life lately

What a gray, rainy and chilly day it was here in Jersey. Upon waking today both Aaron and I looked at each other and Aaron asked  "Did you get the number?...of the bus that hit me?" 
 Yesterday was a super physical day for us. So we took this gray day to rest up a bit and I'm thrilled to have my favorite favorite favorite candle burning tonight. 

 For us and most households in our area the post-storm clean up has happened in waves  The first things to clean up were the contents of your home. Anything damaged...couches, rugs, beds, appliances... and of course anything that washed or floated into your home or yard...from garbage cans to cars to hot tubs. You had to gather all of this stuff and then it turned into mounds and mounds on streets. Which was then picked up by trucks equipped with little cranes.
And then for the next step everyone waited and waited for Insurance Companies and FEMA and building contractors. I personally contacted 3 different builders and only heard back from one, more than a week later. They are all completely booked well into the new year. Understandably. So we tried Home Depot for a quote on the floors. They came out to see us within 2 days and took really detailed measurements and photos. We were emailed a quote within 36 hours along with some floor plans with all of our measurements. And they gave us a full break down on the price. Holy CROW was it a ton of money. But it seems like they are going rate from what I have heard and seen online.
It's a strange circumstance. If this were a planned, leisurely home improvement I know we'd be excited on a whole different level. But when it is winter and the house is super duper cold from lack of insulation underneath all we're concerned with is getting things done now and fast. And we've got it better then most. There are families with fully gutted homes right now.
So in order to get the house re-insulated from the ground up, Aaron and Walt were working underneath      the house in the muddy crawl space. Almost all of the current insulation had gotten soaked in the flood and fell down into the mud. So all that stuff being under our house is stinky and because it fell down it has made the house so so cold! 

Aaron who has an awful case of claustrophobia braved the insane mini opening, and low ceiling...and was fully under the house pulling out all sorts of yuck and tossing it out for me to bag up. 
 Our next task is to level the ground under there a bit more and create a moisture barrier. Then we have a guy coming in to spray the whole thing with foam insulation. Cannnnot wait! is all I think about these days! The house has been so so cold. It will stop some of my worrying.

My little brother Walt in his "profesh" Tyvec suit.  ha! 

Everything is covered in this thick sludge that smells like the bay. We found all sorts of crazy random things under the house that must have been forced in by the water. Lots of driftwood and things we'd never seen before.

This little guy just makes me laugh. This is what I saw as I came to the top of the stairs. He was waiting for me to come back up for my coat and bag...and make the bed. Well, at least I grabbed the coat and bag. : )

We took a walk to the store the other day and stopped off at our town Christmas Tree. I loved seeing the handmade ornaments hung all low and in a line around the bottom of the tree. Judging by height I'd say the little tree trimmers were kindergarteners. :)  

Everything has just been a bit weird. That is the word I will use. Everything has changed. And I'm trying to get used to it all. So hard to put to words. I'm thrilled to be able to move forward and start on the road to making our house a home again. And I hope that we can continue to help our neighbors. Everyone is still in need of a lot of help.

Thank you so much for popping in and checking on us. Both Aaron and I really appreciate it! Sending you so much love from the NJ Shore!
Here's to a great week ahead!
xo Jenny