Thursday, December 18, 2014

Trim that tree!

I'm rather lucky when it comes to neighbors. Not only do I get along with them, they seem to get along with each other. Jack, the best neighbor in the world, lives across the street, but even he was a bit bothered by *his* next door neighbor's trees. I knew the two of them had been in negotiations over said trees, so I was not surprised when the sound of chain saws and wood chippers filled the air last week.

Unlike some people in my fair city, these two neighbors are not anti-tree. However, the branches of some of Sue's locust trees hung over the property line, dropping a shitload (ha! that word is recognized by spell checker) of fine leaves into his gutters each year. Also, recent wind storms had left several large branches hanging by a thread.

I thought the trees were coming down, but not so. The broken branches were removed, along with the lower ones that were behaving unneighborly, but the trees themselves remain, to provide much needed shade from the midday sun. I enjoy the golden leaves in spring, which turn green for summer, then yellow in the fall.

Most properties in this neighborhood are populated with silver maples, all of which are potential house crushers. Despite their height, locusts seem to be rock solid. A friend of mine had some locusts removed from her yard 25 years ago, and the stumps are still there.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


I didn't sleep well the night before last, just could not drift off (damn that five o'clock cup of coffee), but since I am RETIRED, I made up for the difference by sleeping in. Consequently, I was still in my pj's when the contractor called to say they were on their way. Wha'?!? Per usual, the customer communication of this business had fallen short; *they* knew they were coming, so surely I would too, by osmosis I guess. Anyway, I told them to give me an hour (to shower, dress, and clean up the kitchen), and I'd be ready.

Yesterday's effort involved replacing the corner piece of counter top with a seamless one. The big wait was the lag time between the ordering and delivery of said replacement. The new piece has straight edges, not as attractive, but I'd rather have that than rolled edges with a seam running through the piece.

The week before, the paint-and-ceiling crew came and fixed one join in the crown molding that I was willing to live with but that really bothered the owner of the contracting company; he's tall and it was the first thing he saw when he stepped through the front door. The join is still discernible, but the light has to be just right and you really have to look for it.

So now everything really, really, REALLY is finished, at least as far as the big projects are concerned. There are many little things to do, but I can address them catch-as-catch-can. Oh, and I should probably write them a check, too.

Start date: April 9
Finish date: December 16

As with most major home improvement projects, I'm satisfied with the results, but it was painful getting there. Very few problems arose, though, a minor miracle considering how much work was done. I am a happy homeowner.