Mold, moldering, fuzzy, fuzzy mold

It’s been a while since my last post. There was the whole end-of-the-year holiday thing that disrupts normal operations, but that’s just an excuse. Then the start of the new year hasn’t been an entirely joyful thang. Many people I’ve talked to recently have had rocky starts to their new years, too. What in the world makes us think the universe gives a hoot about our calendar?

In my case, I’ve gotten past sobbing pitifully and am into action mode. It helps to burst into tears in front a friend who knows how to balance sympathy with “oh, yeah, you think you have problems?” stories.

As with so many people in the NW, I’m having house problems arising from the storms we’ve had. My house is very old–it’ll be 100 years old this year, in fact. Age doesn’t equate to quality, though. They built cheap and fast in the goode olde dayes, tooe. Part of my quandary is whether it’s worth putting any work into (new windows, gut the lathe and plaster, and so on). Or, should I finance a tear-down and rebuild? Clearly I am going to have to put some serious money into a critical problem, so that has pushed me off the fence.

The wet winter has escalated what had been a persistent, but manageable, seepage in my basement into a wading pool worth of bother. I’d hoped to install a French drain around my foundation myself, but I finally admitted to myself last fall that there was no way I could do that. I still believe I’ll need that, but am afraid that I’ll also need to have my lot regraded to drain soil away from the house. We’ll see. Coming from the desert, I respect water and how complicated its behavior is. So, I’ve called an expert. Since so many of us have problems, many with far worse problems than I have, the earliest appointment I could get was early February. That’ll give me time to get up the carpet in the basement and repair some of the foundation cracks.

Naturally, I’ve been hesitant about contractors. How to find a good one without any recommendations of friends? A city neighborhood planner reminded me that I could check the Better Business Bureau website, which I did. That reassured me quite a bit. I found two contractors I’ll ask for estimates and references for.

I don’t mind spending money on the house. A house is a great investment and I’d be hard pressed to go back to renting.

I don’t even really mind house problems. I expect them. One has to when one owns a home. Sadly I don’t have a rainy day fund, so it’s going to be painful, but, a good reminder that Frugal is Good.

Two baseboard heaters are out, too. So an electrician is in my future, too. At least I can get an estimate on putting a light in the closet. Why in the world would someone not put a light in the closet!!

Lastly, my dog is in her last days, I’m afraid. She’s lasted 2 years longer than the vet thought she would when he first diagnosed Cushings, and she’s 14. So I’m prepared. But I’m terrified I won’t know when it’s time to put her down. The vet assures me that I’ll know, and luckily I can call him with questions.

Some days it just sucks to be an adult, doesn’t it? On the other hand, I don’t dare feel sorry for myself. That friend I mentioned earlier? She’s doing all this and is raising two boys as a single mom. So, I’m lucky I have a warm, albeit moldy, house, work, and friends to remind me of sanity.

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