Thursday, November 17, 2011

Up On the Housetop!

As I sit here typing today I am anticipating a dark/early departure for the US with Mary tomorrow morning.  Original plans were for Tom to be with us, but work obligations put a halt to those.  As a consequence I'll be in Houston with Mary, Peter, Meg and Kate for Thanksgiving, and Tom will be watching Thanksgiving Day football after work on Thursday!

One very bright spot will be stopping at lunch time in Indianapolis to visit with Liz.  She has successfully landed a good position in her field (environmental).  It will be good for the three of us to have even a snatch of time to visit.  Then Mary and I will push on to Little Rock, Arkansas for a night's rest before driving the rest of the way to Houston.  I don't think I'll even be tempted to push on, especially since I'm the sole driver.

Our weather has turned cold, but nice blue skies this morning.  Snow has been promised later today, and we are just hoping it doesn't mean heavy fall, just another dusting.

Last week we flew Meghan up to visit.  It was good to have her here.  On Sunday Meg and Peter flew back to Houston.  That gave him time to be with his sisters.  Then he'll help drive home after Thanksgiving.  Our little Basil will be coming back as well.  The kids were all joking about how "cruel" I am, bringing our senior citizen back from his "Florida" to endure a London winter.  I don't feel too bad for the little guy, we'll have a nice fire to warm up with, and on sunny days he'll have the sunbeams to follow across the family room floor.

Anyone reading, we hope you have a good Thanksgiving, especially family who have so graciously extended invitations.  We are ever hopeful that in the future years we'll be able to take you all up on the offers.
Why the title?  Tom cleaned the chimney on Saturday ... Meghan went up to the roof, sparing me the agony.  Peter and I helped from below.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

More Repair to This Old House

It isn't that old, but the house is a bit worn out.  This summer after an especially hard rain we had water in the basement.  At first it was just a little puddle, however soon with each subsequent storm it lengthened, and finally went in a small stream about 15 feet into the basement.

We knew when we purchased the home that it had several flaws, some glaring (why we painted a year ago) and some hidden.  Now is the time for hidden flaws to start revealing themselves.  Last month it was the washing machine that revealed a corroded hot water fitting.  That necessitated the repairs pictured in the previous entry.

Just prior to that good news we had decided to contact two companies about sealing the seepage through the basement wall.  Both came in at about the same price (no surprise), so I selected one and scheduled the work.  It took the utility companies quite a while to come out and paint their lines (as seen by the colored paint in the pictures.)

Finally, after a 4 week wait we received word the crew would arrive on Tuesday.  Here is a pictoral of what they did, and how it all looked in the end.  In the process we also discovered that the weeping tile is practically full of sediment.  Since we do not have any other problems in the basement right now, the excavations to actually get the pipe cleaned out will have to wait.

This is one job we did not desire to attempt on our own (especially Peter).  End cost will be about $1100.  The 13% HST kills us here.  The firm did offer to clean out the tile, but that would have run a minimum of another $500, and torn up a lot more places along the foundation.  Snow is predicted for Saturday .. so now is simply not the time for such an endeavor.