I'm up and running again but have been negligent about updating the blog . . . . Why? I'm really tired and it's not really the running.
We'd been planning on renovating again. But, this time, we need the city's permission. Seems we don't own the front yard (Yes, this was disclosed when we bought the place) and need a public space permit to dig a hole, move the utility meter, and put a front door in on the basement level. We've been working on this since late January, found a contractor to do to the job, spoke with an electrician and the electric company, and had anticipated being mostly done by now . . . but, that was way too optimistic. This is District of Columbia bureaucracy we're talking about here.
First, Mac spends several days calling around to find out what we need. We needed plans drawn up by an architect. It seems that this is a piddling little job that most architects want nothing to do with. We finally find one who would assign the job to his assistant (?). So, nice guy comes out and measures and draws up plans and drops them off. Mac takes them to the city and discovers that the city wants some changes made to the plan, needs to be on mylar (?) and needs an official plot of the property from the city. Fine, we order the official plot, we call the architect back and he agrees to make changes. I week later, we call him to find out what happened to him and he brings over the plans. So now we have to find a place that makes mylars and get our plans copied. We get one mylar and four backup copies as requested and Mac heads back to the city planning office. But, the city still wants more changes, wants a document showing how much dirt we will dig up and where it will go and wants the plans stamped by an engineer licensed by DC. (At this point, Mac is stomping around and cursing). We call the architect to make more changes and he (bless him) agrees to call around and find an engineer to stamp the plans since, apparently, his firm has no engineer licensed by DC. A few days later, Mac heads out to the suburbs to meet with an engineer and get the plans stamped. Then, it's back to the planning office where, it turns out, four copies is not enough because four copies only covers the one department that needs the paperwork. Paperwork also has to be sent off to every utility company that services our property for approval and a variety of government departments. There is no copy place near the planning office so Mac treks off to make more copies. Returning, he discovers that he also needs more copies of some other document on 11x17 paper but no copier in the building can accommodate them so it's off to find a copy place again. Finally, all the paperwork is submitted and Mac is instructed to return Monday. Mac returns on Monday to discover that the city can't find the paperwork . . . . .
In the mean time, we've been working on the backyard, which you may remember from a previous entry.
It's hard to tell from the picture, but it's going to be lovely. The pile of dirt under the green tarp (left) and the plants in buckets (right) are destined for raised beds surrounded by a little brick wall against the right and back fences. The table (currently upside down on the on the compost bin) and chairs go on the newly laid patio (center). The hammock goes under the tree in the corner (left).
Because, I work at my assistantship two and a half days a week, do an internship one day a week, take a class two nights a week, and our weekends are booked from now until Christmas, Fridays are the day we are supposed work on the yard. Two Fridays ago, we tore down the old fence (which may have been up by sheer willpower) and sunk new fence posts. Somehow the job took longer than we thought it would and after my 10 mile run on Saturday morning, I spent 10 hours putting up a fence in the back yard. Tuesday, when I was supposed to be studying, we hauled the old fence post and a bunch of trash from next door that had been collecting water to the dump (we'd spoken with the landlord about the trash but he doesn't care much about the place and we just wanted it gone). Friday, we poured the patio which means we first leveled the ground, then I hauled nearly 40 bags of concrete from the curb and smoothed the concrete that Mac was mixing and pouring. Saturday morning, I got up and ran 12 miles.
That's why I'm tired.