Thursday, June 4, 2009

...and the Beat Goes On...

... the beat of hammers and crowbars and chain saws and stump grinders...and other miscellaneous noisy tools.

The latest episode in this saga has to do with the repair of the spare bedroom. Day before yesterday, Seth tore out the ceiling, and part of a wall came with it. He called me in to see it. "This is major termite damage. It's old damage and the good news is I don't see any evidence of current termite activity" He pointed it out to me, but it was easy to see.

In case you ever wondered what termites do to wood in a house, this is it. This is the section of wall above the window on the back side of the room. If you scratch the wood with a fingernail, it flakes off like dry cereal.

This is the wall next to the door of the bathroom that adjoins the spare bedroom.

When I bought the house 6 years ago, I had it inspected, of course, and old termite damage was found underneath. It had been repaired and there was no sign of active termites. I've had it inspected for termites every year since and no problems. Of course, when the underneath damage was found, they couldn't see into the walls. Apparently the original termite treatment killed all the little buggers, but the damage was done, hiding behind the wall, just waiting to be exposed--which the storm did.
Seth explained he would check all around the room to see how extensive the damage was. It turns out if affects the back and one inside wall--and the adjoining bathroom walls.

This is the gutted bathroom. Walls and flooring will be replaced. Total additional cost, about $2000, and not covered by insurance--I checked.

The roofers are here today too, ripping off the shingles and tarpaper. With the ceiling down and the outer layers removed, the holes show up really well. If I wanted a skylight, this would be the time to tell someone.

This is the view immediately outside my back door--which is obstructed by shingles and tarpaper. They asssure me this will all be removed today.

But then, the tree guys assured me the logs and other debris would all be removed yesterday--and they didn't show up at all!
At least one of the tree guys has a sense of humor. One of them found Madison's stuffed "Tigger" toy, which although now headless, is still recognizable, and placed it on one of the logs.

I stuck my arm outside the door and took this shot of the yard. (Due to falling debris, I was afraid to try to step out onto the back stoop.) The workers are stumbling over one another. The sawhorse is Seth's stuff, the ladder is the roofer's, and the logs....well, I guess until they're hauled off they are technically still mine. Too bad I don't have a really big wood burning stove! Note the huge pile of sawdust to the far left of the picture. That's where the stump of the pine was. The sawdust will make good mulch and cover for the path Madison beats running to the side gate. If I don't keep it covered with some kind of mulch, it becomes a muddy mess.

Right after the storm, people who do have woodburners were driving around with pickup trucks, picking up free firewood. Now they all have enough to last through the next 10 winters and don't want any more.

I called the chief tree guy at 8 am this morning and he "promised" they would get their act together (his words) and get the stuff chopped up and hauled off today. I figure Madison thinks he's been abandoned at the kennel, and I am sick of looking at all the crap in both front and back yards.

Yesterday evening I went online and found a website selling "fast growing trees". I ordered two dogwoods, a pink and a white, which will arrive in 2-3 weeks ready to put in the ground. They will be small saplings, but fast growers, and I already have a plan where to put them in the back and how to protect them until they are big enough to be safe from Madison's romping around. I felt a lot better after I ordered the trees, since I felt as if I had accomplished something positive.

The other day I went to the Neighborhood Co-op, which has a lot of organic stuff, natural remedies, etc., and I bought a defuser, some essential oil (lavender and chamomille) and tea candles. The defuser came with little crystals to put in the top area. You add a few drops of the oil, a couple of teaspoons of water, and then light a tea candle in the compartment at the bottom. Pretty soon the aroma of lavender and chamomille wafts up from the crystals. It really is a very soothing aroma. However, it's so noisy today, with hammering over my head and stuff falling both inside and outside, that I feel like I need to put the oil directly up my nose!

Ah, well, this too shall pass. I just hope we've reached the end of storm-related troubles, since my nerves have just about reached their limit. Tonight is the Small Group Storm Sharing meeting at church, and I know I can dump some of the stress there. So many people are going through this all over the area. You can practically feel the stress oozing out of everyone's pores.

At least my neighbor hasn't raised any complaints today--yet.

No comments: