Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Our Money Pit

Aahhh, home; the very idea of it makes one reflect on memories of sheer bliss. Happiness. Comfort. The smell of basil, garlic and meatballs; good sauce cooking on Sunday. Cherry-flavored pipe tobacco. Those are the smells I remember growing up around my Grandparents.

I remember the smell of Pine Sol; oh how I hate that smell. My mother would clean on Saturdays, like a maniac. No, more like the Tazmanian Devil. Pine Sol was her weapon of choice. It burned our eyes - she used it everywhere. She preferred we would get out of her way, way out of her way. "Go play in traffic!" She would lovingly yell at us as she'd show us to the door.

Two years ago, we lost our family room to a flood. I lost more than a family room, I lost sanity and tranquility. I lost orderly, cleanliness and lack of neatness.

I lost the ability to work, because of Migraine (not the flood), I am no longer able to multi-task, organize, and clean like I used to. My home has become almost as much of jumbled mess as my mind; almost. It's easier to to pick apart the house, room-by-room. I am learning to focus. But it is NOT easy. I still find myself trying to multi-task, and I get lost.

I did finish the bathroom, finally, and it is beautiful. The family room, that is mostly finished. It's painted, carpeted; the furniture is in place. I have the curtains purchased, but not hung. I missed my family room when we lost it two years ago in the flood. The kids have missed it, too. It's nice that they can retreat to it again. It will be even nicer that Philip will have a place to rest his head when he comes home. This is where he will find solace. This is the place he calls home.

On Saturday, we had a man come to measure an area for a privacy door for Philip, just at the bottom of the stairs. Nothing big, a folding door. While he was here, I asked him to look at the door leading to the back yard, which is in desperate need of replacement, which he did.

Now, just prior to his arrival, I had been up on the deck, which is quite large, about 16x30 FEET, and about 10 or so feet up above a concrete slab. Anyway, I noticed a few of the boards were oddly loose next to the house. Now the boards aren't really boards, as much as they are the composite material. Are you hearing, "Houston, we have a problem!"??

So I go wake up Frank. "Frank, we have a problem on the deck."

Ok, the guy just came in from working 3am to oh, what 9, and wanted a few hours, which I gave him - all of the hours he asked for. Probably not the way to wake him up; however, it did get his attention. Right! Now I'm seeing the potential for a major problem on the deck, but he's asking for another half hour of sleep. Are you kidding me???

See, here's the thing, I am an alarmist. And, the man of the house - er, the fixer of things. Things that need to be hung and put together-kind-of-thing. Or we call someone. Which is seriously, between the two of us, not a big deal. I'm ok with it, he's ok with it.

He is also better with the um, female things. Seriously. He can so totally hang out with my girlfriends, and "get it." And I totally don't care and think it's fun! As a matter of fact, when Menopause blows into town this summer - and I mean the musical, not the hormonal episode, I'm going with a gaggle of girls, he is serving wine and dessert at home. And he can't wait. Neither can I.

Back to Saturday. Apparently, the deck thing, bothered him. He woke up. The door man came soon after. Now, I was busy doing something so Frank brought the guy to the deck to show him the boards; and he immediately went down below saying, "this is NOT good, not good at all."

Nope, he wasn't kidding. What was supposed to be a simple installation of two doors; has turned into words like, "backhoe," and "collapse" and "danger" "insurance company" or "small construction equipment." I started to feel my knees begin to buckle, and I felt faint, as I mentally watched my children falling to their deaths as he told us how unsafe the deck was. I wanted to run and puke.

Apparently, all of this here snow on the deck

And this. Has caused our deck, which was improperly installed; to move away from the house by almost two inches in some areas. Some 10 feet up, mind you. Oh, and that's not all! Yeah, there's more, so much much more. Hence, the title. Oh, but please, let me take this little commercial break and take a pic of my pretty new bathroom makeover, because it is pretty, if I must say so MY freaking SELF. Thank you Judy for your painting. I can't paint anymore. But I did decorate.

The bathroom is sort of this color. Previously, it screamed this color! Yes, I like this better, too. Under the chocolate brown sheer is my very neatly organized closet. Hmmm, why didn't I get that? The room is taken up mostly by Nick's pool, I mean the jacuzzi.

It's too big to even get in the picture. It can fit like three people. At least two adults. And comfortably. It's too big for me to relax in, cause I'm too short, I just go under. My feet have nothing to touch to keep my head above the water. I've used brown and white for accents. So this is what you see when standing at the door.

The umm, office. It takes two shower curtains to decorate the pool/tub.

Now back to our regularly blogged blog: The Money Pit problem! And oh what a problem it is summing up to be. First he said not to allow anyone on the deck, because, "It could collapse at any time now!" That didn't sound good. That is where I was picturing blood and guts and brain matter splattering everwhere, from my children, onto the concrete below, that we were standing on. Under. the. deck. in. quesion. RIGHT of falling in collapse AT ANY TIME! Hey, bring it on. ok? OK!

Then he says, (you know it just gets better), I think you should call your insurance company, you have serious problems here. You're going to need to get a backhoe here to push this deck up to the house OR dismantle it completely. Hmmmmm, CHA-CHING!!! Let's see, now, back hoe, OR dismantle our wee little deck.

It was at that moment, the cartoon world took over in my backyard. Toontown became real, it was just something so unbelievably beautiful and scary at the same time. I looked at Frank, and seriously, at this point, after I heard the words "collapse" and "backhoe" there just wasn't much more I was hearing but something from the teacher in Peanut's comics. And suddenly Frank's eyes started to roll, like he was getting ill, you know? But they were turning green-like, $$$ these, and they just started to roll and roll in his head. And then steam started to blow out his ears. And funny, I was the only one who noticed it.

Anyway, the man decided to go get some lumber and make some trusses to stabilize the deck where it was pulling away. Thankfully, we were smart enough three years ago, to have someone do that in the middle of the deck; which is what saved us from having it completely collapse. We still need to have the concrete dug and the beams buried four feet, but this will keep us safe on the deck until we do. It's just fortunate we had someone who knew enough to look out for our safety; and we have the good Lord on our side. I am just thankful, so very thankful, that noone was hurt.

Apparently, whoever installed the deck, did so by nailing the main support beam, rather than bolting it into the house. Idiot. Unfortunately, we are finding a lot of the problems he had done on the house, and fixing them. Hopefully, we will find them before anyone gets hurt by them. What a cost they are to find. That's the price of home-ownership. I still love this grand house. Even if it is a money pit, it's our money pit.


Emily said...

that sounds so aggravating, deborah! i'm glad no one has been hurt -- and i'll keep my fingers crossed for low repair estimates!

deborah said...

thanks Em, and you're absolutely right; nobody was hurt, so for that I am greatful. As for the cost, knee-deep in prayer!