Answers for Your Questions #2

More answers to questions in the e-mail. Have a question about Casa Decrepit? Send it to us.

Have you had tetanus shots?

We are both up to date on our tetanus, yes. A lot of people don't realize that tetanus is not just a risk from rusty nails, but from dirt in any kind of open wound. So if you're doing home improvement or gardening, make sure your tetanus shot is up to date. Seriously, I'm not a doctor but this one is just common sense.

Wait. You just paid a ton of money to upgrade your pipes and it made your water taste worse?

Well, yes. Copper pipe is an investment in the future. For one thing, the old pipes could not be added to or modified in any way; copper can be. For another, copper will just plain last longer. Yeah, all pipes make the water taste funny temporarily -- this is why people who move into those new suburbs complain about their water so much. It's not the water, it's the new pipes. But in a year or two, the pipes have oxidized enough on the inside that they no longer make the water taste funny, and they won't be tossing rust into the fixtures any more.

So for a while we could use a Brita filter, I guess, but I don't mind the metallic taste. It's livable. On an inconvenience scale of 1 to 10, this ranks as a 2. And after a couple of weeks, the fluxy taste was totally gone, so it stopped tasting plain old bad. I'm guessing most people who buy new houses and hate the water taste just need to flush the system (a week or so of running the water works) to get the flux taste out.

How do you get in that basement, anyway?

We open the hatch, veeeery carefully check to make sure the ladder is there, then climb in. It's a bit unwieldy, and we do eventually plan to build a staircase -- like maybe this summer or something -- but it works for us for now. We didn't ever want a living space, anyway, just a storage room for garden tools and a place to store things that need to be kept cool.

Was the dumpster expensive?

Not really. The city puts it on the street for us for a $500 deposit, and in general we keep it long enough for the weekly rent to be about that much, plus the removal fee. If we worked harder and longer, we could save money on the rent and have it moved sooner, but we find the tradeoff of time versus money is worth it to us to go a bit slower and not kill ourselves.

It is considerably cheaper to have the dumpster sit in the driveway, as we used to, but we didn't have that choice this time because all the stuff we needed to move was in the driveway. The perils of getting rid of our parking lot, I guess.

Why did you throw out all those bricks?

We didn't throw out all the bricks. We threw out a lot of them, but most of them were taken away by neighbors, and a large number are stacked in the back yard waiting to be used in some landscaping thing. But we threw out a bunch because after offering them for free on Craig's List for two weeks, we still had a lot of bricks.

Why do you keep moving sod around?

When we went to put down the sod, the foundation guys were not entirely done around the house, so we put a large portion of it in a place where we don't actually want grass, eventually. So as we need to use that space (to plant trees), we move sod to places where it was supposed to go.

So far, Noel has insisted that we didn't need to rent a sod cutter and he could just dig it free. This is technically possible, but it is hard work, so this weekend, when we plan to do a great deal of sod moving, we're renting the sod cutter.

Why haven't you posted much lately?

Because we haven't been doing anything. Well, nothing visible. We've been doing some paperwork stuff. I hoped the roses would be here by now, but so far only three have shown up, and the quinces haven't come in yet, either, so we haven't have anything to plant. We're also waiting for contractors to have schedule time to meet with us about projects.

We will be planting the citrus this weekend, and doing a bunch of dirt/sod moving and site grading, so look for a more interesting post Saturday night or Sunday morning.

posted by ayse on 02/09/06