Our Dirty, Shameful Secret

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I’m coming out of the closet to explain my bad mood of late, my stress, tension, anger, depression and exhaustion. The big reveal: (drum roll please..)  CARPENTER ANTS. Yes, sad but true and I can’t keep this shameful secret to myself anymore.  I need help and support. What I really need is the Extreme Home Makeover crew AND the most adorable and beloved style/designer cutie- patootie, Nate Berkus.  I also need Oprah for moral support and the understanding of these life lessons.

We have a truckload full of carpenter ants. A friggin’ marching army carrying weapons of mass destruction.( At least I have proof.) What started as an exciting renovation for the kitchen has become the project from HELL.

The renovation is on hold until we completely rebuild and tear out the kitchen, bathroom and part of the basement. For now. We won’t know about the upstairs officially until they tear that apart too.

Basically, our family life (what family life?) stinks right now. We’re minus a bathroom, a family room, a kitchen and part of the basement. The only relative good news is that our son is leaving for college this week and he will escape the constant noise and demolition. The rest of us, my husband, daughter and I (plus the dog) are not that lucky. We are stuck here. When someone suggested moving into a rented apartment for three months, I laughed. The money pit can only go so far, folks. Our daughter will be going to college next fall.

The kitchen renovation project  (PCA: pre- carpenter ants ) was going to last 4-6 weeks and cost a set amount of money.  Now, we are talking a minimum of at least three months and A LOT more money.  This was NOT in the budget. That said, our cozy little home, my bastion of sanity, love and serenity has been destroyed. The gosh-darn ants have eaten their way down the stairs like starving people dining at a free smorgasbord. Oh and before you ask, yes, we did have a company come in and spray year-round to prevent the little suckers. There is no guarantee so please don’t ask. I feel used, stupid, resentful (no comment)  and violated.

My once beloved cozy cottage looks like a crime scene and the amount of money that is draining from our savings is practically enough to stabilize the economy. My husband talked me into this kitchen renovation and now it has become a major project, MAJOR. If we had known now what we did when we bought the house…..well, I can’t go there. My emotions have ranged from fury to laughing hysterically, depression, anger and annoyance and resentment.  It’s no wonder I am in a vicious flare up of Fibromyalgia, and TMJ and daily, throbbing headaches. Every day brings bad news, more things to fix and more money to spend.

The only thing I try to remember is to keep this in perspective. It is annoying and depressing and draining, financially $$$$, physically and emotionally but we are not in a Radiology Department waiting for ominous test results; in other words, it’s not life- threatening.  I’m rolling with the (expensive) punches because basically, I have no choice.  Is this a catastrophe? Yes, I mean No! It’s an annoyance and a lot of money down the um, drain, pipes, frame, tube?  I’m taking it one day at a time; one very costly, day at a time. There is no other way.

8 thoughts on “Our Dirty, Shameful Secret

  1. Oh, no! With our kitchen remodeling just around the corner, you have given me great food for thought. Our humble abode is also OLD, so we may be in the exact same situation that you are finding with your home. Take notes so that if we, too, are inundated, we can benefit from your expertise. Hang in there and take it one day at a time. Good luck on Wednesday with Tim’s departure. Remember, you have done a marvelous job in raising him or he wouldn’t be venturing out on his own. Celebrate your success and Tim’s!!!! Talk to you soon.

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    • you are the original Maur. don’t worry about your house, trust me. it will be fine. it wouldn’t happen to both of us. did we have a key for the dorm rooms? dan asked me the other day and i can’t remember. I do think i wore something attached to my pants with a shower clip. let me know, love laur

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  2. Oh Laurie! What a nightmare! I didn’t know those little S.O.B.’s did that kind of damage. (I imagined them as little insects with tool belts on, and carrying little tiny power tools) I know you want to pull your hair out and I don’t blame you. I would just want to run away and hide. I feel so bad for you. 😦

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  3. Laurie, it sounds like hell on earth. I had no idea that carpenter ants could be that invasive. I don’t recall having them here. I am so sorry. Living in a construction zone is horrific. I shall keep you in my prayers and hope for the best for you and the worst for the ants.
    with love,
    Judy

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  4. oops, there will, of course, be a gender balance with the renobusters — the men will be good looking, and the women pleasant to look at, smart, and very handy with the tools. (oh dear, now that sounds risque!)

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  5. You need to turn this into a reno reality show so that the reno is paid for by the production company! You could be the first house to be fixed by renobusters; heroes of the renos gone wrong. They will come with all the tools, wood, counter tops, everything you need and now won’t have to pay for! And, of course, all of them will be quite cute, polite, cuddly, and well, okay “hot.”
    Sorry that the ants chewed through your house; we have lots of ants (they live in the walls we swear) but they are of the tiny, annoying variety. Not the insanity you’ve having to put up with. Anybody you can go stay with for a few days to get away from the noise and the bad news?

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  6. oh Laurie sorry to hear this. Renos are stressful enough. I wish Mike Holmes could stop by and “Make It Right” for you guys! (cost-free of course.) You did everything in your power to keep those stupid ants away w/ your frequent scheduling of the exterminator. Not your fault the ants are determined, unstoppable, and apparently unkillable little buggers!

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  7. Oh Laurie! I’m so sorry all that mess is happening to you! Kinda like our flooding/mold catastrophe a couple months ago….cost us thousands, had to put on credit card that is now at its limit…so anymore catastrophic events will have us royally screwed.

    Carpenter Ants…God I hate those little buggers! They creep me out for one thing. We have also had infestations of those at a couple of homes we have lived in. I am just so sorry they are tearing up your home.

    Just breathe….try to think of the positives….you know all the mumbo jumbo…all the stuff that we are “supposed” to do in times of trouble, but cant….lol. I wish I was rich Laurie Lou. I would buy you a new house, or atleast fix yours up to be the wonderful ant free home of your dreams.

    Since I have no money, all I can do i send you best wishes, prayers, hugs and friendship. Home projects are hard even under the best circumstances…but to add ants to it….I understand your increased frustration.

    But try during all this, to remember to take care of you. Try to stick to your routine as much as possible….try to ignore all the crap going on around you….earphones? Well, maybe Oprah or Ty Pennington will hear of your plight and send the cavalry…in the mean time…heres some hugs n smoochies….xoxoxoxoxo

    Tammy

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