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Construction: Next few days

With The Wandering Monk in disappearance mode, I’ve been scrambling to keep up with summer house projects.

Yesterday I worked on gutters, soffits, and trim. The toughest bit was removing a 28-foot section of old aluminum continuous gutter. This is a much more formidable object than you’d think — especially when it has raw metal edges and you’re on the fifth step of a ladder in the general direction said object is trying to fall. But isn’t falling because you have to yank and hammer on that one last stubborn connection that’s holding it to the rafters. And you just know that when it does finally give up its little metallic ghost, things could happen quickly.

I survived unscathed, though. No mere yards of crud-filled aluminum were going to beat me.

Today I’ll be headed out early for more small bits of gutter, soffits, and trim. I’ll blog if I find space between. But don’t count on a whole bunch of blogitude unless timing goes just right.


It turns out that the Monk had excellent reason for abandoning my projects last week. I don’t know the details, but on Wednesday something went catastrophically wrong with the foundation of his own Olde Wreck, to the point of de-stabilizing part of the structure. Of course he had to rush to repair that and stay with it as long as it took.

On the other hand, his reasons for walking away without even a single “must reschedule” text were … less than excellent. The long-term implications of that choice will be interesting. But he says he’s returning at 8:00 this morning, and I’ve got a short list of absolutely crucial “only the Monk can do this” tasks for him. I’m grouchy, but also relieved.

He and I will mostly be working separately, Monk on the front of the house and me on the sides. Which is probably for the best at the moment.

I’ve been awake since 2:30, planning the day. Now, my disgruntled and “cwabby” self needs her belated morning tea before going out to work on the least neighbor-disturbing part of the today’s to-do list. See you later and wish us luck.


  1. James
    James August 28, 2018 4:07 pm

    Good luck!

  2. ~Qjay
    ~Qjay August 28, 2018 10:20 pm

    I hope it all went smoothly, Claire. Be gentle with the Monk, hermits are still hermits, and he still is helping.

  3. Claire
    Claire August 29, 2018 4:54 am

    You’re right, ~Qjay. The Monk is more than helping and it’s very hard to stay angry with him as I learned within 10 minutes of his arrival. We had a great day, which I’ll try to write about shortly.

    I’m not sure how to handle this, long term. No shows without notice are a major boundary violation for me. The anguish that kind of behavior evokes is something not worth bearing. And I know the Monk isn’t going to change; we’ve talked about the problem and he’s made that clear. But the quality of his work is extraordinary, he’s a tremendously creative problem solver, our teamwork is great, and there’s simply nobody else this good that I could afford to hire.

    It’s a rock and a hard place.

  4. Pat
    Pat August 29, 2018 6:26 am

    “And I know the Monk isn’t going to change; we’ve talked about the problem and he’s made that clear.”

    Does that mean he refuses to let you know whem a change in his schedule arises?

  5. Claire
    Claire August 29, 2018 6:30 am

    It seems to mean that if he has a change in schedule for some minor reason he will probably let me know. But if he has a change in schedule because he has a personal problem (vehicle, household, health, etc.) or because he simply gets involved in an activity and forgets, he’ll continue to do late-shows or no-shows — and that is that.

  6. Deb
    Deb August 30, 2018 9:19 pm

    My handyman has similar behaviors. But finding someone who is proficient at many things, honest, and reasonably priced is nearly impossible where I live. So I decided long ago that the late arrivals and no show days were worth the trade off.

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