Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wrens, finches and Vultures

The baby wrens took off yesterday. I heard a lot of fussing coming from the corner of the deck and lo and behold, there were baby wrens flittering around there, wobbling on their wings, learning how to fly. They then sought refuge in the japanese maple tree that abuts the deck...nice place to hide from the bad guys. There was one still in the nest last night, I think he went back there to hang out...but he took off when I peeked in and no one has been in the nest all day.

Tomorrow I will take the nest away. I think I'll put up a wren house in that corner so if she gets the same notion next year at least we'll be able to use our hose!

This afternoon I opened the door on the deck and stepped out there to see the sun, which had peeked out to say hi. I guess the door made a noise when I opened it, because about 20 male gold finches took off from the feeders and went up into the trees. I hope that most of them are migrants just passing through because if I have to keep up with the current rate of feeding going on in this yard, I'll have to get a second job! I have to fill the feeders daily...and the thistle feeders are the ones that are being depleted the fastest. Do you know how much thistle costs? I buy it in 20 lb bags now to save money.

Now the vultures. Today the guy from the paving company called and said he'd come over and give me an estimate. He came over, seemed very nice...explained that he would do a professional job, cleaning out the cracks, filling them with really good crack patch and then heat sealing the driveway. Then he tells me that he's got a job in the area tomorrow and can do the job for $800. That sounds high to me, so I call Sandy, who dealt with the driveway guys the last time and has always been the one to buy the sealer (and seal the driveway) in the past. I figured she would know if it was a good price. She said, "sure, go ahead." So I sign the paper and he's going to do the job tomorrow.

Then the guy tells me that if I make the check out to the company I have to pay taxes but if I make it out to him I won't have to pay. RED FLAG!!! Hmmmm....

So, tonight we go to dinner with Carol and Mark and I tell them the price for the driveway and they are incredulous. They paid $300 for theirs, they say, Cliff and Cathy paid $250 for theirs, Sullivans paid $300 for theirs! WHAT?!! Then Mark tells me he saw the truck and he recognized the name of the company as someone who is a shyster type group.

So, when we get home from dinner I call the company and tell them that after finding out what neighbors have paid, I think their quote is very high and I'm going to get some more quotes from other companies. So, the guy says, "so what do you think is a fair price for your driveway?" I got pissed and I said "I'm not going to barter with you. Maybe $800 is a fair price for our driveway, maybe it isn't. I'm going to see what other companies say about it."

Can you believe that? Why would I do business with someone who can't give me an honest quote for the job right off the bat? It's bad enough we have to dicker to buy a car, now we have to do it for having our driveways sealed?! I don't think so.


Nighty night

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