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We're still here!!

So it's been a while since I updated. We are in a completely different place now. Last March 31/2011 our house was struck by lightening and burned; a total loss for us. Sadly, it was just one in a long line of things. The insurance didn't cover enough to fix the house, cover the mortgage and cover rent, so we made the decision to give it all back to Bank of America (after asking repeatedly for help from them via one of their may programs and being denied every time.) Might I add here that BoA is every bit the douche bags you read about on the news? They are incompetent and deceitful. I really hate them. We even had a kick-ass lawyer and they frustrated her to no end.

We now live in Titusville, and my horses have been boarded with a friend in Longwood, over an hour away. The dogs were saved; the deer we had to give away. We are glad the State of Florida let us give them to Donny Young Whitetails to start his new fallow herd as opposed to the other option of putting them all into the freezer, which would have included 8 very pregnant does; one of those my baby Rose.

Here's an excerpt from our hardship letter that we sent to BoA. There's more before May 2010 but I've already written about it so why repeat,...

May 2010 –Blanche colics. Vet treats, confirms anhydrosis and diagnosis her with heart arrhythmia and heart murmur, most likely a leaky mitral valve or prolapsed tricuspid.

June 2010 -The daughter’s fiancée proposes. We make all deposits on the venue as the daughter had expected this and had already been planning. The wedding date is April 1st, 2011.

August 2010 –Lose unemployment for a month until the Pres approves more.

September 2010 –The truck breaks, and it costs over $2500 to fix it.

October 11 - 18, 2010 –Eric’s father had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. We make a trip to El Paso, TX, to pick up his guns and to visit.

October 19, 2010 – My uncle commits suicide. We repack and get back into the truck and travel to the Panhandle of Florida Oct. 23rd for the funeral.

December 12, 2010 – Eric’s father passes away suddenly from an aneurism. We travel to El Paso for the funeral.

December 28, 2010 –Future son-in-law in a serious motorcycle accident. Suffers a seriously dislocated shoulder and broken rotator cuff.  

January 18, 2011 -Thrown from Gwyn and suffer a broken wrist. Have to have surgery and pins.

January 29, 2011 –FPL power pole sparks a brush fire. The power serge blows out our refrigerator, microwave and dryer. Costs over $3,000 to fix.

February, 2011 –Lose unemployment; have used all 99 weeks.

February 24, 2011 –Eric’s 17 yr old niece is murdered in Melborne, Fl. We host family from Texas.

March 31, 2011 –House struck by lightening and burns; my laptop is stolen from Maid of Honor’s car.

April 1, 2011 –Daughter’s wedding

And that's just the facts, without the emotions, stress and heartache. 

I don't want to talk about the dead people. It makes me too sad. Instead I'll talk about the burned up house,...

Last year, March 31, 2011, we were at the rehearsal dinner when Eric got a call from a strange number. Well, he wasn't going to answer a strange call, we had guests and family from California and other far parts! But they left a message, and when he checked it, he rushed back in and told me we had to leave immediately; the call was from the Brevard Fire Marshal and our house had been struck by lightening and was burning. It appeared to be a total loss, and they had rescued all 4 dogs. So we rushed home to see; we were in Orlando and made the hour long trip in under 40 minutes. And we were wondering where the 5th dog was! 

There's nothing like coming around a corner of a dark country road and seeing what looks like circus lights shining through the trees where your house is. And then, going down your 1/10 mile long drive, which seems like 10 miles by this time, and it resolves to a number of fire trucks, hoses every where, flashlights bobbing about, construction lights set up everywhere, and seeming utter chaos. I didn't even cry at first. I just walked about all matter of fact, nodding my understanding as the fire lady told me the house was unlivable and we would need to go to a hotel. We asked about the dogs; 4 had been in kennels and had been removed to a neighbor's home. The fifth, Kisses, they hadn't seen. She's black and I had a horrible feeling she might be laying lifeless in the dark,... We asked to see inside and after conferring with each other, decided it was safe. We looked for a little black body and didn't find one. Turns out, she had been the first out the door, and had jumped into the neighbor's arms to be saved! Bailed on her brothers and niece and nephew!

It didn't resemble our home at all, and the smell is terrible. Not a camp fire smell at all. Lots of burnt, acrid plastic smells. One fireman asked me if he could get me anything and I asked for the pillows off my bed. (I have a Linus-like attachment to my pillows.) He didn't tell me they were soggy and gross, he knew that wouldn't help. I watched as he just peeled them out from under the plaster ceiling  that was covering the bed and handed them to me; soggy, drippy, smoky and gross. I cuddled my soggy, gross,  drippy pillows, climbed back over all the charred debris in the hallway and made my way outside, onto the porch. And finally just started sobbing. 

The attic was toast. (harr harr!) Everything up there was gone. All the trusses were gone or charred, and the roof that was left was wavy from lack of support. 50% of the ceiling was gone, and there were huge holes in the walls where the firefighters had rooted out fire and looked for more.  The furniture was all soaked, sooty and stinky, as well as everything else. The hall bathroom and hallway and his office, all gone. The gas line running down the wall between the inferno'd hall bathroom and the kitchen? Totally intact!! The Wii was melted to slag, but the DnD dragons near it, not,...

The fire inspector the insurance sent out said it seemed that lightening had struck the gas hose, traveled inside on that, and past a bin with something flammable in it, which smoldered for about an hour before bursting into flames and wrecking havoc. The bin contained Blanche's biothane harness. Apparently biothane is flammable,... One good bit of news, he said if the gas hose had ruptured the house would have been a crater and all the dogs would have been lost.

The insurance sucked so we salvaged as much as we could. That Saturday we had about 30 of our SCA friends show up and help us move everything out of the house!!! I love those people! I was a walking retard, couldn't think or function, thank goodness our friend Richard directed operations! We left the couches and love seat and stuff on the lawn to dry for two weeks (And when in Florida has it EVER gone that long w/o raining?? But it did!) and then packed everything into storage. The next weekend we had more SCA folks and NASA folks come out and help us! I can't thank them enough!

I called Amy and told her I would GIVE her Gwyn if she could get her shipped as I couldn't afford to take care of 3 horses. Best move I ever made, even though I miss the monster every day. Amy will love her to the end of her days. And they even paid for her anyway. Gwyn is super happy with Amy, the video of her coming off the van after a 9 day trip from Florida to Washington state is cool; she keeps taking super quick looks at Amy to make sure she's really there, and when the tractor trailer driver comes to pat Gwyn's nose, she backs away. She didn't want to leave Amy and get back on that trailer!

We stayed with a friend for 2 months and I will be forever grateful for that. She has dogs so ours were welcome. When we got our dogs from Jessica, (who was pupper-sitting them while we were living in the hotel,) they were so happy!!! Kisses snuggled next to Daddy and both took a 2 hr nap. Tripod kept running into and out of his kennel. The kennel is his safe place, but he had to make sure we were still there. Both dogs now have PTSD; if the fire alarm goes off or thunder and lightening starts to happen, they get really agitated; drooling, shivering and trying to crawl under us. Poor things. Strangely, neither have a problem with sirens or guys in bunkers, despite having them roar up to the house, break in a window, work their way to the dining room, and hose down the kennels. We were told that by the time they got to the house the roof ridge was gone and flames were shooting out the top of the house and rolling across the ceiling. The ceilings were 9 ft tall. The living room was painted white, after the fire it was all black. My friend Kevin, who's a firefighter, says we were very lucky; pets have about 7 minutes to live at that point!!! We actually had 5 dogs in the house at the time; our two mini Aussies Kisses and Tripod, Jax's two, a tiny chihuahua, Mr. Curtis, and a Catahoula x Daschund x Beagle mix Freckles, and the God Mom Carol's step dog, Tripod's littermate Ranger. Kisses had not been kenneled, but the other's had as it had started storming when we left earlier and the other 4 felt secure in their kennels. Both Tripod and Ranger had suffered a little smoke inhalation, and Ranger had a bit of detached retina from the coughing, but the rest seemed ok. 

Between the deaths and stresses leading up to the fire, and the stresses with dealing with the bank, our health took a hit. Eric's BP shot way up, like, to stroke levels. I'm remembering something like 180 over 130? Crazy high. The dr doubled his meds for a bit. I put on 15 lbs in 3 months; turns out the cortisol levels from the stress had damaged my thyroid and now I gotta take meds for that. It's insane what stress can do to you!! And apparently, after not having a cat in the house for 20 years, I am allergic to them! The friend we stayed with has a cat. I got a summer cold that was annoying and wouldn't quite go away. After two months, we found a place to rent, (this super cute place in Titusville,) and started unloading and cleaning stuff from storage. Well, the cold turned into bronchitis, and no amount of Sudafed or cold meds helped. So I went to the dr. Turns out I had been having a looong asthma attack. The combo of cat, greasy house fire soot, and cleaning solutions kicked everything over the edge. Now, I can't hug anyone who has cats who aren't the neatest about cleaning the cat box. Those people who smell like cat piss, I can't be near them or I choke up and quit breathing. I've insulted a few folks because I won't hug them, but how do you tell them they are stinky? I just tell them I am allergic to cats. I can still pet cats, thank goodness. Just can't be around cat piss and cat spray smells. I can deal with itchy eyes, I can't deal with not breathing.

So, we settled in here. Things were moving along slowly with the short sale process. In September we got the exciting news that Jax and Jeff were going to make us grandparents! This was really good news considering Jax had lost an ovary last year (I wrote about it,) and was taking fertility meds to get pregnant. We saw the ultrasound of the little chicken shrimp on the day her heart started beating! It was all very exciting.

And then, when Jax went in to have the 12 week Nucal Translucency testing done, she found out the baby was sick. The baby had hydrops (fluid buildup in the body,) and a large hygroma (water sack) on her neck. The hydrops was slowly squeezing her heart shut. Because the hydrops happened so early there was no way to save her. A later term presentation may have afforded an opportunity to siphon off the fluid, but not when the tiny body is the size of a grape. Jax had genetic testing done and the baby had Turner's syndrome. Very few Turner's babies make it to term, the hydrops kills them. And so, in November, at 16 weeks, Jax miscarried Abigail Eillese.

They got the ok to try again in December, but so far are still trying.  It's a tough April; not only is it immediately after the anniversary of the house fire, but this is when Jax would be due. To make it harder, her best friend found out she was pregnant at the same time, and just delivered a beautiful, healthy baby girl, my fiend Doe found out she was going to be a grandmother and her son's wife just delivered a beautiful, healthy baby girl, and  my friend Amy found out she was pregnant and is going to deliver a beautiful healthy baby girl in the Summer. As hard as it is for me to see baby girls and not cry I can't imagine how hard it is for Jax and Jeff. We don't talk about it, yet. One day.

Anyway, we finally short-sale'd the property to a couple who seem to have fallen in love with the place. He'll rebuild, he's a contractor. So that headache is done. The lawyer and Realtor did awesome jobs, but we will still hold our breath for 5 years. We'll spend the next year repairing our credit, (which is actually excellent except for, you know, a short sale,) and then look for a 1 - 2 acre place with a nice home where we can have the horses.

In December? I can't remember; anyway, we bought a really nice barely used 2010 Toyota RAV 4, from the Toyota lot, still had all it's warranties and so on. Got to drive it for 3 weeks. Coming home from an event in the dark, HIT A DEER! A 6 point buck. Took out the entire front of the car!!! Did $10,000 worth of damage. Took Toyota almost 3 months to get it fixed!! I think a little guy from Japan had to swim across the Pacific with the parts in his teeth, or something! The good news, we were completely unharmed! Felt like we hit a speed bump. At 60 mph. We thought he was going to come up the hood and into the cab, but he was flung off to the side, car bits flying everywhere, and the world went dark. I went back to find him in case he was still alive but suffering. Nah, he was dead dead dead. He was twisted in half. And people keep asking us if we harvested the meat. For real?? Do people realize how nasty gut ruptured meat tastes? It smells and tastes like feces! 

And, I got a job! I work for Sign Access in Melbourne and run their giant CNC MultiCAm 3000 flat bed router. I also get to design a bit, and cut, weed and apply a lot of vinyl. Safe, familiar work. Not hot, sexy, artsy work, but it's a paycheck doing something I enjoy. Now if I could figure out how to get along with the people! I've never met so many paranoid, pass-the-buck types! If I make a mistake, I claim it. I don't understand trying to put it off on others, or always trying, hoping, and expecting to catch someone doing something wrong.  I did warn them that I was ADHD, and I show up pretty cheerful. I've already been told I need to calm down for my own sake. Wish it were that easy,... We'll see how long I last. Half the week I just know I'm getting fired, the other half I just know I'm doing a great job. Eh, I was looking for a job when I found this one,...

I think that's about it for now,..... Also, Facebook has eaten any journaling activities I do now, so look me up there. My e-mail is cheri at blackroot dot com

Well, It's been a while. I keep thinking I'm going to sit a bit and write something witty and entertaining to catch up, and then I get sucked into reading other people's journals and the next thing I know, I'm out of time and inspiration. I have a really baaaad memory so you would think I would at least type something for myself every once in a while so I could read back over it and go, "Oh, yea,.... That happened!" But I was never a journaler or diary keeper. So what you get here is a lot of free association as I poke around in mah brain custards for something,...

blah, blah, blah,...Collapse )

Well, this is too long already,...
So have a meme!! Why fill everyone in on what's been happening when you can waste time with this!


YOU'RE ON MY FRIENDS LIST!: I want to know 28 things about you. I don't care if we've never talked, never really clicked, or if we already know everything about each other. I really don't. You are obviously on my flist, so let me know with whom I'm friends!

01. Your middle name, or explain your chosen name:
02. Mental age:
03. Single or taken:
04. Favorite book:
05. Favorite song or album:
06. What do you believe is your calling in life? Your greatest passion?
07. What's your worst recurring nightmare/biggest fear?
08. Faith, has you any? And if so, what, and if not, why not?:
09. Do we know each other outside of LJ? Do we want to?
10. What's your philosophy on life?
11. Is the bottle half-full or half-empty?
12. Would you tell me something painful if it was in my best interest?
13. What is your favorite memory of us?
14. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
15. Tell me one odd/interesting fact about you:
16. You can have three wishes what are they?
17. What is your favorite food?
18. Which country is your spiritual home?
19. What is your big weakness?
20. Do you think I'm a good person?
21. What was your best/favorite subject at school?
22. Describe your accent:
23. If you could change anything about me, would you?
24. What do you wear to sleep?
25. Gender identity?
26. Affectionate/sexual orientation?
27. If I only had one day to live, what would we do together? (If you have no idea, just say something crazy, it'll entertain me!)
28. Will you repost this so I can fill it out for you?


Slightly depressed today,...

There's not much that really fazes me, but today, I had a phone consult with a lawyer and it left me feeling a little hopeless,.... Apparently, it doesn't matter how right you are, or how much documentation you have to prove how right you are; it matters how much money you have, =-( If you don't have the funds to stay the course, you are still at the mercy of the unethical, and they win. And the potential funds needed would be more than $30,000.

Combine this with the fact that a sculptor gets no respect. I get to spend two years developing something, pour heart and soul into it, come up with something really cool and possibly popular, and it could still be taken away because I don't have the bank to defend it. The best I can hope for is to wrangle a deal to break even on the expenses. The worst? Be forced to give it away,...

Oh, and look. The fog just rolled in,... Fitting,...

I need to go watch some Dexter,....


Happy Birthday Jacqueline!

A quarter of a century ago today is the day the most spectacular thing in my life happened! My bebbeh girl Jax was born! We celebrate at Cheeburger Cheeburger in Orlando tonight at 8pm!

If every child had been like Jax, Dr. Spock would never have had a job, =-D

Too cold for Nyx and me!

Normally I don't blanket my horses until it gets below freezing. Which means almost never since I live in Florida. But tonight it is a breezy, chilly, damp 48 degrees, so Amy and I blanketed Nyx, my nearly bald varnish roan Friesian x Stonewall filly. Poor baby, she got the worst of that mix, the brittle transition roan hair that the Appy gene can give,... And to think she came out covered in hair so thick it made ringlets, with her tail to her hocks and her mane long already, with feathery feet, straight from the womb!

She does show the promise of more hair next year though; already her mane is a thick white fuzz all of 4" long! LOL!

Everyone, Happy Thanksgiving, and stay warm and dry!


Thank you alyclepal!!!

So I saw a post made around May? by alyclepal about her new SoulPad tent. I showed my husband. He got a bonus at work, and we bought one too. THIS IS THE MOST AWESOME TENT EVER!!!! I love it so much! Here's a link to the tent we bought;

We also plan to paint ours and make it a bit more Midevielish, =-D

We never fail to garner lots of attention, and I love showing it off to people. I need to dress up the inside better, LOL, with shelves and stuff so folks can't tell what messy people we are!

Anyway, Thanks alyclepal for sharing your fabulous find!!! We LOVE our tent!


Must Get Motivated,....

 Man, today, I just don't give a crap. I am all ate up with lethargy and apathy, (although, I am in a good mood,...) I think I need mah iron,...

I need to get out the door and go pick up 3 big barrels of deer feed, drop off paperwork at JobLink for ARRA school funding, run by the store for Le Croix water for Maredudd, get supper going for tonight's regularly scheduled House night-were-we-don't-actually-watch-house, clean the kitchen, sweep, do some laundry, feed the horses, hell, just go LOOK at the horses,...

I did manage to make some awesome henna last week. Got some Rajestanie Monsoon and mixed up a PERFECT mix! Did some bridal henna for my friend Jessica that looks beautiful, had fun at her wedding,...

My friend Gina lost another old dog; we buried her next to Goober. Maredudd had to make a pretty big hole as Nina was a Great Dane. Gina's son Tristan helped dig the hole. 

I'm trying to fix Haleigh's computer. It got infected with the Crytix (sp?) virus and I had to wipe and reinstall. But then the screen wouldn't come on! It works for dos based troubleshooting, but stays black for Windows. And when I tried to reboot off the disk, (it's a netbook, so we have to use an external drive) the stupid thing won't!! No matter how many times I push F2, F11, F12 etc, etc. I am ready to pull my hair out! I am usually crackerjack with a computer, but this is driving me insane,...  I hate to call tech support because I don't wanna pay, and, they aren't really helpful! I get someone in India who's reading off a card!!! Grrrr,....

The three bucks we put in the freezer are most tastey! Now we have 5 does to take out. I hate harvesting does, but if we don't we will have 10 does that will drop fawns next June, and that would make the pen waaay over crowded! So we will harvest the 5 youngest before rut, leaving the 5 sane producers.

The horses; Look pretty good. I need to get a dentist out for Nyx as she's packing feed into her left cheek like a squirrel and I know it's because of the missing molar. Gwyn's face looks AWESOME, and she's been under saddle a few times. She does really well, too! It's easy to forget she's so green until a car runs up behind her. Then she gets a little insecure. Blanche continues to miss Stella. Still stressing; not sweating like she should, still really bothered by the noseums. I can tell she's waiting for Gwyn to grow up enough to be the boss mare.

Maredudd's work continues to challenge him. He seems to enjoy it most of the time, although I know he's tired of working overtime,...

Gulf Wars 19! I are the EqMIC! And I am having great fun with it! Got lots of stuff planned, and I have two of the best deputy EqMICs ever! Eule and Lorraine of Ansteorra; I am greatful to have them, they are wonderful!

Well, think I had better head out, or I won't get back in time.

Later Toddlers!