Saturday, September 23, 2023

November Hill farm journal, 192

Very relieved to report that the big garage project was completed yesterday just in time for the rain rolling in this weekend. For the past year we’ve had random flooding happening in the garage/basement storage area that came from water seeping in through the cinder block foundation walls on two sides of our house. It wasn’t happening every time it rained, but the last time it happened it was a lot of water and spread across the entire basement, which it had never done previously. 

After a lot of research I found a reputable company and we got an assessment and quote. In order to do the work, the large storage room and one side of the garage had to be completely cleared out, our HVAC unit in the garage storage room had to be disconnected, moved out for the work, then reconnected, and the hot water tank had to be turned off. We initially planned to move it out too but that ended up being so much plumbing work the plan changed to route the work around it. 

I coordinated with the basement repair company, electrician, our HVAC company, and the gas company to get this all done in the right sequence during the two-day project. I’m very grateful that it went very well and is now complete. We have a drain system going around the interior walls, a waterproof shield up to the ceiling of the two walls, a huge pump system to route water out and away from the house, and a dehumidifier to keep the entire basement humidity level low. 

Thankfully this work didn’t involve anyone coming upstairs, so managing the menagerie wasn’t part of the coordination. Though the jack-hammering of concrete meant I had the TV and air filters on the entire first day to mute the noise a bit!

Part two of this project is sorting through every single thing that was in the garage storage room prior to being moved into the other garage bay. My goal is for less than half to go back in there, but with the rainy weekend upon us, this chore will have to wait until next week.

I have two more large projects to complete this year: one is having a new walk-in shower installed in our upstairs bathroom, and the other is having new stall windows put in at the barn. Other than that, I’m going to do a little interior painting, get back to gardening once the Monarchs and other butterflies have moved on, and that is it for 2023. 

Of course, the power company who told me they would be doing tree removal along the easement at the back of our property in December showed up two days before this big basement project. Thankfully the one tree they’re removing on our property is still slated for December as I had requested, but many trees on other properties that I have no jurisdiction over have been removed and a huge and very ugly “road” has been made for all the machinery they used to do the work. It is awful, but they at least left the native plants that are currently feeding all kinds of insect and bird life, including Monarchs. 

I won’t get onto my soapbox about what an environmental fiasco this is when they do it, but suffice it to say, there are better ways than what they did, but they didn’t butcher everything in their path this time, so I suppose that is a small victory. 

Meanwhile, the natives on November Hill are going wild. This ironweed has a pretty passiflora lutea climbing through it. In years past I pulled the passiflora not knowing what it was, but it has many benefits for pollinators and I’ve been leaving it the past few years. The larger passiflora species I planted in the front bed to replace the non-native clematis is growing madly this year, all the way to the roof of the porch! 

A little fun inside the house… my grandson inspired me to get some Play-doh and tools to play with it in advance of his next visit. I’m as excited as I think he will be to have these colors and tools to work with. We are going to have fun on Sunday!

I was taking photos of figs early in the week for a writing project I’m doing. The figs this year have been beautiful and the biggest I’ve ever seen them. Most of them fill my palm. And are still ripening, though we are likely nearing the end of their season as the temperatures cool down.

I think all of us are ready for fall days and the end of horsefly season. Those too have been plentiful and BIG this year. 

A little writing news - a flash nonfiction piece called Swallows has been accepted by JMWW for publication in October. I’ll share the link when it’s up. 


Kathleen said...

So happy that your waterproofing project went well, especially with all the rain we're getting. Best of luck with the sorting and redistributing of the garage stuff!

billie said...

Thanks so much! I hope we get some dry days Mon and Tuesday so at least a couple of truckloads can go to Habitat.