Monday, April 27, 2015

Sweating the small stuff

I admire people who don't sweat the small stuff (at least most of the time--it is sometimes a pain when they are in customer service).  I'm the kind of person who sweats the small stuff.  Or maybe I just sweat the big stuff but everything seems big. 
When the roofer came out to give me an estimate, the first thing he did was smash his ladder onto my pinks (dianthus).  I got the pinks from a 96-year-old lady who was on the paper route that I did 15 years ago.  Then he stepped on the oxalis that Mama got from a lady she worked with 60 some years ago.  Then behind the barn he stepped on the bottom edge of a piece of lattice.  Sure it looked like it was languishing there amongst the leaves.  (Darling son had rigged it up as a wall in the neighborhood sweetgum ball fights.)  But it could have been used to replace the hail damaged piece under the porch.  I couldn't say anything much about the plants because there were pieces of siding and bits of shingles all through the flower beds, and the Japanese stilt grass was sprouting up like crazy.  I guess to him it just looked like one big jumbled mess.  He stepped on some seashells, too.  I later said to myself, "I know he is more careful about where he puts his feet when he is up on a roof!"  To him, I just said, "I'll try to weed around the plants so you can see where to step."  I spent an incredible amount of time picking up bits of shingles and siding.  The bits and pieces went into the buckets that were cracked by the hail.
Raking worked for some of the stuff that wasn't driven into the ground or in the flower beds.

(See how nicely I pruned back the shrubs so the siding guy can get to the house?  There was lots of debris under the bushes.)

After I spent an incredible amount of time weeding, I got smart and went to the supply store for surveyor's tape to mark off the flowers.  I had a lot more confidence that roofers could see orange tape than carefully weeded-around flowers.  "Do you carry surveyor's tape?"
(Dude, you know I have a follow up question.  I ain't just asking if you have surveyor's tape out of idle curiosity.  I'm getting vibes of Marcel Ledbetter stopping the 100-car banana train to ask if they want a possum.  Clearly this man is not going to sweat the small stuff.)  Another man came up.
"Can you point me in the direction of your surveyor's tape?"
"Right there on the bottom shelf."  Now was that so hard to say??
I spent a good while cutting stakes from privet and setting up "crime scene tape" where my plants had been assaulted and battered.
I had a super long list of stuff to do to get ready for the roofers.  A lot of it was moving things out from the perimeter of the house.  Darling hubby moved the gas grill off the deck, but scraped the living daylights out of my rain barrel in the process, and I spent more time cleaning up little blue slivers than it would have take me to help him lift it down the steps so that it didn't go crashing and scraping against the rain barrel--the rain barrel which also was on the list of things to be moved--the rain barrel which I put as a lower priority since I could just put the lid on to keep out shingle crumbs and then make sure it was moved before they did the siding--the rain barrel that the roofers dropped the old rain diverter on and cracked the lid!
There were some plants under the gable end of the house where the heat pump is.  I thought they should be safe there but decided to move them anyway.  Which meant when I uprooted the Japanese maple seedling which had been languishing in a decrepit 6-cell pack so long it had grown roots into the ground under the 6-cell pack, I HAD to put it in a bigger pot with a little more potting mix.  (If I bent over once in this process of cleaning up debris and getting prepped for the roofers, I must have bent over a thousand times.)
My neighbor who used to be a cop was out on his porch having a cigarette while I potted this up.  He does know this is a Japanese maple, right?  And that I'm slipping it over here under the crepe myrtle not to be surreptitious but to give the new transplant a little protection from the sun?
Did you know our siding, which was installed only 7 years ago, is no longer being made in this color, beige?  We got the last two boxes.  I'm wondering if that is enough.  Did you know that this trim that is darker than beige is not "linen" but "almond"?  Actually, it's not almond, either.  Ha, ha, fooled me.  Did you know you can send a young man on an hour and a half round trip to return one piece of corner board in "linen" and exchange it for "almond" and he can come back with "tan," which it turns out is actually the right color after all?  But that in the evening light when a woman wipes the tan corner board, she will notice that the J-channel piece in "linen" should actually be in "beige"?
Now can you imagine a woman trying to explain all this to the siding guy?
I watched one of the guys go around the house with his magnet on a stick to collect the roofing nails.  He spent a good amount of time doing it, so I wouldn't fault him for the job he did.  However, I'm collecting the roofing tacks that I find here and there.  (Yep, I've got a good collection already.)  I've been cleaning up lots of asphalt "crumbs," too.  I guess part of that comes from the shingles being so old.  That had gone beyond their life expectancy and were disintegrating.
Okay, I just got a call.  The local place doesn't have "beige" J-channel.  They have "sand and stuff like that" says my siding guy.  So I'm off to run an errand to the hinterlands to fetch "tan" and "beige."
Wish me luck!

1 comment:

  1. You should ask, "Do you have surveyors tape?"
    "Then you say, thank you just curious, and walk out!"

    You certainly have some strange hardware and supply guys, don't have a shingle display, and one who doesn't say, "Sure, we have the tape, hom many rolls do you need?"

    I just read an article saying businesses are having trouble with their hires, they are smart college graduates but have no 'people' qualities. I think that s a new word for commons sense! LOL

    I still cannot get over the siding damage, I know weed eaters can tear it up but that is the first time I have seen hail do it.

    And YEP, those old shingles do break up. Most roofers have the two foot roller STRONG magnet and do get most of the tacks. Soe of the more seasoned roofers bring enough plywood to protect plants and also to make a funnel to slide the shingles onto the truck or trailer (If they can get close enough to the house.)
    And yes I bet you have put in many hours of prep and clean up.

    Love from West in Belmont.