before the auction even began. Except for a nice drive in the country, the trip was a waste of three hours. When I got home I nailed on the last roof shingle and flashing for now, put away the laundry I washed this morning, and did some yard work. I removed dead weeds and grass in front of the house and on the east side, and did some planting. I put the miniature rose bush southeast of the house, and a rose of sharon on the east side near the corner. That leaves one more rose of sharon to plant as soon as I figure out where I want to put it. I finished the afternoon pulling a lot of weeds that should have been removed in August if I hadn't been too busy on the roof. While I was working in the yard I discovered this one little flowering plant that evidently didn't get the memo about this being the third week of November. It's an unusual sight this time of year. After a nice dinner at La Fiesta I was going to take in a movie, but arrived at the theater to find a long line extending out into the parking lot. It was a really slow-moving line, because you can't just buy your ticket and go in. The same line is for people to buy the overpriced junk food, so it takes forever. It was obvious I wouldn't get in before the start of the show, so I came home and watched Lawrence Welk. We used to make fun of my dad for watching that show with its hokey old-time music. Forty years later, compared to what's popular now that hokey old-time music sounds pretty good.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

I finished off the weed patch I was working on yesterday, then moved on to the garage. I intended to clear a place to start stacking firewood . But I soon found an almost complete bundle of wood shingles I had forgotten. So I took advantage of the nice day and went up and shingled the northwest wall. There were enough shingles to do most of the job, but I'll need to get another bundle to finish it. Today and tomorrow are the last days over 60º in the ten day forecast, so I expect that as the weather cools down I'll be building the firewood supply.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Today I bought a couple more bundles of wood shingles, and when I got home I put more up on that northwest wall. The two bundles cost $106.72, and I commented to the salesman that I'm so old I can remember $6 a bundle. He told of recently finding a receipt from 1966, when his father bought concrete at $8 a cubic yard. Now it's around $70 a yard. Better do your building now, before everything goes up even more. I got most of the wall done this afternoon, and I expect I should have it finished and treated with water seal this week.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Uh-oh. The tarp arrangement that's been keeping the rain out isn't adequate in a strong west wind, which is what we had today. I went up to nail more shingles on the northwest wall and found that some of the tarps were out of place. They did fine when the wind was from the south or the north, but I'll need to make some changes in case of west winds. I'm just glad I found out about the problem in dry weather so I can take care of it before the next storm.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I wasted most of the afternoon web surfing, then had some hot tomato soup and lit a fire in the fireplace. The weather is cooling down, so I guess I'd better spend a couple of these coming days off harvesting firewood.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

This was a day to accomplish nothing but visiting. I spent Thanksgiving day with my cousin Pete and her tribe. Pete's son Shane, his wife Bristy, four kids, son-in-law, and month-old granddaughter. It was such a nice day that we feasted out on the patio.


Friday, November 27, 2009

I spent part of the morning taking a drive to take a look at some of the local stone arch bridges, then I spent the rest of the day bringing firewood into the garage and getting ready for the arrival of winter weather. If you have some time to kill, here's a firewood video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lGn_z8GV1Q.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

This morning I went to an auction. I bought some real galvanized roofing nails, not the sorry electroplated things they sell now which turn to rust in twenty minutes, and a bundle of lumber, and a piece of antique shop machinery. I spent the afternoon taking firewood I collcted yesterday out of the truck and putting it in the garage, then hauling home the stuff I bought this morning.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

A chilly north wind made this a good day to stay inside. By late afternoon the wind died down and the temperature warmed up to the low fifties, and I went up to the upper roof and prepared the tarp arrangement for wet weather. That will probably keep it away. If I left the unfinished part uncovered, that would bring on the rain.


Monday, November 30, 2009

Zeke and I took a walk this afternoon. The Suburban has developed an annoying transmission leak, so I drove it to town and left it at the transmission shop, and we walked home. Maybe I'll get back to wood gathering tomorrow.