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Bleg: Keep the roof over Claire’s head

Okay, good people. It’s been a long time since I’ve asked for anything. Last year I skipped fundraising because it always seemed someone else had a greater need. You responded generously and helped some good people.

Now I need a new roof over my head. It’s going to cost $8,300. I hope to raise half of that via this bleg. So here’s the goal: $4,150. Here’s the hope: that if you enjoy this blog and get something good out of it, you’ll donate.

I’m also hoping that donations won’t just come from the Usual — wonderful — Suspects who have shown so much love over the years. If you’ve been reading this blog and have never contributed … well, help keep me and my furkids dry this winter!

Obligatory note: I am paid to write this blog and I do earn money from my Amazon Associates links. But I blog much more than BHM requires. So the wonderful people of BHM also allow me to use this forum to raise other funds as needed. I try to do it sparingly. So send me some spare change and I’ll quit blegging!


  1. Joel
    Joel July 30, 2014 8:04 am

    You know my financial situation: I’ve currently got $12 to my name. But I am spreading the word.

  2. LibertyNews
    LibertyNews July 30, 2014 8:58 am

    Hmm, maybe we should beg for something in return… More Hardyville Tales maybe? πŸ™‚

    And when you’re getting roof quotes make sure to get a pile, and watch how they inspect it. The first guy who came out to look at my place didn’t even get up on a ladder. We went with the one who seemed to know what he was doing, not the bottom bid.

  3. LibertyNews
    LibertyNews July 30, 2014 9:04 am

    Urgh. And maybe a better way to donate than paypal? Their stupid system started timing out right after hitting submit. I’m not sure if you can setup amazon payments for donations but they’re someone I trust more than paypal.

  4. Claire
    Claire July 30, 2014 9:38 am

    LibertyNews — I’ve never tried setting up Amazon Payments. Let me give that a try.

    And yes, I’ve already gotten several bids. It took me THREE MONTHS to get four bids, and both the quality of the contacts and the prices were all over the place. The $8,300 is from someone I trust and also happens to be the lowest by quite a margin.

  5. Claire
    Claire July 30, 2014 9:41 am

    I admit, I cringe when I need to put up a fundraiser. I had to leave the computer for a couple of hours because I had this awful feeling the comments would suddenly be filled with, “Who the h*** are you that you think other people should pay for your roof for you?”

    Instead I came back to:
    $100 — thank you, K.
    $100 — thank you, B.
    $8.30 (and a good laugh) from T. & T. to buy them a “memorial shingle.”

    Now to go update that thermometer!

    I’m not surprised that those initial contributions came from Usual Suspects — long-time supporters of the blog.

  6. Claire
    Claire July 30, 2014 9:44 am

    Oh, and LibertyNews — I’m not sure what I can promise other than undiminished blogging with a renewed level of commitment if I reach my fundraising goal. But I’ll tell you what. If we get close to the goal but still need a push to make it, I’ll promise … a new Hardyville story or something equivalent. I have to think about that.

  7. Claire
    Claire July 30, 2014 10:07 am

    LibertyNews — I looked into setting up donations through Amazon Payments. It’s doable in theory, but it’s also clear that if anybody donates to me that way, they’ll forever be considered “friends & family.” Unfortunately that jeopardizes my Amazon Associates commissions and could potentially result in the Associates account being closed.

    Alas, telling Amazon that I actually don’t even know the people involved cuts no ice with them, as I’ve already discovered to my chagrin. On that count they are very, very unreasonable.

  8. Claire
    Claire July 30, 2014 10:14 am

    Another thank you!

    $40 — R.

    That should buy a few “memorial shingles,” too. πŸ™‚

  9. Claire
    Claire July 30, 2014 10:39 am

    $50 — D.


  10. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty July 30, 2014 10:47 am

    As unwilling as I am to give business to the USPS, I do happen to have a small supply of their ugly stamps… so look for a little something by snail. πŸ™‚

  11. LibertyNews
    LibertyNews July 30, 2014 10:50 am

    Darn, thanks for looking into Amazon — looks like there still isn’t a good solution for friction free money transfers (and no, Bitcoin is no solution). Dwolla may be another possibility, but I’m not sure what their fees are.

  12. Claire
    Claire July 30, 2014 11:37 am

    $100 — B.

    Another wonderful “Usual Suspect.” And already nearly 1/10th of the way to goal!

    You guys are something. And ML, I’ll drop you an email about the snail ….

  13. Bear
    Bear July 30, 2014 12:12 pm

    -sigh- Four hunnerd bucks already…

    Yeah, I’m officially jealous. I think it’s time to pull down those free “tips welcome” book downloads. (I normally see about 1 donation per 5-6 thousand downloads.)

    RE:Amazon- I used to have an Amazon account for donations. Until Amazon froze the account (well, I could refund money, but I couldn’t spend or transfer it). Only registered 501c charities were allowed to accept donations. They actually mentioned drug money laundering and terrorist funding.

  14. Claire
    Claire July 30, 2014 12:22 pm

    LibertyNews — I’d never heard of Dwolla until you mentioned it. Their fees appear to be insanely reasonable — $.25/transaction, paid by the recipient. Can hardly beat that.

    I’d be willing to give it a try — though first I’ll do a little more research to see what I can learn about their reputation (reliability, ease of use, privacy, etc.). Thanks for the lead!

  15. naturegirl
    naturegirl July 30, 2014 4:10 pm

    As soon as I can figure out how to do this when I don’t have an address, some more help will be on it’s way. Registering/Joining/even mailing anything is a pain when you have so many blanks that are “required” heh.

    Yes, I realize the irony of one not having a reliable roof over her head wanting to send money to one who needs a more reliable roof over her head. Precisely why I want to πŸ™‚

  16. Claire
    Claire July 30, 2014 4:36 pm

    More thanks!

    $15 — J.
    $100 — B.
    $50 — SbR.

    It’s great to see old blog friends and new names, too.

    And naturegirl, that gives me a pretty good smile. I know that you know far better than most what it’s like to have NO roof over your head. Mine may not be pretty and may be slightly too, shall we say permeable. But at least it’s there.

  17. naturegirl
    naturegirl July 30, 2014 4:50 pm

    Yeah, but my roof is cheaper, LOL.

    You might have to email me a snail address – it could be to someone/thing else nearby if you feel better doing it that way. Snail mailing is the only thing I can come up with being able to do at the moment.

    I promise not to show up on the doorstop of the address… LOL…

  18. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau July 30, 2014 4:51 pm

    I’m just wondering how many square feet of roof you are talking about, how many dormers, valleys, etc., whether a tear-off of the old roof is needed, what the slope is, and how esthetically sensitive you are. πŸ˜‰

    I *have* put on a few roofs before. Under the right circumstances it can be pretty easy and pretty cheap. And fast if you are putting on metal. Maybe a roofing party is in order, something like an Amish barn-raising?

  19. Claire
    Claire July 30, 2014 5:24 pm

    naturegirl, I’ll happily supply a snailing address. Will email you — and have no worries at all that your privacy-loving self will try to insert herself into my friend’s PO Box. πŸ™‚

  20. Claire
    Claire July 30, 2014 5:31 pm

    Paul — I appreciate your spirit and admit that this is one of those times when being a hermit is very unhandy. Yes, it’s kind of hard to have a roof raising when you live in an Undisclosed Location.

    In any case, part of the roof actually has to be not just rebuilt down to the rafters, but has to be redesigned due to strangely funky angles causing problems. The first estimates I got were … well, I would have had to mortgage my life. So while no construction is cheap, I’m getting an amazingly good deal on this.

  21. anonymous
    anonymous July 30, 2014 6:27 pm

    Maybe it would be more cost effective to remove the upper floor of your house, and put standard pitch pre-made roof trusses on your first floor, if the wood is not too rotten to hold up a roof, or even if it is and the first floor has to be reinforced. You can offer your contractor salvage rights as part of his payment, keep some siding for future repairs. Or given the costs of repairs you’ve already done that involved rotten wood, maybe live in a four season trailer, tear the house down, and start over with a small kit house on an insulated slab. With steady daily work it would be ready to live in before winter. With that much money going into a roof, it might be time for a cost/benefit analysis.

  22. Claire
    Claire July 30, 2014 7:09 pm

    Anon — Oh, no worries, I’ve done many a cost-benefit analysis over this house, some of them at 3:00 a.m.

    But in this case: Cost to have a perfect roof that’ll last until after I’m dead: $8,300. Cost to tear down half or all of the house, have the bits hauled away, buy a trailer, store my stuff, get all the permits and materials and labor to start building all over again in a house that wouldn’t have anywhere near as much character and charm? Incalculable.

    Sure I still have a few more repairs ahead after the roof. But they’re small and I can do them (some with help, some not) over time. But they’re nothing compared to the horrific expenses you’re suggesting, and I’ll end up with a result I love.

    Believe me, I wouldn’t love some standardized — and very costly — box. And even if I were dying to live in the sort of place Malvina Reynolds so ironically celebrated (, where the hell would I get the kind of money to do such a monster project?

  23. Claire
    Claire July 30, 2014 9:00 pm

    Thank, thank, thank, thank yous!

    $25 — S.
    $50 — M.
    $25 — J.
    $20 — R.

    New donors and old friends. πŸ™‚ … And over the 15% hurdle!

  24. Claire
    Claire July 31, 2014 6:57 am

    $100 — P.

    Another HUGE thank you. That puts us almost at 20% in less than 24 hours!

  25. Karen
    Karen July 31, 2014 7:09 am

    Payday tomorrow! Hopefully that’ll generate a nice uptick. πŸ™‚

  26. just waiting
    just waiting July 31, 2014 7:56 am

    Is last year’s snail still good? We just finished taking this year’s honey, so a new bottle will be on the way too, just as soon as C comes up with a new label.

  27. Claire
    Claire July 31, 2014 7:57 am

    $15 — J.

    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  28. Claire
    Claire July 31, 2014 8:06 am

    JW — I’ll email you about the snail. I think the one you used is still the good one, but will check in just to be sure. I LOVE that honey, and even better, those labels.

  29. Claire
    Claire July 31, 2014 1:35 pm

    $100 — A. (or maybe it’s C.)

    Whichever it is, whoohoo, you have put us over 20% of goal!

  30. Claire
    Claire July 31, 2014 5:12 pm

    $10 — A.

    Thank you — and it’s great to keep on seeing new names.

  31. Claire
    Claire July 31, 2014 5:31 pm

    And oops! Looks as if PayPal forgot to send me an email about this one, but I found it when I went online. So didn’t mean to neglect you —

    $25 — J.

    A familiar name & a welcome addition. πŸ™‚

  32. Claire
    Claire July 31, 2014 5:35 pm

    And another one PayPal forgot to email me about. Yikes!

    $15 — J.

    Thank you. The J’s are being good to me today.

  33. Claire
    Claire August 1, 2014 6:22 am

    More thank yous!

    $5 — S.
    $5 — G.
    $50 — N
    $20 — K

    Annnnnnnd — nearly over the 25% mark! I thank you and the cat (who especially appreciates being dry) thanks you. πŸ™‚

  34. Claire
    Claire August 1, 2014 7:11 am

    $50 — R.

    And thank you for so generously putting the thermometer over 25%!

  35. Claire
    Claire August 1, 2014 10:10 am

    $100 — S!

    And wow.

  36. Claire
    Claire August 1, 2014 11:02 am

    Thank you W! — $30 more in the thermometer …

  37. Claire
    Claire August 1, 2014 12:14 pm

    $20 — C.

    Thanks for keeping the “mercury” climbing.

  38. Claire
    Claire August 2, 2014 10:08 am

    $100 — J.
    $100 — P.

    And here I was thinking donations might slow down today.

    This is awesome. Yeah, I know I already said that. Let me say it again: this is awesome.

  39. Claire
    Claire August 2, 2014 11:44 am

    $25 — R.

    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ and thank yous.

  40. Claire
    Claire August 2, 2014 2:14 pm

    The first snailed contribution arrived today!

    $40 — Old friend A.

    And that, thanks to all you good people (assuming the figures I calculated on both fingers and toes are correct), puts us above 35%!

  41. Terry
    Terry August 2, 2014 7:48 pm

    It’s coming. Really. πŸ™‚

  42. Claire
    Claire August 4, 2014 7:42 am

    Terry — Don’t worry; I’m certainly not the least bit worried about it. πŸ™‚

  43. Claire
    Claire August 4, 2014 7:44 am

    Thank you, J. Another $30 goes up in the thermometer.

    Sunday was a zero day — unsurprising though disappointing after the gangbusters beginning last week. It was nice to wake up to a contribution first thing today.

  44. Claire
    Claire August 4, 2014 1:05 pm

    And thank you M. for “three memorial shingles.” πŸ™‚

    The mercury rises another $25.

  45. Wendy H, Michigan
    Wendy H, Michigan August 5, 2014 4:22 am

    Would love to help Claire… please send your snail mail box info to

  46. Claire
    Claire August 5, 2014 8:35 am

    More thank yous.

    $25 — L.
    $30 — R. (a second-time donor to the raise-the-roof fundraiser!)

    Wendy, I’ll happily email you the snailbox info. Thanks!

  47. Claire
    Claire August 5, 2014 9:40 am

    MORE thank yous. Today the snail brought:

    $75 — P.
    $100 — D.
    $100 — R.

    Whoohoo! The USPS is still good for something, and you good people are good for … well, just goodness’ sake.

  48. Claire
    Claire August 5, 2014 7:34 pm

    Aaaaand … MORE thank yous! It’s been a very big day.

    $100 β€” G. πŸ™‚
    $20 β€” J. β€œfor roofs & woofs” πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  49. Claire
    Claire August 6, 2014 6:22 am

    More friendly generosity.

    $75 — J.

    Thank you, J, for keeping me, my critters, and the all-important computer dry this winter.

  50. Claire
    Claire August 6, 2014 6:26 am

    Just a hair of a hair shy of the halfway mark now. And already over $2k — a big milestone!

  51. Claire
    Claire August 6, 2014 7:48 am

    And another $10 — Thank you, S!

    Getting soooooo close to the halfway mark.

  52. Claire
    Claire August 6, 2014 9:43 am

    And K. — who was the very first donor to this fundraiser — adds another $20 for the express purpose of leaping that halfway hurdle.

    Once again, K., smiles and long-distance hugs to you.

  53. Claire
    Claire August 6, 2014 7:24 pm

    $25 — from M. Thank you, thank you.

    And that puts us over the $2,100 mark — an excellent round number. πŸ™‚

  54. Claire
    Claire August 6, 2014 7:28 pm

    Wow. Another great day — and $100 from W.

    Our grand total is looking grand indeed. I can’t tell you all how moved I am by the generosity of these contributions and by the fact that they’re coming from a wonderful mix of old friends and new names.

  55. Claire
    Claire August 7, 2014 8:07 am

    $40 — P.
    $100 — C.

    I am just boggled by your generosity.

  56. Claire
    Claire August 7, 2014 10:24 am

    And the snail brought …

    $50 — S.

    A wonderful gift from someone I know isn’t what you’d call rich. Thank you, S.

  57. Claire
    Claire August 7, 2014 5:16 pm

    An unexpected donation from K. — $25.

    Off to add it to the thermomenter now. Thanks, K!

  58. Claire
    Claire August 7, 2014 8:28 pm

    And $10 from T. to complete a very good day. Thank you, T.

  59. Claire
    Claire August 8, 2014 9:33 am

    $20 from old blog friend M and up goes the thermometer …

  60. Claire
    Claire August 8, 2014 5:28 pm


    $500 from the Family A. I’d hardly believe it — except that they have shown just such astonishing generosity before. O.M.G. (Which, in this case, I’m sure they’d want to mean “Oh. My. Goodness.”)

  61. Claire
    Claire August 9, 2014 9:40 am

    More thank yous this morning!

    $25 — Old freedomista friend M.
    $10 — New freedomista friend M.

    (Are the M’s and J’s — with the powerful help of A’s — conspiring in my favor? Ah, but if so, the rest of the alphabet appears to be in league with them.)

  62. Claire
    Claire August 9, 2014 1:06 pm

    And the snail comes along bringing …

    $30 — W.
    50 — T.

    And with that, we’re over $3k! Nicely over, in fact.

  63. Claire
    Claire August 10, 2014 12:01 pm

    $25 — M.

    Yet another M. Yes, it really must be a benevolent conspiracy!

    Thank you, M. And take care of your little sweetheart.

  64. Claire
    Claire August 10, 2014 8:11 pm

    And $75 from young blogfriend D. puts us into the stretch with less than $1k to go!

    Thanks, D. Enjoy your “adventures.” πŸ˜‰

  65. Claire
    Claire August 11, 2014 12:27 pm

    Another $100 from A. — who becomes the third person to have donated twice to this fundraiser!

    A. (like the amazing Family A. (no relation)) has also been known to send me some awfully pretty roof pictures now and then.

  66. Claire
    Claire August 11, 2014 1:39 pm

    And here’s $50 from S. — another old online acquaintance I didn’t know might still be around.

    Thank you, S!

  67. Claire
    Claire August 11, 2014 3:02 pm

    And thank you, C. — another new friend — for your $50 donation to the cause!

  68. Claire
    Claire August 13, 2014 9:52 am

    Big thank you for $100, old friend M!

    Nice to see the mercury rise again after a zero day on Monday. (But even with a zero day, I’m still pretty impressively impressed!)

  69. Claire
    Claire August 14, 2014 8:13 am

    Holy cats. A $330 donation from long-time (but recently very quiet) friend A.

    Last I knew, A. didn’t have that kind of money to toss onto other people’s roofs! I hope that means blessed prosperity for A. and his beloved family.

  70. Claire
    Claire August 15, 2014 8:13 am

    $200! — D.
    $1,000! — Lovely anon donor

    And this morning, even after the top of the thermometer got shattered, a great $100 from f.


  71. Claire
    Claire August 17, 2014 10:25 am

    $50 from S. this morning! Thank you, S. This is so cool. πŸ™‚

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