The roofers did indeed come today. Yay! I was going to go out before they left and inspect their work, but one of them warned me that it was going to look worse after they were done than before. The roof problem is that many of the nails hadn't been hammered down flat before the shingles that laid on top of them were placed. The result is that the shingles covering the raised nails were warped around them. Eventually, this would result in shingles cracking around the raised nailheads, or getting caught by the wind and ripping off. Very much of that, and I'd be needing a whole new roof.
In order to fix this, the roofers had to pry up the shingles that were covering the nail heads and hammer the heads down. The trouble with doing this is that it's winter and the shingles are cold and not very flexible. (In fact, the roofers were a couple of hours late arriving, because they wanted to give the sun time to warm up the shingles and make them a bit more pliable.) So, even once the nails had been hammered flat, the shingles tended to stay in their current warped and somewhat bent-back position, rather than flattening down nicely. The roofers said that, once it got warm, the shingles would get flexible and sink flat, but until then they were going to look even funnier, because they'd been shifted for the hammering.
They did a lot of hammering about and put some stuff around the furnace chimney to seal it. I went out and looked at it after they left, and it looks much the same as before they got her, in fact. Which is, admittedly, a bit worrisome. I guess eventually I just have to trust them to know what they're doing.
Sadly, my landscaping friend did not arrive; not sure what happened to her, as I couldn't find her phone number. So I still don't have the fill dirt in. And I've still got more water seeping into my basement. Bleah. I did have the sense to keep the carpet pulled clear, so that part's no worse. The roofers were part of a handyman service, so one of them offered to have a look at the basement when I mentioned it. He refered me to a foundation repair company (boy, doesn't that sound scary?) I'm still going to try fill dirt first, because that's clearly the cheapest possible solution. I may have a go at laying caulk down myself, too; I dunno. Guess it won't cost me anything to call the fellow, even if I decide against spending thousands of dollars right away in an effort to fix it.
The handyman also had an interesting recommendation that I'll have to research further. He suggested that, during the dry parts of the summer, I water my house. You know, like you water a plant. Take a hose and wet down the outside of the foundation. The concept there is that the dirt dries out and pulls away from the house, which stresses the foundation and causes cracks. So, the theory goes, keeping it saturated prevents the shrink/expand cycle and keeps the house stable. I don't know if this is true or not, but it sounded interesting.
After the roof was fixed and I'd done some more unpacking, Lut and I went out to look for futons. There's really nowhere to sit in the basement, and I figured a futon would address that problem nicely, as well as provide me with a guest bed. I still want to replace my waterbed with a new regular bed, and relegate the waterbed to the guest bedroom -- but a futon, even a fairly nice one with a frame, would be cheaper than a good standard bed. Since I ultimately want both anyway, it makes sense to get the futon first.
We went to two different places, and ended up getting quite a pretty futon. It'll be delivered tomorrow afternoon. The salesman tried to talk us out of getting a queen, saying they're not much larger than the full size ones. But I think queen-size mattresses are much too small as it is, and a mere full is just out of the question. We didn't get a futon cover; they had a nice velvet green one that I liked, but it was $129 and they'd have to order it special to fit a queen anyway. Even the salesman thought it made sense to wait on getting a cover; no rush. I may order one off the Internet instead of getting it locally.
Of course, I don't own any sheets dinky enough to fit a queen-size mattress, so we hit Costco to get some inexpensive ones. Bought some cozy flannel sheets in a truly hideous yellow flower print. Well, Kage and Sophrani only need to sleep on it, they don't need to look at it.
Alas, with the basement still leaking and Sophrani (a) sensitive to mold and (b) just recovering from an illness, I really don't want to relegate them to staying in my basement guest room. So when we got home, Lut and I set about moving the couch to the basement in order to make room for the new futon in the living room. With considerable fuss, huffing, puffing, and promising ourselves that next time we'll get those carry straps first darnit we get the sofa out the front door, across the yard, and to the back door. (There was no question of trying to get it through the interior of the house. Even if we could negotiate the sharp turns from the kitchen to the stairwell, the stairwell is much to narrow.)
We open the back door and try to get the couch through without removing the (very stubby) legs.
Whereupon Lut observese,"It's too wide to fit even if we do take off the legs."
"It's GOT to fit! It fit through the front door!"
The basement door is actually narrower.
We have some discussion, which includes possibilities like "put it back in the living room", "leave it in the backyard", "take an axe to it" and "find out when the large-item collection day is".
Lut suggests, "Put it in the garage."
"There's no room for it in the garage." We've got the garage full of empty boxes. (The folks who moved me will take those away eventually, but I'm waiting to call them until I'm done unpacking.)
"I can move the car out."
"It'll be even farther from the living room when we need to move it back."
"We can buy carry straps. Or rent a dolly. Or ask Kage and Sophrani to help before they leave."
I can hardly argue with this logic. Lut has an even better idea for how to get it to the garage: roll it. No, not on wheels; we're not that sophisticated. Instead, we pushed it end-over-end -- tip, fall, tip, fall, tip, fall -- until we got it up to the driveway, and then we shove it to the back of the garage. I took my little carpet-cleaner to it to attack the one spot that got wet in the process of moving it, but the couch seems to have survived this treatment in surprisingly good shape. I doubt leaving it in the garage long-term would be a good idea, but I expect it'll survive a week.
My living room is going to look funny with a mismatched futon in it, alas -- it's a nice enough piece on its own, but it'll be mahogany and white, and my living room is mostly black and green. Oh well. If they wanted to stay in a beautifully appointed place, they could've stayed home. They're not coming to Emerald City for the scenery.
Just as well. :)