While watching the US Women's hockey team beat the Russian Women's hockey team at O-dark-thirty this morning; I flipped to the local weather report during the second period. Sun this morning and temperatures rising to 55F.
I tripped over the dog running to the door! We have a window!! Rain would be moving in by 4 pm and stay until Thursday night, and then turning to snow. YES, YES, YES, to the heavens above, and all the weather gods; Jack Frost, Old Man Winter, Auril the frost maiden, all who have rained down ice, snow and wind for the last two months THANK YOU for taking a coffee break today!
Shower, slap on the new tennies, grab the leash and head out with the Kirbs for a warm up lap.... HA! NO hat today! We walked down the driveway and the sun was shining!
I walked home and this has greeted me since last August; see that pipe?
Time to fix one of my bigger mistakes last year. Uninstalling the studio wood stove!
I bought a wood stove over three years ago and moved it around the studio more times than I can count. It's a small studio and it was a small stove but when you need 36" clearance on all four sides it suddenly takes up a lot of room. I had lofty illusions of me curled in my chair, in front of a crackling toasty fire and weaving or carving all winter; my partner in crime snoring on his bed next to the fire.
I had these illusions for three years and they are delusions as Kirby doesn't even know how to bed.
I bought the "Through the Roof" kit from Home Depot last July and promptly realized this would be a PROJECT and I was super busy. So I did something I rarely do..... I hired a guy off Thumbtack. He had great reviews and his shop was called Dave's Wood Stoves; what could go wrong? I contacted him and he agreed to do it for $450. On a hot August Saturday morning Dave showed up with a helper and no tools. Let's just cut to the chase and say the helper knew more than Dave and had more tools than Dave. In hindsight I should have clobbered Dave after the second hour and before he cut a hole in the roof but I'd been delusional for three years.
Besides it's August and there is lots of time before the snow flies. Right after Dave declared the project complete and I paid him and we had a drought. Weeks went by with no rain. I would walk in the studio each morning and couldn't wait to fire up that little stove. By the end of September the monsoon season hit and roof leaked like an open window on the Titanic. Now I was tripping over a wood stove and 4 buckets and kitty litter pan (unused). I called Dave immediately and he came out the next sunny day and spent 4 hours on the roof, declaring it fixed. A week later the storms rolled through and the buckets came out again. How could it be leaking worse than before Dave got on the roof for the second time? I thought; fine I'll fix it myself! I crawled up on the roof and could not find the leak. Hauled Mr. Madpotter up on the roof........ why? I don't know, shear desperation. "Looks fine to me" he said.
I really just couldn't face Dave one more time and I pulled the pipe down inside the studio and water poured in from the four corners of the box. Dammit@! The cold winds blew Winter came and stayed, so did the buckets and the heat poured through pipe to the outside world. The gallery got dumped in the studio and I couldn't even see the hole.
By this time all illusions of me ever weaving or carving a pot in front of the freak'n stove had gone right up the chimney with all the warm air in the studio! I was so over the stove and sold it on craigslist for what I paid for it. The last month I had been staring at a hole in the roof on the coldest days in January and February and cursing the wood stove.
Today was the day! I pulled all the tools out, wrestled the pipe from the jaws of putty, caulk, silicon, roofing nails, metal collars and tar paper while teetering on the roof at what felt like a death defying angle but it's really not. It was a glorious day to be on the roof! Sunny and 55F. for 4 whole hours!
I cut the plywood in the driveway, sanded outside and played the radio. There was sawdust flying for miles!
Spent enough time on the roof to get foot cramps using my toes as grippers. And after 4 hours of ladder running I had a good case of shaky leg and then there was Henry's black tar caulk. We have all read my tales of tub caulking but roof caulking is tub caulking to the tenth power! I caulked my own butt to roof, and one foot. My gloves got sticky so I tossed those aside and then realized my sticky black hands are attached to my wrists. I couldn't put the hammer down. My pants pockets were loaded down with a pry bar, a putty knife, a box cutter, a screw driver, a pair of fiskar scissors and a pair of pliers. I had the proverbial pencil stuck behind my ear and a box of roofing nail precariously kept sliding down the roof but I ever so nimbly caught the box with a foot, knee or the hammer. I got so frustrated I caulked the box to the roof. Perfect until I had to get the box off the roof. Thus my favorite sweatshirt now had a fresh coat of Henry's black roof caulk....... I only realized this while eating dinner and my elbow became stuck to the table.
But it's done!!!
by 5 pm the window closed as the wind shifted, the rain started and the sun was gone but the roof is fixed.
I will probably never use Thumbtack again or Daves Wood Stoves and I'm not feeling too warm and fuzzy about men in general right now because as we know........
Chicks with Tools Rule and guys drool!
Cheers ladies and Happy Valentine's Day!
Buy yourself a few flowers and new caulk gun!!