Friday, January 24, 2014

Icicles, Upcycles

Well, with today's milder temperatures, we decided to try some of the throwable "roof melt" salt tablets. (I don't want to melt the roof, just the ice dam at the edge.) I'm hoping this will be the year we end up doing what I think will be a standing seam metal roof, with additional insulation under it, as a major next step toward energy conservation and reduced danger from grass and forest fires. The way our house was built, we ended up with a vaulted ceiling instead of an attic. Makes for a nice aesthetic, but when it comes to adding insulation, not so nice. After all the years that people have been building houses in Minnesota, I would have thought we'd be more on top of snow-free roofs by now. We have an awful lot of houses that need energy retrofits. The neighbors down the road may not be among those needing a retrofit but I'm going to watch for icicles at their roofline as our freeze-thaw season gets underway.

Neighbor's snow covered roof
 Neighbor's snow covered roof     © harrington

I mentioned that last weekend we got some old barn lumber for making bookshelves. Today we got some angle iron to use as a frame for the shelves. The daughter person'd fiancee is doing all the work. He's almost finished one bookcase made from 2" by 10" fir joists. That's for books owned by he and the daughter person. For me, we're going with the angle iron and 1" by 11"+ elm roofing lumber. Pictures will be forthcoming soon. We're doing our little part to "upcycle" reclaimed lumber. Bill McDonough would be so proud. If this all actually works and looks good, I'll be amazingly pleased. Joyce Sutphen captures the mystery of old barns turning into new lives with this.

The Shop


There was a window
filtering the sunlight,
dusty as it came,

and boxes of nails,
long and dark,
tin-colored and squat,

boxes of silver bolts,
washers and screws,
tacks, inch-long staples.

The vice that could crush
a finger hung open jawed
on the edge of the workbench;

the welding mask tilted
its flat and mouthless face
towards the rafters.

The old harnesses hung
in the back corner, their
work-lathered leather

soft as the reins of memory,
guiding him through the tangle
of one year into another.  


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