Spring has sprung, the frozen tundra has thawed & we got our first 2014 weekend of work at The Manor under our belts. I'm not gonna lie...this trip was tough. Murphy's law of "if something can go wrong, it will" was in full effect. But things have gone relatively smooth up until this point so I guess the balance is restored.
When we purchased the home, I knew that one obstacle that we were going to face was the fact that we live over 2 hours away and we were not going to be able to work on the house consistently. Two hours isn't too far but it's far enough that you can't make it an every weekend thing. And here's a confession and little known fact about me...I am not a good long distance passenger! Anything over 1 hour & I'm fidgity and asking "Are we there yet?".
Proof: Only an hour in & I'm so bored I'm taking selfies of my new light up safety glasses to use in the attic!
These things are the bees knees! Does anyone even say that anymore?
Anyway, I'm getting off subject.
Basically, when we show up Saturday morning to work it's like a clock starts counting down and you only have so much time to get things done. And when you start ripping into your roof and have exposed rafters with rain in the forecast, that clock starts ticking pretty loud!...which brings me to "Simon". Simon is the lift that has been graciously loaned to us by a family friend. It has been a complete lifesaver. It's enabled us to get projects done in half the time compared to climbing up and down a ladder or scaffolding.
But Simon has a dark side. He is loud, heavy, guzzles gas, has a huge air leak in one tire and leaks oil.
A LOT of oil.
Simon also has no reverse so if we need to move him we have to hook him up to a truck & tow him around. This is not an ideal situation but it has been working so far...until last weekend anyway. Apparently, Simon got pretty comfortable over the winter & decided to sink down into the dirt. So, how many trucks and tractors does it take to pull out a stuck lift? Four. Actually, two failed attempts by the trucks, one failed attempt by a tractor & finally success by a bigger tractor with chains on the tires.
Thank you so much Shelmadine family for the rescue! And thanks to Mike Ugolini as well! We really appreciated the help. :)
And thank goodness this house is in a small town. If it were in Kansas City I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have two different people say "I'll go get my tractor". :)
That little escapade set us back about 4 and a half hours. Tick-toc, tick-toc. But we got the lift in place & it was soffit time.
That was my cue to start on the attic. Guh. I think I was secretly happy the lift was stuck so I could mull around watching all the action & avoid going up into that disgusting abyss. However, I did have some help & company this time. My sweet little niece, Anna, decided to pitch in.
I know I've talked about the horrors of the attic before and how much junk and trash is up there but instead of going into great detail I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Crazy, I know. I'll spare you the pictures of the raccoon latrines in case you're reading this and eating something. You're welcome.
After a much needed air break from the attic, I went to check on the soffit king...yes, Jeremy has a new nickname.
Broken hydraulic line. :(
This is the moment you want to pack everything up & head to the tavern to get schlammered with the locals. But, we pressed on and $72 and a couple of hours later...it was fixed. Tic-toc, tic-toc.
The last day we were there it rained in the morning (figures...I was not surprised at all at that point). Then around noon the construction gods cut us a break and the sun came out and Simon was running like a champ.
It was a scramble to get the roof covered and when the clock had run out this was where we were at.
It didn't get completely finished and didn't seem like much but the roof was covered in that small little section and it would properly shed water for the first time in years.
As we were leaving I turned around (probably to shake my fist and curse the lift) and the sun hit that house and it shined. I realized that even though there were frustrations and setbacks and we didn't get as much done as we had hoped it was not a defeat. It was a small step in the right direction...it was progress.