The last few days have been rather bleak here in Shadowland.
In addition to the Mortgage Saga (which I'll save for later, once the opportunities for additional chapters has past), we enjoyed the Siding/Roof Saga, and the Infestation by Face Aliens. These worked in combination to reduce knitting to a bare minimum.
Fear not, Mermaid was not neglected. She'll make her appearance later.
But first, The Siding/Roof Saga.
When we bought our house, it was about four years old. It still looked all shiny and new, and had all sorts of nifty new house contrivances (like the whole house vacuum with an access port under the counter in the kitchen, so you could just sweep the crumbs right into it). Little did we know that, though the fellow who finished the inside had put in most of the bells and whistles, the builders had cut corners on the outside.
During the first spring storm, we learned that the builders had not bothered to fully attach the siding to the NW side of the house. Most of it came off in the wind. A bunch of shingles chased it across the back yard.
We got it fixed.
Every year since then, we've replaced shingles. Lots of shingles. And we've had flashing put it where it was "forgotten", and done other fun things to repair that which should have been fine for 20 years. I begin to think that we've already replaced the entire roof.
Last spring, the rains actually came into the house in the room above the garage. We called our trusty roofer; he was here the next morning, we got more flashing, and new shingles....and the computers (which lived underneath the place that was leaking) were saved. We love our roofer. He comes right out -- within a day of calling him. And he fixes all the places that the builder's subcontractor cut corners.
Last fall, the water started coming into the "solarium". (Okay, it's just a spit of a room with windows on two sides, and the sliding glass doors to the porch on the third... but we like to call it a solarium. Get over it). The Roofer Hero arrived, and fixed the roof: we got more flashing there. But still .. it leaked. And so, we called again.
Then, we learned that the problem wasn't the roof, it was the siding under the windows in our master bath. That siding had been put in wrong, and the weep holes for those windows were leaking down inside the walls instead of being channeled back outside. Luckily, Roofer Hero has a Siding Wizard. So, Siding Wizard was to be here one day in early November to solve the problem.
Now the saga really begins. Siding Wizard called to say he couldn't be here the day he'd been scheduled. Something about a truck. He'd be here the next day when his buddy could bring him in. But he didn't show the next day. Or the next.
I called again. He called back, and promised he'd be here Monday. It was snowing Monday, so he couldn't come. Then there was silence for TWO WEEKS. I called ... he confessed that somehow we'd "fallen through the cracks" but promised to be here Wednesday... he didn't show Wednesday but promised Friday. Friday there was weather but he promised Saturday. No show Saturday, .... this went on and on. Each time he didn't show he had what would ordinarily have been a perfectly reasonable explanation. It's just that there were so many of them..... one began to find it suspicious. Finally, six weeks after the original call, he came, he fixed, he explained, he was paid and he went away. We like the efficiency once he's here, but for reliability, the Siding Wizard left a lot to be desired.
Then, two weeks ago came the horrible rain with the vicious winds from the East. Some of that rain came into my solarium. Again. I called. Siding Wizard called me back. We discussed things. I pointed out that this was the same place it leaked before he "fixed" it in November. He indicated that he feared he'd have to rip out the offending ceiling to find exactly where the water was coming in. I figured it'd have to go anyway, to repair the damage the water had done.
He said he'd be here Monday. I pretended that the fall was a fluke, and believed him. He did, after all, work for Roofer Hero, and we love Roofer Hero and his reliability. Besides, by now, whichever god is treating the man like Job should be done now, right? Alas, Siding Wizard didn't come Monday. Something about his truck, which apparently needs a new but hard-to-find-transmission, and something about a buddy who was supposed to be driving him in and working with him not being able to come in. Tuesday he would be in, but it'd be late, because the buddy with the work truck had to go be in a funeral procession, but that would be done by noon. At three on Tuesday, he reported that the buddy was still in the funeral procession, but they'd be there Wednesday. No show on Wednesday.
At this point, even the patience I've gleaned from knitting is eroding. I'm getting angry; I mean, seriously. The last time I dealt with this fellow, it took six weeks to get him here, and the water keeps coming into my house, and ruining the ceiling etc. Nothing on Thursday. Thursday night was snow. Lots and lots of snow. Friday it was weather.
Angry phone calls from me. At this point, the only reason I'm still using this guy is that I think that the new leak is related to the old one, and that he either didn't fix it right, or screwed something else up to cause this one. If that's the case, it's HIS dime, not mine.
He promised that he'd be here by 9:30 on Tuesday. I moved everything off of Tuesday's calendar, so I could be home. That promise was kept only by a phone call, in which he reported he'd been up all night, sick, from both ends. Reschedule for Thursday. At 9:30. After all, if he has been that sick, we don't really want him passing out on the ladder and falling into the pond (might scare the fish). And we certainly don't want a relapse while he's on the roof. So, two days to recover should be good. I clear Thursday's calendar.
Thursday at 9:30, I call him, since he's not here. He didn't recall agreeing to a time, but would urge his buddy with the truck to get moving, and they'd be there by 11:00. At 11:00, the buddy was just leaving the town 35 miles away, and they'd be here as soon as they could. At 12:55, he called to get my address.
At 1:26, he called to report that (are you ready for this?) he was at the far entrance to my neighborhood (about a mile away), in a truck with a flat tire and a flat spare. He was calling someone to come help.
At this point I'm simultaneously furious, and starting to laugh. At 3:00 I left to get the kids. When I got home, I got a voice mail that said he'd gotten there shortly after 3:00, and that he'd discovered a clogged weep hole in the windows, which he'd fixed. He'd be there in the morning to look at the inside.
Overnight.... the Face Alien arrived.
Friday when I woke up, there was an alien firmly attached to my face. That's the only thing I can come up with to explain the incredible pressure on my sinuses, since my nose wasn't stuffy, or runny. It squeezed like a .... yeah. Like that. I took generic Tylenol and generic Sudafed. At 9:35, I cringed my way to the door to let in the roofer/siding guy.
We checked the weep hole from the inside -- and found dry wall mud (evidently from when the house was built). He cleared that out. We took a look at the ceiling from which the water had dripped, and discovered that the damage to the ceiling was NOT so much that we had to rip out the ceiling. He fixed the drywall tape, he fixed the stains with Killz, he painted, he replaced a couple more shingles on the roof that had escaped (over the garage), he was personable, went the extra mile... etc.
Once the roofer/siding guy was gone, I took more generic Sudafed, and some generic Motrin, and went back to bed. My kids had weaker aliens. Their aliens weren't able to invoke the pain without the sniffles... so their heads hurt and their noses ran, and they coughed. My alien was wilier. It just hurt. A lot.
I spent Saturday morning in bed with generic drugs too.
Finally, at about 2:00 on Saturday, the alien slunk off. So, either I'm fine, or something horrific is going to burst from my chest in about ten days.
Sunday, I was hale enough to go to dance class, where learned something called the Basic Wrap. For a "basic" move, it seems a tad complicated -- and very long. Perhaps next week we'll actually get it.
This morning... Siding Wizard called to see if the fix had withstood this weekend's rain. It had. But then, the wind was from the West.... I'm waiting for a good storm blowing from the East before I let go of the fear of water in my solarium.
However, having been alien and roofer free for a couple of days, I did manage to spend some time with Mermaid. I finished the body.
I love the design. And though I really like the i-cord edge on the front, I did not so much enjoy the knitting of it. It would qualify for slogging if it were any longer. Nonetheless, I slogged through that attached i-cord (delighting in the new knowledge that I hope I can retain (you can use a one-to-one ratio if you just increase the needle size for the i-cord)).
Okay, not so clear ... but at the left there, is the cuff edge, and the right is the beginning of the sleeve cap. My but it looks small in that picture.
I love that Hanne has designed this side-to-side truly set-in sleeve. I'm not enjoying it right now, because my left wrist is starting to hurt. But my mind loves it.
Today, now that my roof and siding seem to be secure again, and the alien has left my face, I hope to get some editing in, and then plant myself in front of the tube for some TV with the kids and some lovely knitting on needles larger than 3.25 mm.