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Living Freedom by Claire Wolfe. Musings about personal freedom and finding it within ourselves.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Archive for the ‘Home improvement’ Category

Claire Wolfe

If it ain’t one damn thing, it’s another: Part II

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Roofing crew arrived at 7:30 sharp this morning. Never saw any group of people move so fast and with such coordination and obvious expertise. Freakin’ impressive!

After they’d been here three hours I went outside and took pictures of their astounding progress.

Then I came back in, figured I’d play with the dogs a bit, quit being jumpy from the noise and chaos, and try to get some actual writing done. Sat down on the floor to toss a nerf ball for Ava. Looked up. And … whoops.

Scary whoops.

The heavy, old-fashioned wooden beadboard ceiling in one room had dropped three inches in one corner. The only thing keeping it from dropping farther was a clothing hook. I put that hook up there to hold a curtain rod, so I know all too well how insecurely attached it is. Very insecurely.

You know how a couple of you said that putting all that heavy material in stacks on the roof should be no problem? Well, should be. And it wasn’t a problem as long as all that weight was up on the main beam where you saw it in the photo yesterday. But the roofers decided to pull the material down and stage it on what used to be a porch.

They put most of the weight on that corner — and the former porch (now sleeping nook) pulled right away from the rest of the house. You can see daylight. And since all that heavy beadboard had never been properly attached to the rafters, down it came.


Not the roofers’ fault, of course. How would they anticipate something like that? Mike, the same friendly handyman who rescued me earlier this summer from a large hole in the roof, will be by later to temporarily brace it up. But … well, if it ain’t one damn thing, it’s always another.

I love old houses.

Really. I love old houses.

I do.


Claire Wolfe

Ready to go, thanks to you

Thursday, September 18th, 2014


Ready to go, thanks to you!

The section of roof originally constructed by government-employed chimpanzees has been turned back into something rooflike and is under wraps. The roofing materials were just delivered (to the top of the house, yet!). Tomorrow morning … things get serious.

Meantime, I don’t think the dogs and I will be comfortable spending too much time directly under all that tonnage up there. Is this old roof structure really that strong?

Nervous! But very, very excited, too. And looking forward to a leak-free NorthWET winter.

Claire Wolfe

Looking back: Project 31

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

I’ve linked recently to Ryochiji’s posts about his Serenity Valley cabin’s very, very — VERY — close call with a wildfire.

Lots of other worthwhile stuff at his site, Laptop and a Rifle. Back in the winter of 2011, when his property was less developed than it is now, he vowed to spend 31 days there under a strict set of rules. He called his experiment Project 31 & despite the rigor of his terms, it was a success. Here are all his posts about it

Very Joel-ish. Without the curmudgeonliness.

Claire Wolfe

If it ain’t one damned thing, it’s another.

Friday, September 12th, 2014

So there I was this afternoon, waiting for BHM to come back online (seems that failed security update was a doozy), listening to the sound of roofers overhead. Scrape, scrape. Thud, thud. Bang, bang.

Then — suddenly — BOOOOOM! Absofreakinlootly sonic. What? What? What on earth have those guys done? But the sound seems to have come from the front of the house and they’re working on the back. They also go very, very silent very quickly.

I look out the front window and there are … wires. Not just wires. Big, thick cables hanging down.

I look further:

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

The tiny house movement …

Friday, September 12th, 2014

… has definitely jumped the shark.

Claire Wolfe

Working up to something

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Got the last of the absolute-must outdoor house projects done today. There are probably 10 more small things it would be gratifying to finish outside before the rains come. But if winter struck tomorrow, I’d be satisfied.

Well, not quite. The roof isn’t done yet. Still trying to get on the roofer’s schedule. But thanks to you, the roof won’t be a worry for much longer — and won’t have to be my sweat-n-blood project. Oh, glory!

I am soooooooo tired. This most recent burst of work was therapeutic, post-JPFO. Now it’s just … work. It’s been hot, too, which is great and unusual hereabouts. But not so great when you’re up and down a ladder under the noonday sun.


I’m also working up to something … some change. Not for the first time, of course. You’ve heard me go on about “change” as much as Obama used to (not hope, though; never was very big on hope). You’ve also heard me whine complain bitch about dispassionately discuss how mysteriously busy-busy-busy I’ve been for the last 16 months.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Sunday check-in

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Too hot to accomplish anything right now. Gads, it’s so nice to be able to say “too hot” when talking about the coastal NorthWET.


One thing I did accomplish this weekend: I got my entries ready for the county fair. Tomorrow is submission day for all the artsy-craftsy stuff.

Feels kinda silly to be doing this. I wouldn’t have entered anything in a fair when I was 10. Or 14. So why am I doing it now that I’m (mumble mumble)?

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

If you get a notice that I’ve sent you an ecard …

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

It’s not spam. Jacquie Lawson cards will be going out today to roof-raiser donors. If you open yours, I can promise you won’t pick up any virii or have your mailbox hacked.

You might get an OD of cuteness, though.


ADDED: Whew! All cards have now been sent. If you donated and didn’t receive a card, please let me know. It could be because I don’t have a good email address for you or it could be I’m an idiot I got overwhelmed and missed you. Smack me upside the head and I’ll make up for it.

While composing cards, I also did some counting, even though the job severely taxed my supply of fingers and toes:

Sixty wonderful people have donated (with a couple more gifts perhaps still to come). Twenty donors sent $100 — or more! Eleven sent between $50 and $100. Everybody donated generously. You made my days and you made the roof-raiser a roaring success. This fundraiser exceeded its goal in an extravagant manner and in just a hair over two weeks.

As a little Hungarian lady I used to know would say (when she was very moved and surprised): “I’m ‘STOUND!”

Claire Wolfe

Whoof! Look what you just did!

Thursday, August 14th, 2014


From the get-go, this roof-raiser was going about as brilliantly as it possibly could.

But today? First came that totally surprising $330 from A. Then I collected the snail. OMG.

D. — a honey of a guy — sent a package containing a Kershaw pocket knife, a letter with one of the most roller-coastery personal stories I’ve read in many a year, and two portraits of Ben Franklin. Whoa. I never knew old Ben was so handsome!

Nearly there, nearly there …

The next envelope shattered the glass at the top of the thermometer. I can only say, “Thank you, Anonymous,” and even that may be crossing a line because this donation came with a strict, “NO CREDIT” order.

But how do you not give credit?

What now? Well, now I call the roofing crews and get myself a spot on their schedules. There will be no drowned cats, drenched doggies, or soggy writers this winter.

The total cost of my roof-to-be is $8,300. I was hoping to raise half of that with this fundraiser. You have contributed over 60 percent! Which leaves me with a much lighter, much more doable, burden. I was a little worried there for a while.

How do you say thank you? When I started, I had no idea what would happen. Maybe you’d send a cumulative few hundred and I’d get a few comments telling me (in effect), “Why should anybody send you money when children are starving in Africa?”

I feel so awkward asking for money!

I knew some old friends and Usual Suspects would kick in. But I didn’t know whether I’d end up … embarrassed or what. I’d have been grateful for any contributions. I’m speechlessly grateful for what you all have done. And while the Usual Suspects jumped in generously, so did so many people I’ve never heard from before.

My “official” thank yous will go out shortly. (I’ve been acknowledging all donations in comments as they’ve come in, and hope I haven’t been rude making some of you wait weeks for a better thank you.)

This roof-raiser has met its goals — emphatically and amazingly. I’ll still leave the “donate” button up a while longer for anybody who’d still like to “have their names on some memorial shingles” (LOL early contributors T & T for that).

But … wow. Just wow. And did I mention … wow?

Claire Wolfe


Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

I just came home from morning errands to find my street blocked by serious PUD equipment. Seems they’re doing major electrical work that they neglected to tell anybody about.

I have now apparently been “officially” notified that my power will be out most of the day today. Thank heaven I have no deadlines. But I had hoped to catch up on email. I’m seriously overdue with a few people. Sorry, guys; you’ve waited this long and now you’ll have to wait a few hours longer. (And no, I haven’t gotten that generator yet and it’s still going to be a while.)

I’ll take this opportunity to shingle a wall. See ya’ll later.

And thanks for the BIG boost to the roof-raiser today. Much appreciated!

Claire Wolfe

Bleg: Keep the roof over Claire’s head

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Okay, good people. It’s been a long time since I’ve asked for anything. Last year I skipped fundraising because it always seemed someone else had a greater need. You responded generously and helped some good people.

Now I need a new roof over my head. It’s going to cost $8,300. I hope to raise half of that via this bleg. So here’s the goal: $4,150. Here’s the hope: that if you enjoy this blog and get something good out of it, you’ll donate.

I’m also hoping that donations won’t just come from the Usual — wonderful — Suspects who have shown so much love over the years. If you’ve been reading this blog and have never contributed … well, help keep me and my furkids dry this winter!

Obligatory note: I am paid to write this blog and I do earn money from my Amazon Associates links. But I blog much more than BHM requires. So the wonderful people of BHM also allow me to use this forum to raise other funds as needed. I try to do it sparingly. So send me some spare change and I’ll quit blegging!

Claire Wolfe

Catching up, scrambling about, Mondaying, and oh yes, let me do a little ranting while I’m here

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Oy veh.

Such a Monday. The sun is shining so I really can’t complain. And thank heaven the sun is shining, because a 10 x 14′ section of my roof has been open to the weather (and the birds and the raccoons) for days and for a while there it looked as if it was going to stay that way!

« Read the rest of this entry »



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