Backyard blues

Oy. The backyard grade looks like it's done, though it interfered with the first day of screen-porch framing. More backyard next week, including clearing out the fence along the east side, taking out the big grapevine nightmare on the west, and hydro-seeding before the weeds kick in. The screen porch should be well along by then, weather permitting. The big issue that we'll have to iron out with the landscapers is that the guy driving the bobcat broke the sewer line clean-out in the middle of the driveway; potentially an expensive fix, and not something I'm inclined to pay for. It's unfortunate, because except for that our experience with these guys has been pretty good.

Called a tree service today for an estimate on removing the dead walnut in the NE corner of the yard. Can they do it without tearing up big chunks of the new grass? Oy.

Upstairs fireplace is temporarily stalled; Larry's estimate for installing the tile came in at $700, which the lovely A_________ says is too high. We'll order the tile and have one of Jim's guys do it. The 2nd fl flu still smells like smoke/ash/cigarettes when the wind direction is right (or wrong); should've had it swept/cleaned before the gas insert was installed. Balls. You can't get to everything.

Dan's on freaking vacation 'til Thursday or so. Will talk to him about hiring an additional painter when he gets back. He'll just have to be okay with it, I think.

Update: Things are looking a bit better today: Jim and Mike have started framing the screen porch, and you can already get a sense of its wonderful hugeness. The tree service may get in late today, which would be great. The cabinet guy should come on Friday to take a stab at leveling the kitchen floor, then the floor guys will do their thing. Really we've been very lucky (touch wood)—very few setbacks, and so far they've all been minor.

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