Been a slow few weeks at the rehab.
After digging up the pool, I took the following weekend off to lay low and do some yard work. One of the challenges of living in a rehab project is I can't just clock out at 4 or 5 pm every day and walk away from the place; it's where I live and, as such, a place I have to maintain. Sometimes, rehab work has to take a back seat to dealing with rogue tree limbs or ivy gone wild or planing grass, etc.
In the background, I've been trying - slowly - to get approval from the city to redo the porch. Unfortunately, it's a situation where one group, the CRO, holds pretty much all the decision-making power unless somebody wants to really make some noise and have a hearing in front of the preservation board. In short, I have to replicate, like, EXACTLY replicate, the original structure or whatever's left of it.
Problem #1: not all of the original structure (namely, the railing) is still in place and the CRO wants to me build some generic railing, with specs and dimensions they provide. I think their proposed railing is garbage, and not nearly detailed enough relative to what remains of the original porch.
Problem #2: their railing detail says that the bottom rail of the railing is to be the EXACT same width as the balusters. Their detail also says that the bottom rail of the railing is to be WIDER than the balusters. I've asked for clarification and received and garbage answer.
Problem #3: In general, I feel like their people just read from a script and don't actually know what they're talking about. For example, I was told that all wood needed to be painted AND stained.
Which is ridiculous; you don't paint AND stain, you paint OR stain.
And even then, we're talking about an exterior structure; paint will protect the wood, stain will not. At all. So what's the point? What's the CRO's desire or motivation? To protect the wood? Then stain is the wrong thing to mandate. To arbitrarily force somebody to make their wooden structure some color? Why? Can anybody prove that the thing was originally painted in 1878 (nope)?
Problem #4: per modern building codes, I can NOT replicate what was built in 1878. The building division won't give me a building permit for that. So who wins the battle between the building division and the CRO? No idea. I've asked, haven't gotten a response.
So it's been a frustrating process.
And then there's the mice. Holy hell.
When I gutted the basement a month or two back, I had 11 mouse carcasses fall out of the ceiling. And when I bought the place and first moved in, I definitely noticed the insane amounts of mouse poison the previous owners had stocked up and left in the basement for me.
I figured, between the moving in, the demo, the commotion, and the dogs, the mice were dead and gone. For a while that seemed to be the case.
Then about a week ago I ran downstairs to do some laundry. It was kinda dark, as most of the lights have been demo'd. I had just enough light to find my way through the mess down there to get to the washing machine. On the way there, I saw a small dark spot on the basement floor move. Run, actually.
It was a mouse. A live one.
I figured it wasn't unreasonable to find a live one, given that I'd found 11 dead ones. I wasn't happy about it, but 1 lone basement mouse, that could be dealt with. No reason to get worked up.
I got a couple traps. Baited them. Nothin'.
Then a couple days ago, late one night, I was in the bedroom banging away on the computer. The dogs were in there with me. I finished whatever I was working on, got up to go turn the lights and TV off so we could go to sleep, and while walking through the big front room, a little mouse scampered across the floor.
Oh. Hell. No.
A lone basement mouse is one thing. One - or more - trying to cohabitate the main floor with me, nope. Not gonna happen.
Last weekend I moved everything and cleaned the entire first floor, doing whatever I could to lessen the chances of a mouse finding a good spot to call "home". I did the same down in the basement, getting about halfway through before having to call it a weekend.
And last night...SNAP. Disposed of a mouse and trap, and 10 minutes later, SNAP. Got another one.
So...minimal progress lately; this year has been so weird and stupid I'm not sure how crazy my expectations should be.
But I got a couple mice, and that counts for something.