Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Heart Goes Out to Flood Victims!

You know those nice basements that have been made over into a family room playroom or studio? Well that's not my basement. My basement has never been a place I particularly like to go even though it does hold my washer and dryer and sometimes I am forced to do laundry or go naked...and we DO NOT want to even go there!

My basement is the standard subterranean cement block kind of ugly with little windows that don't let in a whole lot of light. My basement has been the holding pen for any thing we don't know where else to store and my basement is the repository for an unimaginable amount of boxes of stuff. And I do mean stuff! Whenever we have moved if Mr. Shabby is allowed near a box to pack it, it is inevitably labelled, kitchen stuff, bathroom stuff etc.

When I closed my brick and mortar store anything that was left got put in a box and put on the floor of the basement. Over the years every time I would get the bug to clean and organize the basement, one look at all those boxes on the floor would overwhelm me and send me running back up stairs.

So I've been missing in action for a bit and some of you know why. The day after my birthday while Mr. Shabby was on a week long fishing trip we had a severe thunderstorm sweep into the neighborhood and play havoc with us. The already soaking wet ground (from all the rain we've had for the past two months) decided it just couldn't hold anymore water and instead of soaking into the ground as it normally does, that heavy deluge came pouring down the mountain behind us and a good part of it landed in our basement. Roads in other areas were washed away and just down the road part of a mountain slid right down into the road.

One night I opened the door to let the dog out and found my house literally sitting in a lake with the water up over the first step of my front porch and back stoop. Luckily I have the best BIL in the world and I called him for advice...I knew it would entail getting outside in the lake and starting to dig trenches to get water to drain away from the house. I was willing, I just wasn't sure where to start. But he didn't hesitate and came right over and together we managed to finally get the water to drain where it was supposed to.

So here we were two old farts out in the dark with flashlights and water over our ankles, one with a a back she threw out the previous week and the other with a bad heart and one heart attack behind him...digging ditches wherever we could. Not funny then but we're laughing now.

Mr Shabby came back early because the fishing trip was disastrous as they had bad weather there too. Thank goodness because here is what part of the mess looked like after we got the water out of the basement. The washer and dryer had to both go in for repairs. Awww.

And just so you know, my basement floor is painted a light gray...the brown you see is the mud left behind.

And we were lucky! People in other areas of our region had to be evacuated from their homes. You know we live in the mountains and the one thing I guess we've never given a whole lot of thought to is flooding. They say the Lord works in mysterious ways. But I'm just not convinced he had to get this drastic to make me clean my basement. But clean it finally is and I can only think that if it had been inside my house I would have had to run away from home. My heart absolutely goes out to everyone who has ever been a victim of flooding.

And all those boxes that were on my floor? They and their contents got carted to the burn pile.

So to counter all the ugliness of the mud and dirty water and the smell and the overstrained body I had to sit down in the few minutes of time I had here and there and make something pretty. Since tags don't take an inordinate amount of time that's what I did...I made some really pretty tags and listed them in my Etsy store.


debi @ life in my studio said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your flooding disaster. That's a heck of a way to get the basement cleaned. I hope everything is alright now.
Your tags are beautiful!

Risa said...

Gail, I am so sorry you had to go through all of that with the flood water. I love your tags. They are beautiful. Glad you are back, and safe.

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

oh, my. I'm so so sorry. I have also lived through a flood and now how devastating it is.

Best of luck getting it back to normal and as out-of-your-mind-as-possible.

... and your tags (as always) are lovely

Joy said...

Out of all that chaos that you've been through, your creativity still rises to the surface!

Nan said...

Oh heart goes out to YOU...and everyone else suffering at the hands of mother nature. We had a green basement when we lived in North Carolina. Loved the mountains and two streams by our house but our basement was a scary place I didn't go either!!!! You've done an amazing job holding the MWO together during this time and I love your new tags! Keep on keepin on...Hugs Nan

The Joy of Nesting said...


It's good to hear that both your back and basement are both returning to their quiet undemanding servitude!! :)

Pattie ;)
Mazatlan Mx.

Charmingdesigns said...

I left the water running for 2 hours in my kitchen...made me get busy and paint my kitchen, which I wanted to will come a new floor! Laurie


Gail nice to see you beautiful blog... Hope you are staying dry!!! that looks like an old soap stone sink we used to have one of them...


Ivan Chan Studio said...


Sorry about the flooding. It tends to be a popular divine method of getting things cleaned up, isn't it? :)

Thanks for your post which, despite the troubles, brought a smile to my face. Must be you. :)

Take care,


The Joy of Nesting said...

Oye Gail,

Oh I do feel for you!! What a mess and it seems that no matter how well you dry things out mildew wants to sneak back in. :( Thankfully here everything is tiled and our door jams are built up to be little dams, but it's still no fun when a tropical storm comes in the house for a visit!!

Gail here is my email address. docpattie @ I'd like to visit with you about the soldering class. Primarily can I pick up the supplies that the kit provides?? That way we avoid the whole Mexican Mail nightmare.

Pattie ;)
Mazatlan Mx.

Alisa Nordholt-Dean said... sorry to hear about the flooding! Thank goodness you didn't have to evaculate!

Bunty said...

I too have lived through a flood, been evacuated briefly and had to cope with the clearing up, chucking out and buying of new stuff, not to mention being ill from contaminated water! It was the worst time of my life so I really know what you have been through.

It was lucky you had such a helpful BIL and despite both your health problems, you were able to do something effective.

I hope you get sorted soon, Gail.

Love the tags.



Nita Jo said...

What a rough thing to go through! I just love your positive attitude in the midst of it all. Maybe I'd better get my garage cleaning project done before the Lord decides it's time to help me!

The tags you created are so beautiful! Sending you Hugs!