The Barn...

Actually more like a block building.

You would have thought this was where we would build the Cozy but when Randi asked where I thought would be the best place to build it I wanted it to be close by and "in our face" so it went in the attached garage just outside the dining room.. hard to ignore. 
The barn had issues anyway, it is cold, drafty and hard to heat, then there would be no room for all the stuff in it. Worst part the roof needed replacing, it leaked and the windows leaked too. 

First we replaced the rotting wooden door with a nice insulated aluminum one. Then we reframed the roof to add about two feet of overhangs all the way around...

Did I ever mention I am terrified of heights? See, the street side of the barn is on a steep slope so there is about a 30 foot drop to the street from there. Kind of like when I was flying balloons from the middle of the basket; I sat in the middle of the roof and handed Randi the nails. 

Then like a knight in shining armor along comes Jon.. my bestest friend from high school. Jon was the coolest teenager, a rebel if there ever was one. Some people can drive, some people can drive race cars.. few have a natural talent like Jon does.. okay, except the time we rolled over his mother's VW but that was because of an emergency brake turn, he didn't quite have it down yet. But Jon can do things with cars that cars should not do, well maybe you should not park your mom's new VW (the second one after the one we rolled) between two oak trees, at least not four feet off the ground, but it was an accident, honest it was. In all I think he totaled six of his parents cars and a total of at least a dozen in all, yes he had his own cars but we always drove his mom's car while he was building or fixing his latest monster car. His dear mom thought he was an angel and could do no wrong. I could devote an entire web site to his driving antics but now he's all grown up, I mean he doesn't do crazy stuff like that anymore; he's a real driver.. yup, a "professional"....

Yes folks, do not try this at home. He is an exhibition wheel standing funny car driver, whatever that is. I don't remember him as an exhibitionist. Actually we are very proud of him, he holds the Guinness book of world records for the longest distance wheel stand in a four wheeled vehicle at just under a mile! That must have taken a lot of beer!
He was passing through from one race track to another and happened to stop by, so we pressed him into service. When I knew him as a teenager he was quite a carpenter.

But when I knew him I was always taking him to the emergency room, either for car hijinx or tool related accidents, so why should I expect this to be any different? Randi is on the roof, Jon is on the extension ladder, I'm holding the ladder, Randi hands Jon the pneumatic framing nail gun... see it coming?

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OUCH !!!

Yup, just like old times... 30 years and we pick up right where we left off. "Chrissi, grab your keys, off to the ER again"
always an adventure, we pull into the ER, laughing, he goes up to the triage nurse, "Excuse me, you got something for an ingrown nail?"

He just loved me.. "hey Jon, don't let them pull it out, I forgot my camera!"
So I drove home for the camera =)

He had to wait an hour, they had a guy ahead of him who just nailed three fingers together and another guy bumped him when he got halfway through his neck with a power saw. Jon was the third nail gun case that morning. The first one nailed his foot to the roof, gotta love guys and their power tools; if nothing else they keep us laughing.

Oh, so the roof, well when we got Jon all medicated with Long Island Ice Teas, antibiotics and painkillers then Randi and I went back to work on the roof and finished it....

Isn't that much better? We designed and made the cupola out of scrap materials we needed to use up. The lantern we bought and put four super bright yellow LED's in it and an array of solar cells in the bottom of the cupola angled to the south. On all but the cloudiest days it charges the batteries and gives a cheery oil lamp glow till about 3 AM.

We sent Jon on his way. It's great to have a man around the house but just don't let them play with power tools. He left muttering something about getting nailed at Chrissi's...