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Cleanin' up the house

Yesterday I checked to see if the blinds I'd bought would fit in the bedroom. (They won't.) I then went back to Home Depot, returned the blinds, had them cut new blinds to fit, and brought them home and installed them. Aside from one thing I need to have them redo, we have blinds in the living room again.

Go me. :)

Our next door neighbor had some water damage to her home; she had her handyman repair it, and from what I can see, he did a nice job. He and Karen and I talked a bit, at various times (we were in and out of our house several times over several hours, and he was outside the whole time); we wrote him a check and he trimmed the branches of our tree that were hanging over our gutters. Also discussed were several things the Homeowner's association wants done to our front yard:

*Your front lawn needs to be graded and seeded
*Reset brick landscape borders
*Remove tree limbs from front yard (the handyman did this after trimming the tree)
*The joint between your front walk and the bottom of your stoop has separated and needs repair. You may take care of this either by filling the gap with concrete (or concrete patching material) or by removing the walk, building up the ground, and installing a new walk.

In reverse order; this last thing was something that had happened last year. Aside from the stoop, attached to the house, the rest of the walk is sinking. This means that it's separated from the stoop and the sidewalk, and drains the wrong direction. Last year I patched it with concrete patching compound; this was a sufficient but lame-ass fix. I have more concrete patch compound, so I could repair it for free, but last year's snow was a pain to deal with (because the walkway slopes down where it should slope up, and puddles next to the sidewalk when it rains). Jim, the handyman, noted that the height of the step from the last step (right below the break) and the stoop is 9 inches; Montgomery County regulations say that the maximum height is 7 inches. He had another suggestion.

So, he has our phone number, as it's on our check. According to this letter, I have until August 16th to repair all of these deficiencies. What Jim suggested was putting a fresh layer of concrete on top of the place where the puddle forms (the last bit next to the sidewalk, to make it level with the sidewalk) and also on the step below the stoop, covering the crack and bringing the height back to Montgomery County regulation height. Fine with me. If he calls, it'll get taken care of. It's less expensive than replacing the whole thing, and less lame-ass than my repair. I don't know that it will prevent further problems with the walk sinking, but it might. I'm willing to risk it.

Resetting the brick landscape borders is a matter of a couple of minutes. Seeding and regrading the lawn is a whole 'nother issue. The thing we're thinking they don't like is that there's no grass under the tree. Duh, the tree prevents light from getting there. Of course, the best time to reseed is spring or fall, so of course this letter needs to be dealt with before summer ends. Stupid homeowner's association.

Our yard has an abundance of hastas. I'll bet I can spend a morning splitting and replanting some of the hastas to cover some of our yard's deficiencies. I bought some topsoil and some grass seed; that may be enough to make the homeowner's association happy. Actually regrading the yard is not an expense we're looking into right now. If we were looking to sell (that is, if we thought we could buy something else; we don't have that kind of $ now) then it might be an expense worth paying.

Yesterday was busy. We didn't get to Lowe's (where they have the Pergo pattern we're interested in having installed); the two closest stores are Gaithersburg and Laurel, so it's a bit of a trek. It's not going to happen this week either, as I work tonight, Tuesday night, and Thursday night. Wednesday night I'll be at gaming, and Friday night is right out. The next time available re: my schedule is Sunday morning (I work Sunday evening) and then there's some more free time next week, as the only nights I work are Sunday evening and Thursday evening.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 30th, 2003 06:43 am (UTC)
They are building a humongous Lowe's near me. In fact, it may already be completed. So if you find yourself having to travel down to Woodbridge, let me know and we can do dinner or something. :)
Jun. 30th, 2003 07:32 am (UTC)
I haven't forgotten that you and I must meet. I also still need to meet chite and her new hubby, and there's others.

There's too many things to do, and just not enough gosh-darn time to do it. :( It will happen, though. Any chance you're coming to Shore Leave?
Jun. 30th, 2003 08:42 am (UTC)
Good luck with the homeowners' association.

My previous house came with an abundant supply of hosta, and near as I can tell the things are indestructable: sun, shade, crappy soil, whatever; they didn't seem to care.
Jun. 30th, 2003 09:07 am (UTC)
they are completely indestructible. They take over any space you put them in and they multiply. We have about double the number of hostas this year that we had last year. And they're about the only thing that will grow underneath that stupid tree because there's just not enough light otherwise.
Jun. 30th, 2003 09:27 am (UTC)
Thanks. They shouldn't be too tough. We're not going to regrade, no matter what they say.

As for the hosta, I'm thinking of crossbreeding them with kudzu. That'll solve the whole 'lawn cover' issue. :)
Jun. 30th, 2003 01:02 pm (UTC)
RE: kudzu
I'm thinking of crossbreeding them with kudzu. That'll solve the whole 'lawn cover' issue.

And house cover.... and tree cover... and car cover.... And killing it is a bitch.

Although, it's quite a useful plant (kudzu). You can eat it, make clothing from it, get wine from it... etc. It's really rather sad that I know so much about it. My hometown had an annual "Kudzu Festival"... because we were a small island in the middle of a large patch of kudzu. The only thing we ever found that would kill it was to spray it with straight roundup herbicide. Although, that was very very pricey... typically we just cut it back, and tried to keep it out of the trees.

Kinda sad when you can watch a plant grow, right before your eyes. (I've seen the stuff grow over a foot in a day. It's like watching time-lapse photography, only without all the production overhead.)

Although, speaking of crossbreeding plants, ask me sometime about the waterloupes we grew for a while... (canteloupe + watermellon = waterloupe)

Fun fun fun.
Jun. 30th, 2003 01:09 pm (UTC)
Re: RE: kudzu
That does it. You're hired as my expert for my crossbreeding project. :) You have that kind of madness about you...
Jun. 30th, 2003 07:42 pm (UTC)
Re: kudzu
When I lived in Hoschten(sp?) Georgia, there was this one telephone pole that had a huge cable attached at an angle, going to the ground...and both pole and cable were covered thickly with kudzu. At dusk/night, it looked like a Tyrannasaurus Rex. Was the coolest thing ever.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )