They used flattened sardine cans to patch the holes in their roof.
It was quite a sight to watch Marta on the roof, scuttling from one leaky hole to another under the watchful eye of Emma and Lydia on the ground. Marta was a self sufficient person, with a can-do attitude. Since the sisters ate canned sardines and oatmeal every day, they had accumulated barrels, and I mean 55 gallon OIL DRUMS of sardine cans. They use the materials on hand.
The Blue Jay watching the action is a homage to the only bird Marta ever killed. She said the Jay infuriated her as it chased all the other birds from the bird feeder in the winter. After she shot it with her 22cal., remorse set in. The Blue Jay was only behaving the way God had made it. If it's any consolation, my sister remembers seeing birds fly down and sit on Marta's hat and shoulders... so they knew she had the best intentions.
Click the picture to view at twice the size.