The Good and the Bad of This Flood…

This house flood has been trying to say the least!

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But despite it all there has been some bad and also some good.

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The stress it has loaded Jason and I down with is overwhelming at times.  The extra work and expense and inconvenience has been difficult to swallow at times.

The reality is the flood didn’t damage any of our belongings.  And yet because the floors are being replaced because of the damage caused we have an insurance claim.  And that means a $500 deductible.  Our insurance company has to pay to move us out of the basement so the floors can be redone.  The toilet and sink in the basement bathroom were removed as well.  Inconvenience…absolutely!!!  There were fans and heaters and dehumidifiers running 24-7 for 7 straight days.  Our utility bill will be huge.  We will have to pay for the water that caused all the damage.  We will have to pay for the electricity to dry it up.

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Yes that huge shelf is blocking my pantry and my access to all our non-perishable food…

We will ask for insurance to pay.  But at this point I have my doubts that they will.  Last week the insurance company was amazing!  I seriously couldn’t say enough great things about our adjuster.  This week everything changed.  Our guess…Ft McMurray claims started coming in.

But it leaves us 8 people living in 800 Sq feet.  That is a small kitchen.  Small dining room.  Sitting area with 2 recliners and a large master bedroom. (Thank goodness!) And a small bedroom for 2 boys.

The girls bedroom which was already sleeping 3, now sleeps 6.  Thank goodness 2 years ago when I replaced Katie’s bed I got one that is a single daybed but pulls out into a king.  So Jason and I are on that.  Keilan is on the floor.  2 girls are in one single bed and 1 in the other.  A little tight.  But we are managing.

Yesterday I got a phone call at 8:45 am telling me I needed to move all my own electronics and computers and it needed to be done ASAP.  I’m not doing that.  Jason tried to come home from work but wasn’t able to.  That caused a lot of stress!  Fortunately they moved it all to the floor and we moved it upstairs last night.  But they wouldn’t move it to the upstairs table.

I’m hoping that we are past the worst of the bad now.  We had a giant fan in out only bathroom for a week.  The door couldn’t even fully open.  At least that’s gone now.

As for the good….honestly some good has come from this mess.  My girls HATE cleaning their bedroom.  The mess is ALWAYS someone else’s.  And so they won’t clean it.  Every Thursday is clean sheets day so everything from their beds gets thrown on the floor and it never gets truly and fully cleaned up.

We’ll, now it is truly and fully cleaned up.  The first packers who got fired, threw almost everything into plastic bags.  They literally dumped all the clothes from the dresser drawers into big huge bags.  Everything but about 10 boxes was in huge bags.

Not any more.  Monday evening I went into the storage pod and dragged the girls along.  We went through every single bag.  Every single item.  By the end we brought 5 bags back inside.  I took about 10-12 large bags to give away!  To be fair a couple of those were mine from my closet purge.  OK, one was mine.  I literally filled the Mazda SUV with bags.  Leaving space only for Keilan and his car seat.   I over filled a huge donation bin at value village.  The lady working there was in shock at all of it!

So the purge of the girls bedroom and the purge of my closet were both good things.

Also we finally got rid of the huge broken printer sitting in the basement waiting to be e-cycled.  As well we got rid of the ancient hand me down ghetto blasters in each of the 2 kids bedrooms upstairs.  One the radio worked but not the CD or cassette.  The other the CD worked but not the cassette or the radio.  I spent $40 each and bought each room a blue tooth speaker so they can stream music from their tablets and save a ton of dresser top space.

The pantry got another good tidy.  Since it seems to take but a single child going in there to leave it in total disarray this was a good thing.

And I went through our towels and purged away the worst of them.

Also we found a great dog kennel which is far away but great price and the dogs loved it.

Finally we got to go to Radium and spend a wonderful weekend there.  OK a wonderful Saturday.  Sunday sucked, but we won’t talk about that!  Saturday was amazing!

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So this flood has had good and bad.  And it’s not even over yet.  Another 2 weeks I’m told and we will have the floors done.

Hopefully we will be able to get through the next 2 weeks without killing anyone and come out closer for the wear!

It’s Been a Long Time…

Well, it has been quite some time since I last blogged; Which for me, I suppose, really isn’t good.  Blogging is my outlet.  It is my vent.  It is the way to put my thoughts and feelings in order.

But I haven’t had the time to blog for several weeks.  I’ve been busy doing census and having a family.  Busy trying to complete grade 3 reading with Keilan so we don’t have to pay money for the program we use for his reading comprehension and so that I don’t have to deal with it at all next year.  Next year I just want reading to be for fun.  But in the meantime, we have to finish grade 4, 5, and 6 reading levels.  Yes he is in grade 2.  Technically he completed grade 2 on the last day of March.  I have already submitted his grade 3 learning plan and am working with him to complete his reading comprehension component now.  He doesn’t like doing it too much so I’m trying to do it and get it out of the way now.  We’ve actually been doing quite well at it until the last 4 days.  He should complete grade 4 reading level within the week.  Then we do grade 5 and 6 and we are done the entire program.

My feelings are that if I am to do nothing else home schooling but to keep him at grade level or above and to teach him excellent reading comprehension then I’ve done an OK job at home schooling.

This is totally doable.  We were on track to be done June 7  but with the last 4 days a complete write off…that date will change a bit.

Here I sit – in a very comfy couch at 2 am in a pin drop quiet house.  We are in Radium.  We have rented a condo for the weekend.

We got in only an hour ago. Katarina had tickets to opening night with her best friend to see Captain America Civil War.  We had to kennel the dogs and the place was far from home.  We needed to go to Costco on the way out of town to buy food for the weekend.  So many things made for a late, late start.

And here I am writing.  I am absolutely exhausted.  Can barely keep my eyes open.  Have had so little sleep this week.  But the peace and quiet and stillness summon me.  So here I sit.  In complete darkness, letting the quiet calm my weary soul.

The census is finally complete and returned.  That was a tremendous relief.    I like doing it, but am always relieved when it is done.

This week we awoke at 3:30 am Tuesday to a broken shut off valve under the upstairs bathroom sink.  Water flooded the bathroom and ran like a waterfall into the basement.  Jason heard it quickly after it happened I think, but the damage was done.

There was no damage to our property.  But there was damage to the floors on the main level and the basement.

Our home is small for a small family, but it is very small for a large family.  And there are 8 of us currently living in our 3 bedroom home.

The entire basement floor will be replaced and the girls bedroom is to be determined.  But regardless the entire basement and the girls bedroom need to be completely emptied so the floors can be fixed.  The home owners insurance of our landlord’s is covering this.  If you don’t know our home that means everything in the house is moving out except the boys bedroom and the kitchen and dining room.

Our tenants insurance is covering us staying somewhere else while it happens.  It is also covering moving everything out and back.

The company our insurance contracted to do the packing and moving has been anything but prompt and has caused several delays and loads of stress and headaches.  Finally today our adjuster removed their contract and gave it to another company.  The company that is actually repairing the damage.  This company is Alberta Fire and Flood and they are exceptional.  They now have to deal with the delays and headaches started by the previous company.  However, hopefully Monday they can resume work.  They will get it done quickly and no doubt with great workmanship.  They’ve been exceptional so far.

Needless to say, having 8 people live in small quarters means no extra space and lots of shared space.  Shared space in my home has the added headache of accumulating huge messes by the mysterious “not me”.  Incidentally, if you know where I can find him I have some words for him about the messes he leaves all over my house and never cleans up!

My 3 girls share a bedroom.  It is a rather large bedroom.  It is in fact the master bedroom.  But their bedroom is constantly in a state of emergency.  Rarely can carpet be seen and when they are told to clean it, they insist they already have cleaned their part and everything else isn’t theirs.

It drives me CRAZY!!!

The reality is I tell them daily to clean their room, but after working full time and home schooling and keeping up with the laundry and dishes and daily chores…I don’t have the energy left to deal with their resistance and disobedience.  So it stays a disaster.

Well, then we had the flood.  Move furniture.  And now their bedroom is even worse.  Now the requirement for its’ entire contents to be packed and removed….horrifying!  For 2 nights I tried to get them to clean it.  They said they did.  Boy did they NOT!  I didn’t have time to do it or frankly inclination or the energy.  We were moving our boat at 11 pm an hour away so that the contractors could drop in 2 pods out back for our stuff.  Our plates were already overflowing.

When the contractors came to pack I was mortified.  Humiliated.  And very very very upset with what my daughters had left.

And that has been my week.  Dealing with packing to leave the house for an undetermined time, trying to clean the house from 6 kids so it could be more easily packed, catching up the extra 8 loads of laundry as a direct result of he flood, catching up the probably 6 more loads as a result of being too lazy to put your clean folded laundry into your drawers and digging through it and throwing it on the floor.  Talking back and forth between contractors and adjusters.  Arranging for our dogs to get their vaccinations up to date so we could kennel them while out of the house.  Finding a kennel that will take dogs not spayed or neutered.  Working on a large school event that is next weekend and seriously dropping that ball! Add in the daily dealing with our youngest son and the unending, constant stress and tension…oh and 4 hours dealing with the girls bedroom Thursday night late into the night.  Missing the band silent auction fundraiser that I was supposed to be volunteering at.  Arriving at our hotel at almost midnight last night and getting up with the 3 youngest to take them swimming at 6 am when the pool opened, before we had to leave at 6:50 to do our bus run and get one kid to a exam at school.

It has been a long and trying week.

The only thing that has kept me together is knowing all the families in Fort McMurray who have lost everything or at best are not allowed in their homes.

What we are going through is nothing.  Yes we have a deductible.  Yes it’s a pain.  But it’ll be fine.

In fact I talked my adjuster into allowing me to rent this amazing condo for the weekend.  It actually saves him money because it’s cheaper than hotels in Calgary.  And it let’s us get away.  This place is larger than our home and far far far nicer.  So in the end we get a mini vacation and we don’t even have to pay for it.

Our adjuster said he trusts me and I’m honest and to do what’s best for my family and reasonable and he will reimburse it.  He didn’t give me a daily limit on lodging or food.  But the reality is we are cooking our own meals here and eating really well and for a fraction of the cost of eating out.  The accommodations are cheaper too.  So it is an absolute win win all around.

So, my life is crazy.  I don’t know when it won’t be.  Even when we get back into the house I’m unpacking everything and using the opportunity to make a good purge and rid ourselves of a lot more stuff.  So even when we are back home it’ll be a few weeks before our home is back in order again.

But I have a home to put back into order.  I have my own 5 kids and 1 extra who are all healthy and mostly happy.  Our dogs are healthy.  They got a clean bill of health at the vet this week.  And I get some much coveted peace and quiet here in this beautiful living room, sitting on this comfortable couch at 3 am.