Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Speaking of Prayers

I posted the Home Remodeler's Prayer the day the ice storm hit. Maybe lighting the candle saved us? For even though we were lucky, others in our small town of 1000 surrounded by Iowa City were not.

Three blocks from us is a small house whose entire front yard was a gigantic multiple trunked maple tree. Rowan and I would walk by it on Fridays coming home from school. This tree was VERY dead and the front was hollow. Nearly every time we would go by I would tell her that a dead tree like that was dangerous and it should be removed.

Well, it went down on Saturday, and to add insult to injury it took out the NEIGHBOR's house!

Here is the county assessor's picture of the tree, you can only see about a third of it in the picture:

Here is a picture of the neighbor's house:

Here is a picture from 2003 that gives you an idea of the size of the tree and the placement of the two houses. 24 has the tree 30 is the neighbor:

Here is a photo from the Iowa City paper this morning:

What you may notice is missing would be the chimney from the neighbor's house, there is also major damage to the roof, windows and front portico. The paper said the tree was 22 feet in diameter (I believe this since it was about 5 trunks all together and if measured on the long part of the oval base that would be about right!) Here is what the paper had to say:

"At 9 p.m., University Heights police were patrolling when they also heard what police Chief Ron Fort described as a loud "explosion" or "crash." When officers arrived on the scene, they saw that the tree, 22-feet wide in diameter, had fallen into the roof, took off the chimney and caved in the east side of the two-story house. It smashed the front the home, took out the windows and part of the porch and also brought down a power line." Iowa City Press Citizen

Tonight and tomorrow's forecast is for a storm at least as bad again. I think I'll go home and light that candle...

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Home Renovation and Remodeling Relief Prayer

We had our “Second Story Party” Friday night to celebrate finishing the upstairs. Our bedroom was papered right after New Year’s so we moved in up there, completing the major work upstairs.

The centerpiece of the party was of course our centerpiece on the table: the Home Renovation and Remodeling Relief Candle that was a Christmas present from my brother Jim and his wife Joyce.

Here is the text of the prayer on the candle:
Home Renovation and Remodeling Relief:

I place my feeble soul in your hands that you will come to my aid in my home renovation/remodeling project. Protect me from skyrocketing cost over runs, unreliable and incompetent workers and contractors who say “weeks” but mean “eternity”. Spare me the indignity of low flow toilet regulations and ensure that the paint on the walls actually somewhat resembles what I chose. And on my knees I beg thee that my home will not resemble a war zone forever. Amen.

Directions for use:

Sweep sawdust off available surface, place candle on blueprints and light. Repeat prayer once for every contractor fired. In extreme cases repeat prayer continuously and consult “do it yourself” books. Good Luck!

It comes from Every Day Icons

I think EVERY house blogger needs one (or more!)I'm serious, go to their site and order them right now!

We were VERY fortunate to have F & L Construction as our contractors. Everyone should be so lucky. So I made a logo for them, and had a dozen t-shirts printed with it safety green. They are much better than the old blue uniforms!

I also had a magnetic sign made for Pete’s truck. I think John and Taryl may them too. For this to all make sense you really do need to go to the F & L link above, especially the comments, to get several different takes on the history of F & L. Pete has always been a Hunter Thompson/Ralph Steadman fan so it wasn't too difficult to add a clip art hammer and a few other touches...

As to the remodler's prayer, I am daily grateful for how our home has turned out. There were so many opportunities for things to go south in a big way. Losing the house, my marriage and my sanity were all within the realm of possibility. But today I watch Lisa and the girls here and know that it was worth every bit of sweat and toil.