Leaks, Creeks and Lost Paddles…

As I’m sure you’ve guessed by my long silence, life has hit one of those rapids where the raft tosses too and fro’ over ever-more churning water and the scene of life becomes nearly a blur of passing landscape as I cling to the edges of the raft and hope to gawd there aren’t any huge waterfalls downstream.   🙂

While I have gotten nearly a 1/3 of my overall property into permaculture/garden beds, this year’s bountiful moisture means I still cannot keep up with mowing/weeding/weed whipping – – – or at least not if I want to spend anytime earning the money to be spent at the home improvement store or garden nursery – – 🙂

The child-man-unit of the house ripped out his shoulder in June – – after an examination by the sports medicine guru, worries of a fracture or rip in things that don’t just heal back to normal all by their lonesome, were expressed, with the recommendation,

“We need to get right on this.”

So off we go to the surgeon’s office (they got us in on the same day, so that was nice.)  Where the result was,

“Let’s get an MRI, see what the damage is and then go from there.”

And in response to my questions regarding how much we should limit his activities, to prevent further damage, the reply came:

“You never have to mow, ever again.” – Smile/Wink.

On the plus side, both the child-man-unit and I finally figured out who the doctor reminded us of – Dean from Supernatural – I wanted to go back in and ask the doctor what kind of car he drove, but decided that would be taking it too far – – 🙂

Well, that was the first of June – MRI folks could finally get us in towards the end of June – Doctor on vacation and we won’t be seeing him until the end of July, but he’s already said surgery will be needed – the tendons/ligament torn will not heal back to their tight hold on the shoulder joint without some extra help.

Not my idea of ‘getting right on something’, but at least we know what’s what and how to move forth –

However, my outdoors-working-partner-in-crime is limited to mowing.

(Yes, yes – but we have a lightweight battery operated WORX mower, that he can push along using just his left arm – so he is mowing.  🙂 )


Last week’s heavy rain meant a leak over my west window – I figured this would show up as the roof has been in need of replacing – previous half-arsed patching attempts from other tenants resulted in about 5-6 layers of rolled roofing, a crap-load of nails and edges that easily caught the wind and ripped those nails right out –

After calling upon one of the local teachers, who also happens to do roofing in the summer, I went to Lowe’s, got the supplies – he brought over a ladder big enough for me to access the roof – we walked it, he showed me where to clear to, and yesterday morning I started in to remove 5-15 years worth of hodge-podge layers and getting it ready to lay down brand new rolled roofing, in effort to have the whole mess hold on for one more winter –

(Yes, Universe, this is a message for you – I want my new roof next summer – so keep sending the work, so I can pay for it!  🙂

As you can see – the very original layer didn’t even tar paper it all the way to the bottom edge –

After two hours, pulling a coffee can full of old nails (except the ones that were so old, the heads broke off and I just pounded them down into the older-than-dirt wood) two barrels full of old roofing/paper/patch fabric, etc., I had the canvas ready to install the new repair.

Mr. Roofer showed up, hefted the extra roll of roofing I had purchased onto one shoulder (I huffed/puffed and lugged the thing to the foot of the ladder) and sprung up the ladder like he was dancing –

Obviously, I still have work to do on my strength issues..

With his help, we marked chalk lines, spread asphalt roof cement every where we wanted a good seal, (and I sealed part of my arms, hair and portions of my face, as well…) and as he went through and installed pretty new roofing nails, I, mom and the child-man-unit made a hurried trip to town to get one more bucket of cement, a smaller trowel (the ones I had didn’t fit in the bucket) and a drive-thru lunch.

Back home, I ascend to the roof, only to find it is so hot, I managed to get what looks like a sunburn on my knees from kneeling while adding the cement to lap-over areas not previously done because we ran out of cement.

I retreated into the house, put on cool comfy clothes, and passed a few hours inside resting and reading, waiting for the sun to descend –

Around 7pm, I went back up, finished up the cementing job – and, though not pretty, decided to add an extra layer of the cement to the top of the layers, too – just so I won’t have to be back up there this winter – in 90 mph winds and snow – 🙂

Functional First, Pretty if Possible, is my motto – 🙂

Mr. Roofer came and retrieved the ladder he needed for the next day’s work – and, to my amazement, told me

“Good Job!”

I was amazed, because though I followed his instructions, by the time he arrived, I was so worn out I was talking like Elmer Fudd, fighting nausea and wondering if I were man-enough to see this job through – he expressed concern about me continuing to help, observing that if I passed out, it would be hard to get me down off the roof.

I laughed and said,

“At this point, I’m so miserable, you can just roll me over to the edge and dump me off – “

I will tell you this – I learned a lot, and as long as I can procure a ladder that is big enough to reach, yet light enough for me to lift, I feel much more confident that I can do any future patch/repairs that may come along before I can afford to hire someone to do the entire job right – but I do know…

When I grow up, I Do Not want to be a Roofer.

Alas, last night in twilight, I went down the ladder for the last time, stripped off my clothes and threw them away, got into my pj’s and while sitting on the couch, cursed myself for not remembering to take a picture of the completed job – and decided it wasn’t worth another trip up there.

So, you’ll just have to take my word for it – it is done and while the extra seams of cement mars somewhat the beauty of the job, it still looks a heck of a lot better than what was there before.

Growing Things Update

Yesterday, my sainted mom came over and worked on weeding around my chokecherries – which I had gotten about 1/2 done.  My order of Moth Mat Bean seed finally arrived last week, so hopefully after tonight’s rain, I can get them plopped into the ground around the chokecherries – they grow in a mat on the ground, are drought tolerant, edible and should choke out any further weed growth.

I hurriedly snapped some photos this a.m., around the place, just to show you how much things have grown (although, to my amazement, all my orange marigolds died – yellow ones are looking good – not sure what made that happen….)

As you can see, I’m behind on weeding, mowing, further work in garden beds – but here’s what’s grown this year without irrigation being installed and I’ve only hand-watered once:

Jerusalem Artichokes
Jerusalem Artichokes – nearly 5 feet tall now
Daylillies planted in 2013 are actually going to bloom this year!
Roses, tomatoes, basil, marigolds
Roses at back, Tomatoes interspersed with Basil and marigolds at front
Self-Seed Amaranth looking good – hope they don’t block out too much light from the roses – alas, can’t bear to pull them out

Work and Projects

Have 7 proposals out, 4 jobs lined up through August. My own new website still not completed and launched – sigh – but nearly done with my 18 week copy writing course and so hoping that all I’ve learned from that will be put to good use for both my site and my clients.


Here and there, while waiting at doctor’s office, or at the airport to pick up relatives, etc., I’ve been able to snatch some reading time so as not to fall too far behind on your world.    Hope this little missive finds you enjoying your summer (or winter, as the case may be) and that you and your loved ones are doing well.

Happy Monday! 🙂

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