Sunday, February 10, 2008

Poisened in my own home!

The house next door (finally!) sold. The terrifically unpleasant people who lived (and fought) there are GONE. We are (to say the least) DELIGHTED.

Now comes the next phase. And we are trying to remain excited because it doesn't' matter who moves in next door, they have to be better than who just left... but (and you knew there was going to be a but...) the new owner isn't moving in.

The house is more than run down. It's a shack. Filth, mold, leaky roof, nasty old shag carpet, rotted window frames, and this is what I can see just from my kitchen window, all need to be fixed. I'm pretty certain they are going about the renovation without permits. No one could possibly get permits to do all that work in such a short time. And I don't care. I'm glad they are fixing it up.

I also believe they are fixing it up just to flip it. The foreman of the job has been quite cagey about who bought it and who is moving in. He has said they will be about 6-8 weeks as that is the normal time frame for when they "do one of these" and that they've "done quite a few with the owner". So yeah, it's a flipper.

Still I'm fine with it. I don't enjoy the dust. I don't enjoy the noise. I don't like all the workers trucks and cars parked in the street taking away parking from my car because I want to park my car on the street to get it out of their way and let them complete this task quickly. I'm all for it.

Then came Friday. And the giant tar baby machine in the back yard. At first it seemed like a mild annoyance. It smelled like May in elementary school when they patched the roof every year. "Oh boy," I thought, "School is almost out!" So we closed up that side of the house to keep the tar fumes out. Then we closed up the other side of the house because the tar fumes drifted. We started to cough and wheeze so we drank more water. I'd lent the car to our visitors from NYC and had nowhere to go or any way to get there. So Chan, the dogs and I just sat here in the closed up box of tar fumes and coughed.
The workers quit at 5. At 4:45 I opened a test window on the opposite side of the house. Still more fumes outside than in. When Lyle came home about 6 he began opening up the house. By this time I was just delirious. I knew a fan would help blow good air in from outside, or should I position the fan to blow the bad air outside? Should I plug it in the hallway, or the kitchen or in the living room... I wandered about the house in a tar fume coma with a fan in my hand and no idea what I was doing.

We opened every window and door then took the dogs and all of us out of the house and went for half hour walk to clear our heads. I swore all night that I could smell tar in the house.

On Saturday Lyle talked to the workers to complain about the great smokeout. They weren't doing more tar on Saturday but plan to tar again for about 3 hours on Monday. I can't take it. Lyle will go to work for the day, but where will Chan, the dogs and I go?
We are going to Palm Springs! We decided to abandon ship and head for the hills. I hear the weather has vastly improved and the pool is calling my name.


Michael Guy said...

I can't stand THAT odor! Boiling, bubbling tar has got to be up there with bar puke and cheap cigars. I'm tellin' just gives me a ginormous headache.

You are right to get away! TOXIC!

Rachel said...

Got your call. Glad you're heading for the desert. Me thinks you need that Victorian rest cure that was sometimes found out in the desert. ;-)

Carolyn said...

OMG!! I wish I could have seen you wandering around the house in a tar fume coma! That is such a great visual! If I close my eyes I can almost picture it...except when I see it you are wearing a pink robe and sassy mules with maribou feathers. Maybe I am confusing you with Elle Woods!