Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cover Me

We have most of the garden put to bed for the winter, and what a relief it is.  This past weekend we bought a silo tarp and did our best to pack Castle Aaargh up for the winter, too.  It's really hard to stuff a building with things sticking up like door-frames and poky conduit underneath a tarp, but it's under wraps for now.

We had covered the building site back in 2005 when construction first started, too, but didn't realize how heavy snow and ice become over the course of the winter.  Talk about saggage.  (Is that a word?)  The plastic tarp caved in under the weight of the melting snow which formed icebergs a foot thick and tore the cheap tarp and in the end, we had a round circle of stones full of ice.

So, the next year, we tried putting a center pole in the middle like a circus tent so the snow and ice would simply slide off the high spots and glide to the ground.  That didn't work either.  Our circus tent collapsed after the tarp tore around the point of the central pole.  We'd had a blizzard with very high winds and I woke up one night to the sound of something making a tremendous amount of noise only to find the tarp in pieces and flapping away with great gusto.  That was in 2006.
Winter 2010--no cover.

  From that point on, we just gave up trying to protect the building for winter.   We didn't cover it because there was really no point.  The snow and ice would find their way in anyway.

For the next four winters, it sat open to the weather, filling up with snow.  Freezing and thawing, freezing and thawing.  And wet.

But this year is different, this year we got a whole lot accomplished (according to Optimistic Carl) so Pessimistic Karen thought it best we try one more time to protect our hard work from the elements since we didn't get far enough; there's still no roof.  I don't know if the tarp does any good, in reality it may do more harm by holding in moisture or blocking sunlight or this or that and a hundred other calamities known only to professional stone masons, but in my mind, covering stonework with a tarp calms me down.   And anything that calms me down is bound to make Carl's life easier, so he went along with my Plan on Saturday.  Rain was forecast for later in the day,  so we had to hurry.

My plan was to take a whole bunch of pallets and stack them up inside Aaargh and form a solid base for the tarp to rest on that could take the weight of the snow and ice with a slightly higher center for pitch.  Carl went out and got started on Saturday morning while I was dealing with some housework and by the time I got there, it was clear his ideas and mine weren't the same.  He had the pallets in there alright, but they weren't stacked.  He more or less tossed them into a jumbled heap which he said would be more conducive to holding up the tarp and resulting snow load.  I looked at this pile doubtfully.  

"Ok...... if you say so,"  I grumbled, after restating my original, neatly stacked idea.

(That statement didn't make him very happy, by the way.).  We ended up cramming the rain barrels, weed pails, and anything else that looked sturdy enough into the holes and the crannies that the tarp might rest against and finally Carl decided we were finished.  (Mostly because it started to rain.)

So, here's the unveiling of the beautiful structure we will behold until at least April:
Oh, my. 

Isn't that just the loveliest sight ever?  I bet you're glad you're not my neighbors.  We ended up using two tarps in festive contrasting colors to break up the monotony of the tarpage.  Note the very slimming addition of the rope around the middle and the rocks tossed randomly on the skirt of the tarps to keep them from flapping in the breeze.

Oooooops...... appears our belt may be slipping in the back, we're going to need to do some adjusting.  I took these pictures this morning just to see how the tarps are faring with the rain we had.  Carl said there will be very few pockets to catch water and ice if we did it his way.


Well, there's the windowsill on the left and I do agree, it doesn't look like a 'pocket' per se (more like a lake)  but that's definitely water and

would you look at that?   There's some ice.

Apparently we have some fixin' to do.

We still have some time to make this better since the temperatures are supposed to be mild for a few days.  Will we restack this?  I doubt it.  But I will say something about it and point out the problems to him and be generally annoying.  

I just have to remember, this is hunting season.  I don't need to have my husband gunning for me.

Cover me, OK???


Darla said...

Your covered! Go now!!

Dragonfly Treasure said...

I've got ya covered...just go under the trap..err tarp! LOL

It's such a pain to cover anything in the winter. Winds seem to always find a way to slither in and BLOW out.
Keep warm

Sue said...

Hahahah! You can become a member of my "Blue Tarp Brigade"!!
My neighbors all have bets on how many blue tarps I can have out at any given time. They don't realize I buy them by the case-LOL!!!

Admittedly, the view might not be good now, but wait till next year, Karen!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Junebug said...

Oh Karen, you have provided me with many chuckles this morning. All I can say is good luck with the little adjustments! Hugs!!

Indie said...

Your posts always make me laugh (in a good way!)

They really need to make tarps in more colors. Then you could artistically drape tarp swags over the castle. or something like that :)

shannon i olson said...

oh winter is sure a test of our patience. We have only had a couple dustings of snow so far, Thanksgiving is suppose to be 50's wow! I really should have done a little more prep work for winter, I have some plants I should have pulled that have turned to mush. oh well I won't have to worry about it until April, like ya said.

FlowerLady said...

Another fun post. I'm sure you two will make the tarpage situation better before snows fly and settle.

Have a lovely Thanksgiving.


El Gaucho said...

It is truly a majestic looking building. The great castles of Europe have nothing on this tarp covered beauty.

xoxoxo said...

You crack me up! I think your idea is better! My menfolk tried something similar for our patio set--but didn't put on any rope?!?! Now I have 3 loose tarps flying around my garden and everything is soaking wet. Hmmmm... I really think we should leave the heavy lifting to them, and take care of the ideas ourself.

Kelsie From Our Country Home said...

I recently saw a quote that made me LOL for real and think you would appreciate at this time.
"When will men learn, if you wanna do it right the first time, just listen to your wife"
or something close to that...but anyway, you get my point hehe...Poor dear well meaning Carl.

My advice would be to STACK them neatly to form a base and then put sheets of plywood over the top, then the tarps...but hey what would I know I live in FL and we don't got to worry about that snow stuff hehe.

Good luck GF
Blessings Kelsie

mudderbear said...

You are such an entertaining blogger. Who knew how much work it takes to do these things. All of us...need a noun here, but can't think of one....just have no idea.

It sounds like we are all in the same boat with children leaving home and having no vitality for the holidays. I never thought I would get like my mother-in-law and grandparents, putting up very small Christmas trees or none at all and having no excitement. I didn't think I'd ever do that. Anyway. watch out for Hunting Husbands. Your blog was really fun. Take it easy now.

mudderbear said...

I just realized this last comment is out of sync with all the others, but I think you know where I'm coming from, right?

Sandy said...

Karen... I had to stop by and wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving... how are you feeling about leaving the rocks and your garden for the stained glass workroom? Welcome the holidays and enjoy...

africanaussie said...

maybe I am missing something, but why not just leave it open to the weather? Rocks stay outside all winter, and the cement would have cured by now. Clearly I live in the tropics because that nice fluffy snow doesn't look as though it would harm a thing....just wondering.

PlantPostings said...

Ha! This was a great post. I love the reality of it all. Thanks for sharing your true challenges. Gosh, that's a hard choice to make--to tarp or not to tarp. Good luck!

Dandelion and Daisy said...

All I can say is " put a bow on it"!

Karen said...

Darla, thanks, I'm making a run for it.

Deb, you know it. Wind and snow are so sneaky. I will definitely hide under the trap/tarp.

Sue, the Blue Tarp Brigade sounds amazing. I'd love to join!

June, we are working on Tarp Adjustments. (And Husband Attitude Adjustments, lol.)

Indie, why didn't I think of different colored tarps and swags and festoons? Sure would be much prettier to look at than this.

Shannon, Snow is a great thing, sometimes, it covers up all the undone stuff. And ugly tarped buildings.

FlowerLady, Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

El Gaucho, yes, it looks much better under a tarp.

April, I agree!

Kelsie, I KNOW, what is wrong with Stacking things NEATLY?? Love your quote.

mudderbear, we will survive this transition in our lives too, won't we? This could turn out to be fun yet!

Sandy, I'm still not ready to give up the Great Outdoors just yet, but it's just a matter of time. My basement work room is a Disaster, but once I get back into it, I'll be cutting glass like crazy. Then I'll complain winter is too short.

africanaussie, Oh, I know, snow looks all innocent and fluffy, and for the most part it is, but when it melts and freezes into ice---that's where the problem comes in. Frost is a very destructive force which can heave buildings off their foundations and crack stone walls, all manner of mayhem. That's why we're covering it, to try to keep the moisture levels out of the wall.

PlantPostings, yes, we're a regular Reality Show here. No money to win, though.

Dandelion and Daisy, along with Indie and her idea of swags and festoons, a bow would indeed top it off!

Toni - Signature Gardens said...

This reminds me of when I try to tarp a truckload of plants when I have to drive across town. No matter how hard we try to cover everything and tie it with precision, inevitably, a few miles down the road there is something flapping in the wind! Grrr. I was surprised that you are covering it, but I don't really understand how snow/freeze/thaw affects buildings during construction. If it gives you peace of mind for the winter, then all the power to you. Take er easy on Carl's tarping techniques. You've got a long cold winter ahead :-) Oh, BTW, thanks for your comment on my latest post. On the Blue Daze and Angelonia, I am sure they did not do well because your temps are not hot enough for long enough. The Blue Daze was slow to get going and did not shine until it got really, really hot. It looked the best in the middle of August when we had weeks of 100. But, hey, you had killer petunias. If you notice, they did NOT make my list :-) Melampodium is even more amazing to me now that I know it does well in your area and mine! And it reseeds faithfully every year. I have only bought this plant once, and it comes back from seed every year :-)

Lona said...

LOL! You crack me up. Since when do these guys ever listen anyway. LOL!
No doubt you will be awarded Grace's blue tarp award. Yours does have more black though.
Wishing you and yours a Blessed Thanksgiving.

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