A Creek Runs Through It

In case any of you were worried about the new creek bed, don’t. It remains dry and in pristine unused condition. Our basement, on the other hand, continues to churn out a stead stream of water every 10-15 minutes, courtesy of two brand new sump pumps with a big battery for back- up in case of power failure.

I was out of town for two days and things, apparently have been happening. I let the dog out this morning and saw this in the backyard:

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it’s a big hole

And right now, this is in the street:

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men and machines

I took that shot too soon – the red dump truck just dumped it’s contents into the circle and more men and machines showed up. The plan, if I understand correctly, is to install a pipe under the ground in my backyard and run it to the street, create a new catch basin right at Orange Cone #1, connect that under the street to the existing catch basin at Orange Cone #2 and it will all work by gravity and everything will be great.

In other news about things that didn’t work out – you might remember we had a new concrete stoop installed at the end of the summer. We found an ironmonger with a great reputation and contracted with him to install a beautiful railing along the sides and down the single step so poor old Suzette will have something to reach for in case she goes ass over teakettle when going up or down. [A note on language here: I want you to know that Spellcheck changed my original "ironworker" to "ironmonger". It inspired me to change my original "ass over tits" to "ass over teakettle . Rarely do I appreciate Spellcheck's interference in my creative process, but this time thatbastard helped me to stay classy.]

The railing was a custom order but it would take three weeks until the job was done. The timing was great because that meant I could clean up a the end-of-season sales on fancy flower pots and all-weather wicker accessories for a new stoopscape. Well, he’s had our $800 deposit since September and there’s no railing. We can’t get him to answer our calls or emails. So, not only did I miss the end-of-season all-weather wicker sales but my whole Xmas light strategy this year was dependent on that railing being  in place. So, you know – potential falls AND War on Christmas. 9 days until Christmas and we can’t come up with an alternate lighting plan. Well, I did have a plan that involved color-changing battery operated tea lights on timers but it didn’t  work out.

Ain’t nobody got time for this. I have packages to wrap, Xmas biscotti to make and two birthdays to celebrate in the next 9 days. Also, a little thing like work. I should probably focus on the work part so I can hang onto my job as we all tumble over the fiscal cliff.

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7 thoughts on “A Creek Runs Through It

  1. It sounds like they fixed their problems with the creek by making it flow under your home so that it’s now your problem. You have my sympathy.
    All I can suggest is deep breathing excersises, moderate alcohol consumption and writing letters to your “town fathers” claiming the work on the creek has disrupted the natural habitat of certain species, and has prevented you from holding religious ceremonies honoring your bi-racial, LBGT, handicapped, foreign student and illegal immigrant congregation from exercising their civil rights.

  2. We finally decided to pave the driveway this month, after years of claiming that a gravel drive was more environmentally-friendly (it is, but not as much as you think). The guy came right away with a crew that excavated the old gravel and dirt out and – partial payment in hand – he promised that they would return the next day to put down stone and asphalt.

    Given a similar history with contractors, I slept little that night. Fortunately, they showed up bright and early, waking up the dogs into a frenzy and proceeding to put down 30 tons of petroleum/stone aggregate guaranteed to leach carcinogens and teratogens into the soil for decades to come.

    Amazing that we live in a society where the one anxiety outweighs the other.

    • Some high-minded homeowners here in the AZ desert have combined ecology with practicality by laying in driveways like this; stones or bricks laid 2 inches apart, fill the 2 inch openings with topsoil and planting drought resistant grass. They do have to mow their driveway now and then, but it gives stability to vehicles sitting or moving, natural greenery, a stable land mass, and an interesting look to the front yard.

      • Permeable pavers are used here as well. They do have the advantage of no petrochemicals, but they are really no more permeable than a solid layer of regular pavers. The dirt in between gets packed hard as rock. After a year or so there is no practical difference in rainwater flowing off them. They also are an issue with people who need walkers or wheelchairs.

        And, of course, up here where we have snow, they get dug up by the plows.

        If I could have afforded pavers or cobblestones, we might have considered them.

  3. To shorten up my long diatribe, I will only write: The screwed up your drainage and they have a tremendous amount of responsibility for any damages that result due to their errors.

    You may never need to seek the help of an attorney, but don’t hesitate to find out long you have to seek damages. If you pass that point, you lose the right. From my point of view, they should, at least, pay for the extra electricity and upgrade for keeping your basement dry.

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