Aaaaah, alliteration. (Look! I did it again!)
I have been missing for quite a while, and I promise I have a good excuse. And pictures. (Save your thanks until after you’ve seen them, however…)
It’s been nearly three weeks (seems like SO much longer) since the sewer backed up downstairs and ruined five rooms, and while things have been cleaned (twice!) and disinfected (twice!), new carpet has been chosen and ordered, and the soiled sheet rock cut out and removed (and the bathroom completely gutted), and it’s going to be wonderful when it’s finished, I’m beginning to realize just how LONG it’s going to take to put things back together, and how much work is still ahead of me. To be perfectly honest, I’d take my old, ugly carpet and my old sheet rock (black mold included) and my papers and books and toys and shoes scattered to and fro, PRE-FLOOD, even if it took us decades to remodel, as long as it meant I could tackle the reorganization on my own time and I didn’t have to remember to empty my bladder before I went down to get a load of laundry out of the dryer. (Lesson learned. And learned again. And again.)
I’m firmly mired in the middle of a pity party where I’m the honored guest, the hostess AND the list of invitees, and while I’m becoming annoyed with myself, I don’t seem to have the required energy to do much about it. Or the basement.
Did I mention it’s going to be a long summer?
So here’s what my basement looks like now. It looked MUCH better before the guys came and ripped out the bathroom, and threw the stuff in whatever space was available. Maybe when they put it back together next week, I’ll be happier. (I’m crossing my fingers and toes.)
Here is the left side of the family room. My kids made do with a bar stool and a tiny folding chair in order to watch television. The toy shelves are on the right side, but everything that didn’t get wet got thrown in front of them, so they are almost completely blocked.
This is the back half of the laundry room. The under-stairs storage is around to the right, and with the exception of the sink (the SINK!) and the food storage, everything was back there and had to be pulled out. Twice.
These are just a few of my laundry room cupboards. They ripped the doors off of all of them, even though they were well above the line of sewage. I’m not sure whether I’ll get to keep any of them, or if they’ll rip them all out and start again.
Also, the poor dogs lost their bathroom, so they’ve been relegated to the same bed in the laundry room.
Aaah, the bathroom. This is where my sink and vanity once stood. See the missing sheet rock? Below the mirror is what the cleanup crew cut out. On the right is the area where Ed failed to measure appropriately, or put the vanity in before the sheet rock. (Quite frankly, it could have been anything with him.) We either have to sheet rock that area by ourselves or hope the new vanity covers the mistake.
Here is where we used to have a toilet. (And will again one day soon, I’m assured.) When the work crew pulled off the wood paneling, they found toxic black mold. They were kind enough to leave us with an industrial-sized HEPA filter for the week, to help clear the mold spores from the air. They also suggested we leave the wood paneling for other areas of the home, and leave it out of the damp bathroom. (Let’s not go there and done.)
Here is the shower. My kids think it’s hilarious that the toilet is in there. I miss my toilet. My bladder misses my toilet. Running up the bare stairs (with lethal carpet tack strips!) with a full bladder and a full laundry basket sounds a lot more fun than it actually is.
Now, what color to paint the bathroom that won’t clash terribly with the blood-red accent tiles in the shower?
Taken from the doorway to my office. It doesn’t look so bad from here, so I gave you another view:
(Kenny thinks this is the room we need to start with. I think it’s going to take the entire living room to house all this stuff. The middle of the room is piled desk-high with boxes and files. Also, I am kicking myself for not getting rid of all the Mary Kay crap sooner. Oh well– at least now it gives me a perfect, guilt-free excuse to trash it all.)
This is the library. It’s the ONE room downstairs that didn’t get any sewer damage, and consequently, became the dumping ground for all things salvageable. The work crew tossed the bathroom cabinets in here, blocking access completely. Not happy. Not at ALL happy.
Kenny made Alex crawl across the piles to find a book for him. I nearly impaled Kenny with the toilet brush, and will certainly not hesitate to do it in the future if he insists on endangering our offspring in that way again.
Lastly, we have the stairs. Nasty, toe-pricking, tack-strip-teethed stairs. I miss being able to toss an empty laundry basket down them, or slide a full one behind me. I miss being able to run down them without wearing shoes.
I do look forward to nice, thick gap-free carpet. I don’t envy the flooring guys their job of covering them. Between the stairs and the trim on each side, it’s going to be a heck of a task.
While the basement has taken a very large amount of my time and energy, things aren’t ALL doom and gloom around here. I’ve read several books, spent a ridiculous amount of time outside playing with my kids, I had a fabulous Mother’s Day (which I will elaborate on another day), I was bestowed with two lovely blog awards (that I will also post about in the very near future) and I managed to finish Hannah’s heart dress in time for her to wear to church on Sunday, even though I sewed a sleeve on wrong (I still can’t figure out how I ended up with it sewn right-side out to the inside of the dress) and had to unpick it. It isn’t perfect, but I’m proud of my attempt and Hannah LOVES it. In fact, she’s worn it twice already since Sunday.
I’m going to tackle some twirly skirts next. After I chaperon two field trips in the next two days. (I’m getting REALLY good at avoiding the basement. Scary good.)
Did I mention it’s going to be a long summer?