Monday, September 29, 2008

its been a while

My dear hubby is away on a whirlwind business trip to CA ( 32hr rooundtrip) so I am taking a bit of time to reflect upon the past few weeks. I had not realized that it has been over 3 weeks since I last blogged. The time has flown. Life has been life I guess- when one is in the midst of the whirlwind it can be hard to notice the breeze.

Our new roof is on, and it is beautiful- all the more because of the knowledge of the attention to detail that went into its installation. As the old roof (s- in some places) were removed the reality of the lack of care was fully revealed. Now we know that all was properly and throughly done. The group of seven men who worked on our home were phenominal by todays work ethic standards. They all worked steadily at their tasks. Each knew their task and rarely was any supervisor seen giving guidance. They put in 11 and 12 hour days with a lunch/ seista break around 1 pm each day. They were courteous and considerate and hard working. I longed to have spanish language skills to be able to communicate with them better. Yet we managed. I cheered on Jenny the reluctant air compressor. We helped them with parts and tools when she was stubborn on the second morning. We thanked them often and served up cokes and snickers to help keep their energy going. My youngest and I joined in the cleanup- the rolling magnet was too much fun to pass on. We shared the backstory and our deep gratitude for a new roof and our hopes that their assurance of "no leaks" would be reality.

At times I grieved over the attitude I heard from others - "mexicans eat anything". hmmm, would he/ she say the same about americans? their realitive? cousins? They are human and have preferences and I expect would be blessed to be asked- so we did. When asked they prefered cokes so that is what we provided. They were reluctant to come in the house to use the bathroom and even the sink to wash hands. It makes me wonder at their reluctance- do folks treat them as nobodies??? Do these men who work harder than any I have ever met not see that we esteem them and wish to do what little we can to make them comfortable after their morning of hard work?? I believe they left knowing that we esteemed them. Oh that we, the modern couch potato Americans , would walk a mile in their shoes and learn from their focused work ethic. I applaud the Mexican men who work so very hard, that have not forgotten what it is to work.

Since the reroofing life has been .... life. Parenting continues to have ups and downs. Some days easy, other days we cry out for wisdom. Some kids are struggling with lessonwork, others don't care much about it- and it shows, and then out of nowhere comes a piece of work that reminds us that there is hope within. That beneath the "temporary (we hope) brain altering that seems to have overtaken them that there is a core of character and solid base that might be seen again." Some training lessons need to be resumed, and others begun. I have other plans but life just keeps being life- so we adjust and adapt and breathe deep or laugh or cry or rejoice in the midst of it all.

I am always amazed at what ebay provides. At therapy last week a tool was shown to me that the therapist planned on getting through the system, though I was told that it could be a slow procedure. she gave me a name and I thought, why not look. Ebay came through. For $15 it is now on its way here so we can begin to implement it and begin building strength where it is weak. yeah for ebay and how it connects need to needy easily!

We find ourselves on the sidelines of a soccer field often these days. Each game is different and each team and coach has its own flavor. This past week one team was younger and had many members calling out to one another in a foreign language. Tonight the teams launched the ball higher than I have seen yet this season and then bounced it from head to head for a bit. Our son is reluctant to use his head- something I didnt understand until he revealed his concern for his teeth. About 5 years ago he busted a few front teeth in a superman leapfrog manuver that went awry. I guess the memory is still quite fresh and real so he guards them well. He is learning the sport- enjoying the defense postion more than the sidelines. As a new team member it is often a bit more on the sides than in the field. The lessons of supporting a team are still being learned.

The tomatoes keep coming, lots of japelenos and the compost keeps doing its thing. We are seeing deer wander in yards again- soon will be searching out the acorns that continue to "plop" to the earth around the yard. Fall is creeping in and we're loving it. Soon it will time to tuck in the flowerbeds and drain the hoses for the cool weather to come, but until then we are enjoying the time to commune with nature again with ease.

Friday, September 5, 2008

When it rains...

at my house I had gotten in the habit of looking up.

Our house came with a "new" roof 26 months ago when we bought it. The roof had been installed about 10 days prior to purchase. Since that time we have learned what it is like to have a leaking roof. So accustom to it that we kind of resigned ourselves to it after a while, getting to know the roof repairman on first name basis. Not what we wanted or expected, but life never is.

The drama of it all kind of faded after a while. In the first six months of life in Toney we had lots of drama that was house related. The roof stuff was drips in the corner of the master bedroom, marks and later drips in the upstairs bedroom and discovery of sideways laid shingles. Then the worst morning was discovering water dripping from the wires in the fuse box, lots of water. That was also taken care of and life went on, later more leaks, more repairs. And hearing our repair guy tell of caulking over 100 nailheads that should have been caulked over a year ago. We lived with it all, not happy but resigned and a bit frustrated by it all.

A few weeks ago that changed. We were past the 2 year labor warranty when the men working on the house installing siding pulled off gutters to reveal the shingles were short on the perimeter of the house. We kind of resigned ourselves to repairs, even purchasing several squares of shingles. Then the rain came and with it an indoor shower. Leak location #6. The wonderful siding guys went to work looking for the leak, we were thinking that they had put a nail through the flashing causing the leak, not so lucky. After siding and trim were taken off the house that had just been installed and several trips to the attic to find the leak without sucess they cut a hole in the ceiling of the porch roof and finally located the leak.

With the repair came the realization that not only was it a lousy roofing job but it was so lousy that our warranty on the shingles would be voided if it was ever examined. Nails were through the shingle - not through the tar in the shingle, thus water can seep under the shingle and into the house via the nail. This was found in several places. The siding guys, who are also experienced roofers also pointed out where there were already nails popping out because of incorrect install.

Needless to say we have since had several conversations with the roofing company. We are delighted to report that next week we are anticipating the installation of a new roof. They wanted to "lay over" the old roof, but we declined such a quick fix. My dear husband made an impressive powerpoint presentation of all the faults we have found with their "quality driven with every nail" roof- i guess they were impressed as they have tried to make this whole situation quickly go away and quietly.

for us it is a blessing to think of rain storms ahead, years ahead when we wont have to think of looking to the ceiling and wondering if yet another leak will form.

the original roofing crew has since gone on to other jobs. our faithful repairman who has shook his head repeatedly and done all he could to patch this roof to dryness will be installing the new one. Friends had their roof completed by him, through another contractor and report no problems. His character and throughness has been seen in our conversation and I believe we will be well pleased.

We thank God for this provision and the ease in which it has all transpired. I dreaded the thought of a court visit, but once an objective knowledgeable party expressed the truth of the roof's condition we realized that to not pursue corrective measures would be foolish upon our part.