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I hate it when that happens

Been dry and warm. I’ve been working on the outside of the house (north wall, exterior of screen porch; I’d have pix except for my camera having died and the phone cameras being a PITA). But yesterday was misty. Enough that the “mist” dripped from the eaves all morning.

So I slipped under the cover of the screen porch and returned to shingling the wall between porch and bedroom. A small fear I’ve been nursing soon proved true: I’m going to run out of shingles on the last row. On the very last freakin’ row.

I hate it when that happens.

Maybe I’ll be able to get creative with trim strips or something. Maybe the lumberyard will discover loose shingles lying around for me. Maybe I’ll squeak through by inserting a few builder’s shims in with the shingles (same shape, same wood, just very, very narrow). Maybe I’ll be able to salvage sufficient damaged and rejected shingles to get by.

Still. I hate it when that happens.

I was already planning a blog post with that title when I stumbled out of bed in the morning dark, turned a faucet to wash my face … and nothing emerged from the pipes but a faint gurgle.

I hate it when that happens, too.

Did I not pay my water bill? Of course I paid it. SHTF overnight and I didn’t notice? I dunno. Where’s my tea?

Fortunately I’d prepped the tea kettle last night. Fortunately, I have stored water, some of which I just refreshed this week. I won’t even be inconvenienced unless the S really has HTF. But you know, that stored water suddenly looks a lot less adequate.

Most likely a water main went blooey somewhere in town. That happened once before, but that time we had the Big Clew of a crew working two doors down. (Their utility locater had oopsied and equipment meant for underground electric service crunched through a water line that was at that moment busily flooding a neighbor’s driveway.) This morning, who knows? I doubt anybody’s installing underground electrical at 5:30 a.m.

But it’s pretty funny that I was already planning a blog titled “I hate it when that happens.”

It may be wise to stay in bed this morning, in case there’s anything else in store.


  1. firstdouglas
    firstdouglas August 31, 2017 7:56 am

    Afraid it probably won’t be me, but I do hope someone sends you a camera. Here’s wishing you flowing water by noon!

  2. Claire
    Claire August 31, 2017 8:38 am

    Thank you, firstdouglas. I was looking at used digital point-and-shoots online and was surprised to see how expensive they still are.

    Still no water, but I tell you, this is a great neighborhood. Once I decided it was late enough in the morning to text my neighbor, it turned out the neighbor network had already identified the location of the outage by calling/texting around to see who had service and who didn’t. And the 80-year-old widow who’s the last one on the road with running water had already offered her shower to the 12-year-old boy who’s got a special event to attend today. He declined, but this is the way things are supposed to work.

    I offered to share a few gallons of stored water with the nearest neighbors. I haven’t heard back yet, but I’m pretty sure these folks are going to have their own, anyhow.

  3. Joel
    Joel August 31, 2017 9:48 am

    Hope you get your water back soon, Claire, and glad the whole helpful neighborhood isn’t out.

    Also I feel your pain on that “lens error” thing. I’ve quite lost count of how many official blog cameras I’ve gone through, all donations. I may have cleaned out the national supply of surplus freedomista point-and-shoots.

  4. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty August 31, 2017 10:03 am

    The world is going nuts, I tell you. Woke at 4 AM to a thunderstorm! Lightning, rain and all. Really weird. Went by fast and we were able to use the gun range as planned at 8 AM, the weeds only a little damp. Lots of things wake me between 2 and 4 AM. But I can’t ever remember that being a thunderstorm before.

    And cameras… I bought a Cannon PowerShot A560 many years ago. It does things I have no idea how to operate, but it takes good pictures. Of course I don’t use it often… very seldom even remember to take it with me when I would. And very often when I do take it, I forget to use it. Old ladies, you know. 🙂

    My only gripe is that it eats batteries like kids eat popcorn. And that’s even so when I remove the batteries each time I’m done with it. Left in, they are toast in a few hours. Stupid thing must be trying to “phone home” or something. 🙂 But, by golly, it still works fine after all these years.

  5. R. L. Wurdack
    R. L. Wurdack August 31, 2017 12:46 pm

    No froe..?

  6. Claire
    Claire August 31, 2017 3:08 pm

    I certainly have the cedar trees, R.L. And hey, they’re only 300 tor 500 years old, so no great loss to topple them. And they’re right next to the house where it should be convenient for me to knock them down and make singles or shakes out of them.

    But darn … no froe. Otherwise I’d be right on it.

  7. Joel
    Joel August 31, 2017 3:51 pm

    If you have cedar trees your neighbors must surely have them too, right? So you just point over their shoulder and say, “What in the world could that be?” and then when they turn around you whack their trees with a chainsaw and haul them into your yard. No one will be the wiser.

  8. Claire
    Claire August 31, 2017 5:11 pm

    Brilliant, Joel. Since that’ll surely work so well, I’ll hire you to manage the project. Meanwhile I’ll be hiding in an undisclosed location.

  9. Fred M.
    Fred M. August 31, 2017 5:31 pm

    Well you could use some artwork to cover the area without shingles…no one would ever know, and I’ll never tell. Actually a funny event once happened with my young son who was around 7 at the time. He was on the toilet reading when his older brother kept teasing him from the hallway and wouldn’t stop after repeated requests by Eric. Finally he had it! Got off the throne went up to the door and proceeded to put his hand through it, well not all the way through it just one side. Darn cheap hollow doors. Anyhow he was embarrassed but I wasn’t ready to replace the door with only a fist size hole in it, so I found a wall plack that had a lion sitting on a tree limb ( about 5″X6″ ) and glued it over the hole. It’s right at eye level when you are sitting on the john and I can’t tell you how many people would sit and stare at it and thought that that was an odd place for a picture. It was great!

  10. Claire
    Claire August 31, 2017 5:35 pm

    That went well. Not the part about stealing the neighbors’ cedar trees and hacking them up with a froe to finish the screen porch wall. But the day in general.

    I decided to risk getting out of bed and getting to work after all. By salvaging a few less-than-perfect shingles I’d hoped not to use and getting a little creative, I made it through the final row and even had five or six pieces leftover. The water came back after only a few hours. I cleaned up some construction rubble (just in time to generate more, of course).

    The only bad thing was that Ava fell asleep next to the rocking chair on the porch and I rocked on the tip of her ear while resting up from work. She yelped. She bled. (Boy, do ears bleed.) But she was molified by all the attention I gave her afterward.

    A plumber’s bill arrived. That’s never pleasant. But it was no more than I’d guessed it would be. I also received a sumptuous donation from a Friend of the Blog who has made a habit of sumptuous donations recently. It’s not the first I’ve received this month. Thanks to the generosity of two blogfriends, the latest round of building materials and the plumber’s bill are covered.

    So a good day. In a good month.

    Now only two more substantial projects ahead and neither of those is as monumental as what’s gone before: finish grading and graveling the area behind the house; and finish the bedroom-to-be (closets to be framed, drywall hung and mudded, ceiling and floor repaired and finished). Before the Monk returns to help me with those, my next jobs are to install a tongue-and-groove wood ceiling in the screen porch, then paint the porch floor.

    By the end of September, I expect the exterior and the porch will be as ready for winter as they’re going to get. And at some point, I will have pix.

  11. Claire
    Claire August 31, 2017 5:41 pm

    “I found a wall plack that had a lion sitting on a tree limb ( about 5″X6″ ) and glued it over the hole.”

    I love solutions like that! In my case, since the flawed shingles are at the very top of the wall, a mere mundane trim strip will do the job. It’s not as cool as a lion, but it works. And I already have two cedar 1 x 4s that should take care of it.

  12. Home Builder
    Home Builder September 3, 2017 4:11 am

    I really love your blog Claire. I can’t wait to see more DIY posts!

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