Press "Enter" to skip to content

Monday musings + the sort of dilemma nobody could really mind having, even though I have it and I still find it awkward

Gads, it was 80 degrees yesterday. Eighty in October in the Great NorthWET. There are entire summers when we don’t see 80. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it this warm this late in this corner of the world.

Not due to global warming. But oh man, what an amazing season it’s been!

Supposed to be “only” in the 70s for the rest of this week. Oh, poor us.


With construction catastrophes keeping the house in chaos, I’ve been trying to de-clutter to help deal with the fact that every time I organize stuff in one area, it immediately has to be moved back out because … oh, the roof falls in or somesuch.

So I’m whipping myself into a crusade to de-stuff.

In sorting through books to donate to the library, I ran across my autographed copy of Get Organized, Stay Organized by Christine Shuck (a reader of this blog; hi, Christine!)

That one won’t get donated. Nope. That one will get consulted.

Christine has since moved on to fiction and a different variety of non-fiction based on her own unfortunate experience with the War on Some Drugs.


My desire for an ambiance of almost zenlike simplicity conflicts badly with both my garage-sale jones and my prepping habits. (“I can’t get rid of that! I might neeeeeeeed it someday!”)

I did manage to get a good carload down to the local thrift store and library today, mostly by reminding myself, “You got it all at garage sales, anyhow. When the house is done and you’re ready for more, there won’t be any shortage of garage sale STUFF.”


Speaking of that tree-borne construction catastrophe … I have some wonderful news. But it comes with a dilemma. A certain Anonymous (I think I know who, but the person I suspect admits nothing) has been agitating in comments for me to go with the full Contractor Joe rebuild rather than the Contractor Mike make-do on that collapsed section of roof.

The “Joe” fix is not within my reality. I believe the “Mike” fix will work, though it has its risks. But a few days ago Anonymous put his (or her?) money where his (or her?) mouth is. Zowie. Anon provided a full 1/4 of the “Joe” cost. But s/he wants me to “reset the thermometer” (which doesn’t, in that blog entry, reflect the four donations people have generously given beyond the original roof bleg) and ask for the “full Joe.”

I feel I’ve already asked too much and that you guys have simply given more than I could ever have hoped for. And the more I talk to DIYers (Commentariat member Paul Bonneau has been particularly helpful, though guys have given many good reality checks), the more I think the “Mike” fix will work okay.

Yet Anon made his contribution specifically for the “Joe” fix and wants me to reopen the fundraiser. While I expect s/he won’t demand its return if I go with “Mike,” I do feel awkward about it and don’t know where to go from here.

All in all, I realize it’s a wonderful dilemma to have. The phrase “embarrassment of riches” comes to mind.

And whatever happens … OMG, thank you, Anon!


  1. naturegirl
    naturegirl October 6, 2014 2:31 am

    Even though I’m currently living out of a UHaul and shouldn’t talk about houses, I can’t see tearing a house down completely as being a better solution. Trust me, your fur babies won’t like being homeless until all that gets sorted out (cats especially hate this). And all of you wouldn’t have much more room in a temp trailer parked along side the debris pile, either. It’s your house, you should decide what to do with it and what you can do with it to maintain some decent living style. Whatever is less intrusive and still offers security (as in: no roofs falling in any more).

    Murphy’s still mooching along with me, but I haven’t forgotten 😉

  2. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty October 6, 2014 4:27 am

    With all you’ve put into the repairs so far, the “Joe” approach seems a poor choice now. And winter is coming, so it’s not a great time to start anything major. Don’t over analyze, my friend. And I’m hoping the mega donor will be happy no matter what you use the dough for, as long as you are safe and happy. But of course, I can’t speak for them.

    We’re getting bits and pieces of winter early here. First hard frost last Thursday night, and again the next two nights. Back up to the 40s at night this week, but we’ve already had our first snow… in September, of all things, so we had a very short, cool summer and fall and will have any early winter.

    I used to just laugh at the old timer’s claim that Wyoming has four seasons all right: winter, still winter, not quite winter, almost winter

  3. Claire
    Claire October 6, 2014 5:04 am

    naturegirl — I sure hope you’re able to get out of the “U-Haul lifestyle” soon & into a place where you want to be.

    And don’t worry! Nobody’s talking about any complete house teardowns. OMG, no. Never, ever was considering that — and especially not now that you guys helped me get a strong new roof over the main part of the house.

    The “full Joe” solution means only ripping the existing roof structure off the former porch (now sleeping nook and entryway) and rebuilding it. That affects about 200 square feet. But nope, no live-in trailers.

  4. Claire
    Claire October 6, 2014 5:07 am

    MamaLiberty — UGH! There’s much to love about Wyoming, but the weather certainly isn’t one of those things. I do, all too vividly, recall first snows in September and 25 below temps in winter. And above all, the wind, wind, wind, wind, wind!

    Never did hear that particular old timer’s claim, though. I always heard there were two seasons: winter and road repair.

  5. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty October 6, 2014 6:02 am

    Winter and road repair are mostly the seasons in South Dakota, I think. There are not enough people or cars to wear out the roads that often here. 🙂 Though there ARE some bad roads in the cities and towns sometimes. Guess they have different priorities. The road that goes to our local gun range has a few holes deep enough to swim in… We just drive around them.

    And part of the charm here in my little corner of Wyoming is the fact that winter is mild most of the time. We simply don’t have the deep snow, the serious low temps or wind here that plagues much of the rest of the state. We don’t have enough wind to power a small home generator most of the time. A friend gave me one, good down to 5 MPH, and it stood mostly useless until he took it down.

    But this winter may be an exception, unfortunately.

  6. Matt, another
    Matt, another October 6, 2014 7:51 am

    I have rebuilt a few clunker houses and buildings with my parents. We had one roof, not caved in, that leaked. I re-roofed it a couple of times. I tarred seams countless times, cold weather and bad. Damn roof would still leak the leaks just moved around. Now being AZ, it only leaked a couple times a year, but still not acceptable. Never got it fixed until Dad hired a proffesional roofer that was short on work, got him cheap. It was a low pitch roof, and the roofer took that into consideration, knew the local wind and rain directions and made sure the seams on the roof wera aligned right. Never leaked again. Sometimes you do need to go the full contractor gig. Maybe not an OCD contractor though.

  7. LarryA
    LarryA October 6, 2014 10:17 am

    I lived in Barstow, California for a couple of years. There were two seasons there, as well. The dry season and the day it rained.

    And I have a spouse-motivated destuffing project lurking behind me, cleaning off the floor in my office.

    Winter is a matter of attitude. Back in the day we moved from Grand Island, Nebraska to Amarillo between Christmas and New Year. Everybody in Amarillo was saying “Oh my God. It’s getting down to twenty degrees today!” Everybody in Grand Island was saying, “All Right. It’s getting up to twenty degrees today!”

    Now that I’m planted in Texas, there are summers when we don’t see many 80 degree days, either.

  8. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty October 6, 2014 10:35 am

    “The dry season and the day it rained.”

    I remember that day, Larry!! I was living in Lucerne Valley, about 44 miles north, and I think it sprinkled at my house that day as well. YAHOOO LOL

    And then, once, the rain really came down for a while, and the Mojave river (usually just a line of sand across the desert) overflowed it’s banks all over the place, actually flooding parts of Barstow, Apple Valley, Victorville and Hesperia. Old time residents just figured the aliens had landed and had the vapors. 🙂 It’s not supposed to rain there.

  9. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau October 6, 2014 4:18 pm

    You may well have to re-roof, Claire, if you do the contractor Mike solution (I hadn’t factored that in when I communicated with you). Combining a low slope and a moving support system is almost asking for leaks. But it is possible to get a tarp up there until winter is over. Won’t be pretty but it’s doable…

  10. jed
    jed October 6, 2014 6:48 pm

    Well, were I in your shoes, I’d be irritated at a donor who put conditions on the gift, using it to leverage a particular outcome, arrived at by a certain means. Don’t make decisions based on being handed a guilt trip if you don’t do it his way. It’s your house and your life.

    I think only Matt mentioned a low-slope roof. What pitch is your porch roof, Claire? Yes, it seems a reasonable inference, that an add-on porch roof would be low-pitch, but then I don’t know that as a fact in your case. But I agree with Paul, that with all that moving around, re-roofing is something to plan for.

    I doubt anyone here would be offended, however, at your re-opening the fundraiser. It’s an unexpected event, coming on the heels of losing some income. You know what Forrest Gump said about that.

  11. Anonymous
    Anonymous October 7, 2014 8:09 am

    Jed: Anonymous’ only goal is that contractor Joe becomes a viable *option* and is not rejected solely due to *lack of available funds* … Anonymous just wants to dream that Claire *has* an extra 4K than can be thrown at the problem — or used in any other way she thinks best. There are no strings attached. But Anonymous wouldn’t mind a little anonymous companionship to support the dream — just in case anyone else is so inspired.

    Claire: The only dilemma is that it’s not the entire dream.

  12. Claire
    Claire October 7, 2014 8:21 am

    Anonymous — (and I know you’re the same anonymous), I’m sorry you had to speak up for yourself; I was just coming back in to answer jed. Since you did have to defend yourself, you did it well.

    jed, I did (and do) feel in an awkward spot. But Anon’s generosity is huge and s/he has put no strings on me — just expressed a hope, a desire, and an enormous willingness to help.

Leave a Reply