Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Can I get some backup here?

Folks, I have to tell you, the topsyturvyness of my life lately has inched past the tipping point of overwhelming.

My job ended Thursday just in time for me to help Delighted Husband prepare our home for the storm. This leaves unanswered questions for me because I had hoped I could launch sensuouswife.com by the time the knew-it-would-end-eventually-job was completed and that sensuouswife.com would become my new job and I could be a WAHM again. At this time the site's not quite ready for launch and my new job has become being the unpaid Construction Manager for my house. I never thought I'd wake up one day and be Bob the Builder. But I must restore my home so I am flying by the seat of my pants learning a new job the quality of which will determine what kind of house my family and I live in for the next umpteen years. No pressure!

I camped with my inlaws for a few days which was a blessing. Like any sleepover, after several days we were ready to be home in our own place again. It's only natural. During our stay at MIL, DH and I made 2 visits to our house in the dark trying to grab a few clothes by flashlight. Much stumbling and bumbling about shuffling along in the dark carrying a heavy load. I cut my hand on something in the dark and I continue to find blood dots on the floor where I dripped without knowing it.

During the time I was camping at my inlaws house, I got what appeared to be wonderful news about my fiction writing then really horrible news right on it's heels. I rode that emotional rollercoaster, doing a serious gut check in the process. If God is proud of me for telling the stories that are in my heart to tell is that good enough? Can I stay proud of me and my work even though other's signifcant opinion may rise and fall?

I spent much of the day yesterday pleading my case with my mortgage company. When I received my claim check from the insurance adjuster, it was made out to me, Delighted Husband and the mortgage company. I called the customer service for the mortgage company and asked them if I could take the check to a local branch to be endorsed. They said no, it had to be shipped off to Atlanta where it would be endorsed and sent back to me. I called yesterday to check the status since I had traced the package and knew my check had arrived. The customer service person who answered that call told me I should have taken the check to my local branch for endorsement. Mlehhhh!

This is more than just a hassle. Seemingly everyone in Houston needs a new roof. So finding a suitable roofer and contracting them before their dance card becomes impossibly full is a big big deal. I tearfully told Mortgage Lady In Atlanta, "you have no idea how frustrating it is to have good men sitting across from you at your kitchen table and not be able to hire them because you don't have any money to pay them because your money is hundreds of miles away in Atlanta where it doesn't belong!" I went on to explain to Atlanta Mortgage Lady that because I got my check early from the insurance company, I have a parade of vendors coming through my kitchen wanting to be hired. But every single day I do not hire said vendors they drop out of the running because somebody else does hire them and next thing you know I'm on a six month waiting list. I cannot live like this for six months! Atlanta Mortgage Lady apparently has a heart. Because she volunteered to email the mailroom, have them find my check (the one in the great big overnight pack) and she would walk it through the endorsing process and Fedex it back to me sometime this week. None of the other talented able and available contractors will touch my house until the new roof is complete. So Delighted Husband and I are scraping together the cash to hire and pay the hiring downpayment to the roofer so he can get it done so by the time the Sacred Check from Atlanta arrives we can reimburse our household checking account, and pay the rest of our bills. (including our mortgage hows that for irony?) Most importantly, we will then have the money to hire wallboard and ceiling and paint and attic insulation contractor who is talented, ready, highly recommended and willing to start once that roof is in place. (pant)

Once Talented Ready Recommended Contractor is done with the reconstruction upstairs, we can get Carpet Guy to replace, clean and reinstall the various carpet upstairs. Once the upstairs is done, we can move downstairs to the Showdown at the OK Corral where Insurance Company says rotten wet hardwood floors can be sanded and refinished and they'll be all better. Riiiiiight. So my hope is—y'all pray about this too, okay—my hope is that by the time Various Contractors are finished with the upstairs that Insurance Company will have agreed with Flooring Expert that sanding and refinishing is a waste of time and money and will have coughed up the bucks for a replacement hardwood floor. (gasp)(pant) So then we can be done with the lion's share of the downstairs repair. Except yesterday I found wet wallboard and peeling paint downstairs that I hadn't noticed when Insurance Adjuster was here last week. Mlehhhhhhh!

So my job today is to sort through all manner of belongings that were pulled down from the Stinky Attic. Delighted Husband, brave man among men, hauled this stuff down the attic ladder and laid visqueen all over the Guest Room and neatly spread Water Damaged Grossy Belongings all over the Guest Room. I moved the biggest HEPA filter in there and it still smells like, well like nothing I've ever smelled before. So today my job is to sort through and photograph and document the Lost Stuff, take it out of my house, send photographs and claim forms to Field Claims Office to hopefully get more money to buy replacement stuff. Some stuff can't actually be replaced...) And then my job is to reclaim and rebox the Keep Stuff, taking time to launder the baby clothing and baby sling and other babyish stuff that I'm not willing to let go of yet because I might get to be a mama again if we adopt. (more emotions stirred up over that topic).

Oh and I don't get paid for any of this. But what else can I do but repair my house and hope that the store goes live soon and the second income is restored to our family? Y'all can pray about that one too if you want to.

So yesterday, I was on the phone with Beloved Out of Town Friend Sue who is uniquely equipped to comfort me because not being a Houstonian she is not in the same boat. I was sobbing and in between sobs saying nearly inaudible things like "I'm really doinnnnnng pretty good. I thing I founnnd a cahnnnntracterrr todaaaaay." Among other comforting things, Beloved Out of Town Sue said, "I think you're doing extremely well and if you weren't crying by now with all the things you're dealing with, I'd wonder if you were actually human. So you're human. So you're crying. So that's okay." Dontcha just love her? Gosh, I do.

So I thought it would be okay if I let y'all know that I'm human and that this ordeal is very hard for me. And if you wanted to love on me and say nice things, that would be okay. Lovely even.


PS Talented Recommended Contractor told me he found a 2 foot by 2 foot nest of Unidentified Living Creatures in my attic. Eeeeeeeeeeeeek! (shudder)


Sue said...

Love ya, SW~ and if I had the ability, you know I'd be right there, helping ya sort through Water Damaged Grossy Belongings, latex gloves, gas mask, and inhaler medication and all. ;)

The jewels in your crown you're earning and the strength that you're building will be evident when this is all over -- in the meantime, you've got my love and prayers. mwah!

Sloan said...

/hug Shula :-)
What a nightmare. But soon you'll be able to look back with pride and thankfulness on how you were faced with all these overwhelming tasks and yet you made it through in one piece.

Sue's post reminds me...if you're not doing this already, you may want to wear a surgical mask-type dust/mist respirator while you're sorting through some of the more moldy-mildewy stuff. It won't keep the smell out, but it will take care of any spores that may be floating around and that can cause allergic reactions.

Hey, I work in public health...I'm paid to think about these things. :-)

Frugal Vet Tech said...

You're doing great - that's a lot to handle, especially all at one. Cry when you need to, talk to your fabulous friend, and keep going. I'm praying for you!

Who am I said...

Dear SW,

Sorry for all of your losses and for your frustrations.

Over the years I have more than once about pulled my hair out with banks, insurance companies, etc.

Hang in there. Hope you are getting some down time to just connect with husband and family.

Cocotte said...

What a nightmare. I'll be praying.

Mark said...

SW, what a mess to deal with.
You're in my prayers!

Mizer said...

I wish we could come and help you. We will pray

Nurse Betty L. Boop said...

Hugs and prayers from SC. I didn't have to deal with the natural disaster, but I know exactly how you feel when it comes to a whole house makeover due to flood. UGH! Luckily a great friend is a SAHD/contractor and was able to do all the work evenings and weekends and it only took us 6 months ;^)

And I'm eagerly awaiting your "live-debut"!

Sensuous Wife said...

thank you all.
Big love,

The Wild Man said...

I can't do anything more than pray, but pray I shall. May God strengthen you to the task ahead, and may Papa prosper you.

Sensuous Wife said...

I know you would girlfriend, and that is a precious gift in itself. Mwah back!

Dude I should have listened to you. I worked in the room with the attic stuff and got nausea from the smell. I got out of the house and went for a drive in the country with the windows down breathing deeply, drank 2 liters of water with EmergenC and felt better. Today I bought a mask and gloves! oh and thanks for the hug

Frugal Vet Tech, Welcome! Nice to meetcha. I hope you visit my blog again and comment when something catches your eye.

WAI, Thank you. Good idea. DH and I are going to the movies this weekend to see Fireproof. A nice normal date with no Ike talk. Ahhhh

Yes ma'am, it is a nightmare. Your prayers matter and good things are happening. I want you to pray every time Dad brings us to mind, cause it's working! Love ya

Same for you, buddy. Your compassion and prayer are SUCH a gift me and my family. Thank you.

I believe you would. Thank you. Your prayer is powerful, so pray on, buddy!

Nurse Betty Boop,
Hey!! Good to see you again. Yeah, me too. I can hardly wait for the store at sensuouswife.com to open. That reminds me I need to talk to Beloved Web Developer and see how the site's coming along today.

Hey!! Thank you my friend. Your prayer is powerful. Please pray we can get the attic stuff thrown out and claimed or reboxed and reclaimed all done by tomorrow night. Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. Yeah, hit me again bartender, I'll have another dose of that please.

Love y'all. So very much.

Sensuous Wife said...

Good news we get our new roof on Monday. Which makes me want to post that DuranDuran song New Moon on Monday. I was humming that one all day Friday.

Bad news, as the dehumidifier has worked and the house is drying out, new damage is visible. Lots of new damage. I shed some tears when the inspector told me. I know we have insurance and it will eventually work out. But this is my home! I had accepted the 3 week scope of the previously noted damage. This adds 4 weeks to the reconstruction time, and makes the house unliveable while the reconstruction takes place. (openmouthed shock) sigh.

You know me, I may cry for a minute or two and then I am one to take action. I'm cataloguing photos of the new damage and preparing to send them all to the adjuster along with the new bids the contractor gave today.

I don't like this, but I'm moving forward one step at a time.

This is really hard. I thought my store would be up and running by now. My whole focus right now is on my home.