Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
We're still alive, we're still at the hotel. We're getting a TON of snow.
We got about 10-12" on Saturday and now we have the pleasure of getting another 6-10". Yep yep. I understand why I like to work from home in New England.
What have we been doing? Well, we've been busy. Thursday at 11am we got the power reconnected to the house. Thursday night, our electrician reconnected "essentials" -- FURNACE! :) Friday, Matt got Methuen town water department to come turn back on our water. We had HEAT after 1 week! Yahoo! We were able to warm the house from 37 to 65. Saturday, the cable was reconnected and today I was able to confirm we have internet, wireless internet and our telephone service re-established.
We are now waiting on cleaning done by the folks at ServPro. They seem quite nice, reasonable and fair. They brought in these huge whole house fans to remove smoke smell, they are doing very well. They are going to wipe down ceilings, walls and wash/clean windows and floors. They are going to steam clean upstairs carpets and hopefully clear the house of smoke smell. On Friday, the Dry Cleaning company came and took 14 garbage bags of all of our clothes to dry clean, wash and launder. It'll be so exciting to unpack all of our clothes, although maybe some of them should just go straight to good-will. I was amazed that we could have 14 garbage bags of clothes.
So, that's where we are. I did buy a small Christmas tree for the hotel. It may be that Santa has to re-route to the hotel this year. We're not sure yet. We have the hotel reserved until Wednesday. . . . . .
Hope everyone is having a very Merry Season!!!! Happy Snow!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Just an update on our situation. We're still in our home-away-from-home hotel. We upgraded to a 2 bedroom, 2 bath suite with a kitchen. In a lot of ways, it's just like home. The cats are here. The kids are here. I bought a small Christmas tree. Some presents are here. Some food is here. Electricity is here.
Unlike home though, our hotel has running water, heat, cable and wireless internet. We got the Electric Company (National Grid) reconnect our Electricity. Our electrician is over at the house this evening to figure out how much damage was done on the inside of the house (electrically that is). We will also be able to figure out if the furnance still works or if there is more damage there. Hopefully by tomorrow we can get the water turned on and then have the "gift" of heat in our house. :-) Once we get heat, then we can get the house cleaned. Once we get running water, heat and clean of all of the smoke and dust, then we can schedule a move-in date for our house.
For those that don't know, Massachusetts is expecting 10-12" of snow tomorrow and then other storm on Sunday, then another one on Wednesday of next week. So while we have made a lot of progress to get into the house, we still have steps to go to get into the house. All fun!
I think folks may wonder why I'm not in more of a panic. I guess when you have an Alexis-baby, you learn to count blessings. It was 2 years ago (now-ish) that Kaitlyn died in utero. We are always counting our blessings. Our house is not inhabitable now, but it is definitely standing, live-able and we can see the future when we can get back into the house. Like with Alexis, we have learned to celebrate the positive and what we are blessed with. Being away from home at this time of the year is difficult, but life is difficult. We are blessed in many ways, and we are a strong family with support network that keeps us together!
So, send along your prayers that we do return to the house -- but don't worry Matt enjoys the hot breakfast each morning and the mini-dinners at night. :-)
Love to all,Catherine (Alexis, Jessica & Matt)
Friday, December 12, 2008
We have a major ice storm on Thursday night/Friday morning. There were tree branches
falling all night and at ~2:30am one landed on our power line tearing the wire from the house.
There were alot of sparks and fire on the exterior and we called 911 and rushed to get the kids to the neighbors house. After dropping off the kids, I went back to check the house, the fire outside
was out, so I went in to check the house over. There was smoke in the house on the main floor.
Upstairs was fine, so I ventured into the basement. At first all was OK, then the power kicked
back on fireworks started in the basement. A couple older junction boxes were spitting sparks and fire. I have a fire extinguisher for our oil burner, so I gave the sparking boxes a few spurts. The flames would go out, but as soon as I stopped, it would all start back up. So once the fire extinguisher ran out, I had to leave. The fire department showed up a few minutes later and was able to get the external wire off the pole (stopping the electricity) and put the fire out. Upon inspecting the basement with the fire leutenant, we noticed the water main was leaking - aparently the ground wire arced and cut the water main pipe. The fire department called the city water dept and they shut the water off at the street. The fire dept opened all the windows to let the smoke out and we watched from the neighbors house.
Right now (Friday night) we are at a local hotel with many people who lost power. We have no electricity/water or heat. Over 250,000 home are without power in MA and NH. A neighbor down the street is an electrician and he is going to help us get the power back together so we can get hooked up to the grid again.
Keep us in your prayers this weekend that the house remains safe and that the weather cooperates and the electric company can get the electricity back up for the people here - and that we can get our house back together. The damage is not bad mainly a few charred beams and smoke, it's just the loss of utilities that prevent us from going home. The insurance company is working well with us to make sure we're taken care of... etc.
We'll update you as we get more things back together....
Matt Catherine Alexis and Jessica
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Anyway, tonight she got some Daddy-Guitar therapy but it was obvious to me that she was exhausted from the day.
She is busy staring at her hands in this shot and then she gets distracted by the camera. And it even looks like she tries to smile for the camera but maybe she was just trying to focus on the camera. You can see little Jessica in the background rearranging toys on the coffee table. She especially enjoys moving the animals around and taking things apart.
Hope you enjoy the video. We have some pictures from the condo this weekend as well, I'll try to post those too!