Bob & Ellen's Excellent Adventure

Black Sheep Tower House

Munch and His Men

December 14, 2020 Reinforcements arrived this morning, and they started carrying staging, tools and all that up the stairs, and more stairs, and more stairs. The title photo is one of my favorite shots – looking up to the hatch from the observation room, yes, those are feet on that ladder! Munch (that’s his first name) took on this challenge at the behest of Bob L, and expressed confidence that he would find and fix all the leaks. They got to work on the most obvious one, the leaking hatch leading to the rooftop.

The hatch seal onto the diamond plate rooftop was compromised and disintegrated in places, which Munch discovered when he pulled the entire assembly up and out onto the roof decking. So the water was pooling on the roof during the rains, and when the snow melted, and just running down the sleeve into the tower. Before resealing, he inserted thin shims to raise the diamond plate slightly and help the water flow away from the hatch, then water sealed, siliconed, replaced the main seal and reinserted the sleeve and hatch assembly into the opening. He seemed very confident that this particular problem was solved. Yes, it is pretty high up there isn’t it? Better him than us!

Work done for the day, Bob and I set up a makeshift train layout table, by laying an old table top on 2 stools that we found in the old lab and a 2×6 that we screwed a cross piece onto for a tripod effect. It was a little sketchy but it worked! An old sheet covered it, the back of the couch helped stabilize it, and Bob set up the Lionel train set he had brought up for Christmas. He also brought a box of random decorations that I used to make it look festive (including the Polar Express nesting Santa that we got years ago at a local store, the Christmas Dove). Setting up a Christmas train is a long standing tradition, beginning when Bob was a kid with his parents, and continuing with our own children. And Bob has plenty of Lionel trains to choose from! Spending Christmas away from our normal traditions of big tree, comfortable home and toasty woodstove (instead, in a mostly chilly, fairly barren apartment) was made much more cheerful by this tradition! Watch our Christmas Train running here. 🙂


  1. Michelle

    I can’t believe I never saw the train!! I love it.

  2. Comment by post author

    Really? Bob loves his trains. 🙂

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