Monthly Archives: April 2011

Up on the Roof

We’re gearing up to add solar panels to our lovely new roof. Dave isn’t a very trusting soul so I guess he wanted to do some light-sensoring (not a technical term) himself. Actually, the device he used is a camera with a fish-eye lens, GPS, and some nifty software to calculate how much sun you should expect to get at a given sport throughout the year. Cool. Anyway, Sunday was clear and sunny, so a good day for such things…


Despite spending much of my youth sleeping in a loft bed, I’m a bit of a wimp about heights. Unless someone is watching me of course, in which case I am SUPER ADVENTUROUS.  Dave wasn’t really paying that much attention to me so there was no need to act brave, but I still managed to creep up the ladder far enough to snap a pic of him in action. This shot also  shows why the roofer says our shingle color is “white”.

And here is a shot from the back of the house, showing how the big tree in our back yard is attacking the corner of our roof… for about 5 more minutes after this picture was taken, at which time Dave took some shears to the easily reachable branches. We’re probably going to have to do some more extreme trimming in the near future though.


This also gives you a glimpse of my nemesis the patio cover that I’m hoping to tear down before too long…

Graduation Day

That’s right, Loki has officially made it out of high school. I guess this means now he’ll have to go out and find a job. Haha, I kid, he’s totally going to be a sports star, which is why his next class will be “Obedience for Dog Sports”.

He still hasn’t gotten a lot of the tricks he was supposed to learn in high school (“spin” and “roll over” both freak him out. It’s kinda weird.) but he heels fairly well, and his sit-stay is getting really, really good. Dave actually managed to get him to stay while Dave backed up halfway across the dog park and then called him over. Now granted, this was after Loki had gotten tired of playing with the other dogs… but still, pretty impressive!


I figured I’d actually try to get a good picture of him for once… Poor dogs with black fur don’t photograph so well.

Tackling the Rosebush(es)

Finally a sunny weekend, and that means I got to take a stab at taming our runaway plants. The roses were my first priority. We have, I believe, four rosebushes. We also have one, maybe two prickly roses, but I’m not sure on those, I’m just guessing based on the BILLION thorns covering those things. One looks like it may be deceased though. Boo. But for now, the slight-less-prickly roses…

They’re all located along the north fence. The one farthest to the back is pink, and has actually managed to push out a flower already:


The next one from the back cream, based on one withered-looking bud:


Then further up there’s a red one:


And in the front corner, the giant mystery rose:


This one was a doozy. Seven feet tall, super dense, covered in dried dead flowers. I started tentatively clipping at the front, and almost gave up because I couldn’t even get past the first layer.  I finally realized that I was just going to have to tackle it from the bottom and take out huge stalks if I was going to have any hope of taming this thing. After maybe an hour of clipping and cursing and trying to not get stabbed to death by the thorns, I had this:


Once I realized that the vines sporting the white flowers to the left in the picture were covering a large portion of the rose bush, I felt no compunction about pulling them off and trimming them way back. That gave me a lot more room to maneuver and really thin this baby out. It looks a little bedraggled, but now it has a lot of space to grow in and sprout lots of rosebuds!

Here’s the pile I discarded, and the giant green city compost bin in the background for perspective:


And in the end I didn’t even get to the other bushes. None of them are nearly as big though, so hopefully they will be much nicer and not stab me quite as much.

New Roof

After pretty much a month of nonstop rain, the forecast finally called for some gorgeous sunshine. The roofers wasted no time. Monday morning they arrived and stampeded all over the roof, thoroughly freaking Loki out.

They were amazingly efficient.

Here’s how it looked at the end of Monday. Nothing but bare boards:

Tuesday dawned with the roofers telling us there was a bit more dry rot than expected, but not too bad. By the end of day two, the front of the house was more or less done:

And everything was finished by the time we got home on Wednesday. (Though I kept forgetting to get a picture in the morning when the light was at its best. And it’s cloudy today. Boo.)

We changed the color a bit, going for what I guess is called “white”, though it ends up looking light gray. The original roof was brown. Our neighbors are in the midst of getting their exterior painted, (going from a yellowish brown to a pinkish brown…) and their contractor offered to give us a quote on a paint job. I don’t think it’s high enough on the priority list for us to do this year, and I’d lean towards doing it ourselves, but I guess we’ll see.