Raising the Roof... er... House...

So now that we've been flooded, we're doing what you do in Texas, post-flood: raising the house.

Someday, this will be a "before" picture, and then I'll be happy. I just don't like it as a "right now" picture.

Yes, that's right. Raising the house. By a foot and a half. It will be suspended in the air, foundation and all, while the contractors pour more concrete underneath. (We have a concrete slab foundation, which makes the whole process difficult, but not impossible.) Most houses around here don't have basements, which is the major reason that Texans do raise their houses and, say, people in Michigan don't so much.

Tista cautiously surveys the destruction in and of the carport.

This, of course, is not cheap, and of course, it's not covered by insurance. Because insurance is only for damages. They don't give a damn if you decide you want to prevent future damages, even if it would save them money. But we figure that we need to do this if we want to sell the house again sometime, since we'll have to declare the flooding, and so we've got a contractor and tons of ditches all the way around the house.

If it rains, we'll have ourselves a moat!

We've got a contractor with experience in this arena, though as it turns out he also has experience in other arenas: he used to be a rodeo clown, which is just too cool. I like him; he seems honest, and I like the guys he's got working for him, and he's careful. And you just can't beat an ex-rodeo clown.

Tista responds to the crisis with his characteristic concern.

Of course, the whole process has rather unsettled the cats. Thankfully they've never been through a move before and so they don't know to panic at the sight of boxes the way they panic at the sight of suitcases. Instead, they think the boxes are actually kind of fun, though the jackhammering outside and the constant packing inside don't make them happy.

Ever helpful, Zora likes to "help" us pack.

We'll see how they feel about all the mess when we move out for two weeks. The house has to be completely empty for a) the raising and b) the removal of the asbestos floor tiles, and "completely empty" means not only do all our belongings need to be packed up and removed, but we have to stay elsewhere too. A number of friends have offered us places to stay, but everyone we know has pets or is allergic, which means we'd have to board the cats. For about $5 more per day than it would cost to board them, we can all stay at the Motel 6 Extended Stay (which is "pet-friendly"), and have someone clean up after us!

The front door, which is useless anyway since the floorboards behind it warped up so high it won't open.

I've made serious headway on packing up the house; yesterday a friend came over and we moved a lot of stuff to the Love Shack, a.k.a. the small detached building in our back yard. It's now fabulously full of boxes and furniture. It's a good thing we moved stuff yesterday, too, because today they put a massive hole in the carport right outside the back door. (It's not as bad as it looks. They'll put in a plank tomorrow morning so we can move the rest of our crap out the door, and for now we're just stepping around the hole...)

The back door, meanwhile, our only way of entering or exiting the house, now sports this lovely hole in front of it. Let's hope I remember it's there when I walk out the door in the morning...

So this promises to be a really fun month for us. Whee! Thank goodness we have the wedding to look forward to, otherwise I might just go completely nuts.


19. January 2005


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