$3100. that's the estimate marcello gave us to redo the dormer roof. the weird thing is he said it'd only take $8900 to redo the entire roof (including the dormers i assume). that means combining the 2 dormers ($6200), it only costs an additional $2700 to do the rest of the roof. either the cost of the dormer repair is too high or the price of total roof replacement is too low. either way i wasn't happy with the estimate (especially so early in the morning) and told steve to find us another roofer. it didn't surprise me when he gave me some excuse saying he was very busy the next few days. fortunately amanda gave me the contact info of their roofing guy (roger riordan). she warned me about his thick irish accent and sure enough it was hard to understand him over the phone. we scheduled a visit for tomorrow morning.

i heated up my leftover risotto for lunch. usually i do it in the microwave, but i decided to heat it over the stove, hopefully to improve the quality. unfortunately risotto doesn't keep very well and what i ended up with was a gooey mess, more oatmeal sludge than arborio rice.

after lunch i rode the motorcycle to belmont to work on the house. originally we wanted to repaint the exterior, but it's going to take forever to scrape off the old paint and at this rate (plus given the fact that the weather is getting colder everyday) if we can repaint just one face of the house it'll be an accomplishment. i put down a tarp and did some scraping with a putty knife, which i found easier to use than a claw scraper.

when my parents came home, we went to the arsenal/watertown malls. we dropped off my mother at target while we drove across the street to home depot. we got a paint scraper tool ($5.97, couldn't find the ones we had at the house) and a 30lbs. bag of green n' grow lime ($14.97). we returned to target to pick up my mother.

the lime was for the lawn. why lime? it's not exactly fertilizer, and when i bought it i wasn't even sure what it'd do, except the garden coordinator at the belmont victory garden was reminding all the gardeners that autumn was the time to put down some lime. lime increases the pH, making the soil less acidic. but what if your lawn already have a high pH? then lime might actually hurt it. i actually have an unused soil test kit which i could've used to find out the lawn pH but i didn't use it; i'm just assuming the lawn needs some lime.

in order to apply the lime on the lawn, we first had to get rid of all the leaves. since my father thought the lawn needed to be mowed anyway, he mowed it with the leaves, thereby "raking" it in the process. earlier we cut down a dead apple tree in the southeastern corner of the backyard. it'd been dead for years, and the roots had completely rotted away that we could essentially tear down the trunk. unfortunately there was still a large branch attached, and we couldn't pull it out completely without it getting snagged in some pine tree and bamboo. so my father brought out the electric chainsaw, and a few minutes later i almost got brained from the falling branch. it's kind of a miracle that no one has ever been seriously injured from all the amateur tree pruning we've done in the backyard.

once the dead apple tree was removed, we chopped it up into several pieces. i want to save the wood for future smoking purposes. in the place that formerly was the apple tree, we erected a simple large compost bin using a coil of wooded fencing wire. all the leaves and grass that my father mowed we dumped into the newly constructed bin. autumn mower debris makes the best compost because it already has a good mixture of green and brown ingredients.

after dinner i returned home. at 8:00 i went upstairs so steve could show me another area of his house that was leaking water (his 2nd floor living room). i told him roger called me earlier, asked if he could come on wednesday instead since all his ladders are currently being used on a soon-to-be-finished project.

drew and i watched the last of the presidential debate. i don't know why, but he gets so angry when he watches these debates. since he's not a citizen, he can't directly participate in the political process, so can only watch helplessly from the sidelines as the government lurches to salvation or doom. personally i think the debates are kind of boring, especially since i've already made up my mind whom i'm voting for. green-rainbow party all the way!