Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Roof Update, Meltdowns and More

Husband came home from work last night and announced he was Sick of the Roof and going to hire someone else to finish it. (Our current contractor is hunting elk on the Western Slope.) He won't hear any gripes from me -- our yard, front and back, is full of shingles and nails and bits of paper flying around. (The neighbors probably figure we're opening Bricks' Trash Heaven, what with all the flotsam and the everpresent dumpster in the driveway.)

Today, DH clarified his "finishing" statement: he wants to hire someone to finish stripping the shingles off, then tarpaper! (But not the southeastern corner, he said -- only a 'few' boards to finish replacing, then some flashing to put on. "Should only take about ten minutes for each," he said. Hmmm.)

That means we put the shingles on ourselves.

Oh.

Well, it won't be that bad. Nearly all of the first layer of shingles is off the south side, thanks to Daughter #1 and yours truly's Destructo techniques. And all but a bit of the north side is stripped clean already. Tarpaper will mean that we don't have to rush up there to fix the tarps, and leaks will be kept at bay while we finish shingling. Hopefully that will be before I head to New Hampshire to teach at Quilter's Gathering in early November.

I have a lovely round patched hole in my bedroom ceiling now -- kind of a reverse porthole. Husband accidentally stepped on a loose board and literally went through the roof...into the attic...and down into our bedroom. Maybe a good spot for a skylight?

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It never did snow here, though our temps have been more than cold enough. We wear long underwear now to work on the roof. It also camouflages the holes in my pants, which have become rather (ahem) revealing. (You try keeping your pants in one piece while hauling up shingles, catching yourself on protruding nails, etc. etc.) I'm still reasonably decent, but am definitely showing more thigh than usual. Who wants to look at a fifty-year-old woman's butt, anyways?

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Now to the good stuff:

WalletPop, a great source of daily deals and freebies, anyways, has a fascinating series titled "What the Meltdown Means to Me:"

http://www.walletpop.com/specials/what-the-meltdown-means-to-me

It includes guest posts from a wide range of people, including retired-with-grown-children, single moms, and families. Some of the posts are little 'too' tidy not to be rewritten a bit...but there's lots to think of here.

My own 401K is up some, after yesterday's gains...but still quite pathetic.

Warren Buffett has been more in the news lately. Long considered the Frugal Guru of Finance, his practical advice has been much in demand lately. I watched a long interview on Charlie Rose, and read a few articles about Buffett in recent publications, including Parade. The boiled-down synopsis: save where you can; buy blue chips and great-anyways-stocks NOW, while they're cheap; most of all, DON'T PANIC. (Buffett makes a huge deal of this, saying if you're stupid, you panic -- if you're smart, you buy.)

Buffett believes that the buyout was not only necessary, but critical. (His only questions are whether it came soon enough, and is as far-reaching as it needs to be.) He says the government can hold onto securities and assets more than long enough for them to recover -- and we (the people) should actually be benefitting when those same assets will be sold at much higher prices in the future. (In other words, the gov't is getting rock-bottom prices when it buys...but Buffett warns someone should be on the ball, making sure the gov't isn't paying too much.)

Buffett said if the U.S. was looking for partners, Berkshire Hathaway would be in the pie in a flash! The economy could take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to recover...but after that, we'll be in much better shape, he thinks, than we were before this.

You can see Charlie Rose's interview here:
http://www.charlierose.com/shows/2008/10/01/1/an-exclusive-conversation-with-warren-buffett

Hmmm. Well. That keeps me from pushing the 'sell' button too often. And if this current uncertainty means people spend less on their credit cards and put more in their savings accounts...how can that be bad?

On the other hand, it's easy to talk when you're flush. More than a few of our friends are looking at being laid off -- or wondering how to pay their current debt. Nearly half of my piano lesson students have either cancelled, or are wondering how to pay their bills. Gas and luxury item prices have definitely gone down here in the Denver area, and restaurants are offering specials I've rarely seen before. And this is in Colorado, which is doing much better than many parts of the country. (We went into the recession before you all did, so there...nyah nyah.)

And speaking of saving money...

Sunshine Markets, a chain that has several stores in Colorado (and, I'm thinking, elsewhere in the U.S.), is a great place to find sales on natural and organic foods. They're also excellent for imported and unusual goodies, and have an extensive bag-your-own bulk foods section, for everything from coffee to candy. This week -- wow! Boneless skinless chicken breast -- $1.57 a pound. Texas grapefruit: 10 for a dollar. Raw almonds (perfect for holiday cooking): $2.99 a pound.

Yep, you're reading those prices right. Rush over there, if you can, and stock up.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have some wheelbarrow loads of shingles to pick up, before the poor plants underneath expire.

1 comment:

Allison Ann Aller said...

Cindy, what is so great is that you are out there in "actual life action", dealing with what IS.
My pastor used to tell me the same thing when I was a dairy wife, that I was out there in the elements, engaged in the process....
I love that you have been using your own time and energy on your roof project, and enlisting your immediate family to help too. Look up satvic...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sattva

Just A Little Longer...

...and summer's over. I can't say I'll really miss this one. It's been full of packing and sorting, and dragging ourselves...