Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Death Defying Day

I picked up my chainsaw from the mechanic the other day and discovered the reason I couldn't get the chain back on. He told me that he added a link to the chain so it would be easier. I guess when he put the wide bar on there the chain was so snug I didn't have enough slack to get it back on. So of course I threw the chain again yesterday but managed to get it back on.

I had never thrown the chain before; now that's twice in a week. I have several ideas why-the bar, the chain, or the bar and chain oil I was using. I picked up another gallon of a better brand of oil yesterday and I didn't throw the chain today, and I cut a lot.

I was working in the goat pasture and the goats had just finished their hay. So they chased me from tree to tree trying to get themselves squished. Nothing like getting a tree half cut and having two or three goats stand in front of it.

Goats are sort of funny-if you chase them to catch them or take something away they will run like mad in the other direction. But if you try and chase them away from something they want, they jump away and dart back as quick as lightning.

I finally found a couple of things that would keep them busy- a hemlock and an ash. I wanted to take a pic and title it "goat candy". Well, once they had something to eat, I cut a bunch of maples they had killed by girdling and that I hadn't dropped yet, so they were basically standing dead wood and nothing the goats would want to eat. Of course the occasional goat would hear the tree fall and have to run over and make sure, so I would have to move to a different clump where I could cut without dropping one on a goat. Slow going!

Well, that was a busy morning! I took an hour lunch break and watched the noon news and made a huge steak and cheese sub with fried onions, then I went on the roof.

I bought a 6 mil 10X25 plastic sheet for the Firebird's roof, and had been putting that job off all week. Oh yeah, we had a downpour Saturday and his roof leaked-almost took out his TV and he had to move all his books and video game stuff...lucky the weather has been good since, so this afternoon after using up all the excuses, I went up on the roof.

The roof drops 2 feet over a twelve foot run, so I guess that makes it a 1:6 pitch. I started on the bottom corner, precariously leaning over the edge to nail the wooden lathes on the drip board to hold the plastic on, careful to keep the plastic flipped up so I was on the roof and not the plastic. I scared a flying squirrel out of the eaves and as I watched it soar to a nearby tree, I wondered if I could do that by spreading the sides of my orange safety vest if I slid off the roof?

carefully, carefully, working from one side to the other, I finally reached the top side and figured I was going to have to get on the plastic to finish the job. I had already discovered that the knees of my jeans did not offer any kind of grip on the plastic, so I wondered what to do, and I decided to strip down to my underwear, figuring my bare skin might grip a bit better.

Hoping I had no unexpected visitors and no one would look at the house while driving by, I continued working in my underwear. Then I realized the plastic was still too slippery to be safe, and hoped I didn't fall off the roof and be discovered lying unconscious in my underwear. I figured out how to avoid kneeling on the plastic, but that meant kneeling bare-kneed on the mineral roofing, and that wasn't much fun, either. Finally I finished.

Then I put my pants back on and moved over to the flat portion of the roof and started putting black tar on some weak spots. I could feel the warm air coming up through the hatch and smell steak and fried onions from lunch. I started thinking about those darn flying squirrels, since the roof was littered with empty beech nuts, and hoped they don't gnaw the plastic sheet off the roof.

Well, maybe they'll just use it as a slip and slide...

1 comment:

~Tonia said...

Goats do the Opposite of what you think they need to do!! They also chew on dead trees. If there is a little bit of anything left they know it down to nothing!! Just like the deer out in the woods at the salt lick we had a couple of years ago..
Okay.... LOL
At the roof stripper!!!
You will hear the little squirrels early one morning screeeching and sliding down your roof and then see them fly past the window!!