Thursday, January 22, 2009

Here's where you can find me

I've left blogger and moved to Wordpress. Here's where you can find me:
Enjoying The Journey - our family's ministry website. It'll keep you updated on our life in Moldova.
Mudlark Tales - my personal blog, with tales from chasing my kids around the house.
Broom Huggers - The business I founded and own. It's an all-natural, eco-friendly, non-toxic maid service in the Atlanta area.

Come visit me!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Moving to Wordpress

**This is a sticky. It will stay at the top, please scroll down for newer posts. As of March 18, my only new posts to this blog will deal with our toxic mold situation. My regular blog continues at Wordpress.**

This blog was my induction into the blogosphere, and I'm very happy with what I accomplished here. But in the last several months I've learned that there are other blog publishers out there, each with its own pros and cons. Several months ago I found wordpress, and after experimenting with it a bit, I found that it fits my personality and needs better.

So today I say good-bye to Cozy Paradigms at Blogger, and I move to Mudlark Tales at Wordpress. I hope my faithful readership (all 4 of you) will follow me there - in the sense of reading my posts there - I don't expect you all (all 4 of you) to move your blogs there...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The end is in sight!

After **much** ado, there's a new company working on my house right now. (Hip hop background music, me doing a happy dance) The called yesterday and said they were ready to start, and since I'd already obtained copies of their business license and insurance certificate, I happily agreed.

They're at my house now. I'm not. You see, it's not recommended that anyone be home when mold remediators do their work. So I'm at my aunt's house. With my kids, and my hubby will soon join us. The remediation is expected to take only 2 days (only 2 days? I've waited this long for that?). But when they're done, we'll have the added expense of re-testing, putting down new flooring, rebuilding the drywall, and rebuilding the ceiling, though not in that order. We'll paint too, while we're at it.

All that to say, there is (finally) progress. It's just going to take a long, long time to finish.

Monday, March 26, 2007

It's getting Ridiculous!

The lizard in the playroom was a casualty of blue painter's tape. Or maybe, a casualty of toxic mold. We'll never know. He died though, while trying to escape my kids' playroom and return to the 'mold room.' While crossing to the 'other side' he got stuck in the painter's tape and died. Alternatively, he may have died the moment he poked his little head into 'the mold room' and the toxicity killed him. We'll never know. But my hubby is my hero for disposing of him.

We've now had the mold room closed off for nearly 6 weeks. We've gone through contractor 1, contractor 2 stopped returning my calls the moment I asked for a business license and proof of insurance. Tomorrow we have 3 (count them - three!) contractors coming throughout the day to look at the mold room and tell me what they think. Hopefully one of them will be able to produce documentation that they're actually a bona fide business. We'll see. Right now, I have little hope. I'm starting to believe that my home was meant to have a gaping hole in the ceiling, and this is all just a good way to get us closer to nature by inviting otherwise purely outdoor creatures to abide with us.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sometimes you have to cut and run...

We confronted our mold remediation company - we'll call them company 1 - about the hack of job they did to our home. They apologized. They asked for a 3rd chance. We were willing to offer them a 3rd chance, at their promise to make everything right. But, we said, we had to consult another contractor first. At the mention of another contractor, all the blood drained from the guy's face at Company 1. "What!?" he said. "WHY would you want to do THAT???!!!" Precisely, kind sir, because of the reaction I just witnessed. What are you afraid that I'll learn? That you overcharged me? That you did shoddy work? That all your dealings have been riddled with fraud?

Expecting to hear only one of those things (I'm essentially a trusting optiminst), I was quite surprised when we found all of those things to be true. In fact, as I listened to Company 2 tell me of all the damage Company 1 caused, all their negligence, how ridiculously they had tried to pick my pocket, I felt an intense need to sit down. (Really, it was an intense need to sit down on a beach towel with the calming rush of waves lulling me gently to a place where none of this matters.) I think I need a Bahamavention. (Have you seen the commercials?)

Picking myself back up from a hard wooden chair that really has nothing in common with a beach towel, I made some phone calls. So now, we've hired Company 2. We've also hired a lawyer. We're about to start tense negotiations with Company 1. It's time to put on my game face.

Friday, March 16, 2007

And the boxing gloves come out

We've consulted an attorney. This toxic mold thing has gotten pretty bad. The company that was doing the remediation was unlicensed, uninsured, and they sent some hack to my house who further contaminated the rest of the house. They made the problem worse. It's been a battle. But I've learned things about myself. Things like...
  • I negotiate better on the phone - it's easier when I don't have to look into the other person's eyes.
  • My Romanian is good enough to understand someone's trying to pull the wool over my eyes.
  • It's not good enough to argue well in my own defense.
  • I have different personalities when I speak different languages. I think it has to do with level of confidence.
  • I'm more assertive and more thorough when it directly involves my kids. I'll pull out the boxing gloves in their defense.
  • My hubby and I do a good good-cop bad-cop role. He's the good cop. A nice, quiet good cop. I'm the bad cop. My (former) contractor avoids me because of it.
  • I can research just about anything.
  • My (former) contractor (just fired) thinks I know too much about toxic mold. I think I still have lots to learn.
  • I really can trust my gut feeling. I should do it more often.

100 things about Kathy

Finally! 100 posts! In blogger tradition, here's my 100 things.

100 things about Kathy

  1. The only things you’ll find me drinking are water and coffee.
  2. And maybe a margarita or bloody mary on very rare (yet happy) occasions.
  3. I love to knit.
  4. But only with natural fibers – wool, cotton, soy, but no acrylic or other man-mades. Yeah, I’m a fiber nerd. And a fiber snob. Sorry. I’m dealing with my issues.
  5. I love to crochet too, but I stink at it.
  6. I find that I had a lot more time for things like that before kids.
  7. I like to read too, but that’s become an endangered hobby since kids too.
  8. I always thought I’d be a professional saxophonist.
  9. In Harry Connick, Jr.’s band.
  10. I met his dad once, and the band he grew up playing with.
  11. They said I could jam with them. But that was the end of it. Sax was in Florida, band wasn’t.
  12. I was never meant to be a professional saxophonist. That was a disappointment.
  13. Nor was I meant to be a professional athlete. I pretended that was a disappointment.
  14. I truly hope my kids never think they need to feign feelings for my sake.
  15. My favorite room in the house is the nursery. It’s pastel yellow with an alphabet nursery rhyme border, and lots of windows.
  16. I’d sit there and read all day – if I had all day to sit and read.
  17. I might knit a bit too, with that kind of time.
  18. I hate wearing shoes.
  19. I don’t like socks either.
  20. I also hate having sand between my toes.
  21. But I’m willing to make the sacrifice for the sake of a leisurely day at the beach.
  22. I’m a seminary drop-out.
  23. During a time of intense Life Issues I doubted God.
  24. Some people thought that meant I didn’t belong with the spiritual giants at seminary.
  25. I’ve learned that it’s okay to doubt God.
  26. I’ve also learned that He’s willing to wrestle with me, when I need to wrestle.
  27. My first job was a grocery store cashier.
  28. I never was good with money.
  29. My next six to eight jobs after that also involved retail.
  30. Most of my bosses learned not to put me behind a cash register.
  31. I still can’t balance my checkbook. It’s a good thing my hubby rocks at that.
  32. I was also a bar-tender. I make a killer bloody mary.
  33. My hubby is the sole beneficiary of my bar-tending skills now.
  34. I’ve been to 13 countries outside of the US.
  35. Only 2 continents though.
  36. I need to see more of the world.
  37. My husband’s probably been to twice the number of countries I have.
  38. I’ve been held at gunpoint in a foreign country.
  39. I’ve been randomly kicked off a train in a foreign country – twice.
  40. Natural disasters follow me when I travel.
  41. Friends don’t let friends travel with me because of it!
  42. I have a weak spot for books.
  43. We could cover our walls with book shelves, and it still wouldn’t be enough.
  44. I’m learning to simplify my life.
  45. Less spending, less stuff. More time with people.
  46. I want to get a law degree. But I don’t want to be a lawyer.
  47. I also want a degree in speech & language pathology.
  48. And to be certified as a lactation consultant.
  49. I’d also like a Masters degree in Eastern European history.
  50. I think someone should just give me that one.
  51. I have an article on linguistic teaching methodology published in a book.
  52. I wrote my baccalaureate thesis on the political implications of Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony. You can read it if you’re ever having trouble sleeping. It’ll help.
  53. I’m fluent in Romanian.
  54. I used to be fluent in Russian, but no longer, for lack of use. I still read it though.
  55. I think I’d get it back if I needed it.
  56. I’d also like to learn Arabic, Georgian, Gagauz, and Hebrew. So many languages, so little time.
  57. I can memorize complex linguistic structures, but not simple Bible verses.
  58. Anyone want to explain why?
  59. Numbers 37 & 58 aren’t really things about me – sorry. I’m also apologetic and filled with grace.
  60. I’m quick to forgive when the person and the offense weren’t that important.
  61. The closer the person is to me, and the more I care about them, the harder it is to forgive. That even goes for minor offenses.
  62. God knew I needed a hubby who would be quick to forgive me though. And that’s who I have.
  63. I have 2 beautiful children.
  64. I’d like to have more, but I’m truly afraid my sanity would be a casualty of parenthood.
  65. I’d really, really like to start my own business.
  66. In fact, I was ready to start my own business. But hubby’s company asked him to relocate to another country.
  67. So his company won. We’re moving to England in a few months, unless God intervenes.
  68. But honestly, our move to England is probably God intervening, in an effort to separate me from my stuff. (stuff that I love)
  69. It will also help with points 44 & 45.
  70. I think once I get over the shock of it, I’ll be excited.
  71. Of all the countries I’ve been to, I’ve only lived in one of them (outside the US).
  72. And, I’ve never been to England, so that’ll make it 14 countries total. But still only 2 continents.
  73. I’m trying to join one of my church’s ministry teams to Thailand, to work with women who have been trafficked into sex slavery.
  74. But having two young kids at home makes it hard to run off to Asia for 10 days. Go figure.
  75. I never learned to ride a bike. I’m serious. Stop laughing!
  76. I can swim like a fish though.
  77. Maybe if there were bikes for the water, then I’d be able to… Let’s not go there.
  78. I drool over fabric.
  79. But I can’t sew.
  80. I have a sewing machine in my closet.
  81. I paid $8 for it at Goodwill. It’s ancient.
  82. I used to sell yarn and knitting supplies on Ebay.
  83. I still have a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf in my laundry room stuffed with yarn that I need to sell.
  84. And a huge storage container filled with yarn and half-finished knitting projects.
  85. I’m not good at finishing my knitting. I like to start new projects.
  86. I also like to start new books.
  87. I might have a problem with follow-through.
  88. I’m an INFP (but I was in INTJ before kids).
  89. I multitask well with lots of things, but not cooking.
  90. I like to be undisturbed when cooking.
  91. Mostly because I’m afraid something I’m cooking will splatter hot something-or-other and hurt one of my kids. I’m paranoid like that.
  92. I’m also a perfectionist. If I burn what I’m cooking, I find it nearly impossible to forgive myself. Even if the other people eating it don’t notice.
  93. Measuring cups are for sissies. I don’t measure anything when I cook. I’m still a perfectionist though.
  94. When my kids cry it makes me crazy. (I’m about to lose it right now – they’re protesting their naps.)
  95. I’m not bothered by other people’s kids crying.
  96. I’m a sinner saved by grace.
  97. I like to argue with God. I think He likes it too – at least being real with Him then.
  98. It’s taken me a long time to learn I don’t have to fake it with God. He can see straight through me.
  99. I also like to argue dialogue with people who disagree with me about faith issues. Something about iron sharpening iron.
  100. On my own I’m pretty darn incapable of anything much. But I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Thank goodness I have Him to rely on!