Friday, February 17, 2012

Life Lesson #174...

You may all remember a few weeks ago when we had a snow storm and the world hereabouts ended for about a week. Then life moved on and most of us forgot. I did every day, then I got home and saw the big tree with three limbs hanging and remembered. This went on and on and on... I tried the do it yourself method (attaching a tow rope to the branch and the back of my truck and driving. No good. I also tried the 12' long pole with saw attached. No good.) 
Then we thought we'd have a real bone fide tree company do it right. Well, here is life lesson #174. 

A bit ago, well lets just say a few hundred years, a poet said something like,

O woman, woman! when to ill thy mind
Is bent, all hell contains no fouler fiend.
Homers Odyssey

If he lived now, and went through a snow/ice storm and had to call in a tree company, it might run a little more like.

O tree trimming company, tree trimming company! when to ill thy mind
Is bent, all hell contains no fouler fiend.

We got some good recommendations for a company called Canzler Tree Service. Family operated, good service, etc. Some friends were even having them do whatever it is that tree people do. So while they were there the young gentleman in charge (that's what we'll call him) came over and gave us an estimate. 200 smackers. Well, it wasn't really in the budget, but water down the baby formula and no diet pepsi and it should work. Think of the peace of mind this will bring and I won't have to spend my Saturday doing my swedish exercises, fruitlessly attempting to remove what seems to be more like the rock of Gibraltar than a pine tree with hanging limbs.  
I then go off to work, humming a gay tune, with such a weight off of my mind. My wife called later in the day and said that they didn't take away all of the tree limbs, so I assume (and we all know what that makes out of "u" and "me") that she meant the lots of little ones that I had pulled out in my efforts. I knew I could take care of them on Saturday. I got home after dark and didn't get a chance to look out of the window. 
Imagine (or rather don't, you'll probably laugh) my consternation when I looked out the next morning and, lo and behold there are several large branches laying not only on the lawn, but also on the fence and the driveway! I now realize why my wife wondered if the tree company was going to clean up. 
Here, I must tell you that I am rather an emotional person. When I feel I've been jipped or swindled, I don't take it philosophically, knowing that Karma will kick them in the behind later. I feel like doing a little kicking myself. This does not always lead to the best results. Take getting cut off in traffic for example... 
So I called up the company and got through to the man in charge. He started off by saying what a good deal I got and that they took out even more branches than he thought there were going to be, etc. Basically I should be really happy. Well no, I ain't. I asked if they were going to remove the branches and, here it comes, life lesson, he said that if I wanted them removed, I should have asked for that. Removing limbs from the tree is not the same as removing them from the yard. It was a totally different service. I asked why didn't you tell me, he said, I should have known this already. Long conversation fast forwarded... 200 more crisp green smackers. (we are now only going to change diapers once a day for the next 4 months, simply can't afford any more). As a small cherry on top, they left a pyramid of wood on the lawn because we may have wanted it to burn it later, or perhaps as an offering to the pagan gods who cause warts to grow on the feet of my enemies (or tree trimmers). 

So, for all you who have not learned this, you now know. Please pass this on to your children's children so that all generations will know that tree branch removal is not the same as tree branch removal.

ps. by the way, no, I am not bitter. Yes, I do feel better now that I have written about it. and no, the kids will not have to walk around in dirty diaper or have their formula watered down... much. 

pps. we are about to undergo the ordeal of having a bathroom put into the master bedroom in our house so if you have any "make sure you" or "check on" or "be sure to ask" type of comments, I would greatly appreciate all of them. As you can tell from previous posts, we aren't the brightest.

not sure how this fits in the post, but I like them so....


  1. It is a headache to have to learn these things! I wouldn't have known that either. Glad it's all done though and you won't worry about the safety of your little ones when they are outside playing (you know, in like August when we'll see the sun again;) Best wishing on your home improvement project. Be sure to take before and after pics and tell us all that you learned! Cheers, Jenni

  2. I wouldn't have known either. I thought they just ran it through a chipper?
    We've haven't had too many projects done to our house (my husband prefers to do most of it :( ) Anyway, probably things you've already done, check the Better Business Bureau as well as making sure the company is licensed and bonded. Good luck.
    Your girls are so cute!

  3. I loved your story of the tree trimming adventure, and I think the picture has everything to do with the post. It's because those two little sweeties make it all worthwhile. [absolutely nothing to do with me being their grandma.] And I'm not fooled for one second by Helen's beautiful smile. Or Lucy's for that matter. I know what goes on around there. As far as a learning experience, maybe this unplanned 200.00 will save you from making thousand dollar mistakes. Ask lots of questions. Even to the point of sounding dumb. Like this: "I'm sorry, I'm not sure I understand. Can we go over these figures one more time, and exactly what this includes?" But you know that kind of stuff. Bless you today.

  4. Wow.....we always kept our wood, so we never had to think about it getting carried away. I could relate to the frustration of non-communicated "extras". I am grateful for the heads up.

  5. About the bathroom, Get as much as you can in writing. You may want to put in the contract something about finishing the work. We made the mistake of paying our roofing contractor before the trim was put back up. They never came back out to finish it. Here is a pdf file on hiring a contractor and what to look for.

    Kiss the girls for me.