A Bottomless Morass of Projects and Running Around

Kate's first birthday is tomorrow, and we've been planning her party for the upcoming weekend.  Thus, projects are falling into three buckets:

  1. Get done in time for the party
  2. Get done as soon as humanly possible, but not necessarily in time for the party
  3. Get done whenever

The lawn fell into category #1.  Thirty yards of topsoil were spread by hand, after moving around via wheelbarrows and the dump cart on my John Deere.  (Thanks, Jimmy and Jack!)  About three quarters of that was tamped by hand or by repeatedly running it over with heavy things.  Two big bags of Scott's seed were spread, followed by starter fertilizer.  And the grass is coming in.  It's growing surprisingly fast, and you can see a difference from day to day.  Yes, that's true.  Every morning, I peek into the back yard before I go to work and I assess the grass situation.  I do believe that we'll have something that passes for a lawn on August 1st.

A major project in category #2 is demolishing the basement.  We have a mold problem, thanks to a moisture problem.  And the basement demo needs to be done before any projects get started on.  Over the weekend, we were finishing up the demolition (Thanks, Jimmy and Paul!) and I have about 20 bags' worth of material to take out to the dumpster.  From there, it's just a Shop Vaccing away from having the mold abatement guys come in and do their thing.  They wanted to charge me to get rid of half the sheet rock in the basement, and I figured I could save some money by getting rid of all of it myself.  (Well, with family help anyway...)

Of course, this means that all other projects are in category #3.  This includes weeding the garden, pouring various concrete slabs, digging out and transplanting the arbor vitaes around the foundation, painting the porch and a bunch of other things I'd like to be doing right now.  But first, the basement.

On top of all this crap, our garage fridge broke down last night.  Until recently, the garage fridge was our kitchen fridge.  So in the grand scheme of things, having it go on the fritz now means a couple o' skunky beers and not an entire fridge-full of spoiled food.  But still, it sucked to have to go out to Home Depot last night and negotiate with the floor nerds for favorable pricing on a fridge that doesn't need to be - how should I say? - cosmetically perfect.  While I was there, I ran into a family friend who gave us a window air conditioner while we wait for our central air system to be replaced.  (Thanks, Don!)

Notice a theme here?  I couldn't have done any of this without support from family and friends, so thanks to all of you who have pitched in to help us renovate.  Extra special mega-thanks to Jimmy for graciously giving up his spare time to share (and, often, absorb much of) the grunt work.