Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Where's Maitri? (Think, "Where's Waldo.") It's been that kind of time."

"The little things? The little moments? They aren't little."
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Four weeks through the debacle one of the workers fell
through my ceiling from the attic. He's fine, thank God,
my attic/ceiling, not so much...

Dear Ones,

I had planned on updating this blog a whole lot more often, 2 or 3 times a week at least, but then came a nightmare I was not prepared for. I have moved from shock to hysteria to a zombie-like numbness. 

So here's the short version. If that's possible. Sigh...

I bought this older home that I adore in February 2010. It's a charming cottagey like home on an acre with a creek at the back. Simply charming, like slipping into an old pair of shoes. It just FITS me and despite everything you are about to hear I absolutely love it. But it's been a hair-raising challenging time.

After having the house inspected before buying and being told that everything looked great and giving everything I had to buy the house, I found out the roof needed to be replaced in the first few weeks, all manner of things had to be repaired, replaced, or built brand new to make the whole place workable, and the first summer the air conditioning was limping along with literally 4-5 service calls per summer. This summer it finally went kaput, the night before the 4th of July, in 100+ degree weather. I get cranky in these 1000 degree temps. Well, more than cranky but I'm too polite to go into the hysterical mess that I really get.

I have mentioned that I am bi-polar. For me, life runs best when I stick to my fairly rigid routine, kind of like climbing a ladder everyday and I can't miss a step. If I do I'm likely to fall off the ladder and this is NOT pretty. At the very least I slip a little and am unnerved for the rest of the day. When my air conditioner finally went (and in Wilmington, NC with 100+ degree temps all summer it is not an option not to have it fixed), and I had the estimates done for the work, I went into utter shock. This house was built in 1970 and the unit INside was as old as the 40+ year old house, causing it to regularly flood and go out. The HVAC unit outside was 15+ years old. There was virtually no insulation in the attic, the duct work that WAS there was in terrible shape with NO wrapping, and, having added on the back of the house at some point which is my den, studio, laundry room, and a one car garage, they never made adjustments for the rest of the living space meaning there was one long, skinny piece of duct work coming all the way back here, no cold air return, no vent in the laundry room which means you could cook eggs all over the place in there and have them fried in an instant, and surely could not breathe in there especially when the dryer was running. There is a lot more and it is all grim and to the tune of MANY thousands of dollars to get it all fixed. The estimate was 2 1/2 days work. That was over 4 weeks ago. Almost every single rung has fallen off my ladder and I am moving through the days in such a fog, clinging to anything to keep me steady, well, you just can't imagine.

The first week, the one that was supposed to take 2 1/2 days took 6. Four days instead of 2 1/2, and as soon as they left the unit flooded all over my floor both in the hall and into the living room. They "fixed it" and promised it would be fine now and that they would have the carpet fixed. The next day it flooded again. More problems were resolved, the carpet was in a bigger mess, but finally the AC seemed fixed. On Monday a part stopped working and the house wasn't cool and they had to replace a part. By now I was prone with despair babbling words no one could understand, and that's probably for the best.

The new 15" of insulation still had to be blown in, "green" and the whole house will now be energy efficient but, when into the 3rd week they came to blow the insulation in, one of the guys fell through the attic floor (Again, thank God he wasn't hurt!) leaving an enormous gaping hole. They had to tear it open even bigger to have it patched, that first day by someone else they called in, and it will take a week for it to dry before they come in and blow the "popcorn" all over the ceiling. Oddly, the hole is right above the bad carpet meaning that it literally goes into 2 rooms. A BIG job and it means that because the old ceiling will likely be impossible to match they will have to do the whole ceiling and now I have flooring people thinking that the carpet is too bad to be replaced because it sat in water for so long. That means new flooring in the whole front of the house. The company is paying for it which is their obligation and good that they are doing it but my ladder has now been carried off with the trash. I don't like people here in the house, it knocks the heck out of the peaceful environment that I have to create to have any kind of equanimity at all. I am walking around googly-eyed muttering nonsense and expect to be put in a straight jacket any minute.

Now in the 4th week of the 2 1/2 day job, sigh, I had the ceiling guy and the floor guy here yesterday. This was just to check things out, the work is yet to come.  I'm hoping it will all be done by Christmas. If not the family is likely to get chunks of the ceiling wrapped in rotted carpet with a note saying, "I love you, but this was the best I could do this year." I am in a state of pure despair and having trouble wobbling through the days. You wouldn't want to meet me just now.

Next week will be the 5th week of the 2 1/2 day job and the ceiling has to be finished before the insulation can finally really be able to be blown in and Godonlyknows what is going to happen with the flooring. The carpet may have to be torn out completely at which point I will have a new flooring put down that looks like nice laminate flooring but is waterproof. This is for the dogs. I was going to do it this summer before the AC went, and now it looks like I will have no choice. This is all being determined now, estimates made, and me just looking glassy eyed at yet one more person coming in here trying to tell me how things will get fixed and what they will do. I now have AC but everything else is falling apart. Will someone please get me a bag of Hershey's kisses? I'm not supposed to eat sugar right now as part of a gluten free/sugar free diet, but if I don't get some I am likely to turn into a raging lunatic (Some unkind people might say I've been there for some long time already!) and go postal in the neighborhood taking out everyone's air conditioners in a wild, crazed, get-the-h_ll-out-of-my-way sort of mood.

This is not the politest entry I have ever written. This is the entry of a woman who has gone round the bend and not found her way back. But I felt I should explain my absence and when things settle (In this lifetime please God, in this lifetime!) I will be back to blogging more often. Until then, pray for me, or to the Gods of Air Conditioning. I'm too busy ducking lest more ceiling fall on my head while I'm squishing walking down the hall on wet carpet.

I am now going to lay my head down here on my desk and weep. It's another day in disaster land! Oy!

... ducking and dodging falling debris...


Grace said...

Oh dear lord, that situation would drive a saint batso...

Ruth said...

Sorry to hear you're having a rough time. Hang in there! (((((HUGS)))))

Victoria SkyDancer said...

I send to you absolute peace, serenity, and centeredness, in the form of a cool, cotton-candy like cloud you can wrap all around you.
They never tell you WHAT happens in the chrysalis, do they? ;-) Release the old structures and receive the new ones, in your home and in the Home your soul resides in...

Blessed Be,
Victoria oxo

U.S. Common Sense said...

We had an electrician fall through the ceiling in our house back in 1997. I forget what he was actually working on up there, but his foot slipped off the joist (because of the blown insulation), and he fell down right next to the air return. Nothing but insulation dust everywhere. What a mess.

Here's hoping the last 1/3 of the year is full of wonderful surprises (and less feet dangling from your ceiling)!

Post a Comment