Monthly Archives: February 2010

The manic squirrel is not happy

Thank you to the wonderful gardener dude who came to clear out the backyard on Saturday.  He and his assistant spent 6 hours getting us back to a blank slate.  Once we saw how much vegetation ended up in his truck to haul away we realized there is NO WAY we could have done that.  Certainly not in 6 hours.  And certainly not without a significant amount of pain.

We are happy – but with a few reservations.  The blackberry brambles next to the back fence hid a serious issue – we’ve now lost about 3 feet of soil to the creek.  Not good – and a retaining wall will require all sorts of wrangling with the city so we are left to consider how to stop further erosion (and further loss of our yard) without harming creek life.  On a budget.  Another day.

Today I went to Big Orange and bought black plastic tarps which we laid to cover the bare dirt – hopefully baking all remaining weeds and giving us a clean canvas for planning.

Kitchen update: 1.  He made some adjustments to the faucet because it was wiggling around a lot in the hole.  All seems better now.  2.  I’m ready to return to cutting things now that I am more confident that nothing creepy is going to be climbing up my leg.

Critter update: 1.  There was a dead something-or-other under that original black plastic we’d laid last May.  It was quite decayed and not easy to identify.  The neighborhood cat that had been hanging out back there was likely the culprit.   2.  New gopher holes appeared within 24 hours.  Well, naturally, they weren’t new, but we could see them.  3.  A big hunkin squirrel is pretty mad.  He’s been running all over the property wondering where the hell all his stuff is.  I would be sad for him if I were a squirrel.

So much vegetation!

The Trash

Erosion is at the foot of the busted fence in the far end of the yard.

Erosion is at the foot of the back fence - that plank of wood that used to sit on dirt is just hanging there

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We have a rodent work stoppage

Twice in the last few weeks, I found a brazen rodent jumping onto the deck – pitch black of night, but the bright porch light illuminated the scene.  Neither time did I get a good enough look at said rodent to identify specifics.  So we will call him “rodent” and leave it at that.

We have done ZERO in the backyard since May – no weed mowing, nothing.  Tall grasses and weeds + creek proximity mean to me that we’ve got prime rodent real estate in the backyard right now.  We are taking care of it by delegating – a gardener dude is coming tomorrow to whack the whole yard down to nubs except for the few small ornamental trees.  Black plastic will be laid (by us) after the destruction to prohibit new growth and give us time to reflect on the backyard’s future life.

In the meantime, I’ve got some routing to do, some sawing to do, some closet building to do – none of which is being done because I refuse to go on the deck without a weapon.  This is also hampering my interest in using the grill to cook burgers in the evening.

I’m envisioning a pristine backyard with no hidey-holes for critters to scamper and then I’ll feel comfortable down at ground level.  Only then will I return to my kitchen punch list.

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I lied when I said flaws are charming

I’ve got both corner cabinet doors installed.  The lower door went on over a week ago and was fabulous.  I just finished tightening the last screw for the upper corner door and it is so crooked that you can see into the cabinet with the door closed.

You see, the stile is crooked.  Yet, the level insisted that it was plumb.  Even when my eyes were telling me it was crooked.  On the lower door, the same thing happened, but a little wiggling of the hinge and all was right with the world.  I was cocky with the upper door – I didn’t do a test install before I refaced it like I did for the bottom.    At this point, I’ve gone back and wiggled the hinges out so this door doesn’t hit its partner door next to it by much.  I’ve leveled to my eye rather than the tool.  You can’t see into the cabinet anymore.

This may be a flaw that will drive me nuts enough to need to fix it.  I’m going to think about this one for a few days and hope that an elegant solution comes to me that WON’T require ripping the veneering off the stile.

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Filed under Cabinets, Kitchen