Thursday, 31 January 2013

Dear Universe...

Dear Universe,

I could use a break.  I’m trying to remain positive, but it’s getting harder.  Just a little good news.  NOT the kind that is followed by bad news.  Or just no bad news for 2 weeks might be nice for a change.  Something like that.

So last Friday, I was involved in a motor vehicle collision.

While this was not exactly just a matter of bad luck, and we are all OK, it was very very bad timing.  We have to move in 3 weeks!  Renting a temporary replacement car has been rather more of a hassle than I might like (the rental company is apparently having trouble keeping small cars in stock!). And will they fix our 10-year old Echo or write it off? It'll be weeks before we find out, from what I hear.

On Sunday husband-man and I removed the plaster from the bathroom walls and most of the kitchen.  This went rather well.  Plaster removal is my favourite job - banging all over the walls is sooooo therapeutic.  (More on that in a later post.)  We were getting stuff done, it was great.

Until the contractor’s main employee got sick after working in the house and  yard Monday morning.  First we realized we hadn’t had the chimney mortar tested for asbestos and we needed to.  They’d already taken down the chimney!  Oops!  Off to the lab with mortar samples, and they were brilliant and came back with the result within 3 hours.  Fortunately it was negative.  (Otherwise the whole house and yard would have been contaminated.  Eek!)  Then the contractor started reacting on Tuesday, and they thought there might be something weird in the plaster - either the dust in the house and/or the plaster piled in the disposal bin by the lane, getting all soaked in the rain.  There appears to be horsehair in there, but what else might be lurking?  It tested negative for asbestos, but what about... rat poison? arsenic? lead? lye? lime? some mystery ingredient the builder just randomly decided to add to the plaster?   A visit from the HazMat lab’s consultant on Wednesday was helpful, and she determined that use and care of respirator masks needed improvement, but we haven’t figured out why the workers are getting sick.  Maybe they’re just sick.  But maybe not.  The neighbour’s woodsmoke is a confounding factor for sure.  (Who burns wood all day long every day in the city???)  So we have to hire a hazmat company to finish demolishing the kitchen walls, the pantries, and the kitchen, bathroom and hallway ceilings.  As well as clean out the last vestiges of asbestos-contaminated vermiculite that didn’t get cleaned out in the first round, waaaaaaay back in September.  And then test the air to positively determine that they can’t detect anything harmful.  And THEN the contractor can get back to work.

So, dear Universe, please send me a little break.  Let things run smoothly for a few weeks.  At least until we’ve moved into our next temporary home.

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