Friday, November 28, 2008

Hear me roar

So guess who spent yesterday morning in a little frenzy of home care? Yup. One of the smart moms at ballet class suggested that blocked gutters could be at least partly to blame for the water issue, an idea I (internally) pooh-poohed--I just had the gutters done in February, and that wall is away from the trees on the West side of the house.

So, of course, you see where this is going. I spent 45 minutes yesterday perched precariously on a ladder scooping gunk, grit, needles and what looks to be new topsoil out of the gutter on that wall. I carried my cell phone in my pocket and left the 911 instructions by the phone, with strict orders for my daughter to call first. Inspired by my success, I then cut away a bunch of dead foliage from around the house and raked the leaves out of the driveway. I trimmed a bunch of other stuff, wrapped my outside pipes in case we get a freeze (usually I'm out there at 11 p.m. after the newscast urges us to do it on a particularly cold night), cleaned the bunny's cage, refreshed the cat facilities, and graded one of the multiple stacks of papers I am carrying around.

Might satisfying. Not sure if I'm going to attempt to clean the other gutters out myself or call the people who did them last; I'm sure the other side of the house is worse, although nothing has leaked. And I'm still going to call the roofer and/or masonry folks for a consult. My prayer is that I don't have to have the plaster replaced in the living room--an expensive mess.

And I am still dreaming of a bright, light-filled, cozy condo for my daughter and me. I grew up in a family that did not do much yard or house care. The projects my father undertook always became disasters that professionals then had to fix, and generally resulted in a lot of swearing, screaming, and scapegoating. My mother is remarkably handy--she had to be; my father was useless and we had little money--but her approach is slapdash, to put it kindly. Our yard care was minimal, at best. Plus it was California, where the long, dry seasons kept mold and rampant plant growth at bay. A little neglect went a long way toward keeping the yard from growing too avidly. As I am only now realizing, life in the wet, lush Pacific NW is largely a battle between a house and the elements. Water is forever seeping, leaking, corroding, and destroying anything it can find. A dry basement is a miracle, a thing of beauty, and a joy forever. Wooden shingles, decks, and pretty much anything else require constant coats of sealant or they rot. Sometimes they rot anyway. All of this is expensive, stressful, unpleasant, and potentially obscenely expensive. And, in the grand scheme of things, hopeless. Left alone, my house would probably disintegrate in five years or less. I'm not sure if this is a powerful lesson in the futility of human life, or a reason to move south. I'll keep you posted.

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11 Comments:

At 5:34 PM , Blogger Supa D. Fresh said...

Oh yeah. I say, "I know why they call them widows' weeds." They are talking about my garden. I was planning a post showing my bags and bags of yard waste (all from ONE garden bed) piled up against the fence. But then there was a major debacle, a cab drove through my fence and knocked over my big tree, and I thought, well, that post about the weeds won't have a big impact. It took me 3 months to get the tree cut up -- it was like a huge sore for the whole neighborhood to see, all that time. Did I care? NO.

NEGLECT! Some guy came by a few months ago and pointed out my sagging gutters. He said, "Did you guys just move in here or what?" and I said, "Oh baby, it's a loooong story." How do you explain that you are making GOOD priorities?

Love your blog!

 
At 9:54 AM , Blogger txmomx6 said...

OK, I'm hugely impressed. I haven't tackled my gutters yet, but you may have given me the impetus to do it.
I hate that it's now up to just me to get these kind of things done, but I'm proud of myself once I get them done.
Thanks,
Janine

 
At 10:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is later in the evening, February 14, 2009, and I am at the office thinking of you. I have thought of you and your daughter somewhat often since I first visited your blog February 14, 2007. I do not visit very often; however, my desires for your happiness and joy have been constant.

I started with my current firm approximately two and a half weeks ago. I had been in contact with one of the partners on several occasions over the past year and a half, but the pieces never quite fit until he left me a message late Sunday evening about three weeks ago. I did not move far, just to the firm across the hall.

I will be forever touched by your struggles for happiness and fulfillment in this life. Ever since, I made efforts to make sure no woman in my office felt left out or unappreciated on Valentine's day.

At my previous firm, I worked with a wonderful and very competent woman (that taught me a thing or two about my profession even though I am technically the professional) who went above and beyond to do everything she could for her two teenage children and to fulfill her work responsibilities. She is a single mother and not currently involved. While all the other women in the office are married and would probably be taken care of on Valentine's day, I did not want this one woman feeling left out and alone. Therefore, sometime in mid January (even before I knew I would be switching firms), I ordered flowers to be delivered to her on Thursday, February 12. She received the flowers and called me to thank me.

I am not sure how you are doing at this time because it appears you have not posted a blog since November 28, 2008. I truly hope you and your daughter are doing well and that you have had the opportunity to attain a goal or two from your list. I may never meet you or ever come to know who you are. However, because of you, I have endeavored to act more kindly to others and pay attention to those with whom I associate to aid those who may need that extra encouragement or assistance to make it up and over their particular mountain of adversity and to move forward with hope they will reach the light at the end of the tunnel.

Therefore, on this very special day, I send you and your daughter fields of virtual flowers to reinforce the fact there are many people in this world that sincerely care for you.

 
At 5:04 PM , Anonymous Jae Kim said...

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At 7:38 AM , Blogger Steph said...

Dorcasina,

Where've you been? More importantly, how have you been?

I really miss reading new entries and updates on your life. I hope you and your daughter are doing well.

-Steph

 
At 8:33 PM , Blogger Pantheist Mom said...

How are you? I'm a sometimes reader, almost never commenter. I'm just wondering how you are doing. Your life story touched me...

 
At 3:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope your life is going well. I so enjoyed reading your blog and wish you the very best.

- A

 
At 9:38 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to check in here frequently, but obviously haven't for a long time. I hope this means that you are too busy living a rich, wonderful life, playing with your daughter and teaching to spend your time blogging. Nevertheless, I miss your words and wisdom.

 
At 4:38 PM , Blogger Val said...

also still thinking of you and wishing you well

 
At 11:03 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

September 4, 2010, I am sorry I missed 02/14/10 (I was studying for a test - if that is any excuse). I ditto Val.

 
At 12:02 PM , Anonymous Lilia Marchi said...

Top soil in the gutter? How did it get there? Well, I hope you were able to solve this mystery. Good move cleaning the gutters though. If you left it dirty, it might have lead to major gutter and roof issues. You can put additional gutter guards there to prevent debris from getting inside your gutter system. Also, if you are having a hard time cleaning the gutter, you can ask for assistance from professional gutter cleaners.

 

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