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Thread: Restoration Saga

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    Default Restoration Saga

    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    I decided to start a new thread, because this saga doesn’t belong in Jim’s memorial thread.

    INSURANCE CONNECTION

    Today, Julia and I called my insurance claims department on a conference call. She is wonderful. Her mom has cancer and is in hospice. She couldn’t be more compassionate, especially now that she knows our entire story.

    And am I ever fortunate to have our Claims Adjuster (I’ll call him CA)! Julia later said “I liked his demeanor right away.” So did I, and he continued to be caring and friendly. He asked me what our plumber did to repair the leak, and I deferred to Julia. She replied, and he asked, “you mean the gear box?”

    I laughed. “This is why we need Julia. I have no idea what a plumbing gear box is.” They laughed.

    I feel like I have two new friends.

    START UP BEGINS

    Then the phone calls began. Restoration company will come out tomorrow to place dehumidifiers in the bathroom and Jon’s bedroom closet. They will run constantly for 2-3 days.

    A subcontractor will be here also to take dry wall samples to determine whether we have asbestos or lead. He’ll punch small holes in the walls in various places. Results usually within 24 hours.

    Another call from the asbestos/lead sub, and the owner’s name is Jonathan! Really nice guy, who wanted to email me an authorization form to sign to perform the tests. He said if I had any questions to call him. Then, he called again to tell me that his technician will bring the form on his phone, and I can sign it tomorrow. Saves me having to figure out how to use Adobe whatever it is to sign it on line.

    CA called to go over my policy and answer questions. I told him about the humidifiers and the testing. He said the dehumidifiers are loud, but they can close the doors to the bathroom and the closet to mitigate the noise a bit.

    He also described the asbestos removal. A big plastic sheet across the doorways, with a zipper down the middle of it. The removed dry wall goes into special bags, taped, and put into special bins.

    There will be no insurance inspector. After the walls are opened up and the floors removed, the techs will contact CA and give him a virtual tour using their phones.

    I asked the CA about replacing the tub/shower with a walk in shower, and he said that I would have to pay the difference in cost. I expected that, which is fine. Unless the toilet is damaged, which it isn’t, it will be retained, which is also fine. The bathroom cabinet is the original with a built in sink. I’ll upgrade that too.

    We have Pergo flooring in the garage, intended for the kitchen originally. That can be used for the upstairs bathroom. We have a tattered piece of linoleum on the floor now, a temporary fix until Jim could get to installing a new floor. I sure don’t want that replaced “in kind."

    Julia estimated that it will take a month to 6 weeks to finish the entire project. It will be a disruption definitely, and I hope I can hold up through that very long amount of time.

    MAKING A QUIET SPACE OUTSIDE

    I plan to hose down the patio furniture, wishing that I had a nice lofty lounger to put there.

    Our gardeners cleaned up the backyard, whacked the weeds and gathered up all the leaves and debris. The owner, who has been tending to many yards on our streets for decades, asked me today, “How’s Jim?”

    My heart sank. “Jim passed last month. He liked you very much and appreciated everything you’ve done for us through the years, and so do I.”

    He was sad and said that he was sorry. I asked him about his wife, who is a cancer survivor, and he said that she was doing well. I was so happy for him and his wife.

    Once the pond/waterfall are working again, I can sit on the patio to escape some of the chaos. Unfortunately, we’re having a heat wave right now. It’s 91 degrees currently, and this will last at least until Thursday.

    At this point, very early on in the process, of course, I must say that everyone has been kind, understanding, and caring toward me. After listening to our life story, Julia said, “I’m so touched by your descriptions of your Angels, but I have to say, you are an angel, and they were lucky to have you.”

    “The person I am is because of them. Let’s just say we were and are all blessed to have each other.”

    And, I know that all three of my Angels are watching closely over me right now. All of the best people to help me are falling into place. I’m sure that they are this way with all of their clients, but now that they know our entire story, I’m confident that they will do everything they can to make this as painless for me as possible.

    NEIGHBORS

    I can just imagine the chatter between the two remaining residents on our street, who have lived here for 30 + years. They know us well, but they wouldn’t lift a finger to help us. They are nosy, and not subtle about their digging for dirt. At least one of them has a camera to keep track of activity on the street. They probably belong to a neighborhood watch or something similar. So, they probably know when the paramedics, police and hearses arrived and departed for Jon and Jim.

    They see John (and they know him, of course) coming and going here constantly. All of the bags he’s removed and put in his car. “Something is going on over there. I wonder what it is. Hmmm…” I can imagine them saying.

    Now, they’re going to feast on the constant commotion with the restoration. I owe our next door neighbors. They completely remodeled their home with construction nearly every day for 3 years. All while Jon was in ICU, and Jim was trying to sleep in the daytime. We told them; they ignored us. So, they get to deal with it for 6 weeks on the other side of the fence.

    I can also hear this being said, “Well, at last. She’s fixing up that hovel!”

    Yeah, I know them. And I got over them a long time ago. I will never hear them say, “I’m so sorry for your loss.” They don’t have that within them, so it would be meaningless anyway.

    I feel sorry for them and pray that they find kindness and caring invading their hearts. How can anyone be truly happy without love inside of them and emanating from them?

    You can have the most beautiful house and yards in the neighborhood, but if love doesn’t live there, then it’s just a house, not a home.

    Thank you all so much for your love and support. I wish you lived next door!!!

    I love you, and I pray for you and your loved ones every day.

    Be well. Be strong. Be safe. Take super good care of yourself.

    Love & Light,



    Rose

    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!”
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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  3. #2
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    Default Discarding Memories

    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    We’re in full swing now!

    Julio arrived at 11 a.m. and left at 3:30 p.m.

    First, he cleared out what was left in Jon’s closet, while I held the trash bags. When he left, he took all of the trash bags with him to toss in a dumpster.

    Julio also told me that he wants to donate the clothes from Jon’s closet to his church’s rehab house. People so poor, so downtrodden that they have no clothes or shoes. He said his church and the rehab house will wash all of the clothes ~ 5 huge leaf and garden bags full of clothes.

    I feel so much better about the clothes now, knowing that they will be going to people, who really need them and have nothing. It will boost their self esteem and help them to feel loved by people, who don’t even know them. I told Julio that I will wash all of Jim’s pjs, T shirts, and his fleece pants and button down shirts, which are in the laundry pile in the garage, and he can take them. Jim has a few shoes that we can donate too.

    Julio took the doors off of the bathroom and Jon’s closet. The doors are covered in plastic, with zippers on both sides.

    CHECKING FOR WATER MIGRATION UPSTAIRS

    He wanted to check whether the water had migrated into the landing and the upstairs bedroom. So, he pulled up the threshold on the landing, and it is dry! YAY!

    However, there is a small amount of migration into the bedroom. He said that the Pergo planks could be pulled up carefully and hopefully replaced. I told him I don’t care whether the replacement matches at this point, because I don’t want the entire bedroom floor taken up. All of the furniture is very heavy, full of clothes. I just can’t keep doing this. I’m so tired.

    The fact is that when I’m gone, whoever buys our house will immediately bring in a construction crew to change everything. Many of the homes here have been upgraded significantly for sale, and then the new owners come in and rip it all out. I’m sure the new owners will do that to the upstairs bathroom, however nice it may turn out to be.

    Then, he wanted to check the floor of the upstairs bedroom closet as it abuts the bathroom wall. So, while he worked in Jon’s closet, I pulled out all of the stuff on the floor of the upstairs closet. I haven’t even opened one side of the closet for years, because it has my wedding dress, Jim’s wedding coat, and dresses, jackets, boots, which went out of style 30 years ago. I was amazed at what I found on the floor. “What is that?” I kept asking myself. "No time to figure it out, must get everything out of the closet.”

    Sure enough … migration. The whole closet has to be emptied. I groaned loudly, and Julio said, “We will do that. It’s our job. We’ll get wardrobe boxes, and we’ll put everything in them. You don’t have to do anything.”

    Jim’s built in shelves will be brought down. It’s so old that original carpet is on the floor! I’ve tried not to think about it through the years, because … I was rather busy with other things.

    This has been a constant trip down Memory Lane for me with all of the clothes, linens, trinkets, odds and ends, medical supplies, etc. opened up for my decisions about their disposal. It’s overwhelming me. It’s too much at once. I’m grateful that Julio has a meaningful destination for our clothes, but discarding everything at one time is a bit traumatic for me.

    Julio handed me something, “Boots!” he said, as I turned around. Yes, beautiful Western boots, which Jim wore at our wedding.

    All at once, the life we built together in our home is being removed bit by bit. Giant plastic bags filled with our memories. It’s painful.

    DEHUMIDIFIERS

    For the size of our bathroom and Jon’s closet, I think these dehumidifiers are awfully large. Julio managed to get it upstairs, as I watched from Jon’s recliner, praying.

    The noise isn’t too awful, actually. Just like a loud fan. We’ll see how I feel about that when I go to bed tonight.

    After Julio left, I went to the downstairs bathroom and stepped on something hard (I wear socks around the house). I looked down, and it was a clear plastic tubing taped to the floor and circling into the sink to drain out the moisture.

    Julio didn’t tell me about this! So, I’m grateful I didn’t trip over that tubing in the dark. I will have to be very careful every time I go into the bathroom now. I called the restoration office and asked if I could use the sink to wash my hands and brush my teeth, and whether I could still shower. The answer was, “Yes.”

    ASBESTOS AND LEAD TESTING

    A young man arrived at 1 p.m. to test upstairs and downstairs. He was here for about 40 minutes. Test results will be in by tomorrow.

    I’m sure we have asbestos, because we went through that with our slab leak in 2001. We weren’t tested for lead then, as far as I know.

    That will mean that an abatement team will do the deconstruction, as Julio explained his company cannot do that. So, bring on some new guys to traipse through my home with their dirty shoes. After they leave, I have to wipe down every door knob, the stair banister, everything. I wear gloves when I help, and I have a mask on the entire time they are here, and they have masks too.

    Every so often, I have to go to the patio door and lower my mask to breathe in fresh air. I don’t know how I’m going to do this day after day after day after day …

    DURATION

    Julio said that the asbestos/lead mitigation could take 7-9 days. What? These are small spaces! I don’t live in a McMansion!

    He said that reconstruction will be the lengthiest process, and that is dependent upon what I choose to replace the existing upstairs bathroom. "If you take a long time to decide on something, like the shower or the vanity, it will take longer.”

    Great! I’d better start figuring out right now what I want. Because I have nothing else on my mind!

    Julio said, “It could take a couple of months.”

    “Nope. I’ll decide much sooner than that. I can’t deal with this for 2 months. I can’t.”

    The hot weather is not helping me either. I don’t do well with excessive heat.

    This has already been nonstop since the day after Jim passed, and I was lucky to get a couple of days during that time to just BE. This is extraordinarily stressful, under the best conditions, but under my circumstances it is unbelievably stressful. They are all being very kind and caring, but they can’t even begin to imagine what I am going through right now.

    This is more trauma for me. Trauma on top of trauma. I have to have days, when they aren’t here, and I have to have hours, when I can debrief, as I’m doing now with all of you.

    I went up and down the stairs, out to the garage, cleaning Jon’s and our master bedroom closet, standing to talk to Julio so many times today, and I am worn out from doing that.

    Tomorrow, I’m going to call Julia and tell her that I need some space. I know that she’ll understand, and maybe she can lift some of the pressure off of me to have this done every single day for a month or more. If it takes longer, and I can have breaks from it, then fine. I just cannot do this day in and day out for 2 months.

    I still question why all of this had to happen now, after losing Jon and Jim, when I am vulnerable and fragile. Yes, I’ve been strong, and I strive to be strong, but I am only human. I’m old, bent, bereaved, and struggling to keep up with this chaos surrounding me.

    Thank you all so very much for your love, prayers, and positive, healing energy for me. I pray that you don’t weary of my tales of woe. I’ll get it together, as I must do.

    I love you all and pray for you and your loved ones every day.

    Abundant Blessings Upon You All ~


    Love & Light,



    Rose

    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Earth Mother 2 Angels View Post
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    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    We’re in full swing now!

    Julio arrived at 11 a.m. and left at 3:30 p.m.

    First, he cleared out what was left in Jon’s closet, while I held the trash bags. When he left, he took all of the trash bags with him to toss in a dumpster.

    Julio also told me that he wants to donate the clothes from Jon’s closet to his church’s rehab house. People so poor, so downtrodden that they have no clothes or shoes. He said his church and the rehab house will wash all of the clothes ~ 5 huge leaf and garden bags full of clothes.

    I feel so much better about the clothes now, knowing that they will be going to people, who really need them and have nothing. It will boost their self esteem and help them to feel loved by people, who don’t even know them. I told Julio that I will wash all of Jim’s pjs, T shirts, and his fleece pants and button down shirts, which are in the laundry pile in the garage, and he can take them. Jim has a few shoes that we can donate too.

    Julio took the doors off of the bathroom and Jon’s closet. The doors are covered in plastic, with zippers on both sides.

    CHECKING FOR WATER MIGRATION UPSTAIRS

    He wanted to check whether the water had migrated into the landing and the upstairs bedroom. So, he pulled up the threshold on the landing, and it is dry! YAY!

    However, there is a small amount of migration into the bedroom. He said that the Pergo planks could be pulled up carefully and hopefully replaced. I told him I don’t care whether the replacement matches at this point, because I don’t want the entire bedroom floor taken up. All of the furniture is very heavy, full of clothes. I just can’t keep doing this. I’m so tired.

    The fact is that when I’m gone, whoever buys our house will immediately bring in a construction crew to change everything. Many of the homes here have been upgraded significantly for sale, and then the new owners come in and rip it all out. I’m sure the new owners will do that to the upstairs bathroom, however nice it may turn out to be.

    Then, he wanted to check the floor of the upstairs bedroom closet as it abuts the bathroom wall. So, while he worked in Jon’s closet, I pulled out all of the stuff on the floor of the upstairs closet. I haven’t even opened one side of the closet for years, because it has my wedding dress, Jim’s wedding coat, and dresses, jackets, boots, which went out of style 30 years ago. I was amazed at what I found on the floor. “What is that?” I kept asking myself. "No time to figure it out, must get everything out of the closet.”

    Sure enough … migration. The whole closet has to be emptied. I groaned loudly, and Julio said, “We will do that. It’s our job. We’ll get wardrobe boxes, and we’ll put everything in them. You don’t have to do anything.”

    Jim’s built in shelves will be brought down. It’s so old that original carpet is on the floor! I’ve tried not to think about it through the years, because … I was rather busy with other things.

    This has been a constant trip down Memory Lane for me with all of the clothes, linens, trinkets, odds and ends, medical supplies, etc. opened up for my decisions about their disposal. It’s overwhelming me. It’s too much at once. I’m grateful that Julio has a meaningful destination for our clothes, but discarding everything at one time is a bit traumatic for me.

    Julio handed me something, “Boots!” he said, as I turned around. Yes, beautiful Western boots, which Jim wore at our wedding.

    All at once, the life we built together in our home is being removed bit by bit. Giant plastic bags filled with our memories. It’s painful.

    DEHUMIDIFIERS

    For the size of our bathroom and Jon’s closet, I think these dehumidifiers are awfully large. Julio managed to get it upstairs, as I watched from Jon’s recliner, praying.

    The noise isn’t too awful, actually. Just like a loud fan. We’ll see how I feel about that when I go to bed tonight.

    After Julio left, I went to the downstairs bathroom and stepped on something hard (I wear socks around the house). I looked down, and it was a clear plastic tubing taped to the floor and circling into the sink to drain out the moisture.

    Julio didn’t tell me about this! So, I’m grateful I didn’t trip over that tubing in the dark. I will have to be very careful every time I go into the bathroom now. I called the restoration office and asked if I could use the sink to wash my hands and brush my teeth, and whether I could still shower. The answer was, “Yes.”

    ASBESTOS AND LEAD TESTING

    A young man arrived at 1 p.m. to test upstairs and downstairs. He was here for about 40 minutes. Test results will be in by tomorrow.

    I’m sure we have asbestos, because we went through that with our slab leak in 2001. We weren’t tested for lead then, as far as I know.

    That will mean that an abatement team will do the deconstruction, as Julio explained his company cannot do that. So, bring on some new guys to traipse through my home with their dirty shoes. After they leave, I have to wipe down every door knob, the stair banister, everything. I wear gloves when I help, and I have a mask on the entire time they are here, and they have masks too.

    Every so often, I have to go to the patio door and lower my mask to breathe in fresh air. I don’t know how I’m going to do this day after day after day after day …

    DURATION

    Julio said that the asbestos/lead mitigation could take 7-9 days. What? These are small spaces! I don’t live in a McMansion!

    He said that reconstruction will be the lengthiest process, and that is dependent upon what I choose to replace the existing upstairs bathroom. "If you take a long time to decide on something, like the shower or the vanity, it will take longer.”

    Great! I’d better start figuring out right now what I want. Because I have nothing else on my mind!

    Julio said, “It could take a couple of months.”

    “Nope. I’ll decide much sooner than that. I can’t deal with this for 2 months. I can’t.”

    The hot weather is not helping me either. I don’t do well with excessive heat.

    This has already been nonstop since the day after Jim passed, and I was lucky to get a couple of days during that time to just BE. This is extraordinarily stressful, under the best conditions, but under my circumstances it is unbelievably stressful. They are all being very kind and caring, but they can’t even begin to imagine what I am going through right now.

    This is more trauma for me. Trauma on top of trauma. I have to have days, when they aren’t here, and I have to have hours, when I can debrief, as I’m doing now with all of you.

    I went up and down the stairs, out to the garage, cleaning Jon’s and our master bedroom closet, standing to talk to Julio so many times today, and I am worn out from doing that.

    Tomorrow, I’m going to call Julia and tell her that I need some space. I know that she’ll understand, and maybe she can lift some of the pressure off of me to have this done every single day for a month or more. If it takes longer, and I can have breaks from it, then fine. I just cannot do this day in and day out for 2 months.

    I still question why all of this had to happen now, after losing Jon and Jim, when I am vulnerable and fragile. Yes, I’ve been strong, and I strive to be strong, but I am only human. I’m old, bent, bereaved, and struggling to keep up with this chaos surrounding me.

    Thank you all so very much for your love, prayers, and positive, healing energy for me. I pray that you don’t weary of my tales of woe. I’ll get it together, as I must do.

    I love you all and pray for you and your loved ones every day.

    Abundant Blessings Upon You All ~


    Love & Light,



    Rose

    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
    Wow Rose! I'm so glad the clothes will be donated. I'm so sorry your mind has to be flooded with memories during a pandemic so soon after Jim's death. I agree you can't do this every single day because of COVID19. Prayers to you always.
    Mild Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy and bad proprioception.
    My website for my original short films! http://cripvideoproductions.com/astrokeofendurance.php

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    Rose, I've been reading every day. It exhausts me just reading about what your life has become. Wow! BUT at least it's moving forward quickly. I pray that the process goes as quickly as possible for you and that the weather is such that you can enjoy the outdoors when there's so much going on inside.You have some really wonderful people helping and it warms my heart to see that they are treating you well and respectful to you and your belongings. SO glad the clothes will be donated. Youv'e done so much in such a short time you are amazing!
    Mary Grace


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    My Dear Rose, I echo just what Mary Grace said - your life IS exhausting but I'm so happy that every hour, every day you are closer to being DONE this awful work. You will be in peace. Soon. I am so glad that everyone on your reconstruction team is kind and that Jon and Jim's clothes will find new and appreciative homes. These are blessings to reflect on after all the work is done. I hope the work is done sooner than later! Do you need help choosing fixtures? I'm ready, willing and able to help with that if so! Lots of love - hope the heat breaks soon! It's freezing here - the forecast is snow (again) tomorrow!!!
    xoxo Donna
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


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  9. #6
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    Rose, I'm so sorry you have unkind neighbors as an added concern.

    There are people who seem to enjoy making trouble for others--and some neighbors seem to have entirely too much time on their hands.The only way to deal with them that I've found is to steer clear of them whenever possible and give them as little information as you possibly can. But I'm sure you figured that out long ago. And maybe there are some other neighbors around who will be more neighborly?

    I've had some very meddlesome neighbors. Retirees in particular seem inclined to have too much time. I'm a retiree too but I don't have much time at all. I can't think when these people take care of all of the stuff people need to take care of. My guess is that they don't. They prefer to spend their time being pesky.

    If your place is far enough away from theirs, you probably don't have to hear them or see much of them. I hope that's the way it is.

    As for why you're having to deal with all of this housing-restoration just now, it seems as if you've been working in an emergency mode for a long long time, having to put other important matters on a back burner because there were so many more important matters that you absolutely had to tend to.

    Now those back-burner issues are needing attention. Maybe there's a way you can get through this at your own pace and even find some comfort in being able to turn the place into a mold-free environment.

    I hope you'll avail yourself of any help that is offered--and even seek out some if you need to. Right now there are probably quite a few people floating around looking for occasional jobs to earn a few dollars.

    Go easy on yourself.
    MS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009.

    "Always put off until tomorrow whatever you think you should do today." --Anonymous



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  11. #7
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    Default In Limbo

    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    funnylegs4 ~

    COVID-19 is one of the factors in my nervousness about this restoration. The techs all wear masks, probably much better than mine. But they do touch many things in the house, which I touch, ungloved, so that means I clean with wipes all over. I'll run out at this rate, and they aren't available in stores around here.

    This also means that I have to wear a mask and gloves. That means breathing in my own CO2 for hours, which makes me drowsy. That's why I have to go to the patio to get fresh air. While they're working, unless I have to jump up to get something or answer a question, I'm in Jon's recliner, watching old movies. Today it was Tom Hanks in "Cast Away." I was thinking that if he could survive all that he went through, then I can survive this. Of course, that's fiction. Stiil, he inspired me. So it's easy to get drowsy with a mask on in the recliner.

    Plus, I'm not sleeping very well. So, there's that ...

    Thank you for your prayers. Mine are with you and your loved ones too.

    Mary Grace ~

    Thank you so much. I'll respond to many of your comments below in today's update. How are you, Kathleen and your family doing in isolation? Is COVID-19 getting under control in your region? Keeping you all in my prayers.

    Donna ~

    Sooner than 2 months? Probably not likely, based upon Julio's assessment. The abatement will add some time to the project. Thank you for offering to help me with fixtures. I'm not at that point yet, just trying to cope with this day, right now. Years ago, I had a magazine with a picture of exactly what Jim and I wanted for the walk in shower. I have no idea where that is, or if I saved it.

    I'm guessing that the contractor for replacing the bathroom fixtures will have a catalog from which I will choose. Standard stuff. I'm not going for fancy, expensive, or fashionable. I want practical, safe, usable. It's a small bathroom, so I want a cabinet with a built in sink, which sits on the floor. I don't want to have to clean under a cabinet. I need drawers, and places to store things with cabinet doors/shelves. A large mirror and a medicine cabinet on the wall.

    I showed Julio the doors we have in the garage, which appear to be in good shape still. He told me to tell the construction contractor that I want them. That will save insurance some money. And if they use the Pergo we have in the garage, that saves even more.

    I don't want tile, because it's hard to clean. It can also be slippery and easy to fall on. I want an acrylic shower.

    I wonder how they will get the tub out and carry it downstairs? That should be interesting.

    It was a bit cooler today, but still reached 90 degrees. I can't imagine snow right now. Talk about extremes in weather! We sure have them!

    How is your brother-in-law? Nick, Nat? Jim? Thinking of and praying for you all.

    agate ~

    Thank you for your thoughts and insight.

    Our neighbors are too close for comfort. I'm sure that they hear every conversation I have with John in the backyard. I do see them occasionally when they put out their trash bins or drive out of their garages. I do avoid them, as they avoid me. I've expended too much energy over the years trying to be cordial.

    I've known them for over 30 years, and they were a peripheral part of our circle of friends on the street. In that time, six neighbors passed, including Michael. They didn't attend services, send flowers, cards, or ever acknowledge the passing of these dear and beloved friends/neighbors.

    I do not care what they think of us.

    It's true, as you say, that I had to put this leak on the back burner to care for Jim, which lead to this crisis we now have in our home. I'm just saying that the timing of this catastrophic event after my other catastrophic events is really poor. The leak happened while Jim was dying, and my hands were tied. Couldn't that stupid leak have waited to appear 3 months from now? It just feels like one crisis piled onto another and another.

    All of the restoration from the leak/mold will be done by contractors, so I don't need to find anyone to work on this project. A very close friend has referred me to her trusted handyman for other repairs needed around our home, but that will have to wait awhile, so I can recover from this fiasco.

    TODAY'S UPDATE

    A testing tech came this morning at 9:30, because the "lead gun" didn't work properly yesterday. He had to take more samples for analysis.

    Shortly after he left, a tech from the restoration company said he would be here in 30 minutes to check the humidifiers.

    He told me that they've sucked out a lot of water, and he thinks the walls need to be opened. Can't do that until the tests results are in.

    While he was in his van sending his report, John showed up unexpectedly.

    He was worried about me, because I left a message on his phone after a sobbing fest last night.

    John finished putting the pond/waterfall together with the new pumps. We filled it with water, and the waterfall sparkling in the sunlight, brought me to tears. I don't know how many years it has been since the pond has been cleaned and the pumps worked properly.

    John told me that he knew I needed the pond/waterfall to be as it once was, so he worked tirelessly to bring it back. He also tidied up, took out the trash bins for tomorrow's pick up, and arranged the patio furniture, so that I could hose it down and have a place to sit to look at Michael's waterfall.

    It's been another long day, and now I must eat something.

    When I take my morning walks, I usually sit on a garden wall. I watch a snail crossing the sidewalk for a minute or two. I always say, "I get it, dude. Carry on. You'll get to the other side."

    Then, I think about the small lizards/geckos, who race across our deck and yards. I'm a snail forced to be a lizard now.

    Thank you all for your love, prayers, support, and continuing to walk beside me. You and your loved ones are in my prayers everyday.

    Blessings upon you all ~

    Love & Light,



    Rose

    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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  13. #8
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    Default Quiz: How Much Can Rose Withstand?

    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    This morning, I was under the impression that a pod would be delivered about 9 a.m., with Julio and crew to follow. I didn’t know what they would be doing, but I soon learned.

    The pod delivery was at 7:45, and I was in the shower. The company owner called to tell me that they’d be back at 10 a.m. He said they couldn’t drop off the pod, because the van was in the driveway

    Meanwhile, Julio and his two crew members arrived about 9:30. They were here to fill the pod.

    I guess I should explain “pod.” It’s like a trailer, with a door in the back with a padlock. It runs the length of our driveway and takes up half of the driveway. The pod is for storage of whatever has been removed from the home, like clothes, furniture, etc.

    I had to move the van to a side street, which I did about 8:15, before the pod guy called about the 10 a.m. delivery.

    I also had to move the three trash bins, which John put out yesterday for me, as they were in front of the area where the pod was going. Those bins were very heavy and awkward for me, but I managed to get them in front of the house, where they also wouldn’t obstruct Julio’s truck.

    Thankfully, when I retrieved the van, I had plenty of room to pull into the driveway. I’ll probably have to move it everyday, because they’ll be taking stuff in and out.

    YES, WE HAVE ASBESTOS

    The “abatement chief,” Jeff, toured the house with Julio, showing him the locations where remediation is needed (Jon’s closet, the upstairs bath and bedroom closet, and the dry wall in the garage under the upstairs bathroom). Jeff was very nice and explained the process.

    He said it will take 1-2 days to finish the job. That’s much less time than I expected. He wants to start Monday at 8 a.m.

    He said, “Scope of work ~ do you know what that means?”

    “I wrote proposals for a major engineering corporation. I know what a scope of work is,” I laughed.

    A few minutes later he referred to the “AQMD” and “boilerplate” in their forms. He looked at me. “I know what AQMD is, and I wrote lots of boilerplate. I’ll ask you for clarification on anything I don’t understand.”

    THE CREW

    Both young men were very nice and friendly, and they appeared to do a good job and worked for 4 hours.

    At the beginning of the house tour, the tallest one asked me, “Would it be okay if I used your bathroom?”

    My eyes shot wide open, “No! I’m sorry. COVID-19! You know? I’m sorry.”

    Inappropriate!

    It wasn’t until they left, and I sat down to recover from all of the up and down stairs I made to answer their questions (Do you want to keep this or throw it away?) and the 45 minutes I spent putting the tons of laundry on the table in the garage into the large leaf bags, that it dawned on me that neither one of these young men wore a mask the entire time they were here. Nor did they wear gloves.

    What the heck was wrong with me that I didn’t tell them to gear up?! What is wrong with me?

    I was masked and gloved. Thankfully, but they should be too. Anyone, who enters our home, has to wear a mask and gloves. The others have, but not these two.

    And I was on the bed in the bedroom, as they unloaded our big closet and put the clothes in a wardrobe box. I was telling them where to put what, and what goes to the pod and what doesn’t. The whole time oblivious to the absence of their masks?

    I’m losing it, my friends.

    CA CALLED TO CHECK IN

    At this point, I was just fuming, and my very nice CA insurance guy calmed me down. I told him about the asking to use the toilet and not wearing masks, about them wanting to be here at 6:30 a.m. on Monday to put the washer and dryer into the pod, about abatement starting at 8 a.m.

    “Is there a stronger word than overwhelmed I could use?” I started tearing up.

    He was reassuring, compassionate, and said, “Under no circumstances should anyone enter your home without a mask and gloves on. It’s the law. It isn’t your responsibility to make them follow it, and everyone knows that you are in a significantly unbelievable state of stress. I will call Julia, and tell her that anyone on the project must follow the law with masks and gloves, and that 6:30 a.m. is too early for you. They work for you. You call the shots, so you tell them what you want and need.”

    I crawl out of bed, in pain at 6 a.m., after tossing and turning for 3 hours, my mind spinning about everything happening to me. I can’t even get my juice and coffee made by 6:30. I’m not even dressed then. I have to go to the bathroom several times. I am a human being, an old, fragile lady, for crying out loud! I can’t have this chaos starting at the crack of dawn.

    I CALLED JULIA

    I gave her the entire low down, and she was so apologetic and so disappointed in her crew. She assured me that this would never happen again. Everyone working on the job, including all of the subcontractors, will wear masks and gloves and clean up with an antimicrobial cleaner at every “touch point.”

    “Why didn’t I tell them to wear masks and gloves? What is wrong with me?” I whimpered.

    “You’ve spent all of your life caring for your children and husband, but not caring for yourself. I can’t even imagine the amount of stress you have, and my daughter has colitis and an autoimmune disorder, and my mom is in hospice. Plus, we’re women, and we’ve been taught to be polite.”

    “That’s true, but I’m also very aggressive in times that require that approach.”

    “I’m certain of that. But you’ve been dealing with this problem since the day after your husband passed. And this is trauma and big time stress having your home ripped apart, and all of your belongings carted off to the trash or a pod in boxes. I wouldn’t want a bunch of men traipsing through my home either.”

    She was also addressing the time of the work, but then she got another call and put me on hold. After awhile, my arm got tired, so I disconnected. She’s putting out a lot of fires in her job. I do understand that very well.

    I believe she will take care of me. But I’m ready to put my foot down about my needs. I want weekends off. No start time before 9 a.m. Finish by 4 p.m.

    OUR MAIL CARRIER

    Because the crew’s van was blocking the mail box, I waited for our mail carrier. She’s been serving us for many years and knows our situation. She couldn’t help but notice the pod. It’s like an advertisement that you have water damage in your home.

    “How’s your husband handling all of this?” she asked.

    And then the tears started. “He passed last month. We had the leak a few weeks before, but he was too ill for me to do anything about it, and now our home is being ripped apart. It’s been 18 days since he passed.”

    She was tearing up too, behind her mask. “I am so sorry. You took such good care of him and your son. He was able to remain at home, where he wanted to be with you. I’m really sorry, and now you have all of this to deal with. If you need anything just let me know. I will get your mail to you no matter what. You don’t have to stand out here to meet me everyday. Take care of yourself. Please.”

    I thanked her for her years of service to our family and her kind words.

    So that’s the sum total of today.

    I feel like the cowboys in the Westerns Jim loved to watch, who somehow fell off their horses and were dragged over rocks and rough terrain.

    Something is not right with me. Yesterday I was comparing myself to a snail and a lizard!

    I just pray that I have the stamina to go through with this ordeal over a long period.

    Oh! The asbestos contractor said that sometimes homeowners go away for the day. I answered, “I have nowhere to go! Where would I go? To someone else’s home, when I’ve been isolating? A hotel/motel full of germs? The mall? The beach? For a day? I’m supposed to just drive around for 8 hours? I can’t do that.”

    So, he promised to mitigate the situation, so I’d be safe staying in the house or outdoors.

    One of Jim’s favorite expressions is: “One size does not fit all.”

    Thank you all for reading my lengthy missives, and for your love, prayers, and positive, healing energy. I feel it, and I am so grateful to you. I am depleted most of the time, but you lift me up so I can keep moving forward.

    I love you and pray for you and your loved ones everyday. Blessings upon all of you ~

    Love & Light,



    Rose

    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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  15. #9
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    Since it is Saturday I am hoping you have the day off.

    Rose, don't beat up on yourself about the things you forget to do or the things you overlook like the mask. Within the same time frame you are talking about after my husband died I had to go about 60 to 70 miles to an Army base to get a new ID so I would have health insurance. I got to a suburb of my town, looked down and all of a sudden I realized I was about out of gas. I stopped at a gas station, but absolutely could not remember how to pump gas. I stood there for awhile and couldn't figure it out. I had to go inside the station and tell the man that I didn't know how to pump gas. Now, I had been pumping gas the whole 6 months my husband was sick.

    Strange things are going to happen for awhile. You will be alright and we do want to hear from you so do not stop sending out your post.

    Another thing I did was lock my keys inside my car - no, not once, but so many times one of my brothers had to tell me that I had to find a way home to get my other keys because he couldn't keep getting off to come and take me home from where ever I was. But each day is a step forward though you don't realize it. If I had had to go through what you are going through I am not sure what would have happened to me. I promise you, with what you are dealing with you are doing good.
    Virginia


  16. #10
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    Dear Rose,
    Virginia answered so kindly and wisely. Of course you are not yourself and now is the time be as gentle with yourself as you would be with a newborn Jon or Michael. Because you need that amount of compassion and love. I am glad that you have people (partners in this project) including your postal delivery woman who are kind. And I was happy to read that the asbestos removal is going quicker than you thought. Once the workers understand your needs, I imagine that some kind of work schedule will fall into place that will at least be somewhat predictable. And it will be a routine that you can live with - nothing too early or too late.

    I never knew that you worked at an engineering firm. I would have no idea what any of those terms meant.
    Sending you love and prayers for strength to endure this project so that you can finally have a bit of peace to grieve, reflect and rest.
    xoxo Donna
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


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