Thursday, March 4, 2010

OMG...What Happened to YOU?????

WOW! It's been a long, long time! I'm sorry, I've been beyond G O N E...

Well, let's see...everything's been running, just not smoothly. Since my last update, way back when, I've been doing the usual, NOT!

After my brother left, Drew and I started the remodel of our upstairs bathroom. Just a quickie, nothing major. YEAH, RIGHT!

We removed all the wallboard, linoleum and misc debris, only to realize that it was going to be A LOT MORE COMPLICATED than we had originally planned.

We gutted the entire bathroom; ceilings, flooring/sub-flooring, window, walls, sink, toilet, and bathtub of which I might add weighed over 500 lbs! The danged thing is cast iron with porcelein overlay, H E A V Y! And, not to mention, still located in the spare room upstairs. And of course, Drew moved all the water lines around to accommodate the new layout! He also had to lay out new drainage for the shower which was set in the old closet space.

We, and I'm using that term loosely, ended up removing a small closet in the master bedroom and taking it in as part of the bathroom. The master bedroom had a "dressing room and closet area" located on the wall with the bathtub. Since we wanted to get rid of the bathtub and put in a walk-in shower, we decided to take in this small closet area for that purpose. Besides, the closet had a 4 inch cast iron vent pipe located on the right side, which would remain.

The fun part, taking 8+ weeks. Yes, you read that correctly. 8+ weeks it took to remove all the walls! Now the bathroom started out as a 5' x 7' space, but the walls were over a foot thick! Not to mention that the bathtub/shower combo had been leaking for a long time, therefore the inner wall (between the bathroom and small closet area) was completely rotten.

This house was built in the late 30's early 40's, no less, by a Hydraulic Engineer and family. So, the walls consisted of 2x4 studs; 1x6 vertical runners; 1x6 tong & groove horizontal wallboard; 1/4" sheetrock; and two (2) layers of shower/wallboard.

Right in the beginning of it all, Drew gets a promotion at work and starts working six (6) days a week, 12 hours a day! He managed to demo the floor and ceiling and I took over from there, which explains why it took 8+ weeks! LOL!!

After a while, my days just consisted of going to work, getting off work, picking up T-man (and sometimes dinner as well) and going home to work on the demo. Filling the trailer parked at my front door with wood, moving trailer to the fire pit, unloading wood onto fire pit, setting fire, moving trailer back to front door. Did this about 5 times before I completed the demo!

Luckily, as soon as I finished the demo work, Drew was back to a regular shift and we (again, using that term loosely because this time he did most of the work) started to re-build the bathroom.

Needless to say, I am very proud of the work Drew did. It looks G R E A T!

Since this house was built so long ago, we are having to insulate as we renovate and replace weighted windows with energy-efficient windows!

But the biggest surprise we got in all of this, was finding studs which had fire damage! We never knew that the house had fire damage, LOL!! And of course, the house was already on the land and the land (100+ acres) was what we wanted when we bought it!

This weekend, Drew will finish the last of the molding. I get to finish the construction of the built-in medicine cabinet! The last thing, building the linen closet. Since I have been unable to find the type I want, I have decided to build it, myself!

Next up, renovations on the exterior back wall (both floors), replacing the remaining windows with energy-efficient windows, replacing the heating/cooling systems (both floors), renovating the downstairs bathroom, and renovating the kitchen/sunroom.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back to normal...almost!

Well, my brother has returned home. After two weeks of visiting, he was ready to leave! Ready to return to his own family and start the process of getting his health on track.

I think he got the answers he was looking for while he was here. At least, I hope so.

He also left, upset. Upset about how things have changed, how family can inflict pain and hurt and yet, how some things just never change.

This weekend, he went in to visit our mother before he left town. So, I asked him to take care of our older sister, the one who lived off my mother. The one who is now homeless. She'd moved into the apartment with our uncle, when my mother was placed in the nursing home. My uncle had her removed this weekend and sent to the local women's shelter. The local women's shelter turned her out during the night, said they didn't know how they could help her. She's bi-polar(my guess) and not on medication. She's a danger to herself and could possibly become a danger to others.

I've tried to get her help. She refuses help. These professionals(doctors, police,etc) tell me, that as long as she's "unwilling" to accept it, they can't do anything for her.

This weekend, she was placed in the Psychology ward because she has started to inflict wounds on herself. The people at the Womens' shelter talked with the local Police Dept and told them that they turned her out because she was "talking to people who weren't there" and making threats to harm herself and those at the home. Instead of calling the Police for assistance, they threw her in the street. Instead of alerting authorities, they turned her out onto the public.

She slept under buildings for several nights. She hadn't eaten in several days. The day she called my house, I asked my brother to pick her up, gave him money to get her a hot meal, and take her back to the Women's shelter where she asked to go. That's when we found out what had happened at the Women's shelter several nights before.

How can you help someone, who doesn't want to change their life? How do you make sense of it all? Part of me is angry about how things were handled, yet, part of me has walked this path so many times before that it knows that sometimes, you just can't do anything to help someone who doesn't want help.

I've offered help, help in finding a place to live, getting the things she'd need to get started, to help her find a job, get on her feet. She doesn't want it. She tells me that I "owe" her. So I've asked "what I owe her" and her never ending reply is "supporting her".

I'm afraid to let her around my chilren, because, she's tried to hurt them before. My husband, God bless him, was on board with me when her daughter came to live with us. Her daughter was so far gone, we tried everything to help her, and she didn't want it, just wanted our money.

Now she has a daughter in the system, with another on the way, which will end up in the system as soon as it's born. My niece is a drug addict. Her first born was addicted at birth. I'm sure this next one is also. We've all tried to talk with her, we've all tried to extract her from this nightmare. She doesn't care. She just sets there with this stupid little grin on her face. The social worker was mortified! To say the least, he informed us that short of having her committed (as her mother has just been) there's nothing that we can do, she is 24 years old!

Part of me wants to run, as far and fast as possible, from this nightmare.

Part of me wants so very much to help them both. To not give up, to show them that someone does think they matter, that someone does care that they are in the place they are in, that someone does love them! Everytime I have tried to help them, to pull them from this place they are in, they bare the claws and attack!

Maybe it's not my help they want, maybe that's been the problem all along.

How can you help someone who is not willing to help themselves?

Friday, August 7, 2009


My brother arrived on Sunday...

He had a stroke in June. His doctor wasn't concerned about the loss of vision, or the tingling sensations in his right arm and hand, or his inability to completely pick up his right foot. She said that those were the things he'd have to "learn to live with". She said "your able to return to work"..."you don't require physical theraphy"...more or less, she's the suck it up and deal kinda personality.

So, with assistance from my sisters, we brought him home...home to doctor's who would tell him how much damage he's body has suffered, and hopefully, doctor's who would prescribe physical theraphy or whatever else his body needs to recover.

My eye doctor was more than happy to examine him. His eyes are damaged, the stroke was pretty bad. Surgical intervention is not an option, physical theraphy and glasses are an option.

The cardiologist appointment is next Tuesday. Good news would be wonderful, physical theraphy options would be a blessing! So, now we will have to just wait and pray for the best.

At least he's got a great take on his health. He's making changes, doing things differently, learning to sacrifice bad habits for good habits. He's slowing down, enjoying things, and has decided that there are things he has always wanted to do but never took the time, now is the time.

His family will arrive next weekend, to take him home. I am going to miss him then, but for now, I will spend all the time I can with him.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The First Day of School 2009-2010...

Today marks the beginning of the school year...

Today T-Man enters 7th grade...

Today, he's no longer my baby...

Where'd the time go?