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Two moments in the last 24 hours I wish somebody’d had a camera

Yeah, I know all you smartphone people have cameras in your pockets. My dumbphone has a camera, too. But it’s not worth much. So this morning I didn’t get a photo of the car that had a) a big sticker identifying the owner as a member of one of the local tribes and b) a big sticker supporting one of the local sports teams, which depicts a stereotypical Indian leaping around doing a war-whoop.

Tolerance. It’s what’s rural.


In the second case, I couldn’t have taken a photo, because part of the subject of the picture would have been me, and if I’d have freed up a hand to snap a shot, I’d have bounced into the air.

Yesterday The Wandering Monk showed up to paint the last bit of upper wall on Ye Olde Wreck. This required kneeling or lying on a roof, but said roof was scraped and obscured by cedar branches. So first he had to stand on the roof and cut about a dozen branches off while directing me to pull ropes to get them within his reach.

Some of the branches were above his head and I had to haul them down. Others were too far to the left or right and I had to go either along the fenceline or toward the street and haul them toward him.

Cedars are tough and dense relative to other local flora. Some branches were no problem, but others didn’t want any mere girl attempting to displace them. The monk rigged a long rope with a loop for my (gloved, of course) hand on one end and a short pry-bar on the other. The weight of the bar enabled him to sling the rope over hard-to reach branches then, lowered to ground level, gave me something solid to pull on.

Still, I had to sit on the ground and make a tripod of myself to do the job without branches flopping around while the Monk tried to saw them. With a couple of bigger branches I nevertheless felt myself being lifted up rather than pulling down.

We got the job done, thanks once again to the Monk’s ingenuity, redneck-engineered tools, and good instructions.

But somebody shoulda gotten a picture of that.


  1. free.and.true
    free.and.true August 21, 2018 11:58 am

    Sounds like video would have been more appropriate! ;^)

    Claire and a cedar playing tug-of-war… with the Monk refereeing!

  2. Comrade X
    Comrade X August 21, 2018 3:31 pm

    +1 one on the video idea for sure!

  3. James
    James August 21, 2018 6:25 pm

    Force multiplier for pulling downward on tree limbs: throw the rope over the limb, as you did. Secure both ends of the rope to something relatively immovable directly below the limb (a motor vehicle will work well, if you can maneuver it under the tree. Then pull horizontally on the resulting loop of rope. Of course, you’ll have to move farther than the tree limb descends, by the same factor by which the force is multiplied … but that’s just nature telling us that there’s no free lunches.

    Or, you could use a traveling pulley block. But to do that, you have to have one. Once again, the devil’s in the details.

  4. Claire
    Claire August 22, 2018 6:16 am

    Clever. Thank you. We didn’t have a pulley block and the small space between tree and house couldn’t contain anything like a vehicle. But yeah, either would have helped for the heavier branches.

  5. larryarnold
    larryarnold August 22, 2018 9:32 am

    Cedar branches scraping your roof, or any other kind of tree branch for that matter, need to Go Away.

    Back in my very brief insurance career, that was a “fix it before we’ll sign” item.

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