Posted by: David | July 20, 2007

De-Siding, or, Deconstruction

So my daughter’s fiance’s dad is a builder and he came over on Thursday evening to loan and set up some pump jacks for us. Climbing my shaky aluminum extension ladder was not much fun, and since all the siding needs to be removed from the house before the garage can be attached to it, something had to be arranged. The pump jacks were scary too. Falling onto a concrete slab would be kinda “all hurty-like”. And it might damage my skeleton and brain, both of which I need to ride my bike and earn my living, respectively.

Yeah, it’s crooked and shaky and scary. But siding must come off.

A good friend at work is an avid rock climber and she loaned me a harness and rope so that I could be safe. I tied the rope through that little vent to a rafter in the attic. I didn’t use the figure-8 knot she showed me because I couldn’t remember how to do it. But I didn’t fall off the planks either.

The scariest bit was removing the very top piece. I did walk the planks.

Mission accomplished. The lovely red-stained plywood will be covered with 5/8″ sheetrock to meet fire code. In case our garaged cars burst into flames.

So one of my readers is enjoying the juxtaposition of the construction photos with the garden and nature photos. Such is this beautiful place where we make our home. Now to report some garden progress. The corn is beginning to tassle. It’s looking great!


Corn and tomatoes. Behind the corn creep the squashes and pumpkins.

The apple tree is pretty loaded. It’s the one left in the open when the garage project started.

Hydrangea flowers.

The wacky little dog. Still photos just don’t do him justice.


  1. I love the words of things, which of course is what they would be called without words. “The corn is beginning to tassle” has a poetic suddenness about it that creates an experience for me of intertwing gentle yet startling precision. “Cairn” is a nice word–when it is pronounced, it’s Scottish origin is almost ineluctable. Last year my then 10 year old daughter pointed to a bunch of chairs on a lawn, and I said, “Wow! Nine Adirondack chairs.” and she marvelled at how anyone could know what kind of chairs we were looking at. I feel the same way about the “corn beginning to tassle.”

  2. Um, yeah.

    Like, uhh, words.

    And stuff.

    U R

    L O

    quent, my friend.

  3. I like that photo of yourself hanging in the harness up there minute on the fassade of your house. I have also done building, but not with that technology. Lime. Lime and sand. Do you know what a trully is? The ideal house = egg shell = trulli.

    Where I lived before, there was a cave. Many people here lived in caves until recently. It was only about 10 m2, let’s say the space taken up by two cars parked. Ten people had been living in that cave until way into the 60s, when the American aid started to come in. After that it was abandoned and it decayed and the spiders moved in, big spiders, mind you. I learnt how to fix it and talk to the spiders.

    Sand and lime mixed and brushed on a sand or earth surface become hard overnight. You have an old grey dirty cave in the evening, and the next morning it sits there there, a snow-white glitz in the early morning sun. The grey little duckling became a swan.

    I like your building technology and agree with you on the ideal nature of the home built of lime and sand. Or stone, like caves.

    What?! You lived in a cave and learnt how to talk to spiders?!

  4. No! I never lived there. In summer it was a cool place to be in the afternoon. When I did not have a computer yet, I used to spend a lot of time knitting and learning Russian.

    People said that in a cave you can sleep all year with just one blanket. Almost everybody in those little villages of Toledo, Spain, had a cave and probably most people’s parents lived in caves, but they would not tell you, because they felt ashamed. — Many little towns here are built on a hillside, with one little house looking towards the sun across the roof of the other. And beneath those little houses there is the cave where they or their parents used to live. — It could be a remnant of Arab presence here.

    However, I think in Spain there aren’t any trullis. They are in North Africa.

    Yeah I googled trullis too. You bring some fascinating things to this blog cantueso, thank you!

    So before you started using a computer you knitted in a cave while learning Russian?

  5. No. I checked Google images. The trullis are in Italy, but have become a tourist

    (check little online thesaurus

    ball*, bash*, big time*, blow out*, clambake*, feast, picnic (??) shindig* (?), wingding*

    Chose one. I like “wingding” best, but ….. ¿a trulli with wings?

    Our vernacular calls these “tourist traps”. What word did you start your thesaurus search with? They are designed to suck money out of foreigners pockets as quickly as possible. But the trulli has a lovely quaintness and biologically sound structure. I’d like to live in a round house of lime and sand!

  6. I had to kill the spiders. It was hard. There was a spider that fought against me. It was high up, I could not quite reach it; ladder = wriggly. But the spider was obviously aggessive! Strange! Then I noticed it was a mamma spider. Beside her there was a little net crawling with tiny little spiders, about a million of them, each about the size of this letter “a”, crawling fast in their small net. I had to let them live of course. Stomach upset. Hoped they would move out.

    I think they did.

    OK, so you learnt to talk to the spiders before killing them? I expect this means that you know some spider curse words?

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