Latest work update has me working here through April 20, 2005. If this is actually the case, then my plan of getting a film shot before my next birthday is pretty much out the door. Or at least delayed.
I'm okay with that. At this point, I'm at least quasi-comfortable living down here, and as long as there is someone up at the house that can handle taking care of the pets and running the house in general, it can work out pretty well.
Of course, once in a while, there are critical issues that come up. For instance, the elm tree.
I am really sad that the elm tree has to go. It's a beautiful tree, and it is really the only thing that makes the property beautiful. Cut down, it's gonna make the back yard just an ugly place to be. But there isn't really anything that I can do about that.
The problem is the way that the city deals with it. "You have 20 days" is really insufficient notice in my opinion, and the fact that we have to pay for the removal just adds insult to injury. I would really rather have time to have the tree diagnosed properly by a third party and make sure it is essential to have it cut down, but the fascist City of Minneapolis inspections department will not have any of it.
They give the option of having a third-party contractor handle the cutting down and removal of the tree. Nice of them-- except the 20-day deadline makes it really difficult to get someone to do an estimate and the actual work.
Then there's the wood: if we have to cut down the tree, I'd at least like to keep the wood and rent a log splitter to make firewood. But because it's diseased, we probably can't keep the wood either.
And then there's the stump removal. Yet another issue to deal with.
I asked Barb if she would call the city to find out what they charge to remove the tree, as well as calling some other third-party tree places to get estimates, and to check if they do stump removal.
She told me to do it myself, because she didn't have time. And I'm a little ticked off at that.
I'm freaking living in Des Moines. I don't have a phone except the cell phone, for which I get charged exorbitant rates for long distance. I don't have a Minneapolis yellow pages to look up some tree contractors. I would have to take a day off of work (for which I don't get paid), and come up there to handle the logistics of it... and the 20-day deadline makes that highly unlikely.
So it looks like I will have to pay the City of Minneapolis rates to have the tree cut and removed, and still find a third-party stump removal place. Or hire a bobcat and spend a week or so digging and breaking up concrete. Which has to be done anyway to put in a new garage.
On the positive side, the tree removal makes placing a new garage easy. It does mean holding off any landscaping, but I'm okay with that.
I'm probably going to have to hold off on the front porch repair until next year. I need to do something intermediate to keep the roof from leaking in the meantime, which needs to be sturdy enough to withstand fall and winter yet inexpensive enough to be disposable when the time comes to rip the roof off and start over next year.
I have some extra pink housewrap stuff left over from the breezeway project. It's essentially the same thing as tarp material, but without the sewn edges-- and it's pink. With big lettering on it.
I'm thinking I could glue down a layer of this stuff over the existing roofing material using the bonding adhesive that I got for the rubber membrane roof, then finish with a coat of the roll-on elastomeric roofing. It's not perfect or permanent, but It might at least keep any more damage from happening through the winter.
Though at this point, a lot of damage has been done. The front porch is gonna need a lot of work.
Barb is moving out at the end of August. The original plan for having someone else move in temporarily fell through, so I've asked Rick if he'd be interested. He seems excited about the prospect, but has some things to think over first. And it's not really a pretty job-- there is a lot of work that has to be done, and Barb isn't going to be able to go through all of her stuff before she leaves, so the house will be in a pretty cluttered state for a while. And there will be Sadie and Micha (dog and cat) to care for during the time I am living in Des Moines.
And there will be the purging, and several remodeling projects which will call for lots of Lifting Of Heavy Things, and various skills at carpentry, plumbing, electrical, painting, finishing, etc. so it's not exactly a free ride.
But I need to have someone there who can manage the house and pets and all while I'm gone. And I'd prefer to have someone that I know and trust.