Last night when I got home, I had chores. I had to move the ladder around to the other side of the house for the last bit of painting. Unfortunately, the last window was rather heavily blocked by a branch from the Tree of Death, and that meant the branch had to go. And the only way to cut the branch was to get on the ladder, leaning against the tree. Unfortunately, this arrangement wasn't exactly stable. I managed to climb up while holding the saw without falling down, and cut the branch off of the tree. And when I say branch, I'm actually talking about a major branch, probably 30 feet long and about five inches in diameter-- a couple of hundred pounds of unweildy wood.
However, the branch was so tightly involved with the house, that it didn't fall, but slammed itself against the house in a sort of precarious bear hug, so I needed to move the ladder over to the house and ever so carefully start cutting branches loose so I could get it to fall in a somewhat controlled manner without taking any of the windows (or me) out.
I almost made it.
It broke loose a little prematurely, and it ripped some of the roof trim off of the gable it was attached to, which spun the main part of the branch around far enough to make pretty solid contact with the base of the ladder. Enough so that one of the legs broke contact with the ground. It actually spun the ladder with me on it.
I will tolerate being on the ladder when it is firmly planted and has a nice solid base. I'll even grudgingly go up when it has a little bit of sway, if it's really necessary. But when the thing starts turning into a carnival ride, I'm looking for something to hold on to and hoping I don't fall on anything that looks painful, and there was a lot of painful-looking stuff down there.
Happily, the ladder went back to nearly home position, with the exception of a slight tilt because of the large branch under one leg. Very carefully I climbed down and pulled it away from the ladder, then I gleefully took the saw to the bastard branch and chopped it up into little pieces.
That bitch is gonna burn.
After that, it was some wire-brushing to prep the last windows for the last coat of paint, and then we will be done with the city-mandated crap. At least until they come back with more stuff.
Then there is the back porch, which needs to have drainage and a railing added, and the front porch which needs a new roof, and the new boiler, and the fence and the rear stairway...