A Moratorium on Whining

I whine.

A lot.

It's sort of a hobby of mine.  And I'm very good at it.

But today is Thanksgiving, and someone asked me yesterday what I was thankful for, so I've thought about it all night.

I'm thankful for my family, both near and far.  They put the "fun" in "dysfunctional."  

I'm thankful for my friends, who listen to me whine and only occasionally slap me upside the head and tell me to get over myself.

I'm thankful that it was water and not fire that got our home.  As devastating as this has been, I think a fire would have been worse.

I'm thankful for insurance and specifically USAA's Angela and Rob.  I do a lot of whining to them and they have been pretty great about all this. 

I'm thankful for the water mitigation company, ServPro of Springfield.  I do my greatest amount of whining at, to and about them,  yet they keep sending workers to fix my house anyway.

I'm thankful for my husband.  I know, I mentioned him up in family, but he deserves his own paragraph.  I whine to him most of all.  Poor guy has to listen to me gripe about just about everything under the sun and he never loses his cool.  He has overseen every step of the restoration and kept a sense of humor the whole time.  I have never been so glad to have him here on my side as I am right now.  If he was still in the Army or (shudder) overseas, I would have been hauled off by the guys in the funny white coats long ago.  There is no one I'd rather spend Groundhog Day with.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  The whining resumes tomorrow.


No Virginia, There Is No Santa Clause

A few days ago, around November 10th or so, we were talking to the guy who'll be doing the interior painting and mouldings throughout the house.  He's also the cabinet maker building our kitchen cabinets.  His arrival is pretty exciting to us, because that's the first stage of the "finishing."  

We asked him how long it would take him to complete his portion of the job, which has to be done before the counters, hardwood, carpet, tile, granite, bath fixtures, etc. are installed.  He told us it'll be at least a month.

My mind was doing the long math, "Let's see, he plans to start on November 17, that means he won't be done until December 17.  Uh-oh!"

I looked at Jeff's face and could see he was thinking the same thing I was:

"They told us we might be back in by Christmas."

You could almost hear our hearts sink.

One of us asked him approximately when he thought we'd be back in the house.  He said that it'll probably be at least February.


So last night, we're lying in bed reviewing our latest Groundhog Day, when I counted on my fingers and told Jeff, "Do you realize that if we're not in until February, that means we're only halfway through?"

Have you ever made a grown man cry?


The pitter patter of little fins...

I think this one item that showed up on our household inventory list deserves its own blog entry. Feel free to chime in if you have a clue what this could be:

3 pairs fish shoes

What in the h**l are fish shoes?

I found these lovelies online, maybe I had a pair (or 3) stashed away that I didn't know about----------------------------------------------------------------------->


Groundhog Day

I think we've found the person who can bring peace to the Middle East, universal healthcare for third-world countries and quite possibly an end to the national debt.

His name is Jeff and he has, for the past 15 years, been seriously underestimated.

While I continue in my boring, repetetive, monotonous routine of going to and from work every day, albeit to a hotel instead of our home, Jeff has been negotiating the Deal of the Century.

Let me explain.

We have one of the best insurance companies in the country, with excellent coverage. We have met the senior adjuster and found him to be caring, diligent and personable. We also feel that we've hired a general contractor with those same admirable qualities. They're both highly experienced and knowledgeable in their fields and have the same goal: our return to our completely restored house in the shortest time possible.

Unfortunately, on the occasion of those two venerable gentlemen meeting in person, their opinions of each other were identical: an instant dislike, mistrust and lack of respect.

The insurance adjuster thinks the contractor is incompetent and the general contractor thinks the adjuster is ineffectual.

So Jeff's job for the past two-and-a-half weeks has been to act as the chief negotiator of the peace between these two grown men.

Without going into details (the minutiae of which would put you to sleep), suffice it to say that I seriously underestimated my husband's ability to handle stress and keep all of the respective parties on track and on task.

He cajoled, he threatened, he wheedled and he, dare I say, bullied these two to agreement under circumstances that would have driven Mother Teresa to curse like a sailor and fire them both. He managed to do this with dignity and panache and never once had to resort to raising his voice.

When you live in a hotel, with none of your worldly possessions around you, there's nothing to distract you from the despair of your situation. Had Jeff not been able to handle all of the dreck in the details, I would indeed have gone completely, totally and irrevocably insane by now.

So if this retired house-husband thing doesn't work out for him, there's a world crisis going on somewhere that could really use his skills.