Wednesday, July 25, 2012

With the Jester on the Sidelines in a Cast

We went to the skating rink Friday night. Against our will. The last time we were in a skating rink we left in an ambulance. That was our introduction to the SCFE. Ah, "face your fears" the Big Guy says. Usually. Usually he says that. He did not say that about skating Friday night. We were both feeling a little uneasy about letting any of our kids near a skating rink again.

But, the Fish's friend was having a skating party and we can't keep 'em bubble-wrapped forever.

She was doing great. And then it was time to stop. I never thought to teach her how to stop. (Go ahead...nominate me for Worst Mother of the Year Award. My kids will be the first to vote.) She leaned forward onto those little toe-stopper brakes and... know the science- an object in motion will stay in motion, blah, blah, blah.

The Fish and her  new waterproof, lime green cast. 


That's it. I'm done with this week. 

What? The house? You dropped by here to read about the house? 

Fine. I'll tell you about the house.

You can still...


Right THROUGH...


Would you look at that?! You can stand in the family room and see right through the walls into the upstairs bedroom. No matter how much progress we've made in 10 months...YES 10...I still say it is not a home until the place has walls. 

The insurance check has still not arrived. We still have a few crews working, but until the money arrives we cannot make the big push to finish things up. So, this week the soffits are going up, nail guards are being placed, and a new electrician is adding some final touches. Little bits and pieces but no major work. That is to say...NO WALLS. 

It's okay though, because when life hands us lemons...

Rough Stuff
We just SUCK. IT. UP. And move on. 

P.S. Dear crew, I do not mean in any way to pooh-pooh your efforts. I know you are there sweating the potassium right out of your over-tired bodies in this sweltering hell we call summer so I can have new framework and soffits and windows and such. You are doing a fabulous job. But, you know...I WANT WALLS, PEOPLE. WALLS! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Are We Ever Going to Talk About Last Night?

“Are we ever going to talk about last night?”

That was an odd question for the Big Guy to ask. Because even if there were something to talk about, he wouldn’t volunteer to talk about it. I thought for a minute, but for the life of me, I could not figure out what we should be talking about.

“What happened last night?” I was truly puzzled.

“You attacked me, nearly broke my foot!”

“Oooooh. That. “ (Laughter. ) (Serious laughter.)

“I didn’t attack you! I was just rolling out of bed.” (Laughter. Maniacal hold-your-stitches-so-your incisions don't-hurt laughter.)

He was not laughing. He gave me a serious ‘are you kidding me’ kind of stare. I continued to crack up. I had no memory of ‘last night’ until that very moment.

You see, I was sleeping…in the rented bed…in our rented house…and I woke up because I heard a noise…and there was this giant metal claw thing coming for me. It was like a claw-shaped bucket on some type of machinery…like a gigantic tractor or bulldozer or something, driving through our bedroom. It was coming at the bed superfast (very un-tractor-like) and I was about to get crushed so I had to roll out from under the claw-thing and then shimmy down the bed real fast-like so I wouldn’t be killed.

But when I reached the bottom of the bed, I felt fur under my feet. And we don’t have fur rugs. I realized I was about to crush the dog so I grabbed onto something for dear life so I wouldn’t slip on off the end of the bed and land on the dog. That something was the Big Guy’s feet. The real fast-like shimmy down the bed had occurred on top of his body. He had been pummeled with my knees and palms and now I was hanging my whole hefty body from his feet. 

He yelled, which shocked the crap out of me and as I began to explain that we needed to move fast to escape the…claw…thing…(where the hell did it go?)…

I was shocked to see that there was no giant piece of construction equipment in our bedroom and decided I would just get back in bed except the sheets were all caddywhompus on the bed then which I totally blamed him for. 

Though frustrated and somewhat wounded from this middle-of-the-night assault, the Big Guy was not really so much in shock because it is not the first time I have launched myself onto him or out of the bed while declaring some imminent catastrophe. Usually it’s spiders though. Non-existent giant spiders disrupt our sleep a lot. Construction equipment is new for me.

Hi. I’m Limtiless Lisa and I’m a sleepwalker.

I've heard folks say you outgrow it. I’m 38. I hope when I grow up I don’t do it anymore because it is really embarrassing.  I think it must be like being a wino, except I don’t drink. But, you know, like a wino, I never know where I might wake up. Thank heavens the Big Guy shares my bed and redirects me before I actually leave the house. Who knows where I’d wake up if he weren’t here.  I could wake up on the steps of the library and have no idea how I got there.

It usually occurs in times of high stress (you know…like after a house fire,  or having emergency surgery) or when I’ve been sleeping outside of my normal surroundings (hotel, 2 rental homes, hospital).  I guess we should have expected it really. I’ve had some smaller episodes recently, but this one really stood out, because you know…the Big Guy was all “YOU ATTACKED ME! YOU NEARLY BROKE MY FOOT!”

Big guys can be so sensitive.     
I figure maybe my sleep-brain was still holding a grudge for that time when he dumped me off the back of the golf cart and laughed so hard he didn't even stop to ask if I was alright. The brain works out all kinds of crazy things during sleep, you know? 

(Mine just happens to work things out in a very animated sort of way.)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Time Warp

Are you keeping count?


Let's count 'em together. Ready? Here we go. 1...(living in a hotel)...2...(moved into our first rental)...3...4...(started demolition)...5...(moved into our 2nd rental)...6...(building)...7...(building)...8...(still building)...9...1/2...months. Yep. It's been 9 1/2 months since the fire.

We were going to be home in 3 months. (Pardon me while I CRACK UP LAUGHING.)

We were going to be home in 6 months. (Not by a long shot.)

We were going to be home in mid-June.  (Nope.)

We were going to be home in late-June. (Uh-uh.)

We were going to be home by mid-July. (Apparently not.)

We hoped to be home before the kids started school in mid-August. (Not likely.)

At this point I'm praying we are home before the one year anniversary date.

If we are not home by the one year anniversary date you can just forward all correspondence to the sandbar down by the river, where I will be wallowing, half-crazed in the sand, all zombie-like, mumbling about Crock Pots and black beans and fire and brimstone.

Ah, but we are making progress. It has been a good week. The insurance company dropped in for an inspection complete with 4 trucks worth of inspectors. They descended like vultures ready to pick apart every detail of the framing, plumbing, windows, electrical, HVAC, and roofing work. They picked apart bills and quotes and bids looking for any error on our part. Finally, they left satisfied and agreed to release more money. Yay!

More money = more progress!

Take a look! We'll start at the door...
Front door.
Then a jump to the left...
The bay window.
And a step to the right...
Front windows.
Isn't it awesome? Who knew House-Wrap and windows could be so exciting?

I totally did the Time Warp in my head. Not with my body though, 'cause apparently it takes forever to recover from surgery. 

Two of the shower/tub combos have arrived. They are sitting in the family room, but hey...they have arrived. One has to make it's way downstairs and one has to make it's way upstairs. All I can say to the crew is "have fun with that."

So, this week I'm halfway between 'stuck in a time warp and never going home' and 'yay! Progress!!"

Update: Ahem. So I just realized that I had already posted pics of the windows and the House-Wrap. Because really...that is how twisted and exhausted my mind is right now. I don't even remember that last post. Those pics were from the Big Guy's phone and today was the first day I actually got to see the House-Wrap and Windows for myself which made it super exciting. And so, in my excitement to share what I saw...I had a brief moment of insanity. You'll get over it. It's not really contagious.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This

Last week was just rough. No other way to state it. I am still exhausted from surgery. Things were moving at a turtle's pace at the house. Things were just off kilter.

And then there was Tuesday. Tuesday was just dang special. A dear friend encouraged me to share this little tale. She said it made her laugh. Maybe it will make you laugh too. That's how I roll folks. I share my pain for your entertainment.

If you are of the "oh, TMI, TMI" crowd, you should just stop reading now. Then again, how exactly did you end up at this blog??

I had managed to log on and work for a short few minutes when I had to make an emergency run upstairs, because you know...I have no gallbladder now and apparently I really needed that thing. Don't get me wrong- it attacked me and I've ended our relationship without regret, but you know...we have to learn to live without each other now. Now, I don't actually run anywhere. I hit the first few steps jogging. By the 3rd step I was walking. By the 5th step I was hanging onto the rail and thinking that a nice sit on the stairs didn't sound like a bad idea. By the time I reached the top I was feeling faint and exhausted.

I could hear a commotion from the bathroom and when I emerged I discovered our yellow lab, Jenny running in circles with her head tipped in an awkward position. She had hooked her metal collar link in the carpet and as she ran frantic loops she was ripping a growing string from the carpet. You know, the carpet in the rental house where we would like to get our deposit refunded. I tackled her and tried to get her unhooked but she was wound up and the whole act was akin to wrestling a wet pig. I've never actually wrestled with a wet pig but it surely was exactly the same.

Jai, our Great Pyrenees (that is a small polar bear if you've never met one) decided this looked like great fun and tackled me. Jai was jumping and bucking like a bronco and bumping me in the process. I was trying desperately to protect my sore belly and stay on my feet. Jenny was panting and jumping in manic glee. The carpet was unraveling at an alarming rate. Finally, I freed the collar and unleashed a cussing at those dogs that could have rivaled a drunk sailor.

I went to wash my hands and proceeded to have a sneezing fit. Every sneeze left me groaning in pain and clutching my belly button. I was pretty sure if I didn't hold it tight enough it would actually open up and I might lose more than a gallbladder. I have irrational fears like that. I refused to remove my Steri-Strips  after the surgery for fear that my incisions would pop open. It's been over 2 weeks and I still won't remove the glue. You just never know. I want those suckers sealed tight.

Anyhoo. Following a particularly disorienting sneeze, I tipped over a cup of Dr. Pepper I had carried up there and it poured over the counter and into the drawer and aimed itself in the direction of a brand new box of 300 Q-Tips. I rescued what I could of the Q-Tips and started trying to dry out the drawer. I grabbed a little plastic tray that held my 'beauty' products and started washing things off in the sink but the tray was hiding an open band-aid on the bottom (what is it with kids and band-aids for crying out loud!?) and it stuck to my hand and tipped and launched eyelash curlers and eye-cream and clippers and such all over the bathroom floor which was now covered in Dr. Pepper that was still flowing over the counter like a caffeinated fountain.

I screamed "son-of-a-biscuit" and a few more colorful things as I kicked the whole mess across the floor and walked out of the room. The dogs tucked their ears and tails low and pretended to ignore me. I went back downstairs and returned to my computer as if nothing had happened and decided I would clean the mess up later because surely later would be more productive than now had been.  

So, that was Tuesday. But, alas, by Friday there were good things happening again.
The windows arrived! 
Front door.
The front door arrived! We got a great deal on this door and I love the Mission-style look. The phone-photo doesn't do it justice but until the temperature falls below 105° I will not be out there with my camera to get better shots. And yes, our yard has this much shade, so really, all of the pics will be dark. But hey- the door is here and it is beautiful. Trust me. 
And see that?? House-Wrap!! No more bare wood! I'm so flippin' excited I could jump up and down! Of course, that would hurt, so I'll just keep my excitement to a minimum.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Another Holiday

Each holiday, birthday, or event that passes serves to mark the passage of time and remind me how long it's been since we've been 'home'. We're at about 9 1/2 months now. I could have created a new life in that amount of time, but we couldn't quite manage to recreate our home. C'mon insurance company! Get your act together! The miracle of life takes less time than this!

Anyhoo. Every passing event also reminds me of something I no longer have. This time it was a Longaberger basket. I loved that basket. We packed our hot dogs in it every year in foil to take to the fireworks show. I used it all year long, but I particularly missed it today. It is silly, the little things you miss, but you go to reach for something  you no longer have and this little current of raw emotion charges through you.

We spent the 4th once again at the top of the hill overlooking Parkville, just outside Herr House at Park U. It is a beautiful view and we get a great view of the fireworks.

Rough Stuff (with an ice pack on her hip, of course) playing with glow sticks.
The kids were entertained for hours by $1 glow sticks.
And if we got bored watching (or dodging) the flying glow sticks, there was always Little Miss 'may I show you an entertainment' Bean. She is performance ready absolutely anywhere. I did have to explain that she couldn't dance on the pole in the parking lot at the college though. Sheesh. Kids. Can't take 'em anywhere.
Little Bean
We were quite the fashionable family. The kids were sporting incredibly unprofessional manicures, courtesy of Mom.
Little Bean
Fabulous, no?
Well...the kids thought so and that is really all that mattered. (Actually, they did not hold back at all. They told me EVERY time I messed up.)
Fish, Tuna, and Me
I, was sporting a totally holiday appropriate t-shirt and...wait for it...JEANS! Why is that significant? Because it has been two and a half weeks since that viscious, under-handed gallbladder attack and surgery and I am finally wearing something denim again.

Okay. Okay. They weren't buttoned. But they were on and that counts for something. And I only had to walk ten feet from the car so it's not like I was going to walk out of them or anything inappropriate like that, right?

Seriously, though. I had no idea this little band-aid surgery would be such a challenge. I can hardly pull myself out of bed without groaning in pain. I did have a laughing fit the day before and I'm sure that didn't help anything, but really...ow. 

So where was I? 

Oh yeah. Passage of time. Yada, yada, yada. 

The 4th of July has now passed and we are still in a rental house. This week we are looking forward to the arrival of windows, the completion of the little roof on the back, installation of the front door, and a house wrap. Wahoo!