Attic access and light added; porch rail fixed

My life is all about bonus chores, of course - the kind that you have to do because you've discovered that they are a necessary requirement to get the real chore done. Sometimes, I feel that I invent these chores - sort of a different version of the procrastination game everyone plays. You know, "Oh, I think I'd better write this very important letter the editor instead of working on my income taxes or writing that final report." On the other hand, there's a logical flow to my chores this weekend and I don't feel that I'm avoiding the tougher tasks like writing a large check to the electrician or prepping for demolition.

In this case the real chore is removing the wall between kitchen and living room so that I can start my kitchen renovation. There is a whole cascade of bonus chores: The kitchen remodel requires that I move gas and electricity services and upgrade the electrical service. Therefore I need a new higher amperage electrical panel, which Edison requires that I locate differently than my current panel. Electrical panels always provide a ground for the house water system therefore I have to locate a hose spigot in the wall nearby. That means I have to run new water pipe in that wall. If I'm doing that, I might as well run all new copper pipe to solve that low flow problem in my 54 year old galvanized pipes. My services are all in the sauna^H^H^H^H^H attic (slab foundation) so I have to provide easy access for the materials and myself as well as light to work by. Oh, and the house has to be habitable for an adult and an eight year old all the while. This brings me to this weekend's chores.

I took Friday off work because I had the opportunity to be child free for the weekend and really get some stuff done. I beavered away and installed an attic light in the garage attic, installed an attic access stairway, and got the porch railing about 75% installed.

I've already stricken them from my list.

The porch rail was one of the other kind of bonus chores - The kind that are collateral or secondary chores from MUST DO NOW types of activities. Often these are unplanned. In this case, I earlier discovered heart-stopping amounts of rot in the porch posts, to which the (ugly) old railing was attached. The posts were replaced on the spot but only now can I really call the task complete. (Of course there's tertiary bonus chores like having to paint the new posts and railing, but I can rationalize those as a completely different and new chore with its own independent origin, so I don't feel so chastened about it.)

On the native plant front, I visited the Manhattan Beach Botanical Garden in Polliwog Park with Juli and she was actually won over by their wildflower plantings. They're much, much sparser than my almost forest-like meadow. She's suggested that I need to accelerate the pace at which I'm thinning the wildflower herds.

On a related topic, I noticed that a neighbor only a couple blocks away has converted their front lawn to bunch grasses and other natives. I'll have to make contact.

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