House Project #2, Phase 3

May 4, 2008 at 9:25 pm 2 comments

This weekend we did a lot of yardwork, and made more progress on Project 2. Let’s review our Project 2 checklist (Items in red were worked on this weekend):

  1. Removing the sidewalk on the South side of the house
  2. Having glass windows installed in the basement
  3. Installing an underground drain tube to the front gutter spout
  4. Adding a new pathway using brick pavers
  5. Building a raised planting bed where the path was
  6. Adding a drainage system along the South side of the house
  7. Grading the rest of the yard away from the house (this is not as important since the water only seems to be coming in on the South side, but still should be done)
  8. Adding underground drain tubes to the other gutter spouts

Oy! That is a lot of work. And I’m largely tired of it already. And very sore. Very very sore.

Saturday, JT and I visited a concrete place and got a quote for some brick pavers. It was 200% higher than what I expected. Looks like even “do it yourself” projects can be pricey… but, we’ve got almost all the concrete up, so we’re going to have to do SOMETHING with the back yard since I’d like to be able to enjoy it this summer. The moral of the story is: figure out what the project is going to cost before you authorize JT to use the sledgehammer.

Anyways, we also stopped at the Home Depot on Saturday and picked up the supplies needed to add an underground drainage tube to one of the gutters. Upon our arrival home, we refueled with bagel bites and began tearing up more of the concrete walkway. I also installed an underground drainage hose, while Jason moved some bushes in the backyard. Today, we ripped up more of the concrete (only 2 small segments left!), and I began digging a hole where the brick walkway will go.

Midway through the gutter extension project.

Future home of the brick paver walkway.

The weather was fantastic today – almost 70 and sunny, so our neighbors were out and about, and a few stopped by to say hi. Hi neighbors! I’m covered in sweat and dirt and I haven’t showered yet today! Nice to meet you!

We are so lucky to live in such a nice neighborhood… I love to watch the people running, walking, and biking to/from the nearby parkway. There are lots of kids around here, and they’re usually full of activity. Yesterday, I watched the little boy across the street walk down the street backwards yelling, “help me! I’m blowing away!” He blew about halfway down the block before coming back. Anyways, the neighbors we met today were great – very nice, super-friendly, and two of them were even Oles! Which makes us really happy, because we were a little unsure of some of the neighbors we had met before today.

Case in point: I was talking with our neighbor on Thursday, and he mentioned that he’d be going out of town, and would I like to check in on his cat once while he’s gone? Even though I am not that into cats, I was feeling neighborly, so I agreed to go in and feed his cat – “It’s no problem” I said. And then he asked me, “You wouldn’t just say that you would go in and feed him and then not do it, would you?” Um… excuse me. Did you just ask for a favor and then imply that I am either a) flaky, b) evil, or c) a combination of both? Unbelievable. And amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever had someone ask me for a favor and then insult me to my face. Later in the conversation, he also pointed out that my fleece jacket had dog hair all over it – “Look at your jacket!” he exclaimed with a twinge of disgust in his voice. “Oh, yeah.” was my lame come back… Sorry I didn’t dress in my Sunday best for you, pal! Right.

And, since our garage backs up to this neighbor’s house, we also had to talk about that. He thanked me for fixing the broken window in the garage (we have suspicions that he may have called it into the city, and that’s why we received a notice to fix it last month). He also let me know that it really isn’t fair to him to have to look at our ugly garage. Not fair to him. Those were his exact words. “I know the paint on the garage is peeling, and it’s not the most attractive structure, but we’ve got plans to fix it at some point.” I gracefully replied. But what I should have said was it’s not fair to us that you walked across our yard without a shirt last week and we had to see your big white belly, or it’s not fair to us that your dog breaks out of your backyard and we have to put him back, or it’s not fair to us that your front room curtains clash with your front door.

Anyways, you can bet that we’re going to be extra careful to follow city rules before putting up our fence, lest this particular neighbor call the city again. And you can bet that JT and I are using the line, “it’s not fair to me that…” ad nauseum. And I won’t be cat sitting. The neighbor was supposed to call to finalize plans, but never did – I guess I am not capable of going into his house and pouring 2 cups of catnip into a bowl.

Anyways, I forgot to mention that on Friday night, JT, Tinen, and I went to Pepitos. Yummy mexican! I had two margaritas and was as giggly as a teenage girl. Until I passed out on the couch at 9:30. I formally retract last weekend’s “I am cool” statement. Barley loves Tinen, though, and was quite happy to have a chance to cuddle with her.

Barley loooooovvvvveeeeeessss Tinen!


Entry filed under: Barley, Home, Improvements, Rants.

House Project #2, Phase 2 five-month frenzy

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Debbie  |  May 4, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    Maybe he’d like to paint your garage for you since it offends his sensibilities so much. Has he noticed how much work you are doing? Perhaps he needs a reminder that Rome was not built in a day.
    It takes all kinds but I’m glad most of your neighbors are friendly.

  • 2. Mom  |  May 5, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    I think this weekend I will bring some yellow paint and paint a big smiley face on the garage side facing the cat neighbor! Of course then you better be ready to paint because he will definitely call in the ‘garage graffiti’.

    Who’s Tinen?


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