Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Rose By Any Other Name...

I received a rose last Friday....around noontime. It was very unexpected, but then, sometimes those are the best kind of flowers in life....

meet Rosie

I've had a very difficult time getting over losing my sweet Ross. I've gone back and forth as to whether or not I should get another dog - maybe I will, no, I won't.....maybe I should, no, I can't.....I miss not having a dog, I miss not having Ross around..... and so on......

Our wonderful school secretary is such an amazing spirit and she volunteers at a local animal shelter. She's often brought a dog with her to school for the day from the shelter and there are several teachers who are now the proud owners of such lucky pooches! Who can resists those eyes?? That tail??? She's been so kind, gentle and gracious with me as I ask her about the dogs at the shelter every so often. We'll talk about those whose pictures I've seen when I've visited their website.... I even went up to visit one recently, but my heart held me back from saying 'yes'.

Well, such same routine happened last Friday morning...and sweet B casually mentioned that there was one sweet pooch whom I should check out on the website. I truly forgot her mentioning anything until around 11:00 am. My student teacher was with my class, so I checked out the website and saw this whiskery face with a big, black nose! I immediately dialed secretary B....and within 5 minutes, we were one our way up the street for a quick 'lunch' the animal sanctuary. I met this sweet face, and although there was angst, turmoil and anxiety - um...all on my part, she was totally fine with the event..... I said 'yes, I'll take her!' Rosie came back with me for the afternoon in my classroom and my kiddos are absolutely smitten with her. We had a good chat about pets, how to get to know a new dog, and how to let Rosie sniff their hand to become familiar with them. Later, during Friday Free Time, my desk became decorated with notes of love ....
Rosie is joining a family of 5 cats. They seem somewhat put-out about her presence. Skittles, however, was seen rubbing against Rosie's legs this afternoon. She also pulled rank when Rosie got a little too friendly - as only a cat can do. Rosie has a propensity to chase, and she seems to think that our cats are wind-up toys for her to do just that! Olivia hopped upon the wall and Rosie was not sure what to make of it - other than to just wistfully stare.....

I think she'll be okay with the cats as she gets used to them....they are more than capable of defending themselves and letting her know how we roll in this house! We've spent the weekend visiting my vet for a thorough check-up and stopping by the pet store for a new pink leash and collar and some chew toys. She sleeps on the bed like a log and has no problem hogging her side. She's using the pet door and learning how to go up and down stairs....they seem to intimidate her a bit. We've had some real bonding time and I think she's feeling comfortable with her new home.

This evening I went to dinner with some friends and left Rosie alone for a couple of hours for the first time. I wondered how she would do .... and I made sure to put things away, have her chew toys out, water and food in the dish, etc. She got in the car with me, so I had to back out of the garage, close the garage door, turn off the engine, go around and let her out of the car and in the front door - just so I could leave the house by myself. I think she took the separation rather well, don't you??

I guess we have some work to do..... Rosie.....I have to go to work tomorrow morning....

Sunday, February 07, 2010

When It Rains It Pours

Yes, I am still alive. No, I have not forgotten about my blog nor my visitors. Oh, trust me on that point! I don't know how many times I've thought of what the post would look like as I've traveled this path the last few weeks. But it's a beautiful, sunny, rained-last-night morning and with a cup of Winter Blend coffee (Trader Joe's seasonal brew) at hand, I'll tell you the story.

Almost three weeks ago I was quietly fixing dinner on a Wednesday evening. After chopping some onions and a tomato, I rinsed off my favorite knife, started to reach for the olive oil and stopped...."hmm.....

"Is that a sound I hear?? I think I hear something.... Hmm..... it sounds like it's coming from...... (I bend down over my left kitchen sink opening).... down here......" I open the cabinet door below and, sure enough, a faint, little whiny noise was coming from my hot water line. I thought it was the little knobby thingy going out after 17 years. We wouldn't want to have it bust while I'm at school and have a major issue, now would we??? So, dutifully, I called a plumber that evening who would come out pronto the next morning to replace it.


Long.......very long story short...... it wasn't the little hot water knobby thingy that needed to be replaced. Nope. And it wasn't going to cost me $100. As a matter of fact, I'll just let this tell the story.....


Yes, that is a jackhammer that you see John using to tear up my foundation (and my bank account). Yup. I had a leak in my foundation ..... two feet down. But as Ron Popeil says....

But wait!!! There's more!!!

As Doug, from the sonar place was using high tech equipment to pinpoint the leak earlier in the week, a storm of huge proportions visited. As I was sitting in my family room watching and waiting for him to determine the leak's exact position, I noticed something amiss in my dining room. I got up and notice three wet spot in a line in my carpet. "My cat did this?!!???" I'm wondering????? No way!! Looking upward to see why water came downward revealed the answer..... my ceiling was leaking!!! Actually, little rivulets of water down one wall and drippy-drips along the soffet of the other was more like it. I stared in disbelieve....and horror....and more disbelief.... then a thought drifted through my mind.....

"My name is C....and this is my life's path!" all made sense now.

But wait!!! There's more!!!

"BEEP...BEEEP!!!! This is a weather alert. The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for the east valley!"

Of COURSE they have. And why not?? Just blow my house of horrors down the street and be done with it!!!

I placed another call to my insurance company. Water Mitigation' is determined to be needed - pronto!! Two guys showed up with three of those blowers that blow up those inflatable jumping toys for kids birthday parties and a big dehumidifier. They cut square holes in my walls and attached plastic tubing to them to dry them out. The dials were turned to 'high'.... and I felt like I was sleeping in the parking lot of a Mack Truck truck stop for three nights.

But wait, there's more!!!

The second night, while I lay in bed watching the news, my smoke detector chirped twice. "Hmmm..... I wonder why it did that..?" I didn't think much of it and went to sleep. I thought a lot more of it the next morning when none of the electrical outlets in the bathrooms worked. No hair dryer, no curling iron....nada. Ah, yes...the dehumidifier had been plugged into the downstairs bathroom outlet.... hmm.... interesting. I simply thought that the GFI outlet in daughter's bathroom had been tripped. I tried to reset it but couldn't, and thought that it had finally given out. So wonderful son came over and replaced it.

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. After an hour, he gave up.

I placed another call to the company who is 'restoring' my home. Electrician Kurt showed up the next day...and the next. After 4 1/2 hours, he was befuddled, betwixted and between. He could NOT find the source of the problem. Of COURSE he couldn't. So he rewired that circuit up in my attic, said I'd probably see him again because he wasn't sure he really liked the way he did it.

"My house won't burn down because of an electrical fire, will it???!!??"

" shouldn't."

But wait!!! There's more!!!

The cause of all the little water drops INSIDE my house obviously has to do with my roof. Ahhh, yes. The ambiguous roof damage story. I get a call one day at work from a guy whose up on my roof! He tells me it's OBVIOUS that this is all due to storm damage and that my insurance will cover it. Thank goodness, because I've heard horror stories of how insurance companies are very strict about whether they cover roof damage or not. If they deem that my roof is in disrepair due to 'lack of proper homeowner maintenance' or my ever-lovin' need to dance on my roof under the monthly full moon, I'm S.O.L. But J.C. assures me while standing on my roof that this is basically a no-brainer. I come home to this....

I'm fine with my roof looking like this, but I'm marking the days until my homeowners association sends me a notice telling me that I am out of compliance with the CC & R's....

What I wasn't fine with was a call a week ago asking if the roofer had been to my house. I had no idea....I was at, um...WORK.... "Well......" says Diane. "He says that your roof repairs won't be covered because the damage was not caused by a storm. It was lack of maintenance by the homeowner, so... um.... your insurance company won't pay to have it fixed."

"Don't tell me this, Diane." was my reply. That's about all I can truly type here.... not because the following conversation was more fiery than a sailor getting ashore after 15 months at sea, but simply because typing the words doesn't give the intonation of my voice justice. Trust me on this one.

With some Divine Guidance from above, however, Aaron comes by the house last Monday to give me the low-down on how this restoration job is going to roll. He also delivers the good news that my insurance company WILL cover the roof!!! However, because we haven't been given the official go-ahead from the insurance company yet, I will refrain from doing my happy dance until such call is received.

For the last week, a lock-box has been on my water bib and nice man Mark and his assistant, Jose, have been putting my kitchen back together and tearing my dining room and living room apart. Mark told me that I would need to unload my 'new' hutch that my sister and brother recently gave me of my mom's.... *see recent post. God forbid if anything was to fall over if they tried moving it. I told him I would empty it this weekend so that they could move it tomorrow. I came home Friday to this......

OH, THIS CAN'T BE GOOD!! I thought he said I had the weekend to empty it!! It's moved??!?!An old ex-marine moved my mother's crystal glasses???? I ran around the front to see this....

I don't know how he did it, but everything was just fine!! We'll work out the details to moving it back tomorrow.

I'm sure my account is now flagged in bright red. Two separate claims in a 24-hour period. Two separate deductibles, too. Companies and people have been in and out of my house like I'm holding a two-week open house. I've talked to Diane, Aaron, Jose, Shawn, John, Kevin, Mark, J.C., Mary, Darin, Kevin E., and more that I can't remember. I'm not thrilled with having people in and out during the day while I'm at work, but it's not feasible to be home for a week or two and 'watch' people work on my house. I also am not comfortable with M being in and out during the day.... but I am putting faith into God and praying that He will cover my home, my daughter and myself with safety as we work our way through this latest situation.

But wait!!! There's more!!!

As I type this waiting for a call-back for someone to come snake my drains because they are clogged and the toilet doesn't want to flush down, I work on keeping this all in perspective and giving thanks and gratitude for what I have. This, while grand it is at the moment, is minor in the big scheme of life. There are millions of people who would give their eye teeth to have my problems right now. I have come to a quiet resolve to embrace my life and the path that I am on...for I am blessed.

I wish for blessings to find you.

Go, Saints!!! : ))