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It begins

Monday. That’s the day the long-awaited (and long-dreaded) foundation project commences.

The Wandering Monk and I had hoped to start in April, but it’s been far too cold and wet. It’s still cold, but we’re headed into a drier period, so here we go.

This weekend I’m schlepping the last movable stuff out of the back end of the house. We’re going to be tearing up sections of the floor, then replacing beams and jacking the house up from within, so it all has to go. (There is simply not enough ground clearance for anyone but a masochist or a devil-may-care 21-year-old to slither under the back end of the house to work on the foundation from beneath the floor.)

Where all the stuff from that half of the house will go, I’m still not sure. Wherever it ends up, it’ll surely disrupt life for the weeks (months?) this project takes.

Will foundation repair disrupt blogging? That I also don’t know. I’ll be the Monk’s sole minion. My jobs will entail hauling tearout rubble into the yard, keeping the work area clean, fetching tools, helping mix cement for the footers, leveling new posts, chemically treating exposed surfaces against bugs and rot, and eventually cranking the 20-ton bottle jacks to raise the house. And those are merely my minion jobs. As the client, I’m also on call for another set of duties. The Monk is very, very big on consulting on every decision, however minor. While that does produce a happier result when the job’s done, it means this poor client may not get much time to sit around and Think Deep Thoughts.

The more apprehensive the Monk is about a job, the more he calls for consultations. And he’s very apprehensive about this one.

So we shall see. But I’m sure there will be days off. If you don’t hear from me for a day or two, hang in there. I’ll be back. Probably with photos.

And if you happen to be at the NRA annual meeting …

I’m relaying a special request that you stop by a couple of booths and give unholy hell to those responsible for this sell-out. We’re talking about Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms, the two major forces behind the Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association.

I’m not generally in the business of recommending that anybody punish firearms manufacturers for yet another of their many and typical sellouts. But this request comes from one of the lonely voices of hardcore gun-rights reason in Illinois who would like to feel less alone. So go get ’em. And you might just remind ’em:

No man escapes when freedom fails,
The best men rot in filthy jails.
And those who cried, “Appease, Appease,”
Are hanged by those they tried to please.


  1. Pat
    Pat April 29, 2017 11:01 am

    Hope everything goes well with the house repair.

    With all that hard work, you may lose some weight. As my mother used to say, “Eat a good breakfast, and you’ll make it through the day.”

  2. firstdouglas
    firstdouglas April 29, 2017 12:14 pm

    Looking forward to pictures. Good luck with the work–and especially with moving *stuff* this week end!

  3. jed
    jed April 29, 2017 5:16 pm

    Ah, the battle with stuff. I have finally gotten rid of enough of it, that I can cram what’s left in the storage locker into my apartment. I’m hoping it won’t be too terrible, finding spots for, and living with, the stuff.

    Too bad I don’t have money right now for firearms purchases. Springfield and RRA aren’t getting any money from me regardless of their political shenanigans. Sigh, but in a world with ready money, I would’ve been buying a .458 Socom upper from Rock River.

  4. M
    M April 29, 2017 6:08 pm

    Stuff – with Minions leaving I’m making it a joyous occasion to give away what is gently used (trying at least)

    As for the Illinois ke*f@ckle – there’s some language, but yeah – this:

  5. MJR
    MJR April 29, 2017 6:25 pm

    I didn’t know that about Springfield Armory and Rock River. I wouldn’t have bought their stuff anyway, to damn expensive.

    Good luck with the project, I hope all goes well. Remember one thing if ever there was a time to live deliberately now is that time. This is a serious project so keep your wits about you. A mistake and you are living in a trailer or a tent for a while.

  6. Joel
    Joel April 29, 2017 6:39 pm

    Good luck, Claire. May no new bad thing happen.

  7. Claire
    Claire April 30, 2017 10:28 am

    Thank you all. 🙂

    Yeah, I definitely worry about “something happening” even though I believe that working from inside the house with the floor removed will be inherently safer than crawling under — and even though we’ll be using a total of eight 20-ton bottle jacks, which should be pretty much enough to launch the house into orbit should we decide to try.

    The Monk is also an extremely careful and deliberate worker. So that’s all to the good.

    And M, have fun with your anti-stuff crusade! Isn’t that a liberating and refreshing thing to do?

    To my surprise, I’m not finding much opportunity for de-stuffing. Most of what’s stored in the back end of the house falls into three absolutely necessary categories: construction materials (doors, drywall, flooring, etc.); tools; and art/craft supplies. I’ve managed to fill only one bag for the trash and half a bag for the thrift store. Not good.

    Once the house is fully constructed and all its rooms are livable, I’ll probably do one gigantic re-arranging and stuff-purging. But by then I’ll also have sufficient (and well-organized!) closets and shelves for all those necessary, but currently homeless, items.

  8. Comrade X
    Comrade X April 30, 2017 11:03 am

    Always double the time you think a project will take that way then you might get to beat your schedule, maybe!

    Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms are now added to my long list of companies I don’t do business with, these boycotts sure are a good money saving way of life!

  9. Shel
    Shel April 30, 2017 11:49 am

    Hope the bottom doesn’t fall out (bad joke). Honestly, I’d likely be more apprehensive than you are since I’ve managed to last decades without knowing anything about house construction. I’m sure you’re better aware than anyone how blessed you are to have someone as conscientious as Monk.

  10. Claire
    Claire April 30, 2017 4:36 pm

    Comrade X — Thank you for not including a reminder that I should double what I think the project will cost, also. 🙂

    Shel — If good hopes could keep the foundation from collapsing, I’m sure yours would do the job.

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