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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Random House Updates

Bathroom. New highly-recommended plumber, shower valve fixed, and we are tiling away. We only have a roughly 2'x2' patch of wall left to tile, then grouting, and then (gasp) painting! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! But no more pics until the big reveal...I'm going for maximum impact here, can you tell? :)

Yard. Steven and I took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather a couple weeks ago and started cleaning up the yard, which had been neglected last year, if not longer. We raked, put our new leaf blower/vacuum/mulcher to use (awesome tool), weeded, pruned the large burning bush, and poked around. I was absolutely thrilled to see some flowers coming up! So far it's daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, and...drumroll....the peonies are starting to poke through!

Trees. We had a couple of arborists come out to look at the 3 mature Norway maple trees in the yard and suggest a maintenance plan for them. Most notably, they explained why the leaves were all munched up last summer: winter moths. Apparently, these little invaders have become a major problem in eastern MA over the last few years...they lay their eggs on the tree in the fall, and in the spring the little larvae eat the leaf buds and leaves, severely crippling the tree. The treatment plan consists of one application of horticultural oil in the early spring to smother the eggs, and a subsequent treatment with a bacteria that infects the caterpillars. From my point of view, these natural treatments are a must-do for us, as these 3 trees are a crucial part of our yard...without them, it's a turf field with no privacy and no shade. In addition to the moth intervention, the arborists suggested some structural pruning and deep root injection of fertilizer in the fall. Just add it to the list.

The Great Flood of 2010. This past Sunday, I went down to the basement to do some laundry and discovered a lake!!! (PANIC) Our sump pump was apparently stuck in the "off" position and we had at least 3" of water throughout the whole basement, as well as plenty of soaked debris (dirty laundry, a carpet, wood scraps, cardboard boxes, etc). Luckily, when Steven trudged over to the pump and triggered the float, that puppy started cranking. But our homeowner morale had taken a major hit...we have a water problem!? is our basement going to flood regularly? what about mold and mildew???? did we buy a lemon????

Fast forward to Monday. Turns out we needed to put it into perspective. Two of my bosses stayed home to deal with their flooded basements, and one of Steven's coworkers had spent hours sweeping water towards the 2 sump pumps in his fieldstone basement. Not to mention the serious flooding throughout the city...T stations flooded, train tracks flooded, cars half submerged, retaining walls collapsing, closed roads, rivers overflowing, etc etc. Turns out, our 110 year old basement did pretty well in an extreme weather situation. In fact, it's relatively dry right now, with some pooled water in low spots. (hello, WetVac.)

Oh, and in case you're wondering, the roof did OK, too. Of course it leaked, but a single bucket kept it in check. New roof in a couple weeks!

1 comment:

  1. Oye, what a wet mess! Don't feel bad, our basement got 2" of water too. Then again, we absolutely DID buy a lemon, so I'm not surprised ;-)