The Tales of a Contemporary Romance Writer

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Talkin' Tuesday Home Improvement!

Do to wonderful Hurricane Irene everyone here in the East United States had an exciting weekend. Unfortunately, I have not been able to get in contact with Chandra Ryan. I hope she and her family are safe. I know many places are without power and I pray that is all Chandra is dealing with. 

You see, I know a little about weather disasters and what they can do to your life and home. February 8th 2011 wasn't a typical ice storm. It left it's frigid blast not only on the ground but in our greatest fears. 

Same pic as above except without zoom and after the storm

           All through the winter my husband, 3 kids and myself would venture outside and rake the roof, shovel the drive and the perimeter around our home. The snow was getting soooo high and we feared the damage it would cause otherwise. Little did we know, it really didn't matter what we did. The damage was unavoidable and for the next 9 months, at least, our lives would turn into an episode of  'Home Improvement' the 'Extreme' and 'Tim the Tool Man'. As I'm writing this I can hear the Band Saw ripping through another piece of wood. I sometimes hear this sound, and many others, in my sleep. 

Soft Yucky Mold under cabinets
So, here we were, with a HUGE pile of snow in our drive (you can see my mailbox to the left of the pic) and thinking, 'Hey, at least we didn't lose our roof or porch like many others." Then it warmed up, ever so slightly, and cooled back down, warmed up, cooled, ect. By the end of February beginning of March, we knew we had a problem.
Kitchen ceiling collapsing from roof failure.
First mold began under our cabinets. The overhang in the kitchen had screws and nails popping out and began to sag. Then I came home one day and heard a very ominous creaking.
"Hey! What the hell was that!!" I screamed to the kids. 
Water running down the walls
"I don't know but we've been staying out of the dinning room because of it!" The informed me.
I was struck by the a moment of clear, overpowering disbelief mixed with fear...then clarity. "F*CK" was the only thing I could say. The roof replied by cracking some more. I walked into the kitchen to get the phone and call whoever seemed to be the person I was supposed to call. I came upon water running down my walls. the inside of my home. I ran downstairs, our basement is finished and this is where my husband I sleep and its also where my office is. FLOODED...not my bedroom, but my office rug was a swampy mess. Reams of paper gone. Keyboard gone. Discs, pictures, work boards, books...dear Lord it never ended. Our youngest son, Jack got the worst of it. His room flooded right to the basement. Wood floors buckled and in the end, our home was deemed unlivable. 

12 feet between the house and trailer
That the trailer outside our living room!

The insurance company moved us out and into a three bedroom trailer on our front lawn. All our belongings were placed in a POD in the driveway along with a 30 foot dumpster. LOL Parking was atrocious!  So, 3 1/2 months in a trailer with 4 cats, 3 kids, 2 fish, a turtle and a dog...yes we almost lost our minds! A friend told me the 2nd most stressful thing a marriage can go through is a home remodel or build. (the 1st is divorce) I have to say this is true. By the end, the kids weren't talking. Mark and I were trying to not take our frustration our on each other and even the cats and dog were stressed. The day the trailer left, Mark in I stood on our now dead front lawn and hugged. 
"We did it!" I exclaimed with tears in my eyes.
"We still have about 6 weeks to go." He told with a smile and humor. 

From the dining room looking into the kitchen and living room
Yes, we do not have a dining room right now. My office is close but not done. Our roof still has tarps and today they're finishing up the new windows. 85% of our home was gutted...ceilings, walls, plumbing, electrical, OH MY! But, we did it. We lived through it, and in years to come we will laugh about the summer we lived in a trailer. 

The new kitchen!
Would I wish this on anyone? Hell, NO! Would I do it, again? NO! Am I happy it happened? YES! Because getting a whole new house is a wonderful gift, but it pales in comparison to how proud I am of my children and marriage. We did laugh, we did cry, argue and bitch. However, it brought us closer and we now have a dishwasher! 

Have a Sparkling Day!
Rebecca Rose

I Just talked to Chandra Ryan and am happy to say hey are okay. She'll be coming to visit me on Thursday with a book to give away. I hope you'll come and visit us, too!


  1. You have three dishwashers lol But glad you made it through. Cannot wait to see the new place :)

  2. I so sorry your house had to be gutted, it must have been an awful experience.

    But the new work looks wonderful, and like you said you have a new dishwasher. Your home will have that new car smell for a while.


  3. LOL Yes it will, Janice! Today we got a mirror in the bathroom, and it's fabulous!