Well, the house is mostly done, except for the gutters. Those guys are supposed to be out sometime maybe today or tomorrow. They were here yesterday with Mark (the contractor) assessing the situation and figuring things out.
I still can’t really comprehend how these repair/fixit/etc guys do things. They always seem to be working on Some Other Job. Will I ever be That Other Job? I hear them complaining about the lack of work these days, and I think “I’m offering work, why aren’t you here?” When I get a job, sewing or whatever, I tell the person if there’s a waiting list, where they are on it, and give them a date when their order will be done. I don’t say “Sure! I’ll do it!” then think “someday, when I get to it”
To his credit, Mark has been here nearly every day, checking things out, cleaning up, and letting me know the time situation with the next project.
Also, after watching home improvement shows, and seeing things like “six months later” I don’t feel horrible about it. It is a month later, and they’re nearly done.
Up next: landscaping. Once the gutters are in, drain pipes will need to be installed, running underground from the gutters to the ditch across the front of the yard. When it rains here, it is serious about it, and there will be significant runoff. Unless I want a yard that is intermittently soggy and dry (which i don’t) drain pipes are necessary. It means scaling back a bit on the landscaping, but that’s ok. It is a compromise I am willing to make.
The front of the house will get the pretty bushes and flowers, and the stuff for the rest of the yard can be added in a bit at a time later on. We have this area between the walkway from the driveway and the house that is about 15 feet wide and 60 feet long. I have imagined a perennial bed with lots and lots of lovely flowers…for years. We have been here 9 years and all that time I have imagined a big flower bed there. Now I am getting one. The fun part has been picking out the flowers. The trees are all gone so it is sunny enough there to have the stuff I covet- purple coneflower, irises, bee balm, catmint, guara, liatris, all sorts of varied colors and shapes and sizes, all blooming at different times so there will be flowers from early Spring until frost (late November, around here) Oh, and “early Spring” is February. Jonquils bloom in January, so there’s that as well.
This whole project has been 9 years in the making. 7 years ago I started thinking we wouldn’t be here much longer, so time and money wasn’t much spent on the yard and garden. 3 months ago I started thinking maybe we would be here long enough to have some fun with the yard, and so it has been.
David is just about done with the vegetable garden. The beds are all built and filled, and all but 2 of them are planted. There are peppers and eggplant, squashes (pattypan for as soon as possible…I love tiny pattypan squashes skewered and grilled, and acorn for the Fall), 2 kinds of green beans, cilantro, garlic (I know….it’s a Fall plant thing, but it was sprouting in the fridge so why not), watermelons and cantaloupe. All so very optimistic. Everything is nicely mulched with well rotted oak leans and pine straw (raked up from the yard), and made lovely and colorful with big pots of portulaca and begonias, stolen from the patio (which is also getting a small makeover in the form of a good deep cleaning and rearranging). I feel so very….Mother Earth News…only it’s more like a Father God Blessing. I’m not much of an Earth Mother type, in spite of the mulch. plus I use Round-Up, which revokes the Earth Mother card faster than you can say “granola”. Now I have to keep an eye out for squash borers and bean beetles. Oh, also cucumbers,. I planted cucumbers. Forgot about those…While the garden is quite late getting in, relatively speaking, the growing season is happily long so there might be some largesse anyway. Park Seed Co sent out an email hawking their line of Fall and Winter seeds, and that has the garden juices fizzing a bit as well.
Because I don’t yet have before-and-after pictures ready to show, here’s one of Himself and #4, driving a tank.