Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Hurricane Recovery

It's hard to stay in touch when we are dependent on brief hot spots for Internet and sometimes are without electricity. We are moving forward, but slowly. A group from our church came out and helped clear our yard, so a month and a week after the hurricane, we have that one little semblance of normality.

Insurance only wants to give us money to repair our roof and ceilings, but with all the mold we'd have to tear everything out. And with a manufactured home, that basically means rebuilding it. So we'd rather just start over somewhere else in a house on a foundation and out of the flood zone. 

We looked at a house that would be perfect, but we hadn't moved fast enough and it was already under contract. That was beyond heartbreaking. Our realtor should have found out if it was still available before showing it to us. It would have been perfect for us. Five bedrooms, large family room and living room. Kitchen large enough to hold a table so the dining room could have been a game area. Six foot fence around a half acre of land for the dogs. It had no damage and was move in ready. Probably the only house in the whole city that was! 

We went to look at a second house that might have been just as good. It has a little apartment attached that would have been nice for Tyler. It has so much damage it will be at least six months before it is ready.


The problem with moving is that unless we can get enough money to pay off the old house, we'd have to be able to make payments on two houses, and I don't think is possible. Kind of wish a tree had fallen on the house.

Not sure what will happen at this point. All the rooms are filled with our stuff from our shop, plus we have three storage units. We are trying to sell down online. In the meantime, the inside of our house is difficult to navigate!

We were going to skip Thanksgiving, but Jessica has decided to hold Thanksgiving at her house. Honestly, though, spirits are low.

A friend said she is setting up a Go Fund Me, and I'm not sure how that will work out. I know we need about $10,000 up front if we do get a house. I have some of that in savings but it is supposed to be for Jasmine's graduation trip to NYC and summer trip to Mexico with teen missions. She has not gone since she was 11, and this is the first year she has wanted to do it, so I had wanted to make it happen.

Keep us in your thoughts as we try to figure out our new normal. It includes four extra cats, at least one of whom is pregnant. Anyone want a cat?  

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Hanging Out in Georgia

After staying with Felicia (some of you read her blog Stare if You Must) for many days, we headed back home, but we stopped at my son Adam's house in Georgia on the way. Since it's "all about the journey" with us, we also stopped in Augusta, GA, and I previously posted about that.

We were really excited to swim in Adam's pool because we figured it would be much warmer than Felicia's. Swimming did not happen!

Both of Adam's houses were hit. The one in Panama City by Michael at Category 5 winds and the one in Albany, GA by Category 3 winds. He had to leave for Norway before he had time to deal with it.

We drove to the Zoo, but it was closed due to hurricane damage, so we went to the Riverquarium instead. I don't have pictures because it was mostly tanks of fish that live in the river.

Ray Charles plaza was nearby.

The next day we went to Pirate's Cove Nature Trails, but it was more like an obstacle course.

The following day we went to a small science museum.

Then it was time to go home and face real life.

This is what real life looks like now:


Side of the house

Two of three of our sheds survived.

Our back yard
These pictures don't really show the damage well, but in some areas there are too many trees blocking the way.I also think some of my pictures are on my newer computer that is getting some work done on it.

The flea market where our shop was at.

And this is what it looks like in general down here. But these are right after the hurricane. It still looks like this, but imagine mountains of trees and furniture piled so high along the road that you no longer know where you are, and you can't even see the entrances to the smaller side roads.

Most of the students here have been out of school since October 8th.Jessica started back in her nursing program today. My twins started back at their own middle school starting today. Jasmine starts next Tuesday. Her high school will meet at a middle school from 7-12 and the middle school students from that school will go 1-6. It's not ideal, but it will work for now.

We are looking at housing option. We are having issues with the insurance company. They want us to fix a double wide with holes in the roof, siding off and black mold everywhere. I want a real house on a foundation not in a flood area. I had wanted to live on the water, but housing is in short supply now and people can charge whatever they want. We looked at the "perfect" house for us yesterday, but competition is strong. I don't know if we can finance it.

I hope I'll have happier news in my next post.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Life Isn't Always Pretty

If the last post is to be believed, I only have 9 readers, so I am uncertain about continuing this blog. I do have one connected to my website (listed on the side bar), but that is more general. Editors and publishers want to know that you have a presence online, so that one is more topical and human interest rather than family oriented.

And truthfully, it is hard to know what to write on this blog. Sometimes the truth isn't pretty. Like, at this time I am still at Adam's house stalling on going home to a house with holes in the roof and mildew on the walls, but which the insurance company is unwilling to give us enough to repair. I'd much rather move, but we still owe a lot on it. However, if we remain in a manufactured home in a flood zone our insurance will be unaffordable. We already pay close to $3,000 a year insurance and another $800 flood insurance.

Another truth is that one child had to stay behind because he's on probation due to two arrests for theft. I also wouldn't bring him because he thought that taking matches out to the Armada, lighting them and dropping them on the floorboard while my husband drove was a fun activity. No concern about whether or not they lit the carpet or any of the stuff on it on fire.And some days he can't go more than ten minutes without arguing or being downright defiant. I didn't need to deal with that on a trip where we were going to stay with another adoptive family who already has enough issues with their own adopted children. When he wants, he can be cooperative and helpful. He's like two different children in one.

Life isn't always pretty and it isn't always neat. Some days are good, some days need a do over. Our time away has been mostly good. We've visited some places, played games, watched movies (mostly the kids as I have a 20 minute attention span when it comes to movies.) I've had a chance to talk to another adoptive mom who gets it when I talk about my kids. 

But it hasn't been without incident. I hate that the school gives the middle school students chrome books. They can access the Internet from them. One child was supposedly working on her math while I went out to get some things we needed. Checking her history later, she had actually watched over 59 videos on You Tube. She's already been warned about this and has been caught twice before. She even lost the computer for a week the first time and two weeks the second time even though it is an inconvenience for the teachers who like to assign everything on the chrome books and use them for testing. This time she won't get it back until school resumes the 13th (they've been out since the 8th of October and return Nov 13!!) and the school can put it in the penalty box, meaning she can use it only for schoolwork, and Internet is blocked.

So there's the good, and there's the not so good. I'm sure that's true not just for adopted children, but birth children at well, but I've been fortunate to only have had only the typical occasional bad attitude or arguing from my birth children. There were days they couldn't breath too close to each other without arguing with each other (that is still true on occasion!), but that seems to be pretty common.

I have lots of  photos to post, and I'll get to that soon. This is National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo), and I have my 50,000 words to write. This is my third year doing it.