Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spirit In The Sky

I arrived home yesterday about an hour ahead of the rain. Just in time to get all my tools put up and stroll around the place a bit. The trip up to Tennessee with Daddy Rabbit was fun and interesting and the scenery up there at this time of the year was spectacular. One day, while he was doing superintendent work, I got to explore some of the local art and craft galleries and he also took me to some of the local sights and such. Mostly we just worked but it was easy stuff and I got to see most of the campus, although not all of it.
As you can see from this pic, we were at the end of the Cumberland Plateau and the views were beautiful. It was a little hazy this day but still pretty.
This is one of the most recognizable buildings on campus and it is beautiful on the inside as well. Most of the buildings are built with this local sandstone, quarried right on the 'domain' as they call it. So, now that I have given ya'll several clues, can anyone guess where I was?
I'll have more to post about the job a little later. It was a good trip but I did encounter some peculiar things. It's been a long time since I have been in a university setting and I guess I was taken back by some of the attitudes of the faculty and towns people. Educated does not always mean enlightened.
I did find the work of several very talented, local craftspeople and made some purchases. I wish I could have spoken to them directly but they do have websites. I also did not get to visit the art department of the school, which I hoped to, but they might not have been very welcoming either. My company has built many of the structures on campus so, you never know, I might get to go back one day and it was nice that most everyone recognized our company name.

Anyway, more about the trip later. I hope everyone has a nice Halloween or Samhain, All Hallow's Eve, Dia de Muertos or All Saint's Day.

*Norman Greenbaum

Sunday, October 25, 2009

If You Got The Money Honey, I Got The Time

I've been called back to work but just for about a week. However, I have to go to Tennessee for this job, so looks like it's road trip time. Beautiful time of year to get to go on the road though. I'm making the trip with the superintendent that I last worked for, at the health clinic. He built an addition onto a very quaint university on the eastern side of the state. I'm looking forward to seeing the school and area. We are just having to run punch list items so it's a gravy job! Fine with me!

This weekend was our county's Covered Bridge Festival and I took Mouse to see one of the prettier bridges in the area. I'll have more about this later but we went for a short hike under the bridge and enjoyed some of the festivities downtown. This really is a very pretty area.
This is just some of the color around my place. The weather has just been gorgeous lately. I thought I had some pics of how far I have gotten on the siding on the west side of the house but the one I had only showed 3 boards up. I don't know what was up with that. I guess my memory is going because I could have sworn I took more pics later. Anyway, I have trimmed out the two windows and got almost half of the siding up. Not as fast as I would like but not too bad.
I love this little maple tree near my drive. It's really going to be pretty as it gets bigger.
I don't know what type of tree this is behind the house but it always turns the brightest yellow; like it's made of gold. There are several others of the same type back there but the trees in the foreground are blocking them from view.

So, I probably won't be able to post again until I return on Friday but should have some good photos. Hope everyone has a good week. See ya'll!

*Willie Nelson

Thursday, October 22, 2009


During the recent bouts of rain, and in between face bashings and finger loss, I have managed to work on the window a little more. I have completed the hardest parts I believe, so it should start going a little faster.
You can see the textures in the clear glass a little better in this pic than in the one above. Here you can see where I've had to shim up the copper foil pieces to be level when one end is in the lead came and the other edges are not.
Of course, it helps when you have a good studio buddy to talk to while you are working. He's kinda quiet but is real easy-going. It was cold enough last weekend that I actually had a fire going in the heater for a couple of days. That makes the basement very comfy but Lika actually doesn't like it so I had to move his bed all the way to the other side of the basement in order to entice him to come back in. I don't know if he doesn't like the smell or something or if it just gets too warm for him.

*Nine Inch Nails

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tell It Like It Is

These little guys were just everywhere today while I worked on siding, although these pics depict just one. I was checking how much propane I still have left and he was checking to see if I was going to try to eat him. Their little fingers and claws are so delicate. I like having them around.

Some of the comments on my post about how stupid I was, got me thinking some more about why I post some things and I guess, why some people don't. I came to the conclusion that I feel somewhat obligated to tell the whole story. Let me explain....
I get tons of women all the time telling me that they wish they could do some of the stuff I do and how they wish they had my skills and all that, so I try to use this blog to encourage and show women (and some men I guess) that they CAN do what I do, if you put your mind to it. Of course, I'm going to show when I make mistakes or whatever because that is part of it and you shouldn't be ashamed of making a mistake. Be ashamed of not ever trying.
But when it comes to safety and being honest about just what you are getting into, I feel very obligated. See, if I'm going to get up here and call on women to pick up the tools and do stuff, I've got to tell the whole truth about what else might be involved. And in that line of thought, I would encourage most all women to do more around the house, learn to use tools and all that but I don't know that I would actually encourage many to do what I do for a living. Not that I think I'm some kind of Superwoman! It's just that my line of work can be very dangerous and I just happen to start out young enough that my body grew and adapted to that kind of work. Not always a good thing either, by the way.
I'm reminded of an incident a few years ago where a YWCA in a nearby big city started a program to train women in the trades. You know, teach them how to be plumbers and carpenters etc. Now, I'm all for that. It would help a lot of disadvantaged women get decent paying jobs without a college degree and this was their objective. So, they contacted me to teach a class for them. That was fine with me and they asked me, as someone who has worked in the trades for a long time, if there was anything else I thought they should be teaching these women. Well, after talking to the directors for a while, I realized that they were not being entirely honest with these women. They were promising them instant jobs as soon as they completed the course and pay at a commercial journeyman's rate; not as a residential apprentice, which they would be, IF they could get hired. Women are not unheard of in the trades but it is a hard break to get, to get one of the contractors to take you seriously.
So, I voiced my concerns to the directors and told them exactly why. They should also have courses on safety and such and proper behavior on a job site, i.e how to dress and conduct yourself on a site with 100 men.
Well, I guess they didn't really want to hear the reality of the work (and didn't want the women students to hear either) because I never heard from them anymore. I often wonder just how many of those women actually got jobs after the course or did many of them just become discouraged and go back to working at McDonald's.
At any rate, here on this site, I'm going to tell you that if you chose to do some of this work that I show, you must know that it can be dangerous and, at times, incredibly physically demanding. More than one man has run his fingers lightly over my arms (and other places, heh!) and asked about the scars that adorn them. But the work is also very rewarding and empowering. Especially welding! Talk about giving you a great sense of power! I am proof, if nothing else, that you can do just about anything you put your mind to, even by yourself. There may be a little more head scratching involved but you can find a way.

*Aaron Neville

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dare To Be Stupid

Some bloggers write only about the happy, successful events of their lives, choosing to present a Pollyanna view of their world to their readers. Other bloggers seem to use their writings as a vent-all for everything wrong in their lives and others still just avoid all personal references all together by simply posting photographs. I don't criticize any of these; it's every person's right to blog how they want to! But I do, on the other hand, try to present an even flow, a happy medium between senseless joy and head-banging dismality. Even so, I thought seriously about not presenting this post. Just wipe it out and none of you would be the wiser. However, it does have a good lesson in it; one that is best learned by you observing someone else's stupidity, rather than risk yourself. And lest any of you think that I am truly, always Queen of the Universe, I do present this story to remind you that even I don't always know what the hell I'm doing. There is much to be said for sheer determination in the face of adversity but there should also be much said for not being impatient and getting aggravated easily.
So, you know of the problems that occurred last week with the water pump and my struggle to correct this malfunction, which I did. Well, not one day after my 'success', I was thwarted again when I got up that morning and realized I had no water again. I resigned myself to the situation and walked down to the spring and pump house to see what the problem was. Upon arriving at the spring, I saw that an old, rubber coupling had let go (I failed to check if it was still tight) and the water line was just laying open. Now, here is where I made my first mistake. I forgot that this end of the line had a backflow preventer installed, so the water in the line would not run out in such a situation. It also has a regular shut-off valve below the preventer, and knowing this was open, I assumed all the water below the pump had run out. This meant, in my mind, that the pump and all lines below, would need to be reprimed. So, I put the line back together, actually moving the footvalve back to the original spring (more about this later) and then going up to the pump house to see what was going on there.
When I got to the pump house, the pressure tank was registering about 40 lbs, but knowing that just air was coming out of the lines at the house, I was skeptical that was water in the tank. I opened the drain cock on the pressure tank, and sure enough, just air came out. So, I thought I bled the pressure off the tank. Second mistake here. I was tired and aggravated and I guess I just didn't wait long enough to see that all the pressure was off. Now, some of you who are knowledgeable of such things may be grimacing and squirming in your seats right about now. You can guess what I did. I got my other tools and checked the fittings on the pump. Everything seemed okay there. All the new iron fittings had held, no apparent leaks etc. So, thinking that the line coming into the pump was dry and the pressure tank was empty, I knew I needed to prime the pump and lines so that it could start to draw water again. So, I unscrewed the plug on the top of the pump. Now, if you have never been busted in the face with a one inch, steel plug going oh, about 40 mph, it is a difficult sensation to describe to you. The odd thing is, I can't really say that it hurt. I think pain of that magnitude just goes over to shock. I knew right away something was wrong but couldn't really say what. Then I saw blood dripping on my shirt sleeve. At this point I just sat down and called Allen. He was the closest person that I knew would know what to do. After a few moments, I regained some sense (not much) and saw that the bleeding had stopped, so I went back to work trying to get the pump going. It would run but didn't seem to be drawing water. Allen arrived after a while and when he walked up I could tell from the look on his face that something more was wrong with my face. I thought the force of pressure had just bloodied my nose a little. Not so. The plug had cut a line from my nose down to my lip and it was swelling now. Real pretty. I am extremely fortunate that it had not hit me in the eye or forehead though. In the end, Allen got the pump running again. I had just not let it run long enough and while it took a considerable amount of time to get the air out of the lines, everything cleared out and all is functioning well now.
So, the moral of this little story is this: not much is so bad that it can't be fixed, so don't go to work on something with a crappy attitude and get in a hurry. You are the one that is going to suffer if something goes wrong. Check out the whole situation and if you are not sure about something, ASK somebody who would know.

*Weird Al Yankovic

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Fixer

The water is clear and flowing freely once again. The hornets are dead. The pump appears to be functioning without defect. I have taken a shower.

I discussed a few options with Allen and decided to abandon the spring all together. It had collapsed to the point it is only 4 or 5 feet deep now. I am using the other spring now but it is a temporary measure. A permanent solution is going to require some further planning, concrete and a trackhoe. What I should have done to begin with.
My earlier attempts to kill the hornets had apparently been effective so I did not have to deal much with them. They did give one dying gasp as I was working though, when the queen flopped out of the nest onto the ground next to me. Freaking thing must be 2" inches long.
I replaced the fittings and plumbing leading to and from the pump, extended the pipes to the other spring and hooked all that back up and reprimed everything. Then I discovered that the fitting going into the pump had busted also. About this time Allen drove up and offered to repair it. I accepted and with one final trip to the hardware store and 40 minutes later, the pump fired up and water flowed. It then proceeded to spit mud and gunk out of every faucet and opening in and around the house.
We flushed out the whole system and I ran some bleach through the lines for good measure, back washed the filter and all seems to be fine.
Thanks for all your comments and I will answer some of them further in another post. I would like to say that I do realize and accept that I have to do this work myself because I did opt to walk away from the relationship I had. That was my choice and I still stand by it, so I have to suck it up and do these things when they come up and I accept that. It's not that hard usually, once you get going. But yes, when stuff like this happens it is nice to have someone there and I hope you women out there appreciate your man, IF you have a good one, that takes care of these things. I know women have plenty to do around the house (I do both after all) but most of it still rates higher on the comfort scale than wallowing around in cold mud, in the rain, repairing 2" plumbing lines.
I also had at least 3 guys guiding me through written and spoken means, as what to do next (tho I decided ultimately what was best) so I was not totally alone and I am grateful for that.

*Pearl Jam

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sick And Tired

Okay, I can tell you now this isn't going to be a happy, sunshiny post, so if that's what you need today just go look elsewhere. Sorry, maybe later. It's not the seemingly, constant rain that continually impedes my progress on the house that I am referring to with this title. No, rather I think it is the never-ending struggle to keep my head above water, only to have it shoved back under every time I think I might be making a little progress.
See, I got laid off, which is not bad because it will give me time to work on the house, finally. But it rains constantly, so I can't do the outside work I need to. A friend gives me a lot of free material, which I am grateful for, but because I am laid off, I don't have any income. Which means I need to be frugal with hour-long trips into Birmingham, which is where the material is. So, that and the fact that I do have a minuscule life has delayed me from getting absolutely all the material to date. Friend calls me today and chews me out for not getting it all yet, so I haul off to town to gather up as much as I can.
While I am gone the water system decides to explode. It blew the pipe out of the top of the pump and this ran for God-only-knows-how long before I discovered it after returning home and seeing that I had no water. Now, on further investigation of the spring and such, I believe that these heavy rains over the past months has caused the walls of the spring to collapse and eventually closed off the flow off water to the foot valve down in the spring. This is not good. It's one thing to repair the pipe coming out of the pump but now I have to dig out and shore up the spring, re-insert the pipe and valve and get all pipes back together. Oh, and hope like hell that my pump did not burn up.
And did I mention that, to add to the excitement and drama of it all, there is a European hornet's nest IN the pump house, about 3 feet from where I'm working. I actually discovered this last week and have been slowly and carefully trying to kill them but I think there is still some activity there. As I got somewhat started with repair work this afternoon it also started raining again and it's coming down pretty hard now. Looks like it will be raining all day tomorrow too so maybe I can dig up a raincoat. I usually keep one of the good ones from work.

So, ladies, I can't say it enough. If you have a good man, husband, partner or whatever that helps you with these things, be grateful. Cook him something special or take time for some other treat. It's easier on two than one. I can and will do this but I can't help but wish that I had some help. I guess that is weak and I can't help but think if I weren't such a bitch (or whatever) that there might actually be someone here to help but none of that matters now, really. So, I may not post for next day or two until I get stuff fixed.

*Eric Clapton

Monday, October 12, 2009

Holiday Road

Wouldn't a pair of these guys look sooo cool on either side of my driveway!? I just love this thing! There actually was another one but the store selling them was closed so I could not get a price. Not that I could probably afford such a luxury but hey, one can dream.

So, I had a very enjoyable weekend in Tennessee. I drove up to Nashville Friday and bought some clay and other supplies from a dealer downtown. The trip started off kinda crappy because it was raining and stormy most of the trip, I made one wrong turn in Nashville and had find an area to turn around and then when I arrived at the clay place, they overcharged me twice! The main owners (2 women) were not particularly helpful or friendly, which I think is kinda crappy, especially considering how much business I was giving them but fortunately, their help was very, well, helpful, and got things straightened out. When I pointed out the second overcharge the owner just tried to brush it off, telling me that clay was just more expensive. The young lady ringing the order up spoke up though, and insisted that the price should be lower, as I was ordering enough clay to get a bulk discount. I wonder if she got jumped on later for helping me. At any rate, I believe I will think twice before doing business with them again. Making a mistake on pricing isn't the issue; the attitude of the owners was what put me off.
So, anyway, I left Nashville under a tornado watch and after crawling through heavy traffic, finally got back out on the highway and headed south.
Fortunately, it wasn't too far a trip to Mouse's (the man from TN) house and I arrived there right before dark. On Saturday we roamed all over the area, going to several antique stores (where the lions were) and I found a really nice wheel-thrown bowl. The town close to where he lives actually has the old, literal town square surrounded by shops and restaurants. It was nice and had stopped raining, so we could walk everywhere.
We visited one state park and this 'protected area' with this water fall. I'm not sure what the difference is between a state park and a 'protected area' but it was very pretty and we got in a good, moderately strenuous hike. Mouse is very accommodating and took me to several places and stores he thought I might like.
There was lots of variety in ferns and moss. I should have got more pics but didn't. Oh well. You can't tell from these photos but the leaves were changing some and it seemed more colorful.
The trip home yesterday was nice and sunny but now it is rainy and cold here. So much for working on the siding. Maybe I can work up the enthusiasm to work on that stained glass window.
It was very nice to get away and see some new things and I enjoyed visiting with Mouse but of course, the question comes up about distance and logistics. He is about 2 1/2 hours away. Not a horrible distance but not in the next town either and we both have strong ties to where we live. I think we like each other enough to ponder the situation, rather than just say, the heck with it, your're too far away. But what do you do? Keep seeing each other and set yourself up for eventual heartbreak when it won't work out or wait to see if it just peters out before you get that attached to each other. Is it stupid to even put yourself in such a situation? I guess if my past is any indication, it will either work out without much effort or something will happen to bring it to a conclusion, if it is not meant to be.
Well, I need to get back to work! The rain has slacked off some but I think it will be back.

*Lindsey Buckingham

Friday, October 09, 2009

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Really, it's NOT funny that Mama got the end of her finger bit off but we just can't help laughing about it. The doctors were trying not to laugh but Mama would make some joke and they'd all just crack up. She still insists it doesn't hurt so that helps. I took her in for minor surgery yesterday. They just trimmed the bone back so the flesh would have room to grow around it on the end. Eeeee, just makes me hurt thinking about it though. She told my brother that she hated to be so much trouble of late but we said at least we had some good stories to tell from it.

So, I'm off now to Tennessee to buy some clay. Yeah, I know what you're thinking; something else in Tennessee too! Well..... maybe! Fred had actually found a dealer up there that carries the type clay I use so it does make good sense to drive up there rather than have the stuff shipped from there or North Carolina, which is where I usually get it from. Fred also wants some stuff so I am picking up his order too. Looks like it's going to be raining the next two days here anyway so it won't hurt to take a little side trip, you know.
I really need to start making some more pottery and such so I've put this off long enough. Hopefully, I'll have some good pics of my trip for ya'll when I return; maybe some exciting tales of my adventures! Hope everyone has a good weekend also.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Beautiful Thing

Do you see what I see? No, never mind all that crap at the bottom of the photo....look at the wall of the house. See, there is NO Tyvek showing. Because the siding covers it all up!! Hahaaaaa!!!!! Woooooooo! Ok, so it's just one wall finished. Three more to go. I still have a little more painting to do here before I can move the pick boards but will start on the west side shortly.
This is my fall garden. Just a little mixed lettuce and one potato plant. I have no idea how it will do but just don't have time to fool with much more.
These are some free brick pavers I recently scored from a friend. This is almost one cube and there is another cube to pick up, although in a different color. I have almost two cubes up at Mama's that I salvaged off a hospital job years ago. Now have enough that I could do something with them all. Each cube is a different color but hey, they were free so mix and match. But see, this is what I'm telling you is free out there if you can make some connections. Not just with construction workers but sometimes engineers and architects too. Not sure what I'm going to do with mine yet but I know I can come up with something. Maybe use for walkways in the garden.

Well, today was calm and relaxed, thank goodness. No traumas or horse chompings. I take Mama to Birmingham in the morning though for minor surgery to repair what they can of her finger. They are just going to clean it up more and clip the bone back to allow it to heal better. Maybe I can get some cool photos for ya'll!

Oh, my visit this past Saturday went well. He is a very interesting man (and manly man!) and we seem to get along good. Only thing, he is from Tennessee so I don't know how that is going to work out but guess we will just have to wait and see.

*Eric Clapton

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Keeps Gettin' Better

You know how that old saying goes, "when it rains, it pours"? Well, that is what I'm referring to. I was working on siding today, after I took my truck into the shop to have the transmission serviced, and my sister calls me. It's kinda unusual for her to call during the week like that, but anyway she says, "have you talked to Mama today?" I told her no, was something up? She says well, Mama just called her from the emergency room and asked her to come over there. Seems Mama was feeding the horses and one of them bit her finger off! I almost fell off the pick board! I said "what??!" Rosemary said the horse bit the end of Mama's finger off and then she asked Mama if she got the finger and took it to the hospital, thinking maybe it could be put back on. Mama said she tried but the horse wouldn't give it back! He ate it! My family is like some kind of circus! So, Mama bandaged her hand up and drove herself to the hospital. She is 70.
My truck is still in the shop so Rosemary is going to take Mama to a specialist in Birmingham tomorrow. I talked to Mama on the phone after she got home and you know, it's not funny really but she was laughing and then I was laughing. Sometimes it's just all so absurd or surreal. The thing is, this kind of stuff is actually kinda normal for us. It's like the time our cousins collided head-on during a family football game or when Daddy shot Uncle Bill that Thanksgiving. You just never know what's next.

*Christina Aguilera

Monday, October 05, 2009

Family Reserve

We're all gonna be here forever
So Mama don't you make such a stir
Just put down that camera
And come on and join up
The last of the family reserve

This is my mama (on the left) with her twin sister, taken when they were about 18 or 19, I think. Mama was slightly taller, so they nicknamed her 'Biggun' and my aunt was 'Runt', although she always called Mama 'Bidgie'. Mama called me Friday morning to say Runt had passed away suddenly, early that morning. She has had health problems for years so it wasn't a terrible shock but still hits close to home, especially since Mama has so recently been in the hospital.
Runt was one of my favorite aunts and could always be counted on to attend all weddings, graduations and anything else. She only lived a few miles from Mama so we saw her fairly regularly when we were younger. Of course, in recent years everybody gets so busy and strewn far and wide across the state that you just don't see your family much anymore.
You can see in the photo that Runt is the one laughing and it seems, she was always laughing. My brother said today that if you had never heard Runt laugh, it was hard to describe but once you did, it was hard to forget. She was one of those people that you could always locate by following her laugh.
I remember, for graduations and birthdays, she always got me subscriptions to some really cool magazines like Smithsonian, National Geographic and so on. I have always loved to read and the gifts made me feel grown up when I was a kid. I think most of Daddy's side wouldn't have believed that I could even read, much less get me something like that but Runt always thought I was smart.
This is my cousin Rita with my brother that is deceased also. Reet, as we called her, was Runt's only child and she died a couple of years ago on Christmas Eve, while I was working on the railroad job. Reet and Jerry were about the same age; she was only 46 when she died. She laughed just like her mama. Our families always got together for Christmas and I believe that is when this was taken. I remember Rita helping to serve food at my wedding reception even though I had not formally asked her. She just thought I could use the help. I remember her at the funeral when Jerry died. She just sat with me when no one else would.
I have only one uncle and one aunt left. A few cousins on Daddy's side but they don't associate with me. Most all of our family is gone.

There was my great Aunt Ozella , another loud and boisterious woman, but what fun! She could make anybody laugh. Then Granny Bird, so named because as children we could not quite prononce our last name. Usually a rather stoic woman, she always kept a full change purse of ice cream money for us when we came to visit and I remember at least two occasions when she let me and my sister push her maniacally up and down the road in her wheelchair, all the while wearing some absurd wig we had found. She seemed to think it was great fun.
And our Aunt Corrinne, a saint who I have written about before. She died just days before I graduated from high school. She had cancer and knew there was no cure for her but let the doctors at UAB experiment on her for sake of other patients whom they might could help.
Then Uncle Lewis, my daddy's twin brother, he died early too. He was a welder in the air force. My Uncle Howard who won the Bronze Star in WW II.
Oh! and Mama's mother, who we just called Granny. She made the best biscuits ever and let us kids drink coffee when we spent the night with her; something we couldn't do at home until we were older. She had long silver hair that she kept in a bun and when she cleaned her brush, she would always throw all the hair out into the yard; for the birds she said. For years after her death we would occasionally find a bird's nest that had fallen out of a tree, so intricately woven with long, silver hair.

And there are more I remember
And more I could mention
Than words I could write in a song
But I feel them watching
And I see them laughing
And I hear them singing along

We're all gonna be here forever
So Mama don't you make such a stir
Just put down that camera
And come on and join up
The last of the family reserve.

*Lyle Lovett

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Cut To The Chase

I made good strides in almost completing the siding on the north side today. I have just a couple more pieces to put up and then it's just painting. I thought I would show some of the technicalities of siding work. I guess that is what you would call it. In this pic you can see why they refer to this type as 'lap siding', 'cause it laps over piece below it. I am using Hardiboard which is a cement-based composite. You can also see in this pic, the drip cap I installed over the window trim. This is just a thin, L-shaped piece of metal that goes up under the siding and keeps water from standing on and soaking into the wood trim. A small bead of caulk over crack after the siding is installed seals the whole deal up.
This type of siding comes in several widths and surface textures. I am using the 8 1/4" wide with a 7 " reveal. You can lap it as much as you like, I suppose, but I think normally, to get the most coverage out of the material, you lap it over about an inch or so. They make it up to 12" wide I think and down to 4 or 5". It is about 5/16" thick and comes in 12 foot long boards. This type is nailed up with 4 penny galvanized commons. I think the manufacturer also says you can screw it up. I mean, use screws to put it up. I assure you, you can screw it up 'cause I did one or two pieces! Ha!
This is a shot of a finished window so you can see how it ends into window trim. The exterior trim is cypress milled to a full inch thickness. This is also referred to as five-quarter boards.
Ya'll may remember my rafter tails are exposed (ooh, I'm so embarrassed!), so I am having to cut the siding up around all of those too. One reason this is taking so long! The next to top piece of siding just has these little notches cut out to accept the underside of the rafters. Maybe you can see that in this pic. I just have them marked but not cut out yet. Now, with something like this, I go up and make my measurements and do a little drawing too, labeling each section with the measurements. One hint here, when you have to cut out several little sections in anything; take all your measurements from one end. What I mean is, don't measure between each rafter individually say, because you'll get off that way. Clip your tape on the end and pull each measurement from that one end. So, my measurements came out 2', 4', 6' (approx) etc. from one end to the right side of each rafter. Then, pull from each of those marks, over and measure for each notch. Did I explain that right?
Also, when I go to measure for each notch, I 'cut an inch' on the tape. This is good when doing any kind of fairly precise measuring like trim or whatever. That little clip on the end of the tape can throw you off sometimes (and yes, it is supposed to wiggle back and forth) so if you just scoot down to the inch mark you can line up well. But remember, you must add that inch you cut, back to the measurement! So, here I wanted 4 3/4" but marked 5 3/4". Got it? And yes, I have screwed that up too.
So, there is your little carpentry lesson for the day! Ha! I'm sure you all knew that stuff anyway but I got to write about something.
Hopefully, I will finish this side tomorrow. I have a couple of errands I must run in town so won't be able to get on it right away. Heehee, also might have a visitor this weekend of the male persuasion! He seems a very nice fellow and one that is man enough to handle yours truly.