Sunday, October 28, 2007

Expo greatness, and some work finally done...I hope...

First of all, the Chicago Bungalow and Green Home Expo was FANTASTIC. If you did not attend, you missed out, seriously. They said there were something like 10,000 people there, and it sure seemed like they weren't lying. The exhibitors were wonderful, and we got some great leads and even some coupons and stuff on furniture, gardening places, tankless water heaters, stained glass windows, etc., etc.

One of the seminars we sat in on was a landscaping seminar, describing how they landscaped the front and side yards with a prairie replica and a rain garden with a french drain between the houses. This is, more or less, what I wanted to do with the area between my house and the neighbor to the west. Not all the way along the houses, but definitely where our downspout comes out into the grass. Hopefully, she will be keen on the idea, or I'll just have to dig on my side of the property line. Either way, I got some great guidance for that project, so I'm psyched about it. All in all, it was really, really good. I even got some serious interest on the side "business" I was thinking of starting with a coworker. I didn't walk around promoting it, but I did bounce the idea off folks who seemed as though they might be interested, and they were. So, I'm excited about those prospects now too.

After the Expo, we had a Halloween party to attend...everyone voted me the party winner for my excellent White Goodman (from the movie Dodgeball) costume. I cobbled it together, drew and constructed the chest plate and belt "buckle," (Gina sewed the shoulder pads to the shirt...thanks honey!) and generally did a great job, honestly. Thanks, Luis, for the boots...they were perfect! Here's a picture of me and Gina, who played Kate Veach, the chick from the same movie:

This morning I woke up and decided today was the day to patch the concrete around the stairs and the wing walls as best as I could. So I went to Home Depot and bought some simple Portland Cement and filled in the cracks and attempted to rebuild the crumbled portions of the wing wall foundation. Here's a pic of my haphazard attempts at holding the concrete in place...also, obviously, I don't care if the cement matches the concrete or not. I just care that it is solid and doesn't let anymore seepage into the basement room underneath the stairs. We don't get much, but if water gets in these cracks and freezes, it'll get worse before it gets better.

So we'll see tomorrow how it holds up...if it holds up at all. :) Oh, and last but not least...Gina learned a hard lesson about why you don't leave a real pumpkin out on the porch before least the squirrels got to it before the neighborhood kids did. That may have ended up being worse.

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