Saturday, January 30, 2010

Casa Catastrophe

Well, I have been avoiding the house blog, since it immediately depresses me. I get worked up all over again when I talk about it. But, I want you guys to see what reality we have been living in.

So while in AZ, the cherry on top of that whole traumatic trip was coming back to our home.

The story is...

a small flexible hose that comes from behind the upstairs toilet, busted and sprayed thousands of liters of water all over the bathroom.

This water then leaked into Teage's bedroom (soaking the entire carpet, stuffed animal basket, and warping the feet to his a bed a little). It also spread into the den area where it soaked that carpet as well and anything sitting on the floor. With that, it leaked into the upstairs landing, where apparently the water started to collect and gain weight. Once the makeshift pool had finished, it then started leaking through the floor and the surrounding walls. (Isn't this fun?). Once that happened, the water let gravity take over. It proceeded to rain about 8-10,000 liters of water on our downstairs fireplace room, laundry room, middle foyer area, and main bathroom. The fireplace room has a hole and a huge crack in the ceiling where we think either the water created itself or the firefighters poked through to allow the water to escape (again, that is the story...oh, and the joys of hearing firefighters busted in your house is always comforting).

(Why did I find out that between the floors, there is straw insulating our house? this the three little pigs house? WTF?)

That gave the water the opportunity to thrust a major portion of that water onto our beautiful, cozy, sage green, love seat. This, in turn, ruined the framed photos I had laying on the sill next to it (not yet hung up) and of course flooded the wood floors below it. This caused the floor to warp big time and decorate most of the seams of the wood with a nice black/brown seepage stain. The laundry room flooded and besides some molded blankets I had in my hamper and the leaking stains by the ceiling, the dryer (government dryer to boot) won't work anymore. The foyer is the worst (cosmetic wise). All the walls in these rooms downstairs got wet inside, so the wall covering (wall paper, stucco, whatever) started peeling from the walls.

The foyer peeled off completely. So all the painting we did downstairs is ruined as well.

My walls are exposed and still smell a little funky.

The main bathroom had a few of the recessed lights come down out of their sockets and the molding on the ceiling had to be removed.

Thankfully, the TV room, the kitchen and the office did not flood. That would have been an added terror to this already jacked up situation. The water did leak a bit into the wall of the office causing it to stain through the paint. But that was it.

I guess they are right...when it rains, it pours. The big kicker and punch in stomach came when our landlord tried to sell us out and blame us for the pipe busting before we even got back home. This coming from a govt housing agency as well. It is unclear why the pipe busted...but it is speculated that the winter weather along with the heat being off while we were gone played a part. The landlord told George to shut off the heat/oil before we left, but is now denying it. Tit for tat at this point (even though he is straight up lying through his teeth), but it is dishonest on his part. He lied to us over the phone while we were gone and when we got back, refused to talk to us in English about his backstabbing conversations he had with housing (and he understands/speaks English just fine). The point is, he's shady. So now we must split the repair costs for all the damage, UGH. Meanwhile, we are looking for a new house and moving out of here as soon as we have the estimate (which was supposed to be yesterday...but alas, no estimate nor has anyone come to asses the damage yet). We refuse to live in a house for the next 3 years with a landlord who has no moral compass, nor are we willing to spot renovate his house for the next three years as things fall apart in his 70 year old house because he says "You did it".

Anyway, we will have to move ourselves if we want to stay on the economy. If we want to move into the base housing, the government will pay for it. Not sure which one it will be. I really want to stay off base, since the experience is so refreshing and the kids like it....but I'm kinda scared after this nightmare. Next week we are going to look at a few houses off base on the referral list and see how it pans out. Meanwhile we are on the list for a Senior 4 BR home on base. Nothing hurt in seeing what they have to offer, too. Hopefully by Monday we can have some kind of estimate on the damage so we can pay this guy and terminate our contract with him.

That's the lowdown. Sucky, but we will survive and as always...pull through life's obstacles.

OK, no more $hitty, sad posts...just sayin'!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Can I Have Your Autograph?

I have this upcoming post about our "drama" with the house (with pics), but I decided to save that for later. My life seems to be full of just sadness lately that I need a little quirky...a little smile...a little Di moment (don't you?). So here is my pointless, unthoughtful, silly banter, post.

Ever been told you look like someone famous? Or do you think you look like a celebrity? I love it when people say they look like someone and you just sit there and think "Uh, nice try...but you look nothing like Johnny Depp." Sometimes I can totally see a celebrity in someone's face right off the bat. A second cousin version perhaps.

Either way, I have always been told over the years that I have looked like two particular actresses. One is from my younger years and one as an adult. Now, don't assume I believe it. I'm one of those that has been told. I didn't look in the mirror one day and say..."I am so moonlighting as a celebrity drag queen with this face."

The first is Meredith Salenger. Never heard of her, have you? Alright, maybe she's not that famous! But she has a pretty decent resume in Hollywood. In fact, she starred in one of my favorite teen movies from back in the day. Ever see The Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon? Well, she was one of the young girls vying for Jimmy's attention. This was obviously from my younger here's the comparison.

Me (and yep, that's my Saigie Baby)

and Meredith Salenger

It's a close call...she has much better lips than I do. But we both rocked the same hair and smile I guess. Ahh, the innocence. Moving on...

The next one is someone that when I was told...I said "Oh hell no!" People insisted that we have the same smile guessed it, hair. I don't really see it. I think they have me confused with having the same comedic wit (which I'll take in a heartbeat). But when I stumbled on this pic...I thought, "Ok, it's possible". This is my daily look after all...

I'm no Sandra Bullock, but I play her in real life :o)

Which celebrity do people say you look like? Or, which one do you think you look like? I promise I will give you my honest assessment. It's all in good fun!

P.S. A friend of mine just recently emailed me and told me that Saige looks like Pauly D from Jersey Shore in the face....hmmmmm! I told her and she said "Yeah I could be his sister", like she had heard it before. Strange. She is much more ladylike and glamorous than Pauly D...even with the diva hair he tries to rock. LOL!

Until we meet again....

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Saying Goodbye

Maria Luisa Isla

Losing a Family member will never seem's hard to imagine a future without that person being there. It's hard to close your eyes, seeing the life of someone so easily, only to open them and realize you really won't see them again in this lifetime. It's hard to say goodbye to a loved one when all you want to do is bring them back.

Most of you know that George's mom, Maria, passed away during our visit to AZ. It has been gut-wrenching, sickening, completely heartbreaking, and disconcerting.

For those that didn't know her...Maria was a force, honey. She lit up a room when she walked into it. Everyone was attracted to her wit, her charm, her infectious laugh, and her "real"ness.

I always said that she was young at heart (she loved hearing that) and she never failed at proving me right. She was a loving mother and a doting grandmother all the days of her adult life. She never forgot a birthday nor did she let her grandkids lose sight of her relationship with them.

Her and I had developed a bond throughout the years that only we understood and I will cherish that forever. To share a recent part with you, she told me in one of our last conversations that she was proud to have me as her daughter. She said she loved me and that she knew I was taking care of her son and family where she had left off. These were the most loving words she had ever spoken to me. How do you say goodbye to someone that loves you like that?

My aching heart goes out to George for all this has done and will do to him. I weep inside knowing how much this is hurting him. I am constantly thinking of a way to take his pain away...even when I know there is no such magic potion. But I want one. I pray that the days get easier for him...that he can be at peace with his goodbye. It is so hard right now though. I pray for Alex and his family as they go through the motions ahead. Acceptance is nothing like letting go. Accepting means you understand, letting go is so much more involved than that. I crave for the boys to dig deep and find peace with it, however that is done for them. These two men have been such an inspiration during this whole tragedy. They have really come together as brothers in ways we have ALL wished for...especially Maria. She wanted nothing more than to have her boys close and their families closer. That is my goal for the reformed Isla Family. To make us closer. To be a Family despite the distance or the obstacles. She would want that.

I, for one, have wrestled with saying goodbye since the day we found out she was gone. I think we all have told her goodbye, but how do you truly let her go with peace of mind? I am still trying to figure that out. We all are. How do you show/help your kids to do the same? Praying has been helping me a lot. Throughout this ordeal, talking has been essential for us. Celebrating her life through stories and fond memories has been a key factor in the kids' grieving. I know in my mind that saying goodbye is part of this process called healing, but that is not a place I have truly visited yet. Being positive is few and far between with something this wrong and unreal...but my mind tells me we must try to see the light, as dim as it may be. This is the job I gladly accept for my Family, to help the light grow brighter.

What I do know is...I am thankful for the trip to AZ and the time we had with her while we were there this Christmas. I am thankful George took a picture with her on Christmas day (one of the few together in his adult life).

I am thankful she spent time with my kids individually her last two weeks here on Earth. I am thankful we shared a beer on the back porch, just her and I, the night before she was taken from us. I am thankful I got to spend more time with Alex, Rhea, Joaquin, and Camille as a result of this. I am thankful for not only seeing them, but the rally of support the extended family members had to share.

Lastly, I am so very thankful for every minute I have left with the people I love.

Like George said in his eulogy, don't take for granted the next time you talk to or see the people you care about. Call them. Tell them you love them. Kiss them. Smile at them. Check up on them. Be nice to them. It is important. At the end of the's all we have left to give.

Thank you to all the ones who have reached out to us. Thank you for lighting up the room with your beautiful flowers and baskets. Thank you for making a donation in honor of Maria. Thank you for the emails and words of encouragement. Thank you for offering your ears and your help.

I wanna share everything I can about her life, who she was, and what she meant to people. Here are a few links in case you want to see what the boys put together and what our lovely Mom/G-Ma was all about :o)

Funeral Chapel Obituary

AZ Republic Obituary

Photo Slideshow

A Celebration of Life

Funeral Service
Event Webcast Information:
Maria Isla
Please click on the link below to view the broadcast.
Event ID: 808-264
Password: azheritage1
If you are new to viewing our live and archived broadcasts please ensure your system has the latest version of Windows Media Player.

A good friend recently told us..."time is definitely your friend now". He couldn't be more right. I will miss Maria in every day that goes forward. I know she is going to look after us and watch her grandchildren grow as time goes on. An angel always does. And she wouldn't have it any other way...

Love ya and thanks again for keeping us in your prayers,

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Holding Out

Just a quick post....

I have a plethora of stories, photos, thoughts...all of which I will get to share with my blog family real soon. A lot has transpired in our lives the past couple weeks and I am so appreciative how everyone has reached out to me and my Family. I can't wait to share with you what has been on my mind. We will be back home on Sunday and are looking forward to something familiar (to include my blog command center). Thanks for holding out...and as always, Love Ya!!