What I've Been Reading Instead of Cleaning My House

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Jeffrey's Version of Events

So, so I think that the lady was probably -- wait, driving to the hospital and she was drinking out of like a soda--drinking a soda or something and I'm guessing that just maybe she dropped it and was reaching down to get it and then while she was reaching down, she probably accidentally turned the wheel and then she probably saw herself going to the side, so she like put on the gas and went--oh wait, sorry, I missed a part. Wait.

Lois interjects -- why don't you just tell it from your point of view, what you experienced. So where we you?

I was just napping, then I--wait, then my hermit crabs woke me up. And then I heard a bang and then I went into my parents' room and I thought my dad's breathing machine thing blew up. Then I saw a hole in the wall. I told my sister and we went outside.

And we saw a car. Just then the wall.

Then our upstairs neighbors took us into the house for safety. And I don't know what happened after that.

Lois -- didn't the neighbor have you go in the house with him?

Yes. I didn't quite get to see what--see the room.

The end.

Lois -- what about the missing cat?

So we thought that Roger ran away because she was scared, but at the end of the day we--my mom found her in her closet. Wait, wait, wait. And yes, I said Roger is a her.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Nigel's Version of Events

So I work for the condo association, so I was across the street. I had just checked the pool for chemicals and pH and I was in the office doing stuff when the phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and didn't recognize the number, but figured maybe I should answer it anyway, even though I wasn't "on duty" at the moment. It was Frances on the phone. She was hysterical and crying. I knew it was a big deal because the last time I heard her cry like this was when our pet rabbit died. All I could understand her say was there was a car accident and something got hit, but I really had no idea what was going on. I thought I heard her say the word London, and she has a good friend named London, so I thought maybe she was calling me to tell me that London was in an accident.

So I ran across the street and that's when I saw there was firetrucks, so I knew it happened right here and it was bigger than I thought. Then I saw the fence had been destroyed in the area and as I got closer, I saw the car that had hit our building. One of the neighbors, George, ran up to me and said "I was inside your house looking for you. The kids thought you were still in there."

Um, I'm trying to think what happened next.

And I said, "My kids, where are my kids? Are they OK?" And someone said they're upstairs. So I went to the upstairs condo--oh, wait, I really can't remember who told me, it's kind of a blur, but yeah, someone said they were in the upstairs condo. They girls were sitting on the couch of our neighbors and Frances and Alice-Grace were crying hysterically and Jeffrey was just kind of staring, he looked kind of shell-shocked.

I found out later, that because he was the only one that wasn't crying hysterically, he had gone inside with George to look for my body.

So we spent a lot of time hugging and talking to each other and the girls told me they were in the living room when it happened.

(Interjection by Frances -- "I wasn't in the living room. I was in my bed.")

Oh, you weren't?

Jeffrey told me he was in his room when it happened, which freaked me out because I still hadn't looked closely at the accident and I thought the car had actually crashed through Jeffrey's wall. By this time, someone told me the police wanted to talk to me. I didn't want to leave the kids, but I had to. So I went downstairs and this was the first time I got a really good look at the accident.

The car had crashed through our bedroom wall. The damage actually didn't look that bad. Some of the bricks were missing and the hole seemed fairly small. Let's see. Um.

(Interjection by Frances -- "I'm not the only one who gets lost")

The police officers kept asking "Now who's the owner and who's the property manager?" I said, "I'm both." They looked at me kind of puzzled and said, "Now who are you?" I said, "I own the condo." And they said, "Who's the property manager?" I said, "I'm the night and weekend manager." So in all the excitement, it was kind of a blur, but between various police officers and various EMTs, I got asked this same question about a half dozen times.

Once they figured out who I was, they asked what the damage was like inside and I said, "Actually, I don't know. I haven't been inside yet. Is it safe?" And they said it should be.

I forgot to mention, this whole time our Neighborhood Watch chair had been on the scene.

Anyway, we were inside and the wall inside looked a lot worse than the wall outside. The hole was probably about--the damage is at least six foot square. You could see the drywall was broken and you could see the studs were poking through. The car really wasn't protruding into the room, but you could see outside through the insulation.

There was a pile of bricks on Lois' side of the bed and there was lots of rubble in the room, lots of dust. They told me the building inspector was on his way to look at the room. I asked if I could get back to the kids, told them I'd be upstairs. While I was upstairs, I called the general property manager. I can't remember if I called Lois now or earlier. The general property manager told me to call me and Lois' homeowner policy insurance agent. And told me to call the insurer that the HOA uses for the exterior of the building.

When I talked to Lois, she was at work and I said that a car had hit the building, everyone was fine. There was a big hole in the wall and that she should probably come home. And at the time I thought it was strange that she had a tone in her voice like "Why is this important enough for me to come home?" I found out later, based on my description, she thought the building has been crashed into on the other end, which would be someone else's condo.

I also called our Bishop (ecclesiastical leader) to let him know what happened.

Lois interjects -- "This is going on forever. I don't know if my blog has this much memory."

And then in general, our Neighborhood Watch chair called a guy from the neighborhood who is a contractor and also owns a unit in the building to come out and patch the hole, especially since they were expecting rain the next day.

There was a tense few minutes where they suspected the support joists for the building had been damaged and they might have to--the building inspector might have to declare the building uninhabitable, especially on that end. Luckily, the contractor from the neighborhood pointed out to the inspector that the support joists ran in the opposite direction than he thought they did, and were therefore unaffected by the collision.

I guess that's it for what happened right then.

Frances' Version of Events

OK. So I was sleeping and I hear this loud crash and I assume that the girl upstairs had knocked over her toy bin. And then a little while later, Alice-Grace comes running in my room and yells that Daddy's wall had fallen down and that we need to get out. So we ran outside to the circle thinking it was an earthquake. And then I saw the car and I freaked out. And this guy came running over and he was like "Are you all OK?" And I said my dad was in there. And so he ran off with Jeffrey to look and my dad wasn't there. So I was like he's probably at work then. And then I saw our upstairs neighbor and he was on the phone with 911, I guess. And he had us come inside where we called my dad. And halfway through the phone call, I started crying, so he couldn't understand me. And then he came over--my dad came over--and he was all worried about Jeffrey because Daddy thought it had hit Jeffrey's room.

Give me a minute. Sorry, I got lost. Give me a minute.

OK. And so our neighbor upstairs was giving us breakfast and whatever and Daddy called Mom. And we just kind of hung out at the neighbor's house and then after a while, I went outside and went inside to get my camera. Everyone was--all these people were outside talking and taking pictures. And I took a lot of pictures.

And then this like construction dude came and he was like pulling the bricks out of the wall. And they like cleaned up inside and they vacuumed my mom's box of tissues, which I thought was funny.

We couldn't find Roger. And we like looked around inside and outside. And so we asked Aunty Rena what to do and she said to just leave Roger alone and leave tuna out for Roger. And then later on we found her in the closet.

And they had temporarily fixed the wall with a piece of wood and some plastic because it was going to rain. And we were on the news for like one minute.

And then on the night it happened, me and Jeffrey slept over at our friends' house and my parents and Alice-Grace slept somewhere else. And since then, we've been sleeping at our other friend's house, since they have an empty apartment.

Hole in the Wall Update

Guess who doesn't have insurance?

Yes, the lady who hit our home.

Her policy lapsed June 9th. She hit us June 18th.

Now instead of getting my wall fixed right away, I have to wait for the various insurance agencies to fight it out.

Oh, joy.

Alice Grace's Version of Events

So we were all--all the kids were asleep and we heard a big crash and all of us thought that it was something else but it really wasn't. I thought it was mom dumping the ice cooler, Frances thought that the girl upstairs like dumped her toy box, I'm not sure what Jeffrey thought. So I woke up and I--me and Roger both went into the bedroom and I saw what happened. So I yelled at Frances, wake up, wake up, get out of the house, Dad's wall fell. So we all got out and we went to our meeting place and we saw that there was a car that had hit it.

It thought my dad was still in there. So our neighbor helped us and she brought us in and we had orange slices and toast and yogurt.

And then we called Dad and told him everything, so he came over to our neighbor's house and he saw the car and then we called Mom and she thought that it was--the car only hit the bricks. And then she went inside and saw that it was lots worse.

For a lot of the time, we were looking for Roger like outside, under the beds, in bags, but she was really in my Mom's closet the whole time.

And then the people that were fixing it, they put wood in the hole and what the nice thing is if the lady would hit a wall, that would be the perfect one because she went right in between two support beams and there was no plumbing in that spot.

And then we vacuumed.

Lois' Version of Events

I was at work and at about 10:30 AM I get a call from Nigel. He starts off with...

"First of all, everyone is OK."

This does not bode well. He then tells me that a car has hit our condo and that the kids are VERY upset.

I leave work and head home. That's when I see the car in the wall. I went upstairs to get my insurance agent (very convenient to have her so close by) and to see how my kids were doing. My other upstairs neighbors had taken my kids in and fed them breakfast. They were still very upset.

I never did see the lady who was driving the car, but the ambulance was still there, so I figured she couldn't have been too hurt. The police and fire departments were traipsing though my house all morning (which was a complete mess -- especially since the night before Alice-Grace had gotten a phone book out of the recycling bin and ripped out every page and tossed it all over the living room).

My insurance agent and neighborhood watch chair was busy making lots of phone calls. Within minutes, they had the building inspector out there and two men started clearing the loose brick and building a new wall.

Then we realized that we didn't know where the cat was. We spent the rest of the day trying to find her (my kids were very upset about the missing cat). We didn't find her until about 9:00 PM -- turns out she was hiding in our bedroom closet the whole time.

In the meantime, my bedroom is all torn apart to make room for the workers and insulation is everywhere (not good for Nigel's scarred lungs).

It's been amazing all the small miracles that have taken place. The woman was not hurt (as far as we know), none of us were hurt, nothing in the bedroom was damaged (except for the wall), the car managed to hit in between two support beams, there was no plumbing in that wall, no window there to shatter glass everywhere, etc.

Most of all, we're so thankful for everyone who came to our aid. Our neighbor who was first on the scene and called 911, our other neighbors who took care of and fed our kids (and are letting us borrow their air mattress), our insurance agent, our neighborhood watch chair, the men who patched our hole because they knew it was going to rain that night, a dear friend who brought us homemade donuts to show that not all "holes" are bad, our friends who are letting us stay in their apartment while we wait for the wall to be fixed, etc.

Thank you, everyone!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

And the highway patrol said MY car was unsafe...

This is what happens when you drive yourself to the hospital when you're not feeling well. No, I wasn't the driver. That's my bedroom wall that car crashed into. Here are the views of the car, the inside of my bedroom, and some fabulous neighbors (who happen to be general contractors) trying to clear the debris so they can fix the wall.

Someone said to me, "Lois, can you believe that of all the houses, they hit yours?" I replied, "Have you met me? OF COURSE they hit mine!!!"

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Favorite Sports

I'm not much of a sports fan.

When I go to professional sporting events, I spend all my time looking for the food vendors. "Oh, they just made a touch down? That's nice. Now where did that cotton candy guy go?"

I like to exercise, but I don't play any sports (except for the occasional indoor game of "find the smell"), but there are a few that I follow.

Baseball? Football? Basketball?

Oh, please. No way.

I used to be a big fan of boxing. Yes, pugilism, the sweet science. That was back in the day before Mike Tyson got all bitey and crazy.

I love horse racing. I must admit that I only watch The Kentucky Derby, The Preakness and The Belmont Stakes. Yes, I'm an eternal optimist -- every year I hope for a Triple Crown winner. Every year I'm disappointed. Of course, I think the main reason why I love horse racing is because the event only lasts for two minutes. Just perfect for my attention span.

But my ultimate favorite sport? The Scripps National Spelling Bee. What do you mean spelling is not a sport? They show it on ESPN! I try to spell along with the contestants (I'm always wrong) and make wagers on who's going to win (I always go for the home school kids). I love the kids who whisper to themselves, spell on their hands, or scream out the answers. They're rock stars!

You can keep your posters of Jimmer, I prefer Sukanya Roy.

Here Mom, these posts are for you!

My mother called me last night wondering if I was still alive since I haven't posted anything to the blog in such a long time.

Here Mom, I've added three more entries.


P.S. I love my mom!!!

Maybe the Highway Patrol was right about my car

As I was pulling into a shopping center parking lot, I heard what sounded like a guy dropping a box of marbles. I looked around, but didn't see anything. Then I noticed that everyone was staring at me. Then I noticed that my back side window was missing!

It had just fallen off of my car and crashed into a million pieces in the parking lot. I quickly parked the car and went into the store to borrow a broom and dustpan. I cleaned up as much glass as I could and texted my sister about how I was going to have to drive around looking all white trash with a sheet of plastic duct-taped to my car where my window should've been.

I then went home and had Nigel play "Find what's missing on the car." He was just glad it wasn't a wheel or the transmission. He then stated, "Maybe that's what the Highway Patrol letter was about."

We were just going to go with the white trash look, but then my super kind neighbor went to the wrecking yard and picked me up a replacement window. Then he and another awesome neighbor installed it on my car.

Thank you!!!

Uh-oh, the Highway Patrol is after me!

I got a letter in the mail from the Highway Patrol saying that it was reported to them that my car is "unsafe for use on the highway."

What? It just passed safety & emissions the previous month. Are there flames shooting out the back of my car? What's going on?

The letter was especially puzzling because it had my name (the car is registered under Nigel's name) and my sister's license plate number. I tried calling the Highway Patrol at the number they gave me, but I just got an answering machine (that didn't even identify themselves as the Highway Patrol). I then started thinking this was some elaborate phishing scheme.

Then a Highway Patrol officer came out to my house to inspect the car. It turns out that the mechanic who inspected my car is who turned me in. He said that the auto shop was cutting corners to get cars to pass and he was fed up with it and quit. The officer needed to verify if his claims were true, or if he was just a disgruntled employee.

Sure enough, the mechanic had fixed my loose headlight by stuffing a bunch of oily rags behind it. The officer took photos of it and said that he would get back to me to let me know if I needed to get it fixed and go through the safety & emissions process all over again.

So far, he hasn't contacted me. I hope the rags don't burst into flames, because then I'd really be unsafe!

Not So Healthy

One thing that I've learned from all of these diet books is that they're geared towards men who are six feet tall, weigh over 300 pounds and spend all day sitting on the couch drinking gallons of soda pop and eating 16 large sausage pizzas a day.

I follow their meal and exercise plans perfectly and I GAIN weight!

Now I'm back to the "Lois Diet."

That's right. Eat three healthy meals a day, no snacks, and walk around the neighborhood. The only new thing is that now I'm trying to incorporate some weight lifting into my routine. Though my BMI scores are in the normal range, my fat percentage is way too high (I am composed of fat and bones, no muscle).

My ultimate goal is to be a very fit and vibrant 100-year-old (that way I can make my children's lives miserable for as long as possible).