They knocked it down to put up a fucking Starbucks. At least Second Chance saved the neon.
I bought this shirt for Jen ten years ago because I loved the design; it didn’t fit her well so she didn’t wear it much. Finley claimed it a year or two ago and loves it, and that makes it even better.
There’s a crew outside with a bobcat scraping inches of dirt, rock, and mulch off the top of the driveway to prepare it for crushed gravel. They’re going 3″ down before they build things back up, so they’ve already uncovered a hand-built “drain” that was put in to the right side of the garage door at some point 30 years ago which had completely collapsed. All of the mulch is gone, as is the curb on the far side. We’re widening out the front to make it a true two-lane driveway, as well as building up and leveling off the far side so that we don’t need to continually parallel-park on a slope.
It’s about 16′ at its widest, which is a tight two-car width, but that’s worlds better than a 1-car dirt pathway. And that fucking curb is gone! They’ll be back to put down the asphalt tomorrow.
Our garage looks shittier and shittier. I’m going to have to do something about that and the whole east side of the house this fall.
We’ve had a giant rhododendron in our driveway since we moved in this house. It’s a pain in the ass because it was allowed to grow for too long unchecked, so its footprint reached out into the door-swinging space of an already narrow area. Originally it was one of three, but I yanked the other two out after they died.
There was a whole section of parking that really wasn’t parking because of this. We noticed it was getting sickly this spring, and one of two main branches died off before springtime. Jen and I made a deal that we’d let it bloom one last season and then I’d yank it out. On Saturday morning, its time was up.
I worked on it with a pair of clippers and a shovel, clearing out the bottom of the two branches and digging down about 2 feet with the aid of a mattock, and gave it a couple of shoves to see how well it was clinging to Earth. Then I put the Scout in 4lo, wrapped my snatch strap around the base, and goosed the accelerator. POP!
It came right out. No drama, no fuss. I used the chainsaw to section it up into smaller bits and filled the hole back in. It sure does look different over there now.
I posted a version of this on Instagram, but I like it so much I put it here too.
My folks are in town this week so that my dad can do some testing at Johns Hopkins for his breathing. They saw him on Wednesday and then had him come right back on Thursday for observation; he’s been there ever since. They’re trying to untangle why he continues to have issues getting full lungfuls of air. So far everything is good. He’s in good hands at the hospital. They’re feeding him well, and he’s comfortable. Unfortunately, this meant he missed our Thanksgiving dinner. Due to other illness, we were down three other family members, so we had four empty seats and an 18 lb. bird to eat. Luckily, the Redmans were free, and we found a way to stuff as much food in our stomachs as possible. Finn had a friend to play with, and we adults got some time to talk amongst ourselves.
The piping in the basement is fixed. I got a plumber in the door on Wednesday and within a half an hour he had the joint sweated, sealed, and finished for only $100. So we came out about $400 ahead of the deal.
September 21, 2016
Look at the size of that kid. How did she get so tall?
All photos by Mama. God, she’s gotten so big.