Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Mind's Been in the Gutter

Yes, it's true. My mind has been in the gutter. For a very long time, if you must know the truth. You might be surprised to know that I have a gutter mind. (The fact that I have any mind at all comes to a complete surprise to me.)  

What does having my mind in the gutter have to do with my previous absence, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. It's quite fascinating, really. If you are not on the edge of your seat in anticipation yet, you soon will be, I'm sure.

But first, a little background information:
Hubby and I used to have a gutter business. You know, rain gutters? On houses? We sold our business in 2008 and moved to North Carolina, hoping to semi-retire, because we are getting old, and it's not that fun climbing ladders all day. You remember 2008, I'm sure. Banking crisis, housing crisis, unemployment crisis, to name a few. It was a bad, bad year. Not the best time to be making a transition. At the end of the year, we found ourselves selling our house (sniff, sniff, wipe a tear) and moving back to Ohio - in the middle of winter - %$#$%!!!!  

Hubby and I started doing work for family members, which consisted of remodeling projects and painting. Lots and lots of painting. Hubby has a BIL with a garage door business, and a brother with a gutter business, who both needed an extra hand, so he found himself working with them on a weekly basis, traveling back and forth. 

So, fast forward to the past two weeks. Brother was going on vacation, and Hubby said he would work while he was gone. He also said he would take Wifey with him to "keep me company". "Keep me company" are code words for "help me hang gutters."  Yes. That is what I have been doing. Hanging gutters. 

Now, if you will remember back three weeks ago, we (and maybe you) were having that horrible hot, humid, muggy, hot, %$#@ hot weather! We were working in an area that had been hit hard with a terrible hail storm. Every street, it seemed, had several work crews, working like crazy. New roofs, new siding, new gutters. It was actually quite comforting seeing all the work going on. I started to think that things in America were turning around. But, then I remembered that this was all insurance work. But, still, it's giving some people the opportunity to make some money. 

Anyway, how hot was it? It was so hot that I grabbed a dirty rag out of the truck, dunked it in ice water, and put it on my head. And, I left it there. It looked ridiculous, but I didn't care. At the end of each day, we checked into our economical hotel room, cranked the a/c as low as it would go, hit the showers, then wondered if we had enough energy to go get some supper. (We did) When we returned from supper, we wondered if it was too early to go to bed. It wasn't. We were pooped-out. That was our schedule for two weeks.

So, I do have a few pictures for your enjoyment. And, to prove my story. Honestly, Hubby did most of the work. My main jobs were: Go-fer, and cutting up the old gutter, I also climbed the ladders when we had long pieces to hang. You would be amazed at how heavy a long, thin piece of gutter is, especially if you have to hold it over your head. Yeah, fun times.

The Gutter Machine

Running out a 50' piece of gutter

Drilling out the drain hole - Hubby is already starting to sweat

Caulking the endcaps and drain hole.
(This was before the rag on my head! Sorry, no photos of that lovely sight.)

Getting the ladders set

Hubby working and sweating

 The joys of working around wires

I made a special trip up the ladder for this photo, hope you appreciate it!
The second time up, I was holding the gutter.

Hubby setting the gutter

A word to the wise: If you are getting a new roof, do not assume
that your gutters will be clean when the roofers leave!!!

A torturous sight!!!

Yes, we did drag ourselves out for supper.
So, that is why I wasn't blogging. Too tired!


  1. Gutters are multi-purpose fixtures. A few years ago, a mom at my kids' elementary school used a 4-foot gutter (lined with tin foil) as a trough for scoops of ice cream and toppings for a class party. The presentation was clever and the kids were wowed by the gutter filled with ice cream. It was quite a sight!!!

  2. You have no idea how much I enjoyed this post. You grabbed my attention and interest from word one and kept me enthralled right to the end. And, I now have so much respect for the work that gutter installers do. I'm horrified that roof layers would walk off the job leaving so much mess in the gutters!

    Your sense of humour and delightful way of telling a story is a gift. I really LOVED this post! Welcome back!!!

  3. What a job!

    I'd say I'm glad that's not me, but I sort of like the idea of working outside instead of being stuck behind a desk. Yes, even in 100-degree heat with 1000% humidity.

  4. GADS!!! But I WAS hoping for a picture of you with the rag on your head!! What hard and dangerous work!! Those pictures are quite scary to me, I'm glad you are both none the worse for wear! I have never seen a gutter machine before or the way they make them, very cool!!!

  5. Oh Honey. I can't even imagine. But $$$ and a job to do is priceless in this economy. But then after all of that, you went home and Canned?! You are quite the Woman. R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

  6. Wow!!! I am so totally impressed with you! You climb ladders! You lift gutters!!! You GO OUTSIDE when it's HOT! I feel like I've been terribly mistreated if I have to lean out of my front door and get the mail 'cause Honeybunny hasn't already brought it inside.

    I think you would have been totally justified in you had jumped in that pool!

  7. That looks like hard hard sweaty work! That pool was torture indeed!
    Blessings, Joanne

  8. My word is all I can say! Holy cow. Glad you survived and lived to tell all about it.

  9. A woman handling sheet metal and climbing up and down ladders while breathing heavily and sweating profusely?
    I am so turned on!

  10. Mother, I am astonished at the use of your language in this post! Clearly you have been working around father for that is the only way you would have ever heard such words. :p

    This was very well written..kinda had a C.S. Lewis story telling feel. :)

  11. Hi, kiddo. I haven't heard from you for a while and now I know why. I know how much work guttering is because one year I tried to put up some by myself. I only got one small section done when I realized it was not a job I could do myself. I waited a couple of years (good thing because an ice storm took part of my guttering system down. So this spring I hired someone to do it. I watched them work and found it interesting. They work TOO hard...........nice hearing from you.......kt

  12. I am SO impressed. I can't even climb a ladder without having a panic attack... what actually happens is that my fingers grips the rungs so tightly I can't let go and therefore am useless to everyone while I'm up there and have to come down. Well done you. I think you deserve loads of meals out never mind just the one.

    Thanks for following me back. :-)

  13. After all that hard work and gofering (is that even a word?) sit down, put your feet up....and relax. You have unbelievable restraint, if that was me I'd have jumped in that pool on the first day.

  14. I guess my brain is in the gutter because I truly thought I had written a comment here. Well unless it got deleted then my comment must have been in the gutter.

    I think I wrote something about how my fear of heights would never let me climb up a ladder and you are truly brave for doing that. And that I had seen a program on the HGTV channel that showed a machine making those long gutters. And also something about how out here in CA we rarely need gutters because of our lack of rain. Only time we would need them was the few years we have had an El Nino to go through. But compared to you back there, we have no idea what rain is. Although living in Panama while hubby was in the military, I can say that we know what rain is. I mean it rains just about every day of the year there and I guess we had gutters, just never thought of it while living on the Fort.

    I hope you get lots of time to relax now. And have lots of fun.

    God bless.

  15. We have just had our gutters done, over here in England...and I've never seen something go up so quick (or down so quick in the case of the old ones). We had the whole roofline done.

    But get them to take away the absestos?! It is still there like THREE weeks later...imagine if we'd have no paid them, they'd have come running then. LOL

    It is quite interesting being in the gutter business. lol

  16. That looks like hard hard sweaty work! That pool was torture indeed!
    Blessings, Joanne


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