Turtles, Lumber and Beer

For the love of beer
The perfect place and beverage to share some casual conversation.

If we were having a beer…well, I’d be having a beer, you would be late.

“Where have you been? I’m halfway through this Yuengling.”

“Sorry, I didn’t know we had an appointment. Were you going to give this stool to someone else?”

“First paying customer gets the stool.”

“Hi Cheryl. Since he’s already started a tab, I’ll have a glass of Meiomi.”

“Actually, I’ve enjoyed talking to Cheryl. She’s been reminiscing about turtles.”

“Ah, Happy Together, I always liked that song. But, aren’t you a little young to remember that song, Cheryl.”

More please!

“Not those turtles, you dope, these turtles .”

“Oh, OK. I keep forgetting your Florida connection. We don’t see many turtles around here.”

“Actually, if you drive to our Public Works building, you’ll see a marked turtle crossing.”

“Turtle crossing? Oh my God, how long does that take?”

“It can take a while, but they’re cute little guys.”

“The weirdest ‘crossing’ sign I’ve see is the goose crossing sign in Enfield. But, I’ve never seen them on the street.”

“I have. I’ve been stopped by geese there, and my wife was stopped by wild turkeys at that same intersection.”

“Not to invoke the old joke, but there’s a big field and a pond on the south side, why do the geese cross the road?”

“I don’t know, but I’ve seen 20-30 geese in the parking lot across the street. Maybe they’re waiting on a delivery.”

“Speaking of deliveries, did I see a Kelly-Fradet truck coming out of your drive last week?”

“You did. He was dropping off the lumber for our porch project.”

“I thought you had a trailer. Why pay extra for delivery? Why not save some money and go to Home Depot like the rest of us?”

“Wow, there are so many things wrong with that question.”

“Wait. Cheryl, before he enlightens me on the finer points of buying lumber, can you refill this wine glass? Please…”

“Sure. That first glass went down pretty fast.”

“It goes down faster when he’s paying, but I never have more than two. So, what don’t I understand about Home Depot?”

“Well, for starters, you think it’s cheaper. You might pay less for one or two 2x4s, but when you write up a bill-of-material for a project, the lumberyard is usually a better deal.”

“Ha – remember Caddyshack? – Be the ball. ‘Where’d it go?’ Right in the lumberyard.”

“I love that movie. But, back to the point. Lumberyard. Cheaper.”

“Yeah, but why pay for delivery?”

“It’s not just delivery. I went to the lumberyard, gave them my order, picked a delivery date and paid. They picked the boards, they loaded the truck and they showed up at my house, and the driver helped me unload the lumber. All for thirty bucks.”

“That is a pretty good deal.”

“That and the fact that two of the boards were 20’ long.” (6.09 m)

“Yikes! Why so long?”

“They get nailed together to form the beam across the front of the roof. The brackets I made carry the beam, the beam carries everything else.”

“How are you going to get that up there?”

“I was going to hang a pulley off a large ladder and use a winch.”

“You were going to make… A crane?”

“Well, I’m not sure I’d call it a crane, but something along those lines.”

“Wait a minute. Why are we speaking in some weird future-past tense? Are you using the crane or not?”

“Not. Well, maybe someday, I did test it, but we decided not to build the roof.”

“Whoa. What happened.”

“I installed one of the brackets, and using that and a ladder and the prototype foam bracket, we mocked up the actual footprint of the roof. It was too big.”

“Why not change the design?”

“We thought about it, but nothing worked. The brackets were going to be in the way of my snowblower, the roof rafters were going to be in the way of the door, and we just didn’t like the look. So, we decided to stop before really starting.”

“I give you credit for that. In fact, I’d buy you a beer, except you already paid.”

“He didn’t pay yet.”

“You don’t understand, Cheryl. He started the process. He’s begun the transaction. It’s like that turtle heading across the street, you have to let it play out.”

“Oh, I understand. He tips better than you, too. That’s why this Yuengling is on the house.”

“Well, since his beer is free, he can afford to top off my glass of wine.”

“Hang on a second. What happened to ‘I never have more than two?’ Didn’t you just say that?”

“Oh, that’s when I’m driving. My wife dropped me off today. You’re driving me home. So, that’s your last beer.”

Bonus material – If you want to see the lumberyard scene:


  1. I’m still cracking up and I read another blog and came back. (Insomnia, BTW, so middle of the night reading.) This week seems to be about stopping plans altogether. Too long a story unless we were having a beer but I get it. Seriously impressed by the size of your backyard crane (and if were having a beer, no, that would not be a pickup line)…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for a morning chuckle, Kate. I was doing the time zone math. Sorry about the insomnia. We stopped the project while we needed a small repair as opposed to when we would need a big one. It wasn’t going to work. I had to test the crane. I’m pretty sure it would have worked, but there are a few tweaks I can make.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Don’t you hate it when that happens. You get it all worked out in your head, the DIY excitement ramps up, and poof you’re out of business because of a big bite of reality. Love the crane though. :-) Have a good weekend, Dan, and congrats on the rain because we haven’t seen a drop up here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Judy. Reality has a way of doing that. Still, it’s better to stop before making a serious problem. At least this way, I can use the lumber in another project. I’m sure I’ll get to use that crane :)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Too bad you weren’t in the back seat with my 7 year old grandson, Micah, Dan! Yesterday, we were driving up the interstate highway (71) and he observed that while at the Columbus Zoo’s “neighbor” Zoombezi Bay, the “turtles on the log are still there, Nana.” When I accompanied my oldest daughter for three years with her boys, I was “in charge” of my little shadow, Micah, while she would go down steep slides with Sky. He remembers our discussions about turtles and family.
    Mine included Mama turtles who raised boys with the help of her friend anf family member turtles.
    As we got farther down the road, Micah told me about Dr. Seuss’s “Yertle the Turtle.” I never claim to remember the details, so the grandies get a chance to re-tell the stories.
    Now, if you could believe this, there is a turtle on the Pokemon Go game, (which totally doesn’t work on highways so we played “my father/grandfather owns a grocery store and in it he sells,. . .”).
    When we got close to his Great Grammie O’s apt building, Micah pointed to churches and he picked up some blue balls for the game. As we went past the hospital, he said “please go in there! I have a shadow of a Pikachu.(or some such critter) and. . .
    Behind the hospital there were twenty geese crossing the parking lot, Dan!! Each one had to step up onto a green grassy strip, poke around in the grass for bugs, and march, single file, on its way! I have a witness who would not let me switch from the “Go” game app to the camera!
    You know, I mentioned two days ago to my friend Pauline King on “the contented crafter” blog, when she repeated I could never get lonely as long as I had the family close by, “Hey don’t you have the girls over for weeklong pajama parties!?” Guess what, way over in another country with no Labor Day holiday weekend, she is having her daughters over for a “pyjama” party. (a bi-annual visit and I used my ESP!)
    Great minds have similar wavelengths or in yours and my case, similar circumstances! Turtles and geese, yet no building project for me! :) Sorry, my stories took awhile to demonstrate the connections,Dan. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like those connections, Robin. Turtles are pretty cool little animals. Geese can be messy, but I still like watching them, especially when they land or take off en mass. We read Yertle the Turtle many, many times. I probably can still recite portions. These simple little things with your grandchildren are making wonderful memories for everyone involved.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for such acceptance of all my ramblings, Dan. At the time, each seemed to connect to a part of your post.
        My brother was drinking a “Black and Tan” Yuengling beer and I told Randy about your project.
        He said he wished he had photos of the tall wooden mirror he fixed and restored to its beautiful antiquity while it was standing up.
        There was someone who had taken the stand off to hang the mirror on a wall. They had taken this too smaller section of wood, it was like a lintel or carved “flap” and flipped it down. He righted it and while it lay in his van, it looked gorgeous. :)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. When I see the photos, I understand the problem. You don’t have much space to work with.
    I’m curious though … don’t you do to-scale drawings before? I’ve had to abandon a lot of ideas in the drawing stage.

    … but then I looked at your makeshift crane. Wow – you are a serious DIYer!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did do a drawing Joanne and I was pretty sure I had it all worked out. The space was tight, but we liked the idea of the roof edge being lower than the top of the windows. Two things forced the bracket attachment point down a little more than planned. I didn’t check the drawings, but I would have known that it wouldn’t have worked. It was just one of those little decisions you make when going from paper to real-life. unfortunately, there wasn’t any wiggle-room in those plans. Oh well, it’s good we found out before doing much damage. Thanks for the comment and the comment on the crane. I think I’m going to like having that at some point.


  5. When my daughter played grammar school basketball, one of the dads was always yelling to his daughter, “Be the ball, Natalie.” We parents would all laugh but I was probably the only one who didn’t realize it came from this movie!
    On another note–on the beach, there is an ordinance that at night, all the hotels have to have special dim lights so as not to deter the little turtles that hatch, lest they get the wrong direction and head toward the street instead of into the Gulf. I was so happy that ordinance passed.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You mean to tell me you put that huge crane together, bought all the lumber and realized your project wasn’t going to work? Did I read that right? I’m not too sure as having really only one eye open at this point. All that work and you had to scrap the job? Don’t give up hope. Remember the story about the rabbit and the turtle? The two were racing and the rabbit thought no way was this slow turtle going to win. It turns out the turtle won. :) <3

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was the right decision Amy. The crane only took about 20 minutes to put together and that was the fun part. I actually did it after we had cancelled the project :) We can use all the lumber on the next job. This is a much better ending than what we might have had if we hadn’t stopped to take stock of the situation. It looked good on paper, but…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There you go! If more people would get the concept that what may look good on paper doesn’t always work, we would have a much more organized and healthy country. Just sayin’ ….. I’m a firm believer of hands on always to see if what is on paper actually works. :) Morning, Dan!! :)

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Love Caddyshack. Love The Turtles (yes, I am indeed old enough to remember the song). Love crossing signs. Hate going to Home Depot, unless I can just hang out in the garden center while Mr A shops. He weighs and balances all his options, just like you…..think I’ll have a beer now. And maybe a glass of wine. I have a three day weekend and there is no more storm!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. When our concrete front stoop began crumbling, we thought about simply building a wooden deck over it ourselves, but there’s such little space between the side of the stoop and the edge of the attached garage that we didn’t think it could be done and still get the car into the garage. Certainly, we couldn’t have done it, being as neither of us are particularly handy. But we found a very good young contractor who designed and built it for us, with white vinyl railings and all, for just $2,000. One of the best investments we’ve made so far – it looks great, increased the market value of the house, and we have no trouble using the garage. I think we’ll stick with simple DIY projects like laying the patio stones over the muddy areas along the side of the house.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John. Eventually, I need two of them on the garage and two on the back of the house to help support some short cantilevered balconies. I was really careful as I was making these, to take photos and to mark and save the jigs and fixtures I used. I wanted to be able to build them again. Now I just have to store them :)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. So cool that you guys have a turtle crossing sign board. In India, people don’t care even if you put a board – Drive Slow or Die Fast. Anyway, coming back to the topic, in Mumbai too we have these lumber shops where you can go find what you want at dirt cheap rates. Someday, I’ll try and capture that part of the city as well. It is close to my Mumbai apartment, but the only thing is that the area is not safe. It’s all alleys and lanes mish-mash into one another. Guess what’s the name of the neighborhood? It’s called Chor Bazaar (Thieves Market). A shady spooky part of Mumbai.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I once bought an original Reebok shoe here for just USD 10. It’s a huge black market place. My friend had an extra room so he converted that into a gym for himself and bought all the equipment dumbbells, bench, and so on for USD50. The only problem is you gotta walk the streets looking around for what you want, plus you have to be extra vigilant of pickpocketers. Cops won’t help you if you got bluffed or you lost your belongings.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. After buying the lumber, I can’t believe you had the sense to figure out your project wouldn’t be what you wanted and stop. No man related to me could have pulled that off. Instead, they’d yell, “Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead,” and then live with the mistake. In order not to appear sexist, I should add that the only female relative I have who would have exercised such caution was my mom. I always get a chuckle out of your conversation, Dan..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Janet. Don’t give me too much credit. I was very slow to make that move. I set up the mock-up and started having second thoughts. I asked my wife to give me her opinion. She echoed my concerns (she had had them for a while), She also realized that a small change from the plans meant that the door actually wouldn’t open (unless I made additional changes. We talked about it for a long time, but we kept finding more problems.

      It’s not so bad. We will be able to use the material in a different project (and I did get to test the crane :)

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Sorry that your plans didn’t work out, Dan, but I’m sure it won’t be long before another project pops up and you can use up the materials. I heard four different gangs of geese fly over Thursday morning, heading for their condos in the warm South, I’m guessing. I hesitated to use the proper word “flocks” here because I didn’t actually see the birds, just heard them. And if it was only 7 or 8 geese, the term “flock” sounded like an exaggeration of numbers! Could have just been a couple of overly punctual old ladies, or some teenagers excited for their road trip, so they left a bit early. Besides, a “gang” of geese or “goose gang” has me imaging geese in leather jackets strutting up the street somewhere. The Canada goose IS known to be kinda dangerous if you get too close, so… ;P #GooseGang

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Wendy. We’ll make good use of the lumber. Goose gang works for me. I was attacked by one of your GooseMoms a few years ago. She was leading her goslings across a bike path I was on, into the water of the Windsor Locks Canal. I stopped and waited for each baby to get down the hill and into the water before continuing my ride. The mom chased after me, pecking at my foot (but mostly getting the bike chain).

      If love to get a photo of them landing all together. They look like a squadron of geese at that point.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Shingled siding is not one of my favorites. I probably wouldn’t consider buy a house that had it. With this stated, I wouldn’t see any use in the project. Just my opinion though.

    I had a box turtle for a small while when I was a kid. It got out of its cardboard box during the night and I never was able to find it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The siding is a look we like, but everyone is entitled to their opinions. It’s certainly not a common sight, but there are several houses in the area with it, and several that still have the original cedar shingles (a look we did like). We were hoping that the roof would give the porch some relief from the hot summer sun. I don’t think it was going to work as well as we thought it would, which is one of the reasons it wasn’t too hard to pull the plug. I had a small turtle that didn’t survive very long :(

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep, everyone like something different for their house. If I had my druthers, my house would be Spanish style: the curves shingles on the roof, stucco on the sides, and a courtyard. Can you tell I’m from the west yet? :P

        Liked by 1 person

  13. We have a Geese crossing sign not too far from me. The geese waddle across the busy Expressway to get from one side of the creek to the other when they have young chicks. They’re adorable!

    WOW, truly impressed with your backyard crane! Sorry, the project didn’t pan out, but glad the lumber will be used on another project.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’d always laugh to myself at the turtle crossings in Georgia; I’d be waiting for a bunny to rush past saying Nana-nana-boo-boo or somethin.
    I let Sadie out to chase geese, no apologies. :P

    I have no idea what you’re talkin about with the slots and the brackets, but I’m excited for you, especially with regards to mini crane! — and presume there’ll be another post about that another time. (Probably with pictures Joeys can make sense of.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The project came to an abrupt end, but the crane will survive to be used another day, Perhaps, a few modifications will be made and it will be a better crane by the time I need it. I think, if the geese were in my yard, I’d let Maddie chase them. As it is, she’s content to sit and watch them fly over.

      Liked by 1 person

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