Long day, garden damage and a fiscal heart attack

Oy, what a long, draining day!

While waiting for a call from my mother, I figured I should just go over to her place early. Better to be there and know what was going on, than having to stick close to the phone and not being able to start anything useful.

My mother had got up early to prepare, expecting the exterminator to come fairly early. By the time I called her, she was ready for a nap! So I took my time getting there, stopping to gas up her car and pick up some chicken and wedges for an eventual lunch.

I did try to let her sleep, but conversation kept happening. I found out she’d called my sister about coming over – at 8am this morning, rather than last night, when I suggested she call. My sister works until 1am, and her husband is retired, so my mother woke them up with her call!

She told me she also called someone to try and find out when the exterminator would come, but they didn’t know and asked her if she’d called a different office. I eventually found out she had called the senior’s centre, and I had to explain to her that they have nothing to do with running the building my mother lives in. It’s owned and managed by the provincial government. My mother thought that, because they do so many things in the building (mostly centered around social activities), they were somehow part of it. I had explained this to her the last time her place got sprayed for bed bugs, but it was all new to her again. :-/ Then she wanted me to call the appropriate office, and I had to explain again that the people in the office don’t now where the exterminator is at any given time, because he goes from place to place within and area. She was not impressed by this.

After a couple of hours, my mother suddenly remembered her daily Mass was on TV, so she got up to watch. I suggested we have lunch, but at first she said no, but told me to go ahead. I had had a very early breakfast (I actually remembered to have one!), so I started putting a plate together for myself.

Of course JUST as I took my first bite, there was a knock at the door!

Yup. At almost 2pm, the exterminator arrived.

When he saw the food on the table, he said he would do the apartment next door so we could finish eating. My mother quickly joined me and we hurriedly ate a bit, then put the rest away. My mother also quickly put some other stuff away including…

Putting her toaster in the fridge.

It took me a while to figure it out, but it actually is a great idea. They have to spray in the kitchen, too, and by putting it in the fridge, there is no chance of the spray getting into the toaster and coating the parts and pieces as would still be possible if she, say, put it in a cupboard. It’s not like you can wash the inside of a toaster!

I had a chance to meet the exterminator, and he was such a sweetheart! The most gentle mannerism, and so very kind. He was apologetic about how long it took for him to get there, and when I mentioned my mother needing to be away for 12 hours, and he realised she had respiratory issues, he said that if he had to come back, he would make sure to start with her. My mother was asking if this could be the last time her place got sprayed, but all he could say was that it depended on what he found today.

Then we were off, along with my mother’s overnight bag – just in case she ended up staying the night with my sister. Which, from what I could tell, she had not brought up with her; just the possibility of a visit. We were leaving so late, though, I knew my sister would probably be getting ready to leave for work. My mother had an errand with the office for the department that runs her building – it just happens to share the building the courts and court office area in, so I was quite familiar with getting there. Meanwhile, I was trying to send message to my sister to let her know what was going on, and if I was right about my mother not saying anything to her about it, warn her that my mother was expecting to spend the night. My sister has tomorrow of, so my mother thought it would be quite convenient for her to take my mother home – but it turned out my sister had company coming. I passed things on to my mother as I was able, and she eventually decided it would be just too much to go to my sister’s, so we went to the Walmart to do a bit of shopping. By then, we were literally about to go to my sister’s place, so I was happy to park and message her that she was in the clear!

After we got what we wanted, my mother told me to take her to the hotel she had stayed at before. Which she had told my brother she was going to do, but then told me she didn’t want to. Frankly, I think the hotel, so close to home and with a 24 hr convenience store right next door, was better for her, anyhow. If nothing else, she wouldn’t have to take stairs to get to the bathroom!

By the time I got my mother settled in and I was heading home, it was coming up on 6pm. Traipsing around with my mother is very draining, even though everything did go very well. I mean, she’s 90, and I’m no spring chicken, myself, so we were both pretty tired!

When I had left home this morning, we’d already had some heaving rains, and some periods of high winds. When I did my evening rounds and checked out the garden, I found some of our whirligigs to startle deer had been blown away. Then I found the sweet corn looking like this…

The stalks aren’t actually broken, though, thankfully. If I can find something to use as supports, I will see if I can run lines through to hold them up again.

Then I got to the ground cherries.

Again, they don’t seem to be actually broken, but one side of the patch is quite flattened!

The super tall kulli corn, meanwhile…

… also had stalks blown down.

On the other side of the bed, the corn was pushed over enough to create an arch over the path!

It would have been knocked flat, where it not for the netting around it!

From the looks of the things that got blown down, it seems they were hit by sudden gusts of wind. Even one of the winter squash vines got blown around, and a single Chocolate Cherry tomato plant got broken, but not the ones on either side. Even sections of tall grass in the outer yard showed patches that were newly flattened, while others were not. Aside from the one broken tomato, though, it doesn’t look like anything in the garden was actually broken and killed off.

I hope I’m right about that!

Things are supposed to get hot over the next few days; even hot enough to match a record high of 30C/86F, set in 2007. Which I much prefer over the record low for the same day, of 4C/39F.

Along with all that, I came home to find a message on the answering machine from one of the roofing companies we got estimates from, back in 2019. When I emailed them, I mentioned the 2019 estimate and asked for an updated one. The guy that called remembered the place, and even remembered talking to me when he came out here. In 2019, the estimate was just under $9,000, plus whatever amount it would cost to repair any rot they found that can’t be seen yet, which gets charged by the square foot. That’s why I rounded up to $10,000.

I didn’t think to ask what the square part was. I was somewhat distracted by the new estimate. Based on what he saw in 2019, the job will now cost just under $16,000 – for now! Their suppliers are saying the cost of materials will go up another 20% in November.

My mother couldn’t accept a 10K estimate, 3 years ago. During a conversation we’d had fairly recently, I told her that today, it would probably cost about $15K, and she didn’t believe me. It turns out I was under estimating.

She has told my brother (not me) to find out the cost and she would pay for a new roof, but I don’t know if she would still be willing. She is so convinced that everyone is trying to cheat her, because she’s an old lady (never mind that they’d be dealing with my brother).

One thing that could be done is to accept the estimate and put down a deposit. Once a deposit is made, the price is locked, even if the work doesn’t get done until spring – though having it done before winter would certainly save us on more roof damage, and heating costs. He did ask if there were leaks right now, and I said yes, there are two of them (though one leaks only when the snow melts in the spring). He then said that they could do a patch job, instead, if that works out.

I’ve passed this on to my brother. We still have the other company to hear from.

I will be going to check my mother out of her hotel room and bringing her home in the late morning. Hopefully, they will call while I am home, but if I don’t hear from them, I will try phoning them myself.

My mother actually can cover the cost of a roof replacement; the question is, will she do it, or is she just teasing us again? The most she does that, though, the more expensive it will ultimately be, and the more hidden damage there will be.

The Re-Farmer

2 thoughts on “Long day, garden damage and a fiscal heart attack

  1. Eeegads!!

    I need to have my house re-stucco’, which will also require a lot of repairs and replacements first (wood rot). Since I can’t afford much over $1.00 these days, I haven’t even called for estimates.

    Liked by 1 person

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