May 6th, 2009

Kevin and Lisa

Lisa's Health, Rain, Work, Trees

Lisa is no better (although no worse) than yesterday. She needs rest, but because her ear screams at her all the time now, she can't get it. It makes her utterly miserable, and isn't much fun for anyone around her, either. We have an appointment with her ENT doctor tomorrow, but other than to tell her how much more her hearing has deteriorated in that ear, we don't expect very much. She's taken to running the vacuum cleaner simply to try and drown out the horrible noise that only she can hear. (But just because only she's hearing it doesn't mean it isn't real, just that everyone else is powerless to do anything about it.)

I've accomplished very little of what I expected to do while I was up here, due to the constant rain -- more than the usual amount, Lisa says. Her father said, "We're going to have to start measuring the rain in fathoms rather than inches at this rate."

Besides the giant redwood tree that dropped branches on us last Christmas/New Year, there is a tall maple tree on this property that is considered a menace, because it's leaning toward a neighbor's house. Lisa's father had a landscape contractor out today, and they've reached an agreement to send a crew out -- probably next month when I'm up here again -- to cut that tree down, reduce it to firewood-length pieces, and trim and chip the branches and brush and dispose of it on-site (preferably by pouring into the "coal seam" ditch. This will cost $800, but I expect that it will produce years worth of firewood, so there is some partial compensation.

Cutting down the redwood tree is another matter. The contractor quoted $4000 to remove it and said the tree has no commercial value and would simply have to be burned or buried. This sounds odd to us. In any event, Lisa says that it could take her months to get the trailer straightened away for moving, because she'd have to move for the one or two weeks they were working, plus remove the temporary shelters she's built in the area. So cutting that tree is on hold for this year, and when we get a chance we'll go down to the specialty lumber mill here in Mehama and get another opinion as to the value of a 100-year-old redwood tree's lumber. Personally, it seems to me at the very worst a contractor should be willing to remove the tree for the value of the wood in it. From the look of the branches that fell off this winter, I would think custom-woodworking people would like to have it.