When I was little, we had pizza for dinner every Saturday evening and we would sit in front of the Frugal Gourmet and This Old House and eat it. One especially cold days, my mom and I would drive to Little Maria’s to pick up the pizza and she would leave the car running and run in to pick up our order. I would sit shivering in the passenger seat and when she came back to the car, she would put the hot pizza on my lap, and, if Ipromised to keep it flat, I could keep warm beneath it all the way home.
Today, at lunch, we went to pick up pizzas and I put them on her lap and told her to keep them flat.
And it kind of broke my heart and charmed me so much.
Anyway, we got quite a bit accomplished and not as much as we hoped. We didn’t get the garden tilled. We didn’t get electricity running to the pump house. We couldn’t get the lawnmower working. The chainsaw is beyond the repair skills of even the guy at the hardware store at the top of the ridge. The Butcher washed his wallet. The far end of the clothesline is dead beyond repair. And I couldn’t find the two frames I needed.
But I did get a good quote on getting the four trees we need to get out, so they’re coming out tomorrow. And not only did my dad get the part of the lilac that flopped all over pulled out, he said that he thought it had enough roots to make it worth it to replant it and see if it would establish itself. So, now this year I’ve gone from one mystery bush that ended up being a lilac to what will hopefully be three lilac bushes in my yard!
And the bathroom is clean and the toilet seat replaced.
I’m a little sick to my stomach about taking down the trees, because it feels like so much money, but it is not as much money as stuff falling on the house or electric lines. Oh, god, I really hope an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Folks warn you about this part of home ownership–that there will be some big thing. But I’m very concerned about whether this is the big thing. What if this is just a medium thing and there’s some big thing still hanging out there?
and THIS is why I accepted the wacky $7500 first time homebuyer credit dealie when I filed my taxes. Sure, I’m gonna have to pay it back. But it’s interest free. So I can tuck it away in a savings account and hang onto it just in case the Great Big Bad House Problem comes along. Did you take it, Aunt B?
Yep. That’s where the money to take down the trees is coming from.
If the trees are close enough to your house and power lines to do damage, take them out, or at least cut them back if that’s an option. Here’s why.
The week before Christmas we had a rather messy storm blow through. My neighbor across the street had a very large tree. It snapped in the storm, falling across the street into my front yard. That sucker pulled the phone, cable and the power entrance lines all from my house. Two very cold nights and a $560 electrician bill later, we had our power back. Fun times.
And heck, overgrown trees near power lines were one of the big reasons we didn’t get power back for close to a month in some parts of Houston after Ike. Yeah, we love trees, but you’ve gotta take them down.
I have a plan to take out the trees, redo the roof, take out the septic system and hook us into city sewer, and replace the driveway (for obvious reasons, when you’re looking at a list like that, you want to do the driveway last). Taking out the dead and obnoxious trees is a part of the master plan, but it still makes me feel a little queezy.
Will the electric company not come out and cut back or take down the trees for you? They are responsible for line maintenance on anything upstream of your house connection I think. In Memphis, MLGW has been by twice to cut back trees on our property without us even saying anything. It is just part of there line maintenance program.
To borrow an old, worn-out, and absolutely true adage about owning a home:
“It is ALWAYS something.”
First, when you’re carrying the Christmas tree up into the attic, the hinge will break on the attic door, rendering it practically useless.
Later, the water line on your icemaker will break, filling your kitchen with water.
Soon thereafter, the grout will wear away on your bathroom tile… the ceiling will start to leak over your bed… cracks will form in your walls (interior and exterior)… and the attic vent will break.
But you’ll always have your garden to cheer you up. And when life gets you down, you can go out and marvel at the bleeding hearts that surpisingly came back… the vibrant beauty of your rosebushes… and the glee that comes with watching all your dead landscaping burst into full, colorful life in April.
And then… it’s all worth it.
Jim, the electric people here come out and horribly prune the trees away from the wires – they don’t care if that makes the trees look funny or lopsided and more inclined to fall on the house.
The first summer pesimst and I lived together, the big tree at the end of the driveway dropped a GIANT branch in the driveway that ripped down the power lines and pulled the box off the house. $3000.
In the ice storm 16 months ago, the same tree dropped another enormous branch that clipped the end of the carport. Thankfully, both cars were out from under it by then, but we couldn’t put them away. Another ginormous tree dropped a branch on the roof. Big branch. Not good. Roof was okay, but the branch slid off, scraping ice as it went, landed on the carport (with the ice) and collapsed the whole carport and ripped off the end of the roof. $8000. Insurance is a blessing. But OUCH!
We now have 5 trees to take out. Hopefully by the end of summer.
Yes, there’s always something big, but prevention counts for a lot! (Ask me about the plumbing problems some day when you need to laugh at someone LOL)