Monday, November 10, 2008

Projects



This is a picture I shot while standing on the dock admiring the beautiful red leaves on the trees. This is the dock that has two or three major, as in critical, boards missing due to the last storm we had where the tide went over the dock and played those boards like piano keys.

This is an SOS, a call for help, a throwing in of the flag, if you will, and an admission of defeat.

I realized today that the list of maintenance and repair projects for the house I live in far exceeds my physical, financial and mental capacity. If I were a pinball machine, you'd see the word TILT burned into my retinas.

Here is but a short list of what I realized is facing me with this house and yard:

1. On the front of the house, all shutters except one are down due to Tropical Storm This or Nor'Easter That. And when I say down I mean ripped off and torn to shreds. I'd be happy to put these back up (shreds notwithstanding), except the last time I checked they don't make a ladder long enough to reach the stratosphere, aka the location of the top windows of my house.

2. Most of the gutters and downspouts have pulled away from the house. When the next Tropical Storm This or Nor'Easter That blows through here, the surge of water coming directly off the roof will create a moat surrounding the entire house. I guess I could take the canoe from the back door to dry land whenever I needed to go to the store or take the children to the bus stop. Perhaps I could simply throw the mountain of dirty laundry that never ends into the water and hope it one day forms a land bridge. I already step on it regularly, it can't hurt to toss it outside and make better use of it.

3. The brush around the shoreline has grown to jungle-like proportions due to my inability to take out a push mower this summer. If anyone would like to see the jaguar in its natural habitat, just take a trip to Mathews, specifically my back yard. I give guided tours Monday through Friday. Today we discovered a small family of lemurs that recently took up residence in the canopy of the brush.

4. The boat is sinking. Still. Yes. It is. I have a sinking boat (with a not-so-sinking loan amount still due) that is pumped every 3-4 days by a homemade apparatus resembling this: You take your life into your hands plugging some Homemade Thing A into Slot B which is an extension cord from circa 1962 that then sparks up because you are only seconds from electrocuting yourself, and then if you survive that, you'll hear the thing start to work. Then you take your life in your hands dancing and high-stepping off the dock because, as referenced above, many of the boards are either (a) rotten or (b) non-existent or (c) how is it possible that nobody's fallen through the doggone dock yet and (d) is my life insurance policy up to date?

For anyone still awake at this point, I will now press Pause and refrain from going on any further about my Absolutely Endless List of Maintenance and Home Repair Projects.

The reason I'm doing this is really very simple.

I have to run and tell the ANTS having a fiesta in my foyer that it's past the kids' bedtime and they really have to keep it down.

12 comments:

Boomer Chick said...

I'm not sure where Matthews County is. Is this Maryland? I'm on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, so howdy from a fellow Chesapeake Bay boomer chick!

Bear Naked said...

Umm!!
CBW please be careful plugging in that Homemade Thing A into Slot B.
I don't want to read in the news that a resident from Mathews was electrocuted.

We had our first snow here this morning.
Time to get the ear muffs and gloves out of the front hall closet and the LARGE wine glasses from the dining room buffet.
It is going to be a LONG---winter.

Bear((( )))

Grandma J said...

I don't envy you with all those home repair tasks.

You only need two things to remedy all of it. Super glue and duct tape. They will even stop those ants in their tracks.

Anonymous said...

I'm telling you it's a riparian buffer of native plants, not a jungle. Just smile and repeat after me, riparian buffer, riparian bufffer.

AMNRITSOR
Anonymous Mathews Native....

Mental P Mama said...

I'm kinda liking this riparian buffer slant.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Boomer - Hey there. Mathews is on the western shore almost directly across the bay from (roughly) Cape Charles (or a bit north). We are about 30 miles north of Yorktown.

BN - Snow already? It is going to be a long winter. I hope your roof is finished....

GJ - I envy YOU living at the Compound with all your maintenance-free living, and aqua aerobics and Friday matinees and 4-week-long vacations to Alaska, and that's it. I'm moving to Texas.

Anonymous Native and MPM - Riparian buffer. Riparian buffer. Did you ever watch Keeping Up Appearances on PBS/BBC? Hyacinth once orchestrated a failed picnic along the river and waxed poetic about the riparian this or that. I love that show but other than that I've never heard anyone actually use the term riparian. You get bonus points for excellent use of the term.

For those of you who had to reach for the dictionary upon first reading the word "riparian," (those of you = ME) here is the definition per wikipedia: A riparian zone or riparian area is the interface between land and a stream. Plant communities along the river margins are called riparian vegetation, characterized by hydrophilic plants. Riparian zones are significant in ecology, environmental management, and civil engineering because of their role in soil conservation, their biodiversity, and the influence they have on aquatic ecosystems. Riparian zones occur in many forms including grassland, woodland, wetland or even non-vegetative. In some regions the terms riparian woodland, riparian forest, riparian buffer zone, or riparian strip are used to characterize a riparian zone. The word "riparian" is derived from Latin ripa, meaning river bank.

And now I win for the longest, most tedious comment in the history of blogger.com AND exceeding the number of times deemed acceptable to use the term "riparian." That would be approximately SIXTEEN TIMES in this case.

Big Hair Envy said...

Do I get extra points for being familiar with the term "riparian"?? Yet another piece of useful information that has been handed down to me via The Surveyor:) Now, if only he could do something about my sense of direction...

Bear Naked said...

CBW
"For those of you who had to reach for the dictionary upon first reading the word "riparian," (those of you = ME) here is the definition per wikipedia: A riparian zone or riparian area is the interface between land and a stream. Plant communities along the river margins are called riparian vegetation, characterized by hydrophilic plants. Riparian zones are significant in ecology, environmental management, and civil engineering because of their role in soil conservation, their biodiversity, and the influence they have on aquatic ecosystems. Riparian zones occur in many forms including grassland, woodland, wetland or even non-vegetative. In some regions the terms riparian woodland, riparian forest, riparian buffer zone, or riparian strip are used to characterize a riparian zone. The word "riparian" is derived from Latin ripa, meaning river bank."

You lost me at "reach."

Yes the roof is finished kinda.
That is to say, the roofers have to come back and re-do one section near the garage that according to the roofing supervisor specialist guy was not done correctly i.e. to his specifications.
But that's okay because he will not bill us until he is happy that the roof is 100% to his satisfaction.
Hopefully he is a real perfectionist and we won't have to give him a cheque for a long long time***.

***Long long time = the month of January in Mexico.



Bear((( )))

Life with Kaishon said...

Ugh, those reasons are precisely why we didn't get an older house. We aren't handy. But you know what? I would trade my new house any day for one like yours that has character : ). I am sure it is beautiful. Please don't get electrocuted. I am sorry you have ants. I have MILLIONS of FREAKING fruit flies flying around my kitchen. From what? I have NO idea : ).
PS Isn't that poem the best? I have been feeling kind of sad and hopeless today about Quince and I thought it would be a good reminder.
Oh, and Kaishon would be SO excited about the lemur family. I will tell him in the morning when he wakes up : ).

Annie said...

well, there you go...you no longer have to worry about the upkeep or maintenance of your riparian buffer zone..it is apparently supposed to look and be like that! One thing you can cross off the list!!

and thanks for that, no I don't think I had ever heard of that term...and I was just reaching for the dictionary, when you saved me the effort! Not boring at all..apart from for the person who had to type it all out...or cut and paste!

Annie

Grandma J said...

I'm trying to read your latest update....Trees! I see it on my Google reader so why isn't it showing up on your site? This is not a technical problem I'm familiar with....maybe you have it set to post later? Then why do I know about it. I think Google reader is pulling a fast one.

soupisnotafingerfood said...

Where'd my comment go???

OK, I'll try again. At our house, the equation is thus:

Number of Critical Repairs (N) > [(available time + available funds)x9,999,999.92], where the muliplying factor increases exponentially if there is beer in the fridge and football on the TV.

If you are triaging projects, though, I recommend the gutters on the house. Rule #1 of home ownership: Keep the water OUT of the house. Of course one might say, that's rule #1 of boat ownership, too, but you don't live in the boat. Just my $0.02.