A Job Well Done: a new roof for the old homestead

To say that an old place begun back in 1840 needs a little work is an understatement.  To do the work and not protect your investment of time and money would be foolish!

And so it is, that we called in the professionals when it came to repairing replacing the leaking roof.  Orchestrating the work that needs to be done here is like choreographing a circus balancing act.  As I told you previously, we knew certain jobs needed to be accomplished.

Jobs in order of known importance were:

  1. Fix the foundation  ~ Done
  2. Install a new roof ~ Done
  3. Install new plumbing ~  Partial only to the master bath.
  4. Install new wiring and bring it up to code ~ Waiting, as we need new studs and open walls to complete

The above work is being done by us as it now happens.  The rest of the work that needs to be done, the reconstruction, was found by discovery as we went along.  We will have to do the construction parts ourselves as well.  We are learning how to do so much!

We fixed the foundation knowing that it would shift the bones of the entire house and thereby cause leaks in the roof.  We scheduled the roofer to begin work immediately after the foundation repairs, and then it rained.  It rained hard off and on for many weeks!  We had 8 inches above normal rainfall this summer!  You simply cannot replace a leaking roof in the rain.  Needless to say, we were less than happy to see wet walls in the newest part of the house, that being the master bedroom.


Yesterday, we went out to do the final inspection on the new roof and we were very pleased!  We hired WPI out of Florence, AL.  Their attention to detail and hard work are a rarity in this day and age.

The job was not a simple one as you will see…

In the last photograph you can see the master bedroom peeking out on the left.  When we had the house inspected before buying it was noted that the roof had been lifted and folded back on that side.  Some screws were placed and some stepping-stones added to try to keep this side on, but the overhang was too long.  It had acted like a fin allowing the wind to get under the raw metal edge, and then lifted the panels up in a storm.  It had to be permanently fixed.

The work crew shortened the overhang by several inches, added a fascia, and properly battened it all down.  We think it looks really good!

Thanks WPI! 

WPI Work vehicles

Please click the image to be taken to their site.


PHOTO CREDIT:  A special thanks goes to Tommy (TS) at WPI for supplying the bulk of the construction photographs to me.  I couldn’t be there every day due the distance and these photos for my journal are awesome!

DISCLAIMER:  If my post today sounds like an add to you, well please know that we were not paid nor did we receive any compensation.   That said, as consumers we do appreciate when we come across a business that takes pride in their work, and knows how to treat their customers right.  Word of mouth is still the best way to get new business, and we believe they deserve the accolades!

Rain, Rain, Go Away…

It’s been raining for seven days straight.  It started with temperatures in the seventies and as the storm pushed through it was closely followed by temperatures in the thirties!  The air at ninety-seven percent humidity suddenly becoming so quickly chilled causes it to condense on the inside of the window panes.*  Like a cold drink in summer it collects and runs over the panes and down to the sill.  The windows were wiped four times day before yesterday, and still it collected.

The wind blew, the rain kept coming, and it has just stopped raining as I type.  The heavy clay has become a mire, slick, slimy and dangerous.  It has rained so much that the earth could no longer take it in.  The rain fell and then lay in an inch deep sheet covering the surface of everything on the ground, then flowing to the lowest places it sat and produced puddles and ponds where none should be.

There is more rain predicted, ‘freezing rain’, ‘chance rain’, and ‘possible snow’ as the day continues, and all of it under leaden skies.

We needed the rain after all those summer days of drought, but getting it all in one go is hard to take.  These endless gray days seem to seep inside you, make you sad, dull your senses…

I dream of spring and a sunny day.

Today the sky is throwing little frozen snowballs down to earth.

Some the size of peas


They collect in the crevasses, and pretend they are snow…


In the meantime,


I keep the little lights on to chase away the dark that lurks in the corners,

and Benny Goodman is keeping me motivated not to just crawl under the covers and sleep the winter away.

Benny Goodman Sextet, with Peggy Lee singing

On The Sunny Side of the Street



*The inside humidity would not normally have been equal to the outside  humidity, but for the smoking dinner in the oven three nights ago, which set off the smoke detector, thus causing us to open the windows and doors to clear the air.  The smoke cleared, but the open house let the hot, wet air in.  With the house then closed the outside temperature plummeted forty degrees in less than two hours and this caused the inside condensation to occur.  We learned our first year here, that too much moisture allowed to sit on the sills will cause mold to grow there.

A Silent Witness

You’ve been told about my need for perfection in other posts, but I am trying to let go of that.  So here with all its warts is my first offering.  Your comments will be cheerfully accepted and appreciated.


A Silent Witness

The little house had stood nestled up against the oak forest for almost seventy-five years.  Families grew, children became adults, married and moved away.  The years passed and the house stood firm.  It sheltered the families there through wind, rain, and snow.  It felt proud of its years of service and imagined that it would remain standing at least another seventy-five.

It was a well-kept house.   Over the years the many owners had painted it inside and out, put up wall paper, patched cracking plaster, reshingled the roof when it leaked, added proper plumbing and tore down the old outhouse.  The windows shone, as did the floors, never a cobweb in the corners, or dust on the sills, it was neat as a pin inside.  As well, the porches were swept,  geraniums planted and then placed to advantage as a welcome to visitors.  The ladies who had come and gone over the years made sure of that.

And so it was year in and year out.

The house was waiting in anticipation of the spring, for then the occupants would seemingly awake from their hibernation of winter, and thus would begin the bustle of deep cleaning.   Opening the windows wide they let in fresh air to dispel the staleness.   It  loved to feel the breezes come in and refresh its rooms.  From basement to attic the small house breathed in the perfume of spring.   Soon would begin the planting and tending of the vegetable garden out back, and flowers set to grace the way to the front porch.  The warm days of summer would follow, with sun and heat to dry out its timbers deep into the bones of its structure.

However, something happened to change everything.

The day had begun as usual, sun up, birds singing, people busy about their tasks to start the day.  Idyllic.   A gentle breeze that had been blowing all morning gradually picked up force and turned into a gale, but the house paid no notice.   Winds had come and gone many times, and nothing came of it.  To be sure, there had been some storms that took a roof tile or two, or a tree branch that came down and put out a window, but those were trifles and nothing the occupants couldn’t fix.

However, today was different, and the house could feel it in the anxious actions of its people.  They were tense and listening with care to the televised weather advisories.  As the sky darkened the family grew very quiet.  The wind picked up in speed pushing the rain sideways, and hurling giant balls of ice down out of the sky it broke several window panes.  It was then that the parents got the children together and went down into the basement. The house felt the seriousness of these events and wondered what to expect next. In all its years it had never experienced a storm so fierce.

The wind was screaming at her, and pulling on her siding.  It seemed angry, tugging as if to bring her down.  She resisted the effort.  Faster the wind came, it swirled her perimeter, stabbing her in places with poles and lumber it had scavenged along the way, dislodging roof shingles, and still the she held against the fury.  Gaining strength the storm blew out her windows, then poured its rain and wrath into her.  Hearing her timbers groan it came in for the kill.  Taking a mighty last bite, it ripped an entire wall from her side and cast it to the ground.  Her timbers stood in defiance.

Gaining no satisfaction from its fury on the home the wind moved on to break trees and scour the earth.  Only then, feeling spent, did it pull itself back up into the clouds and die away.

The family had huddled in fear through the violence of the storm and now listened to make sure it was safe before climbing the stairs.  Opening the basement door they were shocked to find daylight streaming into places it should not be.  Their home had saved them, and they were grateful, but in so doing it had forfeited its dream of another seventy-five years.

After the tornado, the family gathered what they could and left.


  The silent house remains a witness to the furry of a storm.


NOTE:  The house was spotted by me in Tennessee this past week.  As soon as I saw it the story was begun.  I went back yesterday to get the photograph.

Since then I have picked, poked, torn apart, rewritten,

and generally over thought this piece. 

It is practice for heaven’s sake! 

Letting go now…