Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Too Windy to be On the Roof Today

Gusts of 22 mph and steady winds over 15 mph made it too risky to put steel up today but we did move 6 sheets, 3 at a time, so I could drill the 72 holes required for all the screws. Tomorrow's winds will be much lower so hopefully we'll get another 2 on.

In the meantime it looks as though I neglected again to post the latest photos. So as of a few days ago there are 6 sheets of steel on the front of the house.

A Rotted EGR System, NOT the Head Gasket!

So the dealer called this morning with the good news. I had my car towed there yesterday morning even though I couldn't get an appointment before Wednesday. I was hoping they'd have a cancellation and get to it earlier.

The white smoke is pouring out of rotted pipes under the engine and the head gasket is apparently fine. So that was a bullet dodged. With over 193.000 miles on an engine it's hard to say what can go wrong. But NO2 gases are pretty corrosive so it's not surprising the hose was falling apart, I know the connection at the top seemed to have a small leak and the fabric cover was falling off as well. So they will order the kit today and install it tomorrow and I'll have my Rory back by tomorrow night.

While they're at it I'm having them change the oil as it's been over 400 miles and 7 months as well as check what is causing the slow leak in my left year tire. It's nice not to be sitting waiting for everything to be done.

Looking forward to having my own set of wheels back!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Head Gasket or Something Else?

So the reason I did not take my car to look at the puppies was because shortly after I pulled my 2006 Chevy Equinox out of the garage I notice white smoke or steam coming out of the engine grill. When I lifted the hood it looked like it was coming out of a pipe at the front of the engine on the passenger side. When Hal finally looked at it the next day it obviously was not the pipe (which he thinks might also have a tiny rack in it) but it was pouring out of the base of the engine on the passenger side.

So I searched the internet today. Everything points to the head gasket being blown. Oh joy. It's also been losing coolant for months and the last time I was at the dealer they supposedly put dye in the system to figure out where it is leaking. Yesterday while Hal was looking at it I had to add nearly a half gallon of coolant to the surge tank.

Tomorrow is Monday and I will finally be able to call the dealer and discuss the symptoms. I suspect I will have to have the car towed, driving with a blown head gasket is not generally a good idea.

Saturday, July 14, 2018


So yesterday, Friday the 13th, I went to breakfast at the Lunch Box in Curran, (had the biscuits and gravy which were very good, if a bit over peppered), with my friend Tom, a man who has had many a bird dog over the years which he trained himself for upland bird hunting.  After breakfast we drove out to the town of Hillman to look at PUPPIES!!!

A couple days earlier my friend Judy's SIL heard an ad on WATZ radio for chocolate labrador retriever puppies for sale in Hillman and called me. I had already decided not to look at any more dog adoption pages at petfinder.com till after we finished putting the roof on the new house. So the plan to look for a new pup would be late September or early October. However, I was not going to turn down some cute little pup that might fall into my lap.

According to Hal's preferences the plan also meant NO PUPPIES. He'd rather I get a dog about 5 years old, figuring I would take Ziggy to meet every prospective dog at various shelters. That could take forever, no guarantee they'd get along or that I could find anything other than "lab mixes", most of them suspiciously pit bull types. Now I know there are many wonderful pit bulls and other dogs but I LOVE labradors, and that's what I want. And the minute a real lab shows up at a shelter they are usually snapped up.

I called the radio station, got the phone number, called and left a message. In a couple of hours the owner called me back I got to ask questions about price, how many there were etc and said I'd call back after talking to Hal.

I explained all my fears about not finding a good match to Hal and he relented. In fact he wants to go on record that he didn't say "yes, get a puppy," but "I won't stop you." YIPPEE! Good enough for me! Family harmony and a possible puppy. I texted Tom, called the owner back and 2 days later, on Friday, a rainy day so I wasn't interrupting the roofing, Tom and I headed to Hillman, in his truck because when I pulled my car out of the garage there was pale gray smoke coming out of the engine.

So long story short, I got to play with puppies, 3 girls still unadopted/sold. The 2 young girls who were there with their grandpa handed me the one they called Leia, put another they called Sophie and the third whose name I cannot recall on the floor. Mostly they preferred to wander off or eat, but I thought maybe little Leia hung around me a bit more. Of course, I hardly put her down once I had my hands on her so maybe she had no choice really.

So in 3 weeks, this little gal is coming home with me. I have named her Kaylee. The name may even stick. I think Luna would be happy for me. She always wanted me to be happy.
 Mom's name is Marly.
She is the one with the orange collar

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

5 Days Later, More Steel, Both Sides!

Yesterday we finished putting the last full sheets of steel on the backside of the garage roof. We learned a lot doing it: how Hal can maneuver there, applying the radiant barrier, using strings to hold the cloth in place while he stapled it on, the best way to lift the steel without a forklift, how to be sure the purlins were the correct distance apart at the center of each section by using spacers, and not to try placing steel on days were the winds are 15 mph and above.

So this is the back side of the roof, with 12 sheets of steel. The overhangs we will do after we complete the front.

And today we started on the front of the garage, 2 sheets of steel, 2 more planned for tomorrow.