Calamity Friends

March 29, 2007 at 11:24 pm (Crazy Shit, T-Bird)

My life just keeps getting more interesting. T-Bird had major oral surgery last Friday. For some reason, following the births of her children, her teeth just started going to pot. Finally, she had all of her top teeth, including an impacted wisdom tooth and a cyst, removed.

She got sick from the anesthesia and threw up a lot. Yeah, and whilst in mid throw up she puked her teeth out, which were supposed to stay in for 24 hours. So, guess who got to help her put her teeth back in. Go on, guess.

ME!

Guess who got to do it again a few days later while T-Bird is in excruciating pain? Yep, me again. See, the teeth were too tight and needed to be filed down, which I did some of with just a regular nail file. Add “dentist” to my jack-of-all trades list.

While T-Bird was laying with her head toward the floor and I had her lip pulled out, looking at her gums, which were not very pretty , blood and guts, thank you, guiding her to putting the plate back in, and cringing as I watched the terrible pain manifest itself over her face, then rubbing her jaws to help relax her face, and then finally coaxing a smile out of her by saying, “You know I’m going to blog this.”

“Yeah.”

The real dentist filed her new teeth down too and now T-Bird is feeling fine.

THEN, today, I went to the house to see if they were ripping up more of the floors yet because I talked to the adjustor again and we’re going to remove the floors in an ever widening circle away from the computer room to see what we can see and try to save as much of the floor as possible.

No one was at the house nor had been at the house because my note was still in the door. Oh well. So, I saw my new neighbor, who had the joy of meeting me for the first time the night of the fire. She’s as friendly as her husband is aloof. They got a new puppy and she was showing me the precious pooch. A friend of her’s was there and they were leaving to go get the puppy groomed. So, I said goodbye and went and got in my car.

Heather was behind me and her friend was behind her. I looked in my side mirror to see if any traffic was coming when I saw Heather jump from her car. I thought she was going to tell her friend something, then I realized the car was still moving. Ooops, runaway car!!! Heather was waving at me to move so I pulled my car forward as it kept getting closer and Heather is running after it. Then I saw her get knocked down but the car was now heading for the retaining wall next to the tracks. I thought for sure the car was going to run over her.

Once I saw the car going towards the wall, I threw my car into neutral, pulled the brake and jumped out myself. Obviously her friend had been running from behind because she got the dog out of the car and Heather was sitting on the wall, her knees pouring blood. Blood and guts, again. After inquiring as to whether she needed an ambulance, I helped her over to her front steps while her friend brought towels.

“Does the sight of blood make you sick?”

I looked up at her poor, tear streaked face and said, “Nah. It’s all good.”

She told me she didn’t have any diseases but she did have some gloves if I wanted some. I started laughing and she said, “God, I’m so stupid. I can’t believe all of this happened over a spider.” I laughed even harder while she related that a nice little spider had dropped down from the visor. As she is terrified of spiders, she jumped out of the car, never even realizing it was in “drive.”

Oh my hell.

She is such a sweet person. She took me in and gave me socks and a sweatshirt and has been nothing but friendly since we’ve met. She’s always concerned with how the house is going and when we’re coming back and if their dog barks and irritates us to just let her know.

I felt so bad for her and I could tell she was embarrassed to have almost got herself run over, almost run over my car, and she was so concerned about her poor pooch in the front seat. Luckily, she was able to put the car in park before it knocked her on her ass.

She looked at me and said, “We must be calamity friends. We can’t get together without something happening.”

I laughed and thought, “Yeah, just what I needed… another calamity friend.”

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What Lies Beneath

March 28, 2007 at 4:54 pm (The House)

(Said in Gollum voice) Creepy crawlies and nasties….

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Welcome to my newest nightmare.  I called my claim adjustor Monday and told him that the floor joists under the computer room looked pretty bad and we should probably tear up that room, replace the hardwood, and while we’re there, let’s see how bad it is…

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Some of the wood is still damp, there’s mold, there’s mildew, and worse, there’s tar paper.

Wood flooring layed today will have rosin paper or some type of felt between the hardwood and the floor joists or plywood to absorb moisture, prevent squeaking, etc. Tar paper only acts as a vapor/evaporation barrier between the crawl space and the hardwood.

But, if you put water or other liquid over the hardwood, tar paper acts as a barrier to that water or other liquid leaving the hardwood and draining past, in my case, the pine joists. It sits under the hardwood.

 They put so much water into the computer room and hallway that it actually did penetrate, in some spots, the tar paper, causing water damage under the house. 

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On top of that mess, are the areas of the flooring that burned completely through the hardwood, tar paper, and inch thick pine joists.

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Other places it just burned to cinders and carbon.

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Luckily, I have a great insurance company and a great adjustor who just asked that I take pictures to verify blah blah blah, but, it just wasn’t the day to hear, “Yo, more time away from the homestead.”  Just. Not. The. Day.

As I was knelt down in the computer room, taking pictures, the overwhelming weight just sat me right down in the floor, and as Nathan told Ron when he tried to get my attention, “She’s having a moment, man.”

I broke when I realized I was kneeling right over the spot that Napoleon died and when I sat down it was though he was right there with me and then they were all there, one by one. It’s a strange feeling to describe, the sorrow, the comfort, but also and again, the knowledge that life goes on beyond the physical and love never dies.

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For Everything There Is A Season…

March 27, 2007 at 12:40 am (The House, Uncategorized)

And a time for every purpose under the sun…

 I finally got some of the pictures taken of the house a few days after the fire.

The source of the fire, my floor furnace. To the left of the grate you can see the hole burned in the floor.

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It spread into the computer room, the ceiling, and attic, burning every box, bag, and table, including those in the attic. All of the debris here is a combination of me tossing everything looking for stuff, the contents of that section of the attic, the ceiling, and insulation, plus parts of the wall.  You can see my computer desk and what was left of my monitor in the right back corner of the picture. 

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The fire burned through the door of Nate’s room and scorched all of the furniture.

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It spread into the bathroom, which was opposite the computer room. It melted the shower curtain to the tub and the heat peeled the shower stall from the wall.

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The heat rose in my room, scorching all of the furniture, burning pictures right off the walls and melting my CD holder, which was empty.

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 The fire spread into the living room and along the love seat, up the walls, burning my dad’s moose antlers, and a set of paintings my German sister had done.

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Across the ceiling

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Along the east wall, across the entertainment center, to the curio cabinet and front air conditioner.

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A picture of Nate, my brother, and myself was hanging on the wall next to the curio cabinet… It survived with some heat damage.

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The heat and fire came into the kitchen from both the computer room and the living room. Melting the blinds, the litterboxes, scorching the cabinets. and causing part of the ceiling to fall.

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Yet, a picture of my host father in Greece, which was taped to the inside of the cabinet to the far left beside of the refridgerator, was unharmed.

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I found Ozzy a foot from the front door, in front of the air conditioner. Cali was in front of the curio. Marco was lying on the end table beside of the couch, which was against the west wall, to the left of the moose antlers and not visibile in the pictures. Lola was lying on top of the couch.

Napoleon was in the computer room.  He was badly burned and a piece of metal had melted across his body. I dug him out with a shovel, a screwdriver, and my bare hands because I could not stand the thought of leaving him there.  I told the house that he was mine and it may have taken him but it was not going to keep him.

Ireland was in the doorway of my bedroom and Midnight was in the doorway of the bathroom, her favorite place to hide was behind the commode.

 I found Smokey on my bed, right where he was when I left. The blinds had melted and fallen over most of his body. I lost it.

I knelt on my soaked mattress and sobbed into my filty, sooty hands, in my filthy, sooty clothes, in the miserable cold. I remembered the kitten that they said wouldn’t live. Malnourished and so tiny when I brought him home, only to prove them all wrong and live and grow into the 18 lb. patriarch of my feline family.

He sent many a dog packing for daring to sniff a blade of grass of his property, after all, I just paid the bills so he could rule the roost. And even at the age of 11, he still loved to play with his fluffy tail.  He didn’t mind eating your hair, or breathing in your face, or biting your toes or meowing loudly if it meant you waking up and feeding him.

He hated dogs but he was the most tolerant of all the cats with kittens and new cats, as soon as they figured out that he was the boss. When the door opened and Schmo walked in, he was met by his family, even cranky Midnight. Napoleon followed him everywhere he went. The kittens would curl up against his big fluffy belly and he would groom them, just as though they were his own.

And, he survived Nate. Not bad given the fact Nate actually tried to nurse on him when he was a baby. If a cat can give you a “look,” well, he definitely gave me one that day. And when those who have been to my home heard of the fire, they didn’t ask of the cats, they asked of Schmo.

He and I weathered many storms together and I always said he was the most faithful man I ever had. I miss him.

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Something For Everyone

March 25, 2007 at 11:12 pm (Nate, Shop, The House)

Let’s start with my frisky felines… Macy and Hermione.

When Macy joined the family, she hid under the couch.

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Then she decided being a lap kitty wasn’t so bad…

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But really, she prefers belly rubs…

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which Hermione finds hilarious….

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The house is coming along…

This is the kitchen during early rebuild…

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Kitchen with new walls and vinyl…

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Bathroom during early rebuild…

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Bathroom with vinyl (walls are there, just not real visible)

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I also have a new bathtub, vanity, and mirror (which was obviously placed by a certain tall someone who doesn’t realize what it’s like to be short… ahem!)

Then there’s some new stuff I’ve purchased…

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My Egyptian paintings…

and some new curtains…

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And then there’s the hailstorm for you natural disaster lovers….

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Oh, and the mirror, mirror on the wall… almost

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And Nate’s new chest…

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For you NASCAR fans…

Then, there’s always something going on at the shop, like NASCAR, like Stacy Compton’s new development driver from WEST VIRGINIA, Derek Kiser. Ya’ll say hi to Derek…

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We made Derek’s t-shirts. Here he is with Rich and Nick, oh, and Bob in the background.

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So, we all got to go to the big media announcement and get our pictures taken with Stacy and Derek and to see Derek’s #46 car.

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And, that is all.

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I Met Them At The Door

March 20, 2007 at 10:34 pm (Memories, The House)

After a restless night and little sleep, the alarm went off at 6 and Jeff called me at 10 after to inform me I needed to pick Nate up for school, which I had previously been unaware of. So, I drug my exhausted ass out of bed, picked up Nate and was at the house at the butt ass crack of dawn. I know this because sunrise was 7:30 and I was there before then and I was there directly at the crack of dawn, again.Okay, call me obsessive.Then, I dropped Nate off at school at 10 til 8 and I was back at my house at 8 a.m. on the dot. And luckily, so were they.

Maybe it was the tone of my walk which Nathan noticed and prompted him to say, “Here comes trouble.” Yeah. Ron turned and said, “Well, hey there.”

I said, “Hi. Do you have an extra key to my house?” I was po-lite, thank you, but I swear that man forgets nothing or he’s psychic or an empath. He said, “You stopped by last night didn’t you?”

“Yeah.”

“I’m sorry. I almost called you last night but I knew you were working long hours and I didn’t think you would stop by.”

“Yeah, I was tired but I just wanted to come home for a little while and I kind of had a conniption when I couldn’t get in. I know you didn’t mean to and I forgot when I left yesterday about it.”

Nathan made a comment, which now I can’t recall exactly, but it was. . .snarky. I raised my deadly stinger.

“Are you making fun of me?” Deadly serious, I was., young padawans.

He cracked up and said, “Uh, yeah!”

“Don’t make fun of me.” Deadly serious, again, I was, young padawans. (Weird, I just heard Star Wars music playing from the living room. LOL)

Ron, perhaps sensing the impending doom, handed me the key and tried to move us along. But, I was really having none of that. Also, while I tend to have an extremely quick temper, I also make up extremely fast and Nathan is a gregarious cut-up who probably had no clue as to why I was upset, whereas Ron and I have had this discussion before and as he forgets nothing about my moods or personality, knew exactly why I was there at 8 a.m. to get the key to my house.

I know to some folks it seems stupid or even, ridiculous, but just having the key in my possession made me feel so much better. I know why the Lady sent him to me because if I had to deal with some jackass, I probably would in a mental institution right now. He laughed at me again today as he brought by samples for my flooring and countertops for the kitchen and flooring for the bathroom. Oh, and the countertops he has in his house, will be the same countertops I’ll have in my house, all warm tan earthy tones to go with my warm earthy toned flooring, my warm honey oak cabinets, and my warm Ivory Tower paint. Luckily, my friend Lisa was at the shop when he stopped by and she helped because, as everyone knows, “I’m not a interior decorator!” I described the bathroom to Ron and let him pick out the vanity and mirror and toilet and bathtub. He knows I’m not checking up on them when I show up at the house although it is . . .different to see the changes they make everyday.

He knows, he has to know because not only have I told him, I’m extremely easy to please and only make a fuss about really important things, like the oak trim that I wanted replaced. To me, that was important. And the fact there should be no pink in my house. When I commented about painting the door red (*snort* I have green shutters ya’ll and a white house… the Yule house) Nathan said, “I tried to talk her into green,” and Ron grinned and said, “I don’t know, maybe you should paint it pink.”

He makes me smile.

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Meltdown

March 20, 2007 at 1:05 am (Memories, The House)

1,000 t-shirts later, I’m exhausted. My body didn’t have time to become re-acclimated to the rigors of shop work and I’m feelin’ it and I’ll feel it again tomorrow when we do the left chest on the same 1,000 shirts.

But, I’m also upset. I’m upset because I went to my house and I can’t get in. I can’t get in because they installed new doors and I don’t have a key yet. I know the guys thought I wouldn’t be back for a few days because of my work schedule. I wouldn’t be back when they were there is what I should have said.

I can’t handle being locked out of my own house. Sometimes I just go there and putter around, sometimes I go there and cry, sometimes I visit with the energies of my beloved pets, and not having access to the interior of my home whenever I want, pisses me off.

I know none of them would have done this on purpose. They probably would have never dreamed that after 11 ½ hours of working at the shop that I would get a wild hair to visit my home and my pets.

They’re still there because I can feel them there. Sometimes it is very strong and sometimes not so strong, but they’re there and although I know they’re dead, I can’t stand not being able to get to them. Like the night of the fire.

They were the only reason I opened the door. Sometimes, I can still see them there, where they were when I left, and where I found them. It is still really hard sometimes. I miss them and when I’m gone for a while, I feel their energies much stronger when I return, as though I’m returning from a trip and everyone is coming to see me. Who’s to say they don’t miss us too?

And I have to face all of the questions in my mind about how and why and did any of them suffer, knowing I’ll never have any answers but asking anyway. I’m trying to bite this off into little chunks so I don’t get blindsided when I move back.

And not having access to my house has triggered this insane upset inside of me, this helplessness, this need to be there, to make sure … that no one or nothing is safe from harm other than a bunch of well used tools and my memories.

But they’re my memories, damnit! And that is MY SPACE! As open as I am here, my space is my space and I’m very much a nester, I’m half a water sign for fuck’s sake, hearth and home folks. That Sag in me only pertains to my wanderlust, the rest of me is a homebody with a serious case of hermit fever.

Sometimes, I just want to be in my space.

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March 18, 2007 at 7:15 pm (The House, Work)

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A Partial Pictoral…

March 16, 2007 at 10:38 pm (The House)

Is at my old blog… http://blackpunkin.blogspot.com/2007/03/partial-pictoral.html

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Storms and Fair Weather

March 15, 2007 at 7:16 am (General)

We had a hailstorm yesterday evening. I mean the real kind, not a Peach Storm. I took pictures… and I have pictures of my house… and the re-building of said house…. and the ceilings and a great story about that… but… no time at the present.

I promise, this weekend, a pictoral.

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Bad Dream

March 13, 2007 at 8:50 pm (Crazy Shit, Memories, The House)

The second day after the fire, the morning of the afternoon of Asshat, I had a dream. It was one of those short yet powerful psychotic episodes.  In the dream, it was though I was speaking to myself. I was dressed as I had been since the fire… camo pants, a black insulated jacket, work boots, and the Steelers toboggan that Aimee got me for my birthday while we were in Pittsburgh.

 My hand is criss-crossed with two big blue bandages to keep my blister from popping and getting infected. I am covered in soot from head to toe, my nose is red, and I have that lost look. I have a picture if Stacey would just send it to me.

 The dream started from my own perspective and I was looking at my hands, which for some reason, I did a lot of during this time period in real life. Then the perspective changed and it was though I was looking at myself.

 I said, to myself, “Look at you! You shouldn’t be here! This is why no man loves you.”

 I woke up, hurt and angry, ready to fight anyone. And it still hurts.

 My mind took that dream and ran with it all day. When I looked into my yard, I saw other women standing there, with their arms crossed against the bitter cold, but clean and fragile. They were watching their men do what I was doing and all they had to do was stand there and look pretty.

 The mind plays tricks on you. I’ve been hurt a lot in my life, but I don’t think anything has wounded me as deep as that dream did.

 I know I do what I have to do, regardless of gender role whatever because if i don’t, it won’t get done.  My friends and family helped all they could. I wouldn’t let my dad come down because he has asbestosis and silicosis. I’m a two pack a day smoker, now, and it hurt my lungs and my eyes to be in some of the rooms, especially the computer room. I wasn’t about to let him come down there in that mess.

My brother, fuck, he didn’t even call me, my sister-in-law did, and he still hasn’t spoken to me, regardless of the fact I was at his son’s birthday party this weekend. Steve, Stacey, and my cousin helped the most right after the fire and then when they got the burned out stuff cleaned out, my dad came down and hauled a bunch of stuff away (fridges, washer, dryer, etc. for the metal).

 But, the majority of it, fell to me. And wouldn’t it? I’m the one who knew where everything was. I knew where to look for the pendant that Troy bought me, the photo album from Germany, the prayer rug, etc. etc.

But, let’s be honest, that dream was nothing more than my own deep fears that I am truly just not loveable. Not feminine enough and unwilling to take on a fragility that doesn’t exist out-ward-ly. And also my fears that no man will ever give two shits enough to find the fragility underneath and if he does, well, Steve, need I say more?

 It was a dream of a loss of faith. I told my Lady the other day, “I don’t know why this happened, but it had better be good and worth it.”

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