Mad Woman on the roof

Happy Chinese New Year!

No fireworks or barbecue here, just the ongoing saga of the Great Snow of ’07. And the increasing weight on the rafters. We have had no luck getting qualified, insured people here to clean the roof off. (They are in short supply, for obvious reasons.)

The paper quoted Scott Steiger, a prof at SUNY Oswego, as saying a foot of snow puts .6 pounds of pressure per square inch of roof. Which means a foot of snow puts nearly 8,500 pounds of pressure on a 100-square foot roof.

We have had more than 10 feet of snow.

So yesterday was the day when I screwed my courage to the sticking-place, picked up a shovel and ascended to the roof in the bucket of the bobcat.

Like a lot of houses, ours has a couple different rooflines. Number One Son and I spent the afternoon on the roof that is closest to the ground (only one-story up), the Baby Roof, getting it more or less cleaned off. Today we have one more Baby Roof and the Momma Roof (two stories up) to take care of. The Daddy Roof, which is three stories up, we are leaving to the professionals, who claim they are arriving Tuesday. Maybe Wednesday.

We shoveled and BH ran the bobcat, clearing away the mountain of snow we dumped. He is not allowed on the roof because of the recent knee surgery. This does not please him. But if I were put in charge of the bobcat, I would probably drive it through the house, so things really are safer this way.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Me, feeling victorious over my fear of heights, which was conquered by my fear of collapsing roofs.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Boy with camera, author with shovel.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Enjoying a tall, cold (very cold) glass of water. We really worked up a sweat moving that stuff.

I will admit it wiped me out. I was asleep by 8pm, dreaming sweet dreams of victory.

It snowed last night and there is more on the way today, though it will be measured in inches, not feet. There will also be more roof cleaning today. When my back is sore and my legs tired, I’ll come in to begin preparation for the writer’s conference this weekend.

10 Replies to “Mad Woman on the roof”

  1. Roof rakes?

    Ya’ll know about roof rakes, right? Maybe the snow is too deep for rakes? Although, I’ve raked some seriously deep snow off roofs myself–big roofs, lodge roofs, with aluminum tent poles to extend the length of the rake. You just pull down 8 inches or so at a time, in layers.

    Whatever you do, be safe.

  2. Re: Roof rakes?

    Yep. The top two feet or so is fluffy enough to come down with a rake. That’s what I’ve been working on this morning. After that, it is too solid.

    The very good news is we’ve dragged enough snow off the roof to the sides of the house to be able to stand on the piles and be just about level with the roofline that is one story off the ground. So it is actually much safer than one might think. Thanks for the concern!

  3. I love sitting on my mom’s roof in the summer time, especially on a clear night.

    I have a good story about my brother and snow and falling off the roof, but I’ll wait until you’re done up there to tell it.

  4. Cheers to you for conquering your fear. You take my breath away. But then, so does the amount of snow you are so adventurously tackling. Cheers to your BH for the wisdom to run the bobcat. Cheers to your Number One Son, who is apparently cut out of the same cloth as your BH. Maybe Number One Son should be renamed Young Stud because “boy” seems thoroughly inadequate.

    The Daddy Roof is over your writing loft, isn’t it? Would the angle of the roof change Professor Steiger’s calculations?

    We had a smattering of snow a few days ago, but that could be the last of it for this year. We soared up to nearly 60 today. : )

  5. homeopathic solution for back and knees

    i dont know if youre familiar with homeopathics or not, but they are great. (theyre the “herbs and roots” branch of medicine. all natural, so no risky side effects or whatever.) you should look into arnica montana. its a miracle drug. it takes care of sore muscles, swelling, bruising, etc. my mom (the more learned one, from whom all my knowledge of homeopathic medicine flows) says that arnica would be great for your back, but that there are some things that are specifically for joints that would probably do better for your knees…

    it generally comes in small sweetened pellets, which you place under your tongue until they disolve. (the capilaries under your tongue are really really close to the surface, so the helpfulness is absorbed into the bloodstream much more quickly than most other options.) when you take them, make sure you havent had anything to eat or drink (except water) for 15 minutes immediately preceding or following. mom says that it takes less arnica to prevent a problem than to fix one (so take it before your next trip to the roof, not after.)

    homeopathic meds should be available at health food stores, natural remedies stores, natural foods stores, larger than average grocery stores, some pharmacies, and probably online. the only website mom knows off the top of her head is

    thats all i can think of to share with you.
    hope this helps.


  6. woa


    wow. I never saw 10 feet oh snow before (blink). Dang. You could make like tunnels and stuff with that. Wow. Speachless…

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