Mama's don't let your babies grow-up to be Tucson.

We started at 05.00. There were three of us. All three too old and decrepit to be laying waste to a roof. By 10.00 it was getting dangerous and we pulled the plug. It was hotter'n hell and gett'n hotter. No shade and we were taking down what shade there was.


Today we officially introduce Craig (the Contractor) henceforth CtC and his sidekick, Frank (the Framer) henceforth FtF. We picked their handles together. Hardworking suckers. As I said, we started at 05.00. By 05.15 there were plenty of insults being hurled in all directions. Early on, FtF removed what I think used to be the kitchen vent. Left a pretty good sized hole. He told me to be cognizant. CtC, who can string a sentence (you should see his e-mails) looks up and says cognizant? We decided that will be the project word.

So. At 10.00 we have all the shingles and plywood off. CtC and FtF are cutting and removing rafters. They feed them over the wall and I put them in a pile to eventually be loaded into the dumpster. I come to get the next rafter and CtC looks over the wall at me and waves a white flag. The local boys have had all they can handle. 

Sledge Bar with water bottle for scale.

Sledge Bar with water bottle for scale.

I told them it was not going to play out well in today's post. FtF was weeping in a corner with just a little shade. CtC took it like a man, but I saw a hankie that I had not seen previously. We loaded up their truck and they beat feet. I, for reasons that would require therapy to explain, swept the floor and locked the doors. There is basically no roof. I swept the floor and locked the doors. Couldn't help it.

Boy was I glad they waved the white flag. I was knackered, but being an endurance athlete of some renown could not stop first. And, the next three days (two days to Denver and then another day to Custer, SD for a bike ride) I'll be ensconced in the buttery soft leather and as cold as I want it friendly confines of the Volvo.

Today's tool talk.

This animal was a revelation. It looks like a bar. But, at the bottom is what amounts to a sledge hammer. We'll call it Sledge Bar. The sucker is heavy. After we pulled the shingles, two of us were on the roof to pry and one would be inside throwing this thing up at the plywood sheeting to loosen it so you could get a bar under it and pry. As we moved to the ridge beam the throwing also involved leaping. I am height challenged and firmly anchored to the ground by gravity. We swapped out Sledge Bar duty, but on balance I'm pretty sure FtF got the worst of it.

At this point let me complement the original builders. Somewhere there is some damn architects (sorry Jake) plan that specified rafters 16" OC with 1/2" plywood nailed every 8 inches. They put EVERY FREAKING ONE  of those specified nails. I'm no carpenter, but I think they were at least 20 penny. The termites were eating the rafters, but the plywood was going no where.

We also found the mattock to be immensely useful. Loosen with the Sledge Bar, pry with a big bar, insert broad end of mattock pull handle while pressing down on pick end with foot. Continue pounding away with the Sledge Bar, move the prys. The 20 penny nails fought a valiant struggle, but we eventually over-came.

So, now every joint in my body hurts. Between whacking away at Ann's floor yesterday and then the Sledge Bar, I may run out of Advil before I get home.

Monday CtC and FtF will be back to finish the roof, unless they read this and quit. We decided that investing in a couple of day laborers to load the dumpsters was a capital idea. We were thrilled just to get things on the ground. Then they'll start into sorting foundations and how to attack the new gables while we await permits.

That's all I got. Off to clean toilets and floors...