Thursday, June 23, 2011

I Hate the Plumbers -- Part 3

I think this is least there are no more dirt piles in the front yard.

I think this means the city signed off, although we are still waiting for paperwork from the plumber and confirmation that the unexplained pipe in the basement is the laundry room drain.

And I want our contractor to double check the sewer pipe; part of it still seems to be perfectly level instead of slightly angled. This is an issue that's already been dealt with once. To quote the guy who is putting the steel into our retaining wall, "Doesn't this idiot know s%@t rolls downhill?"

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Hate the Plumbers -- Part 2

I think this might be the drain for the laundry room...not sure because they haven't bothered to talk to me or the contractor...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Hate the Plumbers -- Part 1

I don't mind that they broke the pot so much, as I mind that they put the pieces neatly back together and tried to hide that they broke the pot. Urgh.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Keys, Please

My house keys now consist of a key to the front door, the garage and the back door -- which we can't even get to at the moment.

I took all the other keys off my ring they are. What the heck are these to????

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Block Party

We finally got our neighbor to give us a written statement that it's okay to take down the chain link fence between the properties.

Let the retaining wall move forward!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Backed Up

The plumber went to pull the mechanical permit for the pipes in the basement, and was told we weren't supposed to have any plumbing there.

Our approved plans clearly show a bathroom, so now our contractor has to get the stamped, final plans from the engineer and pay a visit to the Department of Building and Safety.

I'm not fond of the plumber, so something tells me this is somehow his fault.

Monday, June 13, 2011

"Stained" Glass

I always thought the window in our front door was a cheesy piece of green glass from the 1970's.

Then I caught it at the right angle and realized it's actually a gorgeous piece of beveled glass a previous owner SPRAY PAINTED.


Any ideas on how to clean that awful paint off?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Another Day, Another Dirt Pile

This is what the front "yard" looks like right now because they are digging up the sewer pipe.

Rob says it looks like we have police tape. Yes, that mess is certainly a crime. Ugh, when will it end?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Blast Off!

Hello, sand blaster; bye-bye old peeling paint!

I'm hoping these signs of progress will appease the insurance company!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How Many Transplants Can One Yard Handle?

This is turning more into a gardening blog than a house blog. With all the renovations we're doing, I feel like we're going to really need all our plants so we can afford to eat this summer!

We moved about 1/3 of the farm to other parts of the yard. It looks like we lost one, maybe two squash plants in the process and did a little damage to a couple of the tomatoes. Hopefully everything will spring back the way the phoenix roses did. We're getting good at moving things: roses, oak trees...

Once they're done with the sewer pipe, we'll plant some of the seedlings Rob has on the kitchen window in the bare patches.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sore Pipe

This is view looking down into the pit they've dug around part of our sewer pipe. The pipe is made of clay and has crumbled in places.

There had been talk of somehow forcing a new pipe through the old pipe so that our yard wouldn't be disturbed, but for reasons I don't quite understand, that's not going to work and we have to dig out the pipe from the top down -- including the part that runs through "the farm."

Monday, June 6, 2011

Get This C?@P Out of Here!

We are putting in a bathroom in the basement and they have to dig under the foundation wall to connect the basement plumbing to the sewer line.

Luckily, our sewer pipe is 9 feet down at the curb, so we can use gravity to do the deed and save on a sump pump.

Our poor contractor, though, had to move steel and the sand and gravel he'd put down for the basement floor. Sigh. Some things are just destined to be done twice.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Calling All Volunteers

I'd thrown the guts from a butternut squash into the compost bin and the seeds didn't breakdown.

When I used the compost to fertilize the farm, we started getting vines popping up everywhere. I'm letting them go, but I'm going to have to foist some off on the neighbors. We're going to have way more squash than we would ever eat.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Retaining a Mess

For about a minute after the bobcat dug out the basement, our backyard was a flat, smooth dirt landscape -- a perfect litter box for all the neighborhood cats.

Now they've begun work on the retaining wall and the yard is a junk pile of miscellaneous construction supplies and demolition debris, including the remnants of plant overgrowth that seems to invade every backyard on our block because no one does any actual gardening. They just "grow" crappy little sheds that pop up like mushrooms over night.

We want to take out the existing fence, and top the retaining wall with pickets to match the front, but we want our neighbor to sign off that the existing chain link fence is ours. He's quick to say it's on our property, but not so quick to put that in writing. Fingers crossed that gets worked out soon!

Friday, June 3, 2011

How It Grows

We've already had our first lettuce from the garden. Now we've got peppers, corn and tomatoes starting to appear. Can't wait!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


After all that work, the house looks good from the fence out. We added a native sage to the parkway last week and it added a much-needed bit of height.

It's hard to see the roses beca
use the poppies are so dense, but they're chugging along. I'd be surprised if we see blooms this year, but you never know.

When we went on the native garden tour, we
met a specialist who said, "If you build it, they will come." He was talking about frogs, but we wanted birds, butterflies and bees as well and we've got 'em. If you look closely, you'll see a little bee buzzing around in one of the poppies in the close up!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

That Was Fast!

I'm growing beans from seeds by the fence. This is after five days. Now I get the expression, "growing like a string bean."