Saturday, September 1, 2012

We have a saying in East Tenn., if you don't like the weather today, just wait until tomorrow. Less than two weeks ago, it felt like Fall had arrived early. The days were cool and the nights downright chilly plus the humidity was wonderfully low. Now, it is so humid that my glasses fog up just standing outside. The temps are in the high 80's and low 90's which, once you add in that outrageous humidity, feels like you're standing in the middle of a pizza oven. We're already getting remnant showers from Isaac but we've been dry so I won't complain about a little rain. 

I was working in the yard yesterday, digging up lenten roses to transplant. It was physical work but not really hard work since the soil was soft from the rain and I was able to just use a shovel and not have to use a pick to loosen it first. Still, I nearly over heated and within fifteen minutes, I looked as if I'd been caught in a downpour. My hair was sticking to my head and my clothes were drenched. Not a pretty picture but certainly one that convinced me that, even though I'll be working outside again today, I'll choose something much less strenuous, ha. 

The good news is, the work on the house is coming along. We met a wonderful man named Alfred who will be doing the new concrete on the porch and walkway. He explained to us that who ever poured our porch 35 years ago, cheated us badly. They cut corners to make themselves more money and didn't reinforce the foundation and also capped off the blocks that concrete should have been poured in to make the entire porch and our house foundation more stable. Thanks to their dishonest and shoddy work, we are now without homeowners insurance (Farm Bureau Insurance canceled on us after seeing the damage...most likely before we could file a claim. If we filed a claim now, we'd never get anyone else to pick us up for a reasonable rate. At the moment, we're working with a great insurance broker, Ed Brooks, who is monitoring our progress on the repairs and then will broker new insurance for us, hopefully, at an affordable rate.) So, we are not only rebuilding the porch and sidewalk but also, I'm working at getting all of the windows and trim cleaned and painted. We've also removed all of the ivy from around the house. Evidently, insurance companies (and I've recently learned the entire state of Washington which has banned the plant and will fine you if they find you growing it on your property!) don't like English Ivy. 
I have to admit, after trying to eradicate the hateful and prolific stuff from not only our yard but the remnants it has left on our brick and window frames, I'm not terribly fond of it myself. A window usually takes about an hour to thoroughly clean and prep for painting; I spent three hours scrubbing one of our garage windows which had been blanketed with ivy and I'm still not totally satisfied with it.....but I am done with it!

More good news, in the last month and thanks most likely to my greatly increased level of physical activity, I've lost around fifteen pounds! I'd say that stress added to that loss as well but I'm still not complaining. A month ago, I was beside myself with worry. I was so upset over FB dropping our home owners insurance and fearful that our premiums on any new policy would be so high that we couldn't afford it. There are always silver linings though and this storm cloud had a bunch of them. Not only did God point out to me rather vividly how blessed I truly am especially in comparison to several friends who contacted me earlier this month with REAL problems that made mine look like the whine fest it was but Steve is finally working enthusiastically on our house again and turning it back into a home. We've been working together more than we have in twenty years! And I have to say (although maybe I shouldn't) that I don't know if it is the progress on the house making me feel much better or just the constant close proximity to each other but we've been acting like newlyweds again! That's quite an accomplishment and blessing for an old, 37 years married couple like us. Yes, we also celebrated our anniversary this past month on August 22nd! I think I will be remembering the month of August, 2012 for a long time for many reasons but I'm still happy to see September 1st arrive! 

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