Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I Think My House is Making Me Sick ...

Jimmy & I live in a little small backwoods country town in south eastern North Carolina in an older manufactured home or mobile home or trailer as some call it. It's a single wide 14 X 60 ish, 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom with two room additions built on, a fully covered front porch and a small covered enclosed back porch. It sits at the end of a dirt driveway on a beautiful piece of land full of trees, azalea bushes and grass. I LOVE my little home. However, we have found some problems and I think they are making (or actually keeping) me sick.

We moved in April 1, 2011 and the first issue we had was a leak in the ceiling of one of the additions (think small 3rd bedroom that we use as the office) shortly after moving in. During the first thunderstorm we had after we moved in the water just poured in. I had to use the tall trash can from the kitchen to contain the water. The next day after it stopped raining I called the landlord, he came and looked at it and immediately got someone out to fix the roof. No more leaks from this area.

We also showed him where we thought there may be some leakage in the dining room area where the larger addition (think living room size) was attached to the main house. He told us no, those were old stains, the leak has been fixed and there shouldn't be any more problems. OK, I say... for now.

Fast forward to this past October 2012 through February 2013. First we begin having issues with our hot water heater, he sends a plumber over to fix it. They spend 4 hours and I'm without water for 3 days because they have shut off the pump to our well, and it takes that long for the well company to come prime the pump and get our water back on. We still have problems with the hot water heater. I've told him I think it's the heating coil and it will need to be replaced. By now it's also running NON STOP, 24/7, 7 days a week.

During this same time frame it's winter and we are having one of the wettest winters I've ever experienced. The roof begins leaking in various places, and I find dark places on my inside ceiling that are spreading. When these are brought to the landlords attention, he says no, those are just the dark stains from the previous leak that has been fixed. Mind you, I've got BLACK spots on my inside ceiling and brown tracks running down the inner walls in my dining room that I keep wiping up.

At Thanksgiving we have family and friends for a big dinner, I move one of the extra chairs out of the corner where I keep it when it's not being used around the table and I almost fall through the floor. It has rotted and come loose from the wall. This is right under one of the spots I've been told was repaired and is not leaking. OK.

Mylia and Cheyenne come down from Maryland for Yule/Christmas. During this time I do more cooking, which results in more dish washing. It also means more showers and laundry. So the hot water heater is working overtime. Keep in mind it has been running CONSTANTLY since the last visit from the plumbers BEFORE Thanksgiving.

Finally in February I have had enough. I call the landlord and tell him the hot water heater is not fixed, it is running 24/7 and my electric bill is now OVER $375.00 for ONE MONTH! (It has never been that high since we moved in here). He calls the plumber, they come out and decide the hot water heater now needs to be replaced (remember I asked for this to be done back in oh November?). And the landlord wants to put the new unit in the LAUNDRY room. I already have a washer and dryer in there and there is NO room for a new hot water heater to be added in too. Finally after much discussion between the plumbers and the landlord via phone, it is determined to just keep the location the same, put the new unit in the master bathroom where the broken one is and away they go. Tearing walls down, making a huge dusty mess and finally hooking up a new hot water heater. Off they go...they have finished.

OH NO THEY DIDN'T!! They didn't replace the wall they tore down. AND the new connections are LEAKING! We immediately call the landlord to let him know the connections are leaking and find they can't come back out until the next day. SERIOUSLY?? By the time they get here the next day I have had more than enough. Luckily Jimmy is home and deals with them so I don't go all wicked witch on their dumb asses. When they get the leaks fixed Jimmy asks about putting the wall/sheet rock up they tore down. He is told we have BLACK MOLD and the wall cannot be replaced until it has been treated. Then they advise us to spray it two or three times a day with pure straight bleach. This is supposed to stop the growth and in a few days all will be well and the wall can go back up. WTF???

Most of you know I have been sick with a cold or something since I got back from Arizona last November. This has been probably the worst winter I can remember having, and as a child with chronic bronchitis, I had some nasty winters. With all the rain we've had here in NC the roof has begun leaking again at the connection where the addition is in the dining room area. I also found black mold growing there on my ceiling. And there are once again brown streaks running down the walls which I wipe up 3 or 4 times a day.

I've repeatedly called the landlord about this and he repeatedly tells me there is NO leak, that was fixed a while ago. Finally Tanya has had enough and brings a sealant to paint on the ceiling which is supposed to inhibit the growth of black mold. She and Ed take care of this the weekend we go to Starrlight Meadery. The only thing that has changed is there are no more black spots on my ceiling. I have NO idea what is growing in my walls, and the floor has yet to be fixed. And the wall in the bathroom where the hot water heater goes hasn't been replaced.

Because I have been so sick and can't seem to get any better no matter what I do, (I have no health insurance and cannot afford to go to the doctor) I did some googling for Black Mold. This shit is serious! There is NO wonder I can't get better. Just the respiratory symptoms alone are enough to make me want to move. Add in the tiredness and discomfort symptoms and I am a perfect example of someone with Black mold toxicity.

So, I have a feeling I'll be looking for a place to move. And because finances are what they are, we'll be staying here in the Hope Mills area. At least Jimmy has a good job...

These are just a few of the things I've been experiencing, there are many more symptoms and you can find more information on Black Mold:

  • Difficulty breathing - breathlessness or shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Burning sensation of the mouth
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy nose
  • Stuffy, blocked nose
  • Confusion
  • Brain fog
  • Shortened attention span
  • Difficulty concentrating and paying attention
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Aches and pains
  • Muscle pain
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Joint pain
  • Malaise - general discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Cold or flu type symptoms or recurring colds
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Friday, March 8, 2013

I Received an Award!!

It's always nice to know that someone reads this mindless rambling I tend to write. But when you get an award for it, that's icing on the cake! My wonderful, awesome and funnier than hell friend LeeAnn over at Can We Have A New Witch, Ours Melted has determined I'm award worthy. Thus she has presented me with The Versatile Blogger Award! THANKS LeeAnn!

The Rules of The Versatile Blogger Award are:

1-Display the award logo on your blog.

2-Thank and link back to the person who nominated you.

3-State 7 things about yourself.

4-Nominate 5 other bloggers for this award.

5-Notify these bloggers of the nomination by linking to one of their specific posts so that they get notified by ping back.

Hmmm, 7 things about myself that I haven't already told you about is gonna be a challenge. 

1. Out of all the places I've ever lived in my life I am homesick for Maryland. Yeah, I know, crazy huh?

2. I'm still fighting that cough/cold crud that I've had almost constantly since I came back from Arizona in November. It really needs to take a hike, I'm tired of the coughing and sniffles and no energy crap.

3. I am looking forward to warmer weather and the ability to take some road trips on the weekends when Jimmy is home. Have I told you lately how much I'm loving having our own vehicle once again?? 

4. I feel a constant shift in the universe around me. I'm being *fine tuned* for greatness, LOL!! 

5. I have some of the MOST awesome, intelligent, warm, honest, fantastic friends anyone could ask for. They keep me on my toes and challenge me on a daily basis. This is how I know I'm still among the living and not rotting in a hole somewhere.

6. I have a pretty high set of standards for most things in my life and have very little tolerance for those who can't keep up.

7. I am far from perfect. Do not expect me to be. I will only disappoint you. 

Now that I've totally bored you to tears with the above trivial confessions, here are the 5 Bloggers I bestow this award upon. Make sure you stop by and check them out. I PROMISE you will not be disappointed.

1. Bella over at Tales of the Wolf Queen

3. Rhonda at Good Green Witch

It's A Little Disconcerting ...

When I write my papers for my college classes, I am required to use inline citations and reference with a link to the source at the end of the paper. When I write a passage in my blog that comes from someone else's intelligence or subject matter, I do my very best to cite and link to the resource where I found the information. Unfortunately, I am seeing an ever increasing habit of people writing their blogs or posting things on Facebook with NO citations or references. And some I've seen have a reference at the end of the post that is so damn tiny you need a magnifying glass to read the thing.

PEOPLE this is called PLAGIARISM and it's ugly. Not only have you blatantly stolen another person's work and posted it as your own which in itself is unethical, it is also ILLEGAL!

It also gives you a bad name in the blogging community. People will begin to fall off of your followers network. They don't want to be associated with someone that consistently uses another's words and then takes credit as if they were their own work.

More importantly, if you claim to be Pagan/Witch/Wiccan it diminishes your reputation in the Pagan community... you know that *harm none* clause that so many live by? Well plagiarism falls into that and you are indeed causing harm by using another's work and not giving correct and complete credit.

It's not brain surgery to read a source, use YOUR words to write your message and then at the end of the article give the reference for what you have used for your inspiration. If you haven't learned how to read something and then use your own words to convey the message you want us to know about, I don't want to read your posts and will be removing you from my reader roll.

Now before any of you leave comments asking why I'm letting this bother me, I'll explain. I try my very best to be above board and ethical in everything I do. I value my reputation as a blogger, but more importantly as a Witch. I've also come to realize I cannot change the world or the people in it, but I can change the people who are in my inner circle. If someone is doing something I know to be wrong, I can either ignore them, look the other way and let them continue to be associated with me. Or I can speak up, hope they get the message and then remove them from my life if they don't and thereby remove or reduce the negativity they are compelled to spread. No, I know I won't completely reduce their negativity, however, I WILL reduce the people it touches by not allowing them to have contact with me and those who are an integral part of my every day existence.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mercury Retrograde Week 1 ~ I Survived... barely

Week 1 of the first Mercury Retrograde of 2013 has been more than many people can bear. Too many emotional upheavals, unexpected death and more than a few electronic malfunctions. I for one will be more than happy when March 17th comes and this cycle is over.

Up until this cycle I had begun to be able to work through the things that *triggered* my emotional break down. I had figured out how to ground and recharge so I could deal with the fall out. Not this time. This time, no matter what I did, I could not get a handle on my emotions, nor did I have the ability to help those around me cope with the things they were experiencing. This past week I have seen more emotional roller coaster rides from not only the people close to me, but from people I have never met or even had a conversation with.

This past Saturday or day one of Mercury Retrograde, I spent a good deal of time in the Craft room, meditating, grounding and preparing for what ever may come. I felt pretty good, so I decided I'd do some sewing and see if I could get some more Tarot bags ready for Aoibheal's Attic. Needless to say that was a complete waste of time and energy. I didn't even make it through one bag before I had to stop and completely rip apart the seams I'd just sewn. After trying once again and failing, I put the fabric back in the tote and walked away, and I haven't gone back to it yet.

Monday I woke to the heartbreaking news that Madison was in a coma, on a ventilator and had been diagnosed with end stage leukemia  This happened so quickly, no one was aware she was sick and no one was even a little bit prepared for the devastation this brought to so many people. If you are lost as to what I'm speaking of please refer to the previous posts here in the blog. I honestly cannot write about it again. By Wednesday Maddie was declared brain dead and taken off life support, thus throwing those who loved her into the deepest pits of sadness and mourning. This is one of the most horrific events I've ever had to be part of. Even though I did not know either Madison or her mother in the real world, their pain and suffering hurt more people than you can imagine... for days, my heart actually hurt.

Then on Friday, our dear Magaly from Pagan Culture unexpectedly lost her little brother as well. Already this year there has been more loss and sorrow than I can remember ever happening in such a rapid succession.

I fully believe the year 2013 will be the one to challenge everyone in a multitude of ways, and you can either give in and be swallowed up by the things happening around you or you can buck up, take the power back and OWN 2013 for yourself and those around you. I admit, I'm pretty worn out already and it's only March 3rd. But with Spring only 17 days away, I am praying better weather, sunny skies and warmer temperatures will chase the doldrums away and bring out the energy we all know is hiding under those blankets we've been reluctant to release just yet.

If you are feeling a bit over whelmed, overly emotional, or wanting to hide for a bit longer like that crazy ground hog has been doing, please know you are not alone. Many people, myself included have found sanctuary in our blankets, hiding in the dimness, waiting for the sun to finally show her face. She's coming...just a few more days! For the next 17 days until Spring has sprung, know that I'm sending you lots of love and hugs.