Tuesday, September 30, 2008

News from Texas

(the most recent email from my sister)

Dear ones --

Well, in some ways, it's worse than we feared -- much, much worse -- but in other ways, we were spared --

For example, all the work (fine art, photography, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, paper files, main computers, etc.) that we were able to muscle up to the mezzanine is fine -- as, in fact, is the mezzanine and everything else that was up there (our bed/sitting room, much of our own personal artwork, all our shoes and clothing, bureaus [bureaux?], etc.

Still, as the picture shows, we had 6'+ of water in our space for at least 12 hours -- the water began rising before noon on the Friday of the Saturday morning (2 AM) that Ike hit -- we've learned that the exact center of the eye traveled north up 24th Street (we're between 21st & 22nd Streets) --

The mucking out process is dangerous, difficult, demoralizing work -- the mud that covers the floor (and every other remotely horizontal surface) is slippery as cat shit and smells about as good, a savory blend of sewage, sea water and dead things -- the flood waters have swollen everything, inexorably forcing joints open and creating structural failure of furniture pieces like bookcases and file cabinets -- you find yourself throwing out your own past -- saved letters, documents, records, photographs, what-have-you have become slippery, water-logged, heavy blocks to be discarded --and were it not for the smell and toxicity of the mold and mildew, the patterns are intricate and the colors gorgeous!

We still have no plan -- are still waiting for even a call back from our homeowners' insurance agent -- and, other than receiving their official mailing, have had no word from FEMA, either -- some days, trying to re-open the gallery in Houston holds appeal -- other days, trying to get something going again in Galveston seems to make more sense -- at least, financially -- and a general contractor with whom I've worked successfully on several projects has suggested forming a joint venture for the short term, which seems to hold some merit -- the irony is that Steve had just worked up an impressive spreadsheet to take to our banks showing that consolidating our debt with a credit line thrown in would create a win-win situation for both sides, and having us showing a modest profit even sooner than our projections -- oh, well --

For the time being, we're staying with friends in Houston -- Betsy & Mark J. -- whose 3-storey townhouse has a guest suite on the ground floor, complete with small kitchenette -- while their master suite is on the 3rd floor -- so far, it's working out, including the fact that they have 2 adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (Olive and Shaniya), who are as fascinated by seeing (only) our cats as our cats are at seeing (only) them!

We know that we will have to move everything out of the (undamaged) mezzanine into storage during the reconstruction of the ground floor -- another HUGE job -- but, since we're unclear as to where we plan to be, we're unclear about where to try to find dry, secure, climate-controlled storage --

It's all a puzzle --

And so, as you can see from these pix, is our life --

Love to all of you -- and, please, let us keep hearing from you -- you can't imagine how it uplifts us!


Steve's office:

Our dining room:

Our kitchen:

Our pile, in front of the pile across the street:

(keep those prayers coming; thanks!)

Monday, September 29, 2008

a day in the life....

Monday, September 22, 2008

time for a chuckle

i have to laugh sometimes. this is a sure-fire giggle-starter.

here's the update on my sister: she and her husband are now staying with friends in Houston, who have power and better cell phone reception. they are going to go to the island on Friday for their first view of What It Is. my other sister in PA is starting a fund-raising effort on their behalf. (if anyone out there in Blogland wants more info, email me privately at tazag@yahoo.com.)

i spoke to E. yesterday and she still sounded jagged, but more grounded. having better access to phone/computer is definitely a help. she has been trying to contact insurance agents to no avail. i am sure the insurance will take awhile to hit the pocketbooks of those most affected, but eventually it will come through.

time marches on....

Sunday, September 21, 2008

galveston blues

go HERE to see some incredible, sad, amazing pictures of Ike's legacy.

these pix rendered me speechless.

my sister and her husband live (lived?) in Galveston. their business--an art gallery and studio, with living quarters above--has no doubt been completely devastated. they just finished renovating it from the inside out....are in hock up to their eye teeth....and now have no home, no livelihood.

they are hoping to be able to go take a look today, sneaking in with the help of a friend who is a contractor and can put them on his "list." (the only people allowed on the island right now are emergency workers and contractors.)

i sent this link to my other sister and brother, but can't imagine sending it to her right now. plus, i have no idea if she has computer access anyway. they are staying with elderly friends in College Station, and she feels they are overtaxing their hosts.

she said, "I really want to go home, but there is no home to go to."

please send prayers--i know you already are, so thank you.

Friday, September 12, 2008

settling in

well, her name is PEARL (as in "Pearly-Girl") and she is soooooo sweet!

everyone is continuing to adjust--some better than others.

i can't believe i have 3 dogs! what am i, nuts?

Monday, September 08, 2008

....and then there were 4....

hey everybody--

got a new dog on Saturday!

she's the one i have been waiting for....a young yellow (white) Lab--female, mellow and playful at the same time. not sure how old she is, but probably around 5 months. there may be a little pitbull in the mix, but she is totally laid-back. i'll know more after i take her to the vet later this week.

when i first started looking for 'the 3rd dog' several months ago, this was exactly what i had in mind. some clients found her at their neighborhood park on Saturday, collar-less and more than happy to follow them home--just an hour before i showed up for their massage appointments!

still working on a name...."Guera" is the current favorite (pronounced "wedda", means "blonde" in Mexican Spanish). my son's girlfriend thinks she should be called "Pearl" ("perla" in Spanish). any votes out there?

we are staying close to home for the next few days and then we'll head to the riverbed for a big adventure.

so far: Angus is in love, Sun Bear is in denial, and Sam is in high dudgeon--but even he is mellowing out. this morning i was surrounded on all sides by warm, furry beings--Sam on my right, Angus and Guera on the left. no one seemed to be out of sorts with this arrangement. ha.

here's a pic: note Sam in the background! this was the first time they all chilled out in the same room.

here's another, minus the cat:
now, since it is obvious that i can manifest the perfect dog, the perfect MAN must be just around the corner!