Providing clarity

I guess I’ve been unclear about what is going on with Houndstooth Hall and its residents, so I’ll paraphrase and add to some some answers I gave on Instagram.

We were only out of our house the first couple of weeks after the flood (that is when we stayed at Lynne’s with our dogs and Tim’s dogs). During that time, demo was done on the floors and walls, all our ruined furniture and appliances were put on the curb, and what we saved was put in storage. We have kept most of what was salvageable of our furniture in our house (Debby and Tim lost basically everything; we were not as badly flooded in the house). Dehumidifiers ran constantly in the house and apartments, and everything was sprayed with various products to reduce any chance of or eliminate any mold. We also had to have some repairs done to our gas line. We were busy during that time dealing with the paperwork and bureaucracy resulting from all the property and our two cars being flooded. Both cars have since been replaced. Debby’s truck was unaffected because it was higher up than our cars.

Tom, Debby, and I have been living in the house since mid-September on plywood floors, with no sheetrock or insulation on all the lower walls in the house. We did have to leave again for five days when the fence was replaced because the dogs couldn’t go outside, so we stayed at Lynne’s again.

Tim was living remotely–for the first week, where he was housesitting when the flood came, because his clients couldn’t fly back into the city. His car was not affected because that area didn’t flood. Then for several weeks he and his dogs lived in a house provided by a generous RPM volunteer which she was getting ready to put on the market. Then Pixie and Penny came to be with us for another couple of weeks while Tim and Pollock stayed at the Secret Unicorn Sanctuary. But he’s been back in Fox Den for a while, and Debby will hopefully be able to move into Fairy Cottage with her dogs this weekend.

Completely unrelated and prior to the flood, Lynne put her house on the market and it sold a couple of months after the flood. So she and her dogs have been staying with us until she moves into their next residence after Christmas.

Since it took our contractors about three months to repair the apartments, you can guess how long it may take before our house is completed–they will start on that next week, we hope. At that point, Tom, our dogs, and I will be living mostly in one half of what pre-flood was my home office with all our surviving furniture in the other half while in the rest of the house: our insulation and drywall is replaced, then new subflooring and flooring, then wood trim and doors replaced and painted, then the lower kitchen cabinets pulled and replaced and painted. Then we will be back in the other rooms of the house while the office is repaired and new subfloor and floor put down there.

So we have basically always resided here, it just isn’t very pretty with plywood floors and exposed walls, and we lost a lot of furniture and personal things. But we didn’t lose the house, and we didn’t have to be out of it for very long. The dogs LOVE having missing lower walls, as they have many secret passages into and out of rooms. As bad as it looks and as strange as it is to have most of our belongings in storage, at least we’ve been home.

It will be a home undecorated at Christmas, and that is fine.

free to choose my world

I told Tim I wanted to go into his apartment and photograph something that proved he was back home and he was all suspicious and said like what and I said I don’t know, anything, please, and he said okay. So I photographed these beautiful chests of drawers that replaced the ones that were drowned in the flood and that had once belonged to my parents and I’m sure that makes some people feel sad because after all, it was my late mother’s furniture but I just can’t hang on to all that and anyway, these are beautiful and have metal legs that keep them off the floor which I think you’re going to start seeing as the theme of replacement furniture in all the Houndstooth Hall dwellings.

Then I was going to let Penny help me take a photo of Tim’s groovy new coffee table that also has metal legs but something distracted me and when I later told Jim about the distraction he said Robert Pattinson, is he even a thing anymore, and I said I have the choice of living in a world of mythical vampires or a world of Trump which should I choose and he said point taken.

The End.

And sometimes it’s the big things

Remember that thing about how I’m NOT SUPPOSED TO BUY ANYTHING because the goal is to empty, not fill, the house right now?

That shit goes right out the window when Tom and Tim find a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture that is going to fit right in with my new decorating scheme when I set up my home office again. But I swear, this is the LAST DAMN THING that comes into the house until all the repairs are done.

In fact, four pieces of furniture are about to leave the house to go to an upholsterer for recover and repair. As soon as I can find an upholsterer. Are you in Houston? Can you recommend one?

Couldn’t resist

I’m supposed to be moving things OUT of the house in preparation for the crew to come in and begin installing insulation and sheetrock. But ultimately, I just couldn’t resist this little tin trike. I don’t even know why, but it could be the first whimsical purchase I’ve made since the flood.


It has a really smooth ride. Jack is not impressed so though I’d like to photograph him on it, HE WILL NOT HAVE IT.

it feels like it will never be clean enough

Some of the things you end up getting after a flood.


An industrial mop bucket to go with the massive mop Jess and Pete brought when they came to save the day.


An I’m-not-even-kidding-I-will-conquer-that-bayou-flooded-tile floor cleaner to use in the apartments.


A new Dyson to replace the one drowned in the flood. It’s pretty and skinny and fierce like Heidi Klum.

Update

I don’t have photos to prove it, but:

Tim and his dogs are all back in Fox Den. There are still some touch-up things Keith and Crew need to do, but he is home and slowly replacing his furniture and unpacking. This is a great step to recovery from the flood!

Work continues in Fairy Cottage, and soon Debby and her dogs will be moving out of our larger guest room and back home. Maybe by Thanksgiving? This is my favorite holiday, and though we may be celebrating it in the chaos and mess of Houndstooth Hall, still, we’ll be together.

Both Tom and I have now replaced our flooded cars. Another advance toward normalcy.


Random crap from my old car (“old” being a weird word since I only had the car for a year and two months and was sad to lose it) that hasn’t been moved to my new car (and that means “new to me” because it’s a 2015) because I move through life in a fog of too many work hours and an unhealthy dose of insomnia and too much caffeine and not enough vegetables. I’m a mess. Not a hot mess, just a mess.

picturesque but bound for the debris pile


That’s my kitchen window and that’s my view of the ruella growing there. I love the purple flowers and I like this time of year when I can see the light changing. The light is one of the reasons autumn–even in Texas–is my favorite season.

The ruella lines a fence which is in a sorry state of repair, and I’ve liked that about it. It has an abandoned countryside feel to it. But some of the rails have already crumbled to nothing, so Tom says it’s headed for the debris pile today.

Once we decide on a different backdrop for the ruella, I’ll share photos.

Making it pretty


This is the corner of the yard I see from my desk when my desk is in my office, which it is not at this time and won’t be for quite a while. But when I do get my office back, I’ll be looking out at where we’ve covered the ground where no grass can grow with pretty river rocks. And by “we” I mean Debby, because I did none of this. She gets my Landscaping Hero of the Season award.