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14 May 2007 @ 05:24 pm
The Story So Far...  
Yes, I still exist and actually spend time on LiveJournal, though the house(s) monster has been eating most of my so-called "free" time recently.

Since last posting we have finished pretty much everything we plan on finishing unless the Realtor or Open House attendees point out something that has to be done. I will still put the drop ceiling into the basement foyer, but that will most definitely be it.

Since they want us out of the house when it is being shown (and, of course, it is much easier to keep the house clean when we aren't there), we're trying to figure out ways we can spend more time in Indiana. This is problematic, as ladyat still hasn't finished transitioning the physical office management duties to her volunteers yet. However, since there were still winter repairs issues in Indiana that need to be addressed now, I headed up for a week or so.

I had gotten some very bad news that a high school friend's wife had passed away suddenly and the visitation would be the Thursday I was planning to drive north anyway, so I took the full day off and rocketed up. By dint of two (count 'em!) speeding tickets I managed to get to the funeral home just at the end of the visitation. I attended the funeral the next day, though I didn't get to speak to any of the family because of the large attendance.

Also just before leaving home I received a message from neighbors across the street that we had achieved tenants in our open soffit - a family of raccoons, mama and three babies. Fortunately, the eaves are walled away from the rest of the attic so there is no hole big enough to give access to the house. Unfortunately, for obvious reasons the damage cannot be repaired while the family is living there, nor can we really risk the problems caused by raccoon "debris" getting into the house through air vents and cracks. I called the local critter catcher and the humane traps are out, though of course catching the mama without the babies could be a problem. I hate to risk that, but I can't afford to risk more animals moving into the house by waiting for them all to grow up (never mind the increasing amount of said "debris" that will build up).

I caught one of the babies yesterday - it was stuck on the broken top of one of the front porch pillars. According to the neighbors it had been there the night before, so I think that the mama simply couldn't reach it and it wasn't strong enough (or big enough) to climb the bricks. I put on my long-sleeved shirt and my gloves and plucked it from its perch, then put it into the humane trap where it could wait to be transported. Today, my critter guy moved the kit into the back of a two-part cage trap with a little food and water - he should start crying for mama and then we're hoping the mama comes down with the other babies and gets caught.

This all happened because every company I called to come out and fix the soffit did that sort of lip-sucking thing common to all contractors, offered to get me an estimate a few days hence, and never followed through. The basic problem seems to be that these are a very old architectural feature - not just box gutters per se but built into the ends of the roof rather than built on similar to modern gutters. This is, it seems, too much of a challenge for most contractors even out here.

The last folks I talked to (just before our last trip to Atlanta) passed us on to another area guy who does a lot of this kind of work. He agreed that he could do it, but we were caught in a little limbo waiting to find out if the original contractor wanted to have the guy as a subcontractor or whether they meant him to work with me directly. We neither one heard anything for a couple of weeks - even though I called the original contractor again as soon as I got back to town. On Friday night I went to one of the local bars for dinner and ran into the partner of the subcontractor - we basically decided that since the main contractor had showed no interest in calling either of us back, as far as I was concerned they could come on out here and get started. I'm expecting them to start as soon as the critters are safely relocated.

On top of everything else, my dad's sister died on Saturday. It's been a pretty rough few days for him. He's coming back from Florida a week earlier than he had originally planned so he can be here for the funeral. I'll be picking him up from the airport (and ladyat also) on Wednesday, we expect the funeral to be Thursday.

Next week I have a business trip in Dallas. ladyat will be here in Indiana that week. The original plan was for us to swap places over the weekend (we have a commitment in Atlanta on Sunday), though now she'll be coming in earlier and flying back to Atlanta pretty close to the same time I am on Saturday. She'll fly back to Indiana on Sunday and then drive to Columbus for Marcon, where Three Weird Sisters are the guests. I'll fly straight in from Dallas Thursday night.

Our main goal now is to get the house to sell as soon as possible. If the soffit repairs aren't completed by the end of Marcon I'll be staying a few extra days (I don't want to leave a hole with a metaphoric "free rent" sign on it). We're checking schedules to see if we can start swinging the pendulum from living in Atlanta to living more in Indiana. We'll see where we are in another 30 days.
Current Mood: frustratedimpatient
Marybraider on May 14th, 2007 10:53 pm (UTC)
Geez. Busy, much?

Hope your Marcon goes more smoothly. I look forward to seeing you there!
Gypsy Youngravenyoungraven on May 14th, 2007 11:13 pm (UTC)
Eh, we've got a seisiun at a bar in the Dallas area at Tuesday nights if you find yourself bored.
Bill Suttonbedlamhouse on May 15th, 2007 03:03 pm (UTC)
Oooh! Where is it? I'll be in Richardson for the meeting, it'd be great to drag some people along.
Debbie Gtollers on May 15th, 2007 01:19 am (UTC)
Oy... what a mess!

Good luck w/ catching mom and the other two babies! So far I haven't had to deal with babies, but we've been live-trapping raccoons and possums (which had apparently taken up residence under my mini-barn) in my backyard all spring. Possums can make an awful racket when they're angry. Raccoons at least have the benefit of being cute!

I'll be at Marcon on a day pass on Friday, so I'll see y'all there. And yay that you're moving towards living in IN sooner rather than later. :-)
zencuppa on May 15th, 2007 02:40 am (UTC)
Summer plans
I've got my three year old for the summer, so maybe one of those weekends I can bring Matt and visit you two (and maybe Jim too, if he's up for it).

Would you have space for one couple and an active three year old at your place in Indiana?

Jim and I were in Atlanta just a few weeks ago, but it was the first weekend of May, so I figured you were busy with lots of stuff.

Bill Suttonbedlamhouse on May 15th, 2007 03:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Summer plans
Could be fun, we'd love to see you! It all depends a lot on our schedule and the house sale, but we can keep in touch about it.
markbernsteinmarkbernstein on May 15th, 2007 03:22 am (UTC)
Deepest sympathies on the two funerals and the insane schedule. I already promised your lovely wife a hug at Marcon. You, I'll buy a drink for.
starmalachitestarmalachite on May 15th, 2007 07:44 am (UTC)
Deepest sympathies on the loss of your aunt, and for your widowed friend.
Debbie's Blatheringsohiblather on May 17th, 2007 02:07 pm (UTC)
Very sorry to hear about your aunt and your friend. :-(

Good luck with the house situation!