Tag Archives: flooding cleaning

Good to Be Home

November 30, 2011

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We were away for a few days, traveling to the rural outback of Upstate New York (Schoharie County). This county ranks — in my estimation — as one of the most rural areas of Upstate New York. And these folks are not just rural, they are fiercely rural. No fancy, high-falutin’, city slicking city life here. Oh, these folks appreciate progress, just without the urban arrogance and unrealistic reliance on “the grid.”

It was our first time Livvy was alone in her 3.6 years she’s been with us. Well, the dogs and the bird were home, too, but they don’t count. I had the webcam set on surveillance and Livvy mostly sat by the back door and in my desk chair, waiting for us. Nearly broke my heart. I couldn’t bring her with us this time, though. We were staying at a nice hotel and would be strolling through caves during the day. Not exactly a cat vacation.

But Livvy survived and she is all lovey and cuddly now. šŸ™‚ Hey, I could get used to this!

While we traveled through Schoharie County, we saw many, many homes devastated by the flooding from Hurricanes Irene and Lee. These folks were hit the worst– bridges and homes and barns and cows just floated away. This is a rural area where money is always tight and work is always hard. New York’s Upstate economy really shows here, and then the floods came and made bad to worse. I saw some homes that were skeletal, just barely able to stand upright.

Lots of our photos were taken from the moving car, so they didn’t turn out very well. We saw yards filled with garbage bags and strewn tree limbs, boulders and rocks in weird places, and bulldozers everywhere.

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In one area, I drove past a small group of trees on the bank of the Schoharie River. The trees were literally covered with tons and tons of white feathery strips of what appeared to be toilet paper and paper towels (me being a suburbanite). As we rounded the bend, we saw that the white stuff was not toilet paper. It was the plastic wraps that go around hay bales. Large hay bales were clogging one area of the river bank, and great strips of the shredded white wrapping hung from the TOPS of the 20-foot trees. My heart ached for these folks. Wow.

Yet what makes this area so remarkable is the amazing cheerfulness of the people. EVERY SINGLE PERSON I met was cheerful and generous. Even when they spoke of their losses (some folks lost everything on the first floor), they smiled and said, “Thank God, no one was killed” or “It’s just stuff.” Now that’s an amazing community. No self-pity and wailing for government help. Help is welcome but these people weren’t going to sit on their tears and wait for FEMA. They just sucked it up and are starting again. And wherever we traveled, the folks were so generous. The coffee shop gave us two free coffees. The hotel gave us a free breakfast. The New York Power Authority Visitors Center gave us free coffee travel mugs and light bulbs. I can only admire their generosity, grace, and happiness. I also wonder if Schoharie County has the most churches of all New York’s 62 counties, because it seemed there was a steeple peeping out from the farms and forests every mile or so.

Houses come and go but communities are what make or break a town. It’s good to be home again but I can’t get those folks out of my mind. I understand flooding problems– yes, indeed. But I’ve never had to rebuild EVERYTHING like these folks have. Ya got guts, Schoharie County folks. God bless you all. šŸ™‚

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Get Rid of It. Yeah.

May 26, 2011

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WHAT IS IT with all this crazy weather?? Will someone please tell me?! Flooding here, flooding in the Mississippi?? Vicious tornadoes and I saw that they even had snow in Colorado?? In late MAY, for pete’s sake.

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My area is still cleaning up from late April’s flash flooding. Everything is just so messy. Like everyone else, we’re chipping away at the messes, but we really don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to cleanup.

I recently heard about a very nice junk removal business– Getridofit.com – Affordable Junk Removal and Hauling. These guys look amazing! They solve the problem of junk removal, which, as you might suspect, can be very painful on the budget as well as on the emotions. Many people think their only recourse for removing junk is to hire a (very very) expensive professional hauler. We paid THROUGH THE NOSE last year for dumpster service. Ouch.

Well, the guys at GetRidofIt.com give you the ability to find more affordable junk removal teams in your area. GetRidofIt.com has a list of companies with excellent ratings based on price and customer service. It’s pretty easy to find junk removers in your area– just visit the GetRidofIt.com website and type in your zip code. And if you are an ambitious entrepreneur looking to start up a junk removal business (and it’s looking like a pretty lucrative career, these days!) you can sign up your company to get on the GetRidofIt.com’s list! Check out more information on the website. This is a good website to bookmark, too. Because even if you don’t have a natural disaster or renovation going on, you’re going to always need a helping hand to get rid of the old furniture, barbeque, busted bicycles, broken lawn furniture……

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Pressure!

December 18, 2010

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Ever try scrubbing your home’s exterior siding or basement floor? NOT FUN. Our basement floods from time to time, leaving behind silty mud and a bad smell (not to mention that the cats make a total mess down there). One of my dreaded spring chores is to hose it out. I use my garden hose with the minimal pressure it provides, and it takes a long time and a LOT of water to clean that floor. Maybe i should look into power washing services, eh? If I consider the cost of water (very expensive here) and my labor, I’d probably break even if I hired a team. Because my basement sump well eventually pumps the ground water back into the storm water reservoir, I’d have to make sure that the company used green technology. I wouldn’t want any chemicals or gunk going back into the system.

If you are in the west coast and are in need of some cleaning up, check out Mr. Pressure Wash (catchy name, don’t you think?). Most pressure washing machines need to be rigged up to your water supply (ouch, that’s hard on the budget), and it’s a cost that companies sometimes don’t give when they offer estimates. Mr. Pressure Wash is unique– they use and reuse their own water! They also don’t use caustic chemicals– instead, they use special enzymes to wash out oils, stains, and other dirt. Estimates are free.

Photo courtesy of MrPressureWash.net

I think it’s terrific that companies like Mr. Pressure Wash are being more considerate of our natural resources and the high costs associated with pressure washing. Kudos to them for offering a great alternative!

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