The Barnum and Bradbury Circus

So much has happened in the past week.  (As usual.)  Most of it required feats of balance or strength. Kinda circus-like! (Well….sorta. Or, maybe not at all?).

We finished putting up the decking boards. It was all hands on deck! (Pun intended.) This task took much longer than we planned because of extremely hot, cloudless days. It reached 95!










Next came giving the rafters a manicure. The tip-top of each pair of rafters had to be trimmed off, so that the decking boards could go to the peak. This required Steve performing the Death Defying High Wire (I mean Rafter) Act, walking along the Ridge with chainsaw in hand.




Here’s before and after:


I failed to mention that, just before this step, was pinning down the rafter joints with rebar into the Ridge pole. That was the Strong Man Act, striking the rebar over and over again deep into thick rafters and the dense Ridge pole, with a heavy sledge hammer, on 24 rafters, while keeping his balance to not fall off, in wind.


Can you see the rebar sticking out in the picture above?

“We” (he) finished that horrible task, and then it was on to gift wrap (the black paper that prevents water from leaking in, until the insulation and metal roof go on). This was yet another daunting circus act.

We set the roll of paper up on the roof. Steve nailed toe boards (as I call them) to the edge of the roof to give us something to rest our feet against. Then we started unrolling from one end to the other, stapling as we went along.





This was the odd (and annoying) stapler we used. “Technically”, you’re supposed to use it like a hammer, knocking a staple in with each hit. Love the concept.  Would’ve been great. But it got the staples in, so I won’t complain.

We got one row successfully laid out, but I was waiting for the clowns and rescue nets to enter the picture for row 2.

Steve had the idea to just unroll it all the way down, and THEN staple…after straightening it out. Riiiiiight! Ok….

We unrolled it. I was at one end of the house and he was on the other. I was laying flat on my tummy, toes against the toe board, and stretching my arms completely over my head to reach as high up to the top edge of the second row as I could. I was stuck.


Seeing my precarious and useless position, Steve told me to “crawl up” the roof and straighten out my end more. (Okie dokie!!). Not happening.

I tried to lift up my hands a bit, to start “crawling” (what am I, a spider??), and the wind caught the paper, making it worse. Bear in mind… I’m sprawled out, hands as far from me as they can be! How do you start crawling UP a sloped roof without moving your hands closer? Hmmmm.

Somehow, I managed to do it. (Now I think I could qualify for the circus freak gymnast). As I crawled up, and tried to straighten it, and press it down, my shoes were slipping under me from the sand on the paper. I was SCARED!! I was slipping down and had no board under me, no t-Rex, no nothing. Keeping my hands on the paper, I slowly stretched out my legs as best I could, until the tip of my toe reached the toe board. Whew!!! But there I was, again… STUCK. Unable to help Steve any more.

My sudden immobility didn’t phase Spider-Man. (He must have much better shoes than I do.) He just took off walking across the roof, unwinding paper, stapling as he went, and got the job done.


Our neighbor, Jacob, came over today…our last day with T-Rex (sigh….), to help Steve finish the backside of the roof.

Over the past few days we’ve also been pressure washing inside and out. Not done with the inside quite yet. Maybe another few days worth.




Steve’s aunt and uncle came out to see us a few days ago. They pulled up chairs and watched the show for a while.

The Trowbridges surprised us Friday night. We were working til sundown, using T-Rex as much as possible until its taken away. At 7:30 they showed up with dinner and flowers, and spent the evening with us, chatting under the moon! LOVED it!! They are beyond amazing.

Another exciting thing happened days ago. Our stain (the bad ‘s’ word) samples arrived. It was exciting because these actually look good! We painted them onto a log to see.




There are still little fibers on the wood, which will get buffed off. Those fibers make the stain darker, so we will remove them before staining.

Lastly, we made our “brew”. I have to say, it looks just like any “witches brew” that I’ve ever seen pictured for Halloween!

Yes! It IS green.   All that trash is in that pot, cooking away.  Yuck. But, this stuff will ward off insects and moisture damage….so, “Boil, boil…toil and trouble….”. Is that how it goes? Can’t say I’ve ever said that.


We will brush and spray it onto the logs when they dry.

Well! As for now, that’s it.   See us in the next post “In Mourning“.
Ps… We bought a new washing machine. But, thank you, Valerie (one of our readers) for generously offering us one! That was amazing.

If you are new to this blog, and just stumbled on this, click here: “What is Cottonwood Creek?”   If you want to start from the beginning of our story, click here: Welcome to Cottonwood Creek.   If you want to start at the beginning of our log home build, click here: ‘What do Vegas and logs have in common?  

6 thoughts on “The Barnum and Bradbury Circus

  1. Thank you for the kind words. Inspections in texas, yes. In my county, no. We are not in a town or city. Pretty much in the sticks. Only permit is the driveway and septic permit. Septic has to be designed by engineer and inspected, but homeowner can do himself.


  2. I like stain #1! Do you have to get permits and inspections in Texas? Your home looks awesome!


  3. I am soooooo glad I was not there the day you put the “black paper” on the roof! As your mom, I think I would have flipped out!


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