Sunday, August 11, 2013

Almost a whole month...

It all started with my general disdain for bugs. If bugs had not the slightest effect on me... this story would have gone very different. But I do not like bugs at all. So the story went like this: 
I found ten thousand of them in my silverware drawer. 

Teeny ones. Black. And they hopped, but they were so small that when I squooshed them they left only a tiny black mark on my finger. Gross? Yes. But I thought of it like pencil lead or ink, and then washed my hands. (We all have different ways of coping.)

I wiped the drawer clean. Sprayed the drawer with disenfectant, and then did the same for all the other drawers. I gave it until the next day, but got more than a little worried when found them (and every cousin they could find) the very next morning. (At this point I started getting a complex.) I did research and deduced they were a certain type of bug attracted to moisture. I called a two exterminators and sprayed bug killer. It did nothing. Long story short? I noticed they were on either side of my dishwasher so I had Steve investigate on a Friday...

And we found mold. Lots of it.

Three different types - to be non-exact. (Green, White, and Black.) And bugs. (Lots of 'em.) I was completely mortified and contemplated our gaping, moldy, dishwasher hole with only half of my brain. (Had I used my full brain I would have checked for more mold that very evening.) But instead we stayed at my mom's for a couple days and hired someone to take care of the mold. He painted over it with some fancy paint and called it good. We paid him entirely too much money and moved back into our house that evening. But after putting the pirates to bed I went to admire the work he'd done, and noticed bugs crawling from under the floor boards. (They were back in my silverware drawer as well.) I had this sinking feeling... 

The next day we spent the entire day outside helping my parents with landscaping. On Sunday the bugs were still there - only the sunshine from the day before had given me new conviction (and the other half of my brain) to find the source. I called up my sister, she came over, and we removed trim from under one of the cabinets. Bugs scurried everywhere and we found more fuzzy green mold. I asked Steve if he'd help pop off one of our kitchen countertops. He didn't really want to at first. We were both hesitant because doing things like that usually lands us somewhere around expensive - but I felt firmly lodged between mold, bugs, and money. So we contemplated it for about five minutes and then popped off the countertop. 

There were bugs and mold EVERYWHERE. (As I type this I realize this story has a trend.) Over the next five days, we popped off two more countertops and removed a total of six moldy cupboards. We took up one hundred square feet of wood flooring (just shy of the entire kitchen), and cut out forty feet of OSB subfloor. (I vacuumed the backside of our basement ceiling whilst balancing on the kitchen floor joists.)

It was a low point. Quite literally. (And in more ways than one.) Thank goodness my family is patient, and helpful, and kind - because the truth is I lost it several times. But somewhere in between all the mess and the crazy? I learned to look at the whole thing as an experience. Which is something I've needed to learn for quite sometime. 

Moral of the story? Mold and bugs are disgusting and I personally despise them both. 

Second moral of the story? This particular challenge has given me experiences I'd never (ever) have found on my own. And there are genuinely wonderful people all over. It's been fun finding them in places I'd never expect. (Like Home Depot.) 

But over the past month we've been piecing everything back together. Slowly... (and in between heaping portions of Humble Pie.) Our refrigerator is in our dining area. The floor is seventy five percent finished. The stove is waiting to be plugged in. The dishwasher is waiting to be installed, and the kitchen sink is coming in two weeks with the countertops. But my gratitude for family and friends has hit a record high. 

(The Before-and-After's are going to be fun.)


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