Renovation 2007: The mortgage

That equity thing? Yeah, I’m tapping into that for what I’m calling “Renovation 2007”. I’m in the middle of the financing bit, and this kids is where all that math in school comes in handy. Sadly, I suck at math.
The loan officer rattled off the monthly (fixed rate baby!) payment and for some odd reason my brain failed to factor in my 1st mortgage when I thought, “oh, that’s not that bad”. Later, the total did seep in and I realized that I was several hundred dollars out of my comfort zone. So I have informed the chauffeur that I’m going to let him go and I have resigned myself to the fact that I will have to give up the caviar and champagne lifestyle of which I have become accustomed. I’m going to have to cut back on some things I may want done with the house so I can balance out some other debts that take their monthly portion. And this means cutting up my credit card. And I will have to have a roommate.
But most funds will go to a good cause, the house. The major goal is to do the un-sexy thing of strengthening the structure along with undoing the crackhead design. So, can anyone recommend a good structural engineer?

Finally tomatoes

Did it take this long last year to get tomatoes? For a few months I have been experiencing tomato envy as others have told me that they have been getting tomatoes and eating them. In that time I have gotten hard green globes. But now. And now. I have ripe tomatoes.
The tomatoes ripening are my yellow boy hybrids, cherry, the zebra varieties, plum and some plain ole red heirloom tomatoes. I have two zebra varieties, green and reddish. They are ‘zebra’ because of the striped skin. As you can imagine with the green zebra it is hard to tell when it is ready to eat. So I have been touching them to see when the fruit has softened up. I’m waiting till I have several ripe green, yellow and red tomatoes so I can create a colorful tomato salad.
Now occasionally, people ask is it OK to grow veggies in the city. Don’t know why that would be a question beyond the concerns of space and light. While waiting for a bus in Dupont, I looked up to see a south facing apartment balcony overflowing with tomato vines. I didn’t think I could grow anything in the back till B. and IT grew all sorts of plants, including tomatoes, in their yard. It seems that just enough light would get back into the alley and past the trees. I don’t concern myself with soil too much, as I have amended the formerly claybound yard with bags of Home Depot’s best. All the stuff in the back are in pots and I always add the compost from the bin. As far as thefts go, the urban wildlife has been more of a problem than people. Besides I give away a lot of what I grow.