Friday, August 14, 2009

weeds, paint, humidity, critters

This Japanese Knotweed is apparently the plant from hell. Unchecked, it will eat your whole yard, house, family, pets. Killing it involves a long, vigilant campaign of mowing, uprooting, applying herbicide, and depriving the plants of light. Even then, the knotweed can lay dormant for up to 20 years until conditions become more favorable.

I want to avoid spraying weedkiller; no matter how safe Monsato says Roundup is, I don't want poison near me, my dogs, or in my ground water. After our neighbor was kind enough to mow the knotweed down to its stumps, we staked four heavy duty tarps over the entire patch.

It's putting up a fight under there, the pointy stems trying to slice their way through to sunlight, but without photosynthesis, it should eventually tire out. We'll see. Since the knotweed is in a low part of the yard, we may eventually fill in soil right over the tarps and plant grass.

Three coats of primer and two coats of paint later, the pink laundry room is finally green and white. I love the colors, but the lumpy wallpaper underneath looks awful. It was already painted, and we just didn't have time to peel it off before the washer and dryer were delivered. Eventually, I'd love to replace the wood laminate cabinets and redo the walls.

Rod installed a dehumidifier in the basement, and hooked it up to the sump pump. Thank god, because that basement is spider city, and I was getting tired of going down there to empty out the water. The basement is still ridiculously wet. It needs a barrier of plastic and crushed rock to keep out groundwater. I will have nothing to do with it. Too creepy down there.

Spiders, earwigs, and possibly mice have had the run of this place for almost a year. I'm shooing them out, room by room, and sucking up their homes with our new shop-vac. I feel like Mary Bailey fixing up 320 Sycamore in It's A Wonderful Life.

Next projects: paint the pink for girls and blue for boys bedrooms classy, boring colors before the movers bring our furniture on the 26th. New roof at the end of the month. Also, should we replace the rotten deck this year or buy a new refrigerator? Should we get an energy audit and learn where we need insulation? (Do we really want to know?)