Yesterday I spent some time talking to the Handyman. He reminded me that duct tape will buy me some time on a leaking drain pipe, so I've got that on my mental to-do list.
He was pretty blunt with his opinion about the inspector requiring we get a licensed contractor to repair the brick wall. Like me, he believes she overreacted, since the wall is a decorative facing and not structural at all. We have plans to put outdoor cabinets and a gardener's workbench in where the bricks fell out, so that the structural wall is protected from the elements and I have the outdoor storage I need for the lawn mower and my gardening tools.... but he has to get a licensed contractor to work with us on that, and it means a higher price. *sigh* Still, he's willing to work with us on a payment plan and that is absolutely wonderful. His goal is to do the work we need done at a fair enough price that in the end, our house's value is increased more than we had to pay him for the work. I suspect we'll be keeping him and his crew busy for a long time to come.
We qualified for the weatherization program but we have to get the roof fixed first, and probably also will have to get the brick wall fixed, since the acceptance letter said "major repairs" had to be done before they would help us. It's okay because the waiting list is six to twelve months now.
In order to get the roof fixed, we have to apply for the emergency repair program. They do roofs. We'll qualify--it's income based--but I don't know if they have any funds left right now.
My first garden is in, teensy though it may be. One eggplant, one strawberry, and two geraniums now live next to the front steps. Herbs and raspberry vines are still to go. The Mystery Shrub may be a Mock Orange (Philadephus). I am utterly enchanted whatever it is, because it's STILL opening new blooms and the old ones last for days, so that small section of fence is filling with lush white fragrance!