Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Trapped Between Terror and Joy

Last night, Walter and I took him to the ER. He's been having heart-type pains similar to those he got before his heart attacks in November '06.

They checked him out - so far so good - and wanted to keep him overnight. Do a stress test in the morning. But he signed out against doctor's orders. His decision, not mine, to make.

The injury continues to heal at a snail's pace. I finally found out the titanium wires holding his sternum together are not the mesh type arrangement I thought they were. Just wires, four or five of them, passed through each side of the sternum, then pulled together and connected. He's trussed up like a pork roast.

Tomorrow he sees the clinic doc again. It's also time for his annual health exam, one all truckers must pass. If he doesn't pass it? From what we can tell, that would put him on disability. But because he's still healing from the injury, we doubt anyone is willing to make a decision like that just yet. So we wait.

We finally got the first worker's comp check. It's not much, and just as we feared, they refuse to cover the beginning of his injury period. The idiot doc that said he could drive with restrictions that make driving a big rig physically impossible? Yeah. That did it.

So we're still $350 short of the mortgage, and the tension I feel wondering if Chase is going to call our loan is almost unbearable. The next check will be enough to cover it, but it doesn't get mailed until this Friday. By the time we get it and cash it and send it to Chase, it may be too late.

In the meantime...I'm clearing up the yard to get it inspection-ready. One inspector has already been here, and measured windows and doors and checked out how well the roof is tied down. This was for a grant I'm applying for, under the *My Safe Florida Home* program. They're not taking new applications again until July, but this windstorm inspection is a requirement, so it's good to get it out of the way.

If we're lucky, we'll get a grant of $5000 toward making our windows, doors, or roof more hurricane-proof. I'd love to replace all the windows - broken or not - with the *impact* (meaning *impact resistant*) windows that would have prevented much of the damage we took from Wilma. Then I wouldn't have to wait for Walter to come home to put up plywood, next hurricane down. And the way his health is going, I think we better not rely on him to be healthy enough to do all that at a moment's notice. It's a lot of work for any Heart Attack Man.

The next inspection will be a *4-point* inspection for the homeowner's and windstorm insurance: roof, HVAC, plumbing, and electricity. Part of this clean-up effort goes toward passing that. The stuff in the yard doesn't fall under any of those categories, but they probably wouldn't like to see all the wood and metal stacked around the house, ready to break our windows. Not to mention, since Citizen's cancelled us for not sending repair photos, and Chase is being nasty, I want the place to look like we actually do take care of the collateral for the mortgage.

It costs $100 for that 4-point inspection, so we aren't able to do it now anyway. But once we do, we should be able to get Chase's force-placed insurance off our house. It's far more expensive, plus they actually get a legal kickback when they force-place. This really irritates me.

I'm sitting on a check from Citizens that Chase won't endorse until we get notarized affidavits from us, and from a contractor, and a W-9 from the contractor. We all have to promise the work will be completed, and the contractor waives their right to put a Mechanics and Materialmen's (M&M) lien on the house.

Yeah, right. Most contractors I've known don't like to sign M&M lien waivers.

Chase insists that Home Depot will be perfectly willing to do this. Okay. Could be true, I won't argue unless they refuse.

I'll get to it. I just need to settle down a bit emotionally to get rolling on that again. The notary only charges $5, which we do have.

It's just that being scared about the mortgage payment being late is making me stymied, ineffectual. I guess most people wouldn't like to admit such a thing. I sure don't. Maybe the reason I can admit it is because I really do take active steps to overcome it.

And the joyful thing, the really funny part about that? This yard cleanup involves getting me set up to do something with gardening that I love to do, and haven't done for a long, long time. It's not just necessary. It's incredibly therapeutic.

I grow orchids. That's not unusual down here. But the way I do it is this: mounted on wood in a style others can't easily do.

This is the closest I come to creating visual art. I know my arrangements are beautiful and unique. Some people react oddly, they find them creepy and strange. Most folks, though, drop their jaws and just stare in awe.

Oh, I love that.

I'm going through my stacks of wood, nicely seasoned after 2 1/2 years, and wiring them up to be hung. That's the first step in creating my little works of horticultural art. I've already gone through almost 1000 feet of wire.

The pix are cool, even with no plants planted on the wood yet.

But I'll save that for another post.


overactive-imagination said...

No fair. I wanted to see the pictures. Oh how you tease us.

Pretty Lady said...

Chase is NOT going to call your loan, because you are sending the check on the same day Hillary Clinton is conceding, and the quantum shift of good karma on the planet will more than cover you. ;-)

I have a prediction; within one year, you will have an orchid greenhouse on your property, and a small business selling exotic, one-of-a-kind rare orchid arrangements. Within three years, you will have a substantial business; within five, you will be doing Very Well Indeed.

This is my prediction.

k said...


I love you guys.

Desert Cat said...

Dare I ask for an update?