Skip to main content

Saturday Chores

Today we had a nice break from the rain. It was sunny and clear so it was time to do some work on the roof. I cleaned the roof earlier in the fall, but the wind and the rain blow and wash pine needles and assorted tree clutter into the roof drains. The drains clog up and water starts sheeting over the edge of the roof instead of going down the drains. I also noticed that I had a small crop of moss starting on my roof. Only in The Pacific Northwest have I seen moss grow in direct sunlight, even on the side of my roof that has a southern exposure. We hadn't driven the fire truck in a while so we fired it up so we could run down to Home Depot for moss killer. Yes, it is overkill to take a pickup for two cans of moss killer, but the fire truck needed some exercise.

When we got home we borrowed an extension ladder from one of my retired neighbors. I've never let Alex on the roof with me, but he is growing up (dang it) and he really wanted to help me. Our house is a daylight rambler, so the roof is only about 10 feet off the ground from the front yard. We talked about how to stay safe and Alex did great. Our roof does not really have much pitch to it, so it is easy to walk on. First we put the moss killer down. It comes in cans with a shaker top like a big salt shaker so I gave one to Alex and I took one and we walked around shaking the powder all over. Alex got a kick out of that, but he also really thought that it was neat to see the roof skylights from the top of the roof. The view from the roof is great, too. you can just see Mt. Rainier through the trees, and the view of the Cascades across the valley was great today since it was so clear. When we were cleaning out the drains our cat George figured out that we were on the roof. This drove him crazy! We were up somewhere high doing something interesting and he couldn't reach us! He climbed the tree in the front yard and climbed out as far as he could on the branches trying to reach us on the roof. Thankfully he didn't jump, but he raced up and down the tree several times. That cat can RUN up a tree.

While we were up on the roof one of my other retired neighbors came over and asked if we would clean the drains on his roof, too. Alex and I were having fun climbing on the roof so we said sure. He actually had ice on his roof so we did what we could.

Later we went to the grocery store and bought ingredients for sugar cookies. We've got a big box of cookie cutters and Alex really likes making them and decorating them. I figured that would be a good present to make for the neighbors for Christmas. We mixed everything up and put the dough in the fridge to cool over night. Tomorrow we will stamp them out, bake them, and then Alex can decorate them. We bought the spray cans of colored icing so he can get creative.

This isn't a particularly funny or interesting blog entry. It's just an example of some varied things that we do on the weekends.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Reducing CO2 in your home the nerd way

For Christmas my wife gave me a Netatmo weather station because I am a home weather station nerd. The Netatmo is very cool, but it has an unexpected feature: it measures indoor Carbon Dioxide (CO2) levels. As soon as I set it up, the Netatmo began to alert that our indoor CO2 was at an unsafe level. The notes said that outdoor CO2 is usually around 400 ppm, and numbers above 1500 ppm could be unhealthy. On that first day, my house was at around 1300 ppm. Prior to that, I never gave indoor CO2 levels a thought. I began to do some research and discovered high levels of CO2 can cause symptoms such as fatigue, headache, breathing difficulties, strained eyes and itchy skin.  My family does have all of these issues, especially on the weekends when we are home all day, but I never connected that to indoor air quality. Previously, I installed a Nest thermostat . The Nest is very smart and saves energy by learning your habits and programming itself. Unfortunately, it is so efficient, that t

Rooftop Playgrounds

This week I have had some meetings in a tall building in downtown Seattle, and when I took a moment to look around and enjoy the view I have noticed playgrounds on rooftops. I saw this daycare playground: and this playground on top of a school: I think that this is a really cool use of space. A friend that grew up in NYC said that her school had a rooftop playground, too. The delinquent in me wonders how many toys and balls go over the side, but I bet the teachers are pretty strict about that. Downtown Seattle has always seemed a little unfriendly towards kids and it is neat to see spaces being carved out.

How To Make School Lunches More Nutritious: Re-Define Words

If you are a parent of a child who attends public school in Washington, and if you have even a vague recollection of the food pyramid , you probably will have noticed that the lunches that are served in school cafeterias are frequently at odds with the rules of good nutrition. The school is not wrong, however. They have just re-defined words and you are not keeping up. Pop quiz:  Cheese belongs to what food group? *bzzz* - wrong. You said that cheese was in the diary food group , right? No! Pbth! How boringly accurate of you. Cheese magically transforms into a protein when it is served on pizza or in a bread stick! I know that you may be dubious, but I contacted Wendy Barkley, RD,  who is the Acting Supervisor of School Nutrition Programs in the State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and she assured me that it is so. To quote her email to me: " Pizza remains an option for schools for their menus.  The cheese on pizza is counted as a protein in t