Sunday, November 23, 2008

Goo on the Roof and a Smidge of Fall Color

I like having multiple projects going at once. If you get bored with one, you can switch to another. If you run out of supplies/funding/ideas for one, do something else that requires less material/money/vision.

So it is that this weekend found Matt monkeying around on the garage/shack roof, applying roofing goo. We currenly have 2 other major projects in hand (removing the last traces of paint from the antique doors Mom & Dad gave us last year and installing new gutters), but we needed a third to round things out.

The garage is a vexatious pile that causes me all kinds of indecision. Here's the thing. It's rickety, has an ugly leaky roof, and is too short. Because it's so short, there isn't really room for normal garage doors with a normal garage door opener. I haven't spoken with any garage door specialists (in fact, I don't even know what the proper name for a garage door specialist is--some sort of carpenter? A gates-and-large-doors contractor? Some dude sub-contracted out by Sears?), but I'm hoping that we could someday install non-corrugated metal doors that open horizontally on the kind of hydraulic arms that the special people in gated communities use to operate the gates that keep out the peasantry and other such undesireables.

And then, too, maybe we could replace the corrugated metal walls with actually siding. And maybe someday we'll re-do the roofline to eradicate the stupid valley where the water collects on the rare occasions that it rains. Instead of having two separate roofs that just happen to be joined, we could just have one, whole, unified roof.

The garage/shack with the Mr. Marek's rather nice Chinese tallow behind it. The garage/shack is a composite of two shacks, unconvincingly joined in the middle. The valley is right over the Studio-to-be.

But then I think, is it really worth it? We're talking about an excessively short ramshackle tin shack with antediluvian wiring, rotten timbers, and a rusty roof.

So maybe the thing to do would be to tear it down and build a new structure on the cement pad. It would be normal height, it would have new wiring, it would have a rational roof, and we could design the floorplan ourselves.

But then that would cost tens of thousands of dollars wouldn't it? Which we don't have. And then again, would it be worth it? I mean, as a structure that houses our spare crap, it currently does (most of) what we need it to do: stand up and hold stuff.

So I go round and round. In the interim, we're trying to enhance the garage/shack's functionality by enabling it to stand up, hold stuff, and keep the stuff dry, which will be a nice upgrade. Thus the roof goo. It's this weird tarry stuff that comes in a paint can that you smear into the crevices of your roof's metal sheets using some variant of a wooden spatula.

If we decide (as I expect we will) to just make the most of the structure we've got, then the roof goo is the necessary prerequisite for gutting and refitting the craft room/studio/call-it-what-you-will.

See, although short, rusty, and rickety, our garage/shack (oh, hell, let's just call it a shackrage) actually has some nifty features. It's got a spare fridge that holds our Costco provisions. It's got a two-car garage with wooden bins lining two of the walls. It's got a separate 1-car garage with a wall of pegboard. And in between, it has a third room with actual sheetrock walls and a linoleum floor. So while we don't actually use the shackrage for storing vehicles, we are able to get a lot of use out of the rest of it.

Unfortunately, thanks to a seive-like roof, that nice central room is currently a foul and pestilential fungus fest. There are holes in the ceiling where the wallboard disintegrated, there are puddles and streaks of black and green and purple mildew all over the walls and ceiling. If I have to go in there, I take a big lungful of fresh air at the door, dart in, grab whatever I need, and dart back out while doing as little breathing as possible.

All of which is too bad, because I really need a place to set up a stained-glass making workshop, and Matt needs a space (other than the kitchen countertop) to practice Gourd Art in all its dremeling, supergluing, gourd-innard-shredding glory.

So we need to tear down all the sheetrock, maybe rip up the linoleum, douse everything that remains with 100% bleach solution, and start over. But we can't do that until the roof is hermetic. So. Step 1: goo the roof. Step 2: get some rain so we can test the integrity of the roof goo.

("...get some rain..." Oh, I crack me up.)

...And that's why we've got two other major projects going on at the same time.

Grasping at Straws
Someday, when our landscape is more mature, we're going to have glorious fall color all over the place. For now, we just have tiny little smidgens of glorious fall color: one red leaf on the red oak, a bit of orangey tint on the margins of the Lacey oak leaves, one yellow bur oak leaf.

Bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa)

The interesting red petioles on our pomegranate

'Tuscarora' crape myrtle

One of our pecans

Lacey oak (Quercus laceyi)

...and the grand climax, our Texas red oak (Quercus buckleyi)

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