3.26.2015

Office Shelves. And Faux Billy Balls.

A-yup, still on the prowl for other or smaller projects around the house to complete, hanging on for Mike to bust out his paint decision.  That's ok, I can wait as along as he needs.

For a long time I had plans or thoughts of plans or hmm I'd like to have some plans for a coupla' shelves in my office.  I spend a decent portion of time in this itty bitty tiny little room so function is important but most especially is minimal visual clutter.  Even as I look around now, there's stuff I'd like to rework and it's not even that bad.

The other day I noticed my desk was getting all gunked up cluttery.  And spots around the room were cluttery.  Or continuing to amass clutter.  Plus I got tired of this wood Ikea drawer-y cabinet-y box thing sitting in a temporary spot on the floor.  Plus I have been dying to set out these neat vases my dad bought for me while we were at a Habitat store many years ago.  (Such a ridiculously cool store.)

So, suddenly and unexpectedly I found myself attempting a tidying-up and an unplanned-for plan for some wall shelves.  Body goes, brain follows, doh.  Stuff and choices, yeah, sometimes they just burst outta nowhere.

I had hidden a slew of Hailey's favorite toys in the office closet so I had to calmly bag those and merge them downstairs with the rest of her belongings.  That hurt my heart.  I then stumbled across an envelope of photos from her Dog Training 101 graduation at Anti-Cruelty Society.  My dad came down for that which was neat.  Looking at those photos....well, cough, ahem, you know.

Last week marked a year ago when she had her amputation surgery.  A year.

Boy, did we struggle with that horrifying decision but it was the only one that was going to give us the option of stopping/slowing the cancer, giving her (an otherwise perfectly healthy girl) a chance at more life.

So when March 18th came last week, I had a tough day.  Remembering the fear, the stress, the tears, the anxiety and now missing her terribly when I fully expected she would still be here with us.  Then around 8 pm on the 19th was rough as that's when we brought her home from the hospital, newly minted as a tripedal, us so scared, her so sad.

I know.  I said I was going to try very hard not to relive moments from a year ago.  Some things I guess I can't not un-relive though.  Is that too many negatives?  I dunno.  It's tough -- everything in this house has a connection to her in one way or another.

So.  Right.  Shelves.  Faux Billy Balls.


A while back these brackets were on sale at Menards for a mere forty nine cents each so resistance was futile.  I liked that they were simple, not in my face design-wise, they borderline create an almost floating shelf effect, and they were paintable with spray paint.  Bingo!  Plus sheesh, who can resist forty nine cents?!

As I was moving things about the room and reorganizing the closet a bit, I rediscovered the cut off pieces from the shelves I had trimmed down and installed in the kitchen window opening area part.  And guess what?  They worked in size for the brackets.  Huh!  Happy happenstance.

So off to the basement I went, dug up the dark blue spray paint and gave the brackets a spray.

While I was waiting for those to dry, though honestly I wasn't very patient about it, I thought to finally make those faux Billy Ball pom poms I had desired to make, what seems like eons ago.

I took the yellow yarn I had gotten and wrapped and wrapped and wrapped it around a paint stir stick as that measured about an inch wide, a seemingly good size.


Ah see, here's that pair of scissors I attached to a lanyard for ease of accessibility while I was taping out the wall for the paint in the foyer.  Super handy around my neck.  Not so good for walking near Finn though as he's insanely tall and the points can easily reach his sweet face.  Be attentive and careful, my friends.

I trimmed them further after this photo.  Just 'cuz.
Wrapped the yarn, tied them off, snipped the loops, roughed them up in my palms so the fibers would frizz out, then gave them snippy trims to even them up and make them smaller.  A while back I had gotten that package of stem wires* too, just for this particular occasion.

Once the brackets were dry enough-ish, I brought them back upstairs and started eyeballing things on the wall.

Near blank wall.  My graduate degree was impressively framed by my parents.
Up first went the Ikea cabinet-y thingie.  It's got crap like staples, rubber bands, binder clips, random other junk and such in there, ya know, handy office supply gunk.

Next were the shelves.  I measured them and decided to separate the brackets by about ten inches.

Guesstimating the best distance between shelf brackets.
So up went the first shelf.  Here's where it would've been nice if I had let the spray paint dry completely. Ahem.  Ah well.  Then up went the second shelf.


Then up went the vases I love so dearly and Yakko, Wakko, and Dot.  Plus a photo of our beloved family dog Bear who left us about eleven years ago and various other small things.  I've since added the Playmobil ambulance my brother gave me.  Grown up?  Me?  Nah.


Then boink, popped those faux Billy Ball stems into one of the vases which already had that green froggie foam stuff left inside from another time and place.

Cutie faux Billy Balls.  Awww!
I know, it's a tricky room to photograph due to its size and lack of natural light.  My apologies.

I haven't decided how I like it all yet.  If it's too contrast-y against the dark blue wall color.  Or if it's just all new stuff on a blank wall I've gotten used to as being blank.  Or if it's just too much stuff visually for the room.  So we'll see how this pans out.  Mike thought I should have put one of the shelves up on the short wall next to the window though when I held one up there he kinda crinkled his nose and walked away.

Not a super exciting share for you today but it is something that's been on my list for a looong time.  A check mark off the list it is, or at least a check mark in pencil!  Heh, as most check marks seem to be in this household....

*The stem wires are a Joann Fabrics affiliate link.  Mwah, thanks!

3.23.2015

Let's Make a Pallet Wood Clock!

Yeah!  Funky idea, huh?


After doing up the pantry floor and the pallet wood vertical blinds, it appears I have lots of various sized pieces of varying types of pallet wood left over, kicking around doin' nothing.  While I was tidying up the basement and moving the pieces over to the new workbench area, a slat of wood caught my eye.

"Hey, psst.  Make me into a clock," it said, "It'll be neat!"

Maybe I've been inhaling too many fumes lately, I dunno, but it did ring like a nifty idea.  My brother used to make clocks out of old computer boards so it seems now clocks are running in the family.  Ah ha, pun!  Running....Ok, sorry.

Here's what I used:

  • left over pallet wood slat (this piece was about 11.5" x 3.75")
  • 3/4" replacement clock kit
  • red acrylic paint
  • black acrylic paint
  • little pieces of wood
  • regular ol' wood glue
  • drill bit
  • picture hangar

Total cost?  About $9.00 for the clock kit as I had everything else laying around waiting for a use.  And about an hour, which you could time once you get the clock together.  Ah?  Ahh?  No?  Ok.


Clock kits can be found darn near anywhere online, or I should say, they're super easy to find.  The trick for me was finding one that would work through half inch thick material.  They're out there!  Just make sure you purchase the right thread length for your clock face thickness, otherwise you're hosed and you'll always be late for stuff.

Right.


So I started by painting the tips of the hour and minute hands bright red plus painting the entire second hand.  Now, ordinarily, I'd opt for spray paint on this as the pieces are metal but it appears my red spray paint has vanished somehow.  If you're not going to be handling the hands all that much, acrylic paint is a-ok as a substitute.

Sorry, the lighting is a little rough downstairs in the ol' basement, hence crappy photos.

I also painted the edges of the pallet wood piece.


Next up, I cut a few small backing blocks from a piece of 2x so that a.) I had somewhere to mount the picture hangar to, and b.) the slat would sit more true vertically against the wall.  I painted their edges black so they'd semi-disappear if seen from the side.

After that, it was time to start assembling.

Heh, looks like a face.  :0

I drilled a hole for the clock kit to go through, just randomly picked a spot, but do measure if it makes you more comfortable.


After that, I glued on the wood backing blocks and painted the rest of them black, eh, just for good measure and because I like black.


I laid the picture hangar onto the backing block, held those itty bitty nails using a pair of needle nose pliers, and banged those puppies on in.

All that was left was to assemble the rest of the clock according to the directions with the enclosed hardware, stuff in a AA battery, and hang it proudly on the wall.


Super easy peasy.  Spiffy looking too!  Rustic-y industrial yet modern and clean.  The variations on this are mind-blowingly infinite with the colors, the way it hangs, the types of hands, the hand sizes, sealing the wood, or not, the shape, the size, painting on the face, no paint at all...what have you.  Oh my goodness, my brain is a-swirl!

Came out pretty cool, huh?  Now I'm kinda thinking of reopening my old Etsy shop....

3.20.2015

Painting Shades of Gray

Still on standby for Mike's final judgment on The Grays up the stair.  Yes, at this point they've earned capitalization as that's how they're referred to in our home now.

I did do a handful of sketchy sketches for him depicting all sorts of different happy bright colors on the remaining wall space plus runners in colors.  He appeared impassive.  He's asked a few questions here and there.  The most recent was, with a mild sense of panic, if I was planning on repainting the living room.  I am not.  "The blue goes with the grays?," he's been asking skeptically.  "Gray goes with everything, babe," I respond, trying to reassure and assuage.

I dunno.  I get the sense that it's an unbending thumbs down for him no matter which way he tries to spin it for himself, he's hesitant to tell me for fear of breaking my wee lil' heart, that if he waits long enough he may actually like it.  I know he doesn't want to hurt my feelings -- I've told him my feelings are fine either way but I don't think he believes me.  I mean yeah, sure, I'd be sad and disappointed to erase The Grays as I quite like them but he shouldn't have to live looking at something he dislikes in his own house.  Right?  Right.  Hm.

Wait wait wait.

Okey doke, the way I accomplished this paint effect was through a spot of planning, mostly winging it, and lots of tape.  It's pretty easy to do actually and I swear,promise, anyone can do this.

My supply list:

  • 1 gallon white paint, flat
  • 1 gallon black paint, flat
  • 2 rolls green painter's tape
  • 7 quart containers
  • paint brush or two, various sizes

My total:  in the neighborhood of $40.00 sans sales tax.

First I had to cover over the stripes and, as I mentioned before, I found this itty flapwheel* rotary tool bit with the bizarro name to be the key to eliminating the raised lines between colors quickly, easily, and with minimal mess.


I am all about minimal mess, thank you much.

Zippy spiffy 120 grit flapwheel!  Who came up with that whack-a-do name?!
Once the lines were erased, I painted over the stripes with that terrible paint that the flipper left behind that I often use as a faux primer of sorts.  Because it's so bad but at least it kinda qualifies as paint.

Ghosts of stripes past.
Here's where things might seem complicated:  I mixed the colors myself.  Do not panic.  Ah ah!  Don't panic!

The other option, if mixing your own shades seems too far-fetched, is to get those cutie paint sample sizes in several grays mixed up for you.  Take into consideration you can squeeze a supposed 70-80 square feet outta one of those lil' sample thingies.  At generally $3 a pop, that works out to be less than what I spent.

Not the best white paint out there, that Lucite, I know.
Why did I pick flat paint, you ask?  Mainly because the premixed black from Home Depot is flat.  The lightest colors would then have had more sheen than the darker colors had I picked say, a satin white or higher on the glossy chain.  Come to think of it, that woulda been cool actually.  Heh.  Options man, options always a-swirl in my head!

I could have added medium to shine it all up a hair but opted not to.  Flat is fine, flat my friend.


These quart containers I picked up at Menards were quite handy as they have so.many.measurements already on the side of the thing.  The nice part too was the half quart measurement was on there and that was my target amount of paint to mix per shade o' gray.

Granted, despite my attempts at measuring black and white in proportions, as per usual, my math was incorrect.  I really should brush up on my math skills, huh?!  Sheesh.

My first gray was much too dark.  I split that in half once with white, painted, decided eh too dark, then split one more time.  I ended up splitting it yet one more time to end up with the lightest shade which is on some of the white, hard to see in the photos.

From that very first point, I mixed sorta semi-proportionally up two shades until I reached black, the end point.  The proportions on the container came a little closer to what I wanted on my way up.

What helped me decide when the shade o' gray was just right was heh, I took a piece of chair rail I had ripped off the basement wall (since it was already white), wrote out numbers representing each segment (as you can see I was planning for ten {originally.  .5 was added later}), and dolloped a blob of color under each number when I settled on the appropriate shade.  I used another piece of moulding to test out colors as I went to compare them to earlier shades, making sure there was enough distance between them but not too too much.

Three was my initial mixed color, six is black.
Is this making sense?  I hope it's making sense.  For some reason it feels like this isn't making sense.

So I (unintentionally) went from three (above) to two to one, then up from three to black mixing-wise.  One was the first color I painted next to the white.

Using the fantastic image that I had pinned of Malene Landgreen's work as a general guide, I just sorta taped lines up onto the wall, stood back, head tilted, made changes here and there, then mixed up and applied paint with a brush.

A handy tip:  put a small pair of scissors on a lanyard to wear around your neck -- makes trimming tape much easier when you've got insta-scissor access.  And make sure to press the inside tape edges down well -- use a plastic scraper or plastic putty knife or something along those lines to help you smooth the tape down tight.


First went the center white.  Which, by the time I got to the end, is probably a smidge too large, but, so it is and I still like it.  Partly why I added the .5 gray onto two areas within the white at a later point.


I waited a full day for the paint to dry so when I went to apply tape on the white for the next color, the tape wouldn't yank up the white.  Hence why this project took over a week to do, waiting until the next day to apply tape to the previous day's color.  But it was fun to watch it slowly take shape, kinda like a time lapse in slow motion.


As you can see, TFA Finn was helpful as always.  Heh.

"Got that door from flying open on ya there Mommy."
So essentially after that, it was tape, paint, wait.  Tape paint wait.  Tape paint wait until I got all the way out to black and now it's wait wait wait to find out Mike's decision about it.



And, so, here it is!  



I wrapped it around, taking the paint up the adjoining wall just cuz hey, ya know, why not?  I could see how someone might say it looks funhouse-y or Flintstone-y from this angle.  Out of politeness I'm sure, no one's said that yet.  Yet.  :)


Part of the problem currently, I maybe, possibly, could suspect for Mike, might be the horrible cheap a** carpet and the vile dog vomit yellow color abutting the new paint, dragging the whole program down.  As I randomly speculate.  Or, maybe he just outright doesn't like it.  Or, maybe I'm doing a terrible job of explaining the whole vision in my head to him.  

Honestly, I think this looks less weighty than the stripes, opens up the foyer area, makes it brighter and look larger.  It makes me like the light fixture better.  A bit.  Sorta.

I think the effect is fun, definitely bold, unusual and different; it's a "risky choice" as some in the design world might say.  It's purposefully large in a small space to visually open it up.  A realtor would freak and tell me to paint over it right away if we were selling.  Which I always find a thought-provoking conundrum -- many folks desire interesting, individual, non-cookie cutter homes....I suppose it comes down to a matter of personal taste and being able to make a house your own, giving a potential buyer a blank slate to envision upon.....hmph.  A post for another day....

The Grays fit within my goal of being bold which heh, I suppose is not much of a stretch for me.  I find not being strong and bold, to contain myself, that's my struggle actually.  Poor Mike.  I try to make him happy, I do!  I guess that's why we're super for each other -- we're both "out there" in our own ways and one balances the other out.  Awwww, so sappy!  Heh!  Blush.

Mike says he's still waiting for something to come popping out of the wall so, hmmmm, heh.

(Keep your fingers crossed for me though!)

And yes, it's true, I have oodles of leftover paint.  Oops.  I over-planned.  I thought I was going to need more than I did.  I thought I would be doing more than six shades.  Alas, I have nearly a whole gallon of black left over, hmmmm.....One can never have enough black paint lying around in wait, if you ask me.

By the way, I found eight more paint chips tucked about. 339 now. Yikes!

All righty, off to the park with Finn to try and remember the long list of things I have forgotten that I had planned for today!

*That flapwheel gizmo is an Amazon affiliate link.  Mwah, thanks!

3.16.2015

Variety Pack Day! Downspout Day! Woo hoo!

So I'm biding my time on the stair.  What to do in the mean time.  What to do.

Breathlessly in suspense to see if the shock of the new paint wears off on Mike.  Waiting for the go ahead and keep it or the go ahead and get rid of it.  Memory serves he didn't like the stripes initially either so I'm hoping hoping hoping the more he sees it....He did say the other day, "it's growing on me."  So y'all keep your fingers crossed for me, ok?

I did proffer a variation of my plan to him today which involves keeping the grays, revamping the stair idea a smidge and painting the remaining walls a bright happy color.  He asked me to sketch it out so I need to get right on that.  I um, ahem, already exchanged the stair paint in anticipation.  Ahem.  Cough.

Heh, I did uh, happen upon a uh, hm.  An issue, um.  Though.  Uh.  Well ok, fine.  Sigh.  It appears I'm a paint chip hoarder.  In my quest to present happy bright color options, rifling through my baggie of paint chips I paused, held up the bag and thought, uh, huh, um, I'm a freaky paint chip hoarder.


I counted for you.  331 individual paint chip cards.  Yeah.  I've clearly got a serious problem.

Anyway, I still owe you that post, how I accomplished the grays paint effect.  I want to share how because I did it for less than $40.  Jeez, the more I think about it, I could have done it for even less.  Ah well.

But in the mean time, my brain is pretty project-scattered sans a major target.  That's usually when I try to wrap up smaller nagging items.

Variety Pack time!

Like jamming a hook in the library ceiling and swagging over the swanky light fixture.  But hey, small item checked off my list.

Ah, ceiling hooks!
Ah, swaggy light fixture!  Yay!

















I have not abandoned the DIY library rug, in case you were wondering.  It's just a slow progression that I am not tending too often enough.  I did start knotting in the pom poms!  Finally!  Heh.  Sorta barely.  Not checked off the list!


The other day I clicked on a Bob Vila pin over there on the Pinterests and came across a spiffy sounding product, Good Bye Cracks.*  Huh.  Interesting.  So I look it up on my Menards app and ta-da, lo and behold, there it is in-store.  I picked some up as we've got a long crack in the dining room plus the one over the master bathroom door is back.

Dining room crack by a window.


Master bedroom crack over bathroom door.  OoOoh, wow.


















Holy boring photos, huh?  Wow.

That dining room crack is not just a crack though, I discovered.  It's like a whole shift, an eighth inch plus change in plane.  Yeah, I'm um, concerned.  That's a big settle.

I only have the joint compound smeared on since these lovely photos were taken.  Haven't tried the crack spray yet.  Boy that sounds weird and awkward.

I'll keep you posted.

The biggie today, since it's a wondrously fantastic above 70 degree day here in the Windy City, whooooie wow spring!, was the downspout.  Temps drop back to normal tonight so I figured today was the perfect day to tidy up this disaster area, especially since the three foot mountain of snow obscuring it is finally gone.

Ah yes, the downspout.  Wheee.  Freakin' rain barrel....

Seriously?  Ugh.  The status of the mess as discovered today.
Please, again, I am all for recycling, conserving, reduce, reuse, being mindful.  But this rain barrel, ugh.  Pfffft, done with it.  Had it!  *hands tossed into the air*

I dashed over to Menards (sans a coat!  Holy happiness, no coat!) to pick up a piece o' downspout.  Only comes in ten foot lengths.  Hmph.  Rather frustrating.  I can only get eight foot lengths of things into my cutie Rabbit.  Ah well, I'll figure it out, I say to myself as drag that thing around the store.

There is a solution to every problem, my friend.
Yeah, that's how I resolved that minor issue.

Don't panic, I only needed about 45" worth of spout.  Which was why it was frustrating at the store.  How come downspout people don't make four or five foot pieces?  It was either a tenner or three pieces of 15".  Then with all those multiple seams?  Screw that.

I tried to move the barrel out of my way and uh, oops.

Biggest ice cube ever.  Will be melted by November in time for next winter.
This is why these things should be disconnected for winter.  Mmm hm.  Doh.  I can't be the only forgetful one, right?

Anywhoooo.  A quick zip of the ol' grinder and I had my piece.

Woo hoo!  Yeah baby!
So, handily there was a connection point just above where we cut last summer so I reused the existing strap and screw there.  Plug the bendy straw white drain part onto the end, a few sheet metal screws so I don't have to fight with it falling off all summer, reconnect the black ten foot drain pipe.

Bam, water runneth away.  Rock for good measure weight.  Yeah.  Dammit.
Sure it's not ideal.  Sure it's not the best solution.  It's still temporary until we really give the yard some good thought and have a good plan.  But. This is what worked for us before.  So right back to it I went.

Mission accomplished and now I don't have that plaguing me which feels very very very good.

So yeah, all righty, I best head off to sketch up my stair idea for Mike.

Lest I forget though, as per usual my Variety Pack Day posts typically contain a recipe or several, so here's what I'm thinking for dinner:  Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches.  With such nice weather today, I've got lounging in the back yard itchies, BBQ and grilling and all that ridiculously nummy fun lolling in my head.  Aw boy, I better hop on getting the new outdoor chair cushions all stitched up and ready too!  Yay spring!

We will wistfully miss spring and summer with Hailey in the yard, oh sigh ugh, the yard we got for her.  But we'll teach Finn all the joys.

Hailey last spring as newly tri-pedal.
Finn last week.  Excellent photography by Mike.




















Well all right.  Hope it's been just as super fantabulous where you are today!

*The Good Bye Cracks link is an Amazon affiliate link.  Mwah, thanks!

3.14.2015

The Roofer Visit

Wow.

I about pooped my pants, lemme just get that out of the way.

So thankfully I was up too early on accident because holy sh*t, the roofer showed up.  Even more amazing?  Twenty minutes early.

I open the door and there are four guys milling about, a van with several big ladders, and I'm just agog.  A roofer.  Is here.  After all the calling and calling of Jose.  After all the leaks.  After all the stress.  A roofer is here at our door.

Unreal.

He doesn't introduce himself, he kinda waves around, points at the guys, the ladders, the front of the house.  "Ok," I say.

Does he look familiar somehow?  Nooooo, couldn't possibly, I ponder.

I step inside, get my coat, step back outside.  He comes to talk to me about how they're going to go up and take a look, where's the leak.

Ya know, there's something strange about this.  Can't quite put my finger on it.

So I step into the yard, about to lead him down the gangway to give him an indication of where water is getting in when I turn around.

I put my hand out to shake his and say, "and what's your name by the way?"

"Jose."

Wait, whaaaat??  Hold on, WWhaaaaat??

I stopped dead cold in my tracks.  I'm sure I got leaves all in my mouth from my jaw being on the ground and I sputter, "Jose {last name}??"

He looks at me funny, "yes."

Honestly I about passed out.  I could not believe, after all this time, after all the phone calls, that it's Jose standing there in front of me.  My brain explodes inside my head cavity.

We're stuck in this awkward handshake and a look creeps up over his face like holy crap...aw sh*t...oh no...oh no!...now I know where I am and this is that crazy bitch who kept calling me.  He had a look of panic for half a second.

After handshake disengage, everything is weird.  I somehow start walking again.

So he stammers, "oh, in the same place, the leak, right?"  I say yes but also at the back of the building there's...

He cuts me off and says they're all going up to take a look.  Okey doke, go on up!

Whoa.  I blink repeatedly, trying to clean the brain explosion off the backs of my eyes.

At this point, Mike is now awake and all groggy and steps outside, casually sipping on a glass of water.  I tell him who the roofer is and he almost did a spit take.  "No sh*t," he says chuckling, heading back indoors.  Yes, see, there was a lot of incredulous swearing going on.

On top of everything else, we knew the flipper owed Jose money, that he tried to stiff him because he's a super swell guy so now we really can't believe it's Jose.  We expected a completely different roofer person to show up.

So I'm watching the guys set up the mighty tall extension ladder up the front of the house, watching them dash up some twenty eight feet or so like ain't no thang, waiting, waiting.

Jose comes back down.  Starts telling my why he wouldn't return before.  Something about the flipper and who's going to pay him (Jose), materials, and something or other.  He mutters something else, waves his hand, walks away.

Right.  Ok?  So what?  You said you warranty your labor for three years, I'm thinking in my liquified brain.  A warranty doesn't mean you get paid again by whoever paid you the first time (which was the flipper).

Two other guys come down and they head to the van.  Huh, looks like they're going to....oh no way.  Oh No.  Get out of town.  What the....

Fix something?!

No sh*t.  No freakin' sh*t.  Omg.  Again, with the almost pooped in pants.

Jose comes back over to me, explains that there are cracks all over the brick chimney up there (as an aside, we have an 1880's fireplace buried behind the wall in our living room.  And yes [please] it has crossed our minds a slew of times to rip open the wall, see how bad off it is, always wondering how much it would cost to restore it as we love love love having fires.  We are permanently one glass of wine away from a saw to the wall.), he bets that's where the water is coming in, he's going to tuckpoint it.  Ok, that's what you said you would do last time, in October 2013.

"Ok," I say.

"Not my job but I'll do it for you anyway.  And whoever put in the a/c?  Why is it on the roof?  There's a hole there so, not my job, but I'll seal it for you.  I'll seal around other pipes, I'll...." his voice tapers off and up the ladder he goes.

Some time passes, not sure how long as I'm still in shock, we hear motion down the ladder.  Jose comes back down and says "c'mon up" to Mike.  Mike turns a shade of pale, looks at me, panics.  Shade of pale?   He hates heights.  Panic?  He knows I'll go right up that scary, sproingy, super tall frightening ladder because I have to see.

Three quarters of the way up I think to myself, omg, ok, keep going slow, don't freak, don't freak, don't freak.  I made it though.

Jose's not real excited that I'm the one up there.  He's talking fast, pointing at things fast, showing me what they did fast, cutting me off at every turn.

Yes, all these photos are going to be horrible.  Sole gutter here, looks to be correct with the roof material.  That's Jose.  Coulda pushed him off.  Coulda been writing this from prison.  That is my finger too, yes, sorry.
He shows me back over by the gutter.  He says the window leak wasn't the roof.  Ok, I'm not sure how tons of water got in, from where then, but he says caulk around the window.  I tried to explain that the water came from within, not outside, I have photos...cuts me off, "caulk."  Ohh-k.  All right.


Over by the a/c, lots of black goo.  "I fixed it, not my job, but I put stuff...."  Gestures, waves.  Ok.

Sorry, in my mad rush to photograph everything, I hit some random filter on my phone's camera.  Doh. 
Then I about trip over this big square.  Ya know, one that looks like it might be a h.a.t.c.h.  I said to Jose, "is that a..." he lifts the lid.  No sh*t.  It's a freakin' hatch!  Blocked off from the inside!  Idiots.  Idiots, I scream in my head which is hard to do considering all the exploded brain matter from earlier.

See, over by those pipes to the left is more about where the leak is. Thing about roof leaks, they could come from anywhere, begin in a totally different spot than where they leak.  Looking at this now, I'm not seeing how it could've been the chimney....
Jose gestures at the chimney.  "I pointed it, fixed the cracks, not my job, but that's probably where the water was coming from.  Not my job, but I did it for you.  I put stuff around pipes.  I patch a few places because it... ... .....

Omg what a terrible photo.  Goo around venting pipes.
One of several patches done but no explanation given as to why.
...ok, you need a hand going down?  Let's go."

He didn't like that I was taking pictures up there.  But hey, it's my roof, he's rushing me, I want to know what he did, what's going on.  He's hastening me, I can't get all the photos I want to get.  "Let's go," he says again.

He scoots me to the ladder.  Mike is pacing below, can't even watch.

Moments later, they're all back down.  Jose swings by us, tries to explain again why he didn't come back before, a much lengthier explanation but with no new information.  Mike says it's ok, hands him four bottles of pop, smooths it all over.  Mike is in sales.  He's very good at, well, people.  Unlike me.

"Your roof, it's good for at least ten years," he says.  Ok.

It's not even two years old and it looks twelve.  If this is indeed the material Jose put on in May 2013.
As he's leaving, sure as sh*t, just like last time he was here, he points, tells Mike he remembers clear as day installing the brick on the house across the street.  Wacky "memory" this guy has.  Ahem.

Jose says to keep an eye out, if there are any more problems to call him.  "Do you have my cellular number?" he asks.  Uhhhh, duuuhhh.  Yes.  Yes I do.  "Ok, call me and I'll come back out if you have any problems."

Right.  That's what you said last time, you'd be right back out to fix everything.

Only problem for us now is that with our new spiffy insulation, it "stopped" the leaks from coming all the way indoors.  Right, I know, not good.  So we're likely not going to be able to tell if this all is fixed.  Let's hope it's fixed.  I mean, it could be a valid concept that the water was coming in from around the vicinity of the chimney, but I can't say I'm sold on it.  It wasn't just a few drips.  We had puddles on the master bath floor.

So, yet again, we shall see.

Crazy story, right?!  Omg.  I'm still in shock.  Jose.  Sheesh.  Heh.

I was the bigger person and emailed the flipper again.  A cough, thank you note.  It huuuurt to write it too but, keeping the wheels greased.....