Hurricane Ike – My House and Insurance

Day 12

LilSis went back to North Louisiana yesterday.  She was the glue that held me together for about a week or so.  I really miss her.  Thank you, Lil Sis for everything.  Those words just don’t begin to express the gratitude I feel.

We are going home today, though not to our old home.  LilSis, friends, and I saved the furniture we could from our home and took it to the cypress cottage to fix it up for us to live in until we decide what we will do with our old homes down the bayou (there is a distance of 4 miles between the two places).

The adjuster for the National Flood Insurance program can’t come until Saturday.  That will be two weeks after the water came into the house.  And get this.  They need to see the damage—the damaged furniture, etc. but they also want me to mitigate the losses by cutting out dry wall, removing paneling, and wet insulation because they don’t pay for “mold and mildew remediation”.

Mold?  Did someone say mold?  Mildew?  Did you say mildew?

This is my kitchen floor — on Day 5 — and it is much worse now.  Remember, if I clean it all up, the adjuster can’t see how much damage we got.  Sure, I have photos, but it’s not proof positive.

And if you’re wondering why the plywood is bare, it’s because the parish only allows repairs after flooding if you elevate your house to the required height to prevent future flooding.  We never had enough money to do the repairs and elevate, so we did the minimum to get moved back in after Hurricane Rita, and just made the best of it.  And now, what’s the use?

The china cabinet looks a little green doesn’t it?  My cookbooks are in the bottom shelf and it is swollen shut.  I am very, very sad about that.

We were able to save the platform rocker on the left, which was our great grandmother’s, and then our mother’s (in which she rocked our babies), and now ours.  The glider rocker on the right was also salvaged.  My husband gave it to me on the my birthday just days before my third child was born.  And the couch?  Well, I never liked the micro-fiber anyway.  Haul it to the road!

Okay, so the encyclopaedias are ruined; but who uses those nowadays anyway?  We have the internet, right?  The rest of the books and the bookcase will be salvaged and taken up to the cypress cottage soon.

There are plenty more photos of the mold, mildew, mud and I wish I could send you the smell.  The smell hits you as soon as you get out of the vehicle, and carries on into the house.

But enough of all that.  It is depressing.

I just wanted to thank all of you again for your prayers and good thoughts.  One woman, Margaret Saizan, who has an award-winning blog she set up after Hurricane Katrina, has sort of taken a shining to me and this blog.  I think she might need her head examined after a spider bit her on the cheek last year, but welcome her just the same.

We won’t have cable internet service at the cypress cottage until October 15th, by which time I will be in a straight jacket in a padded room from not being able to visit with you from time to time.  Indeed, it will feel like solitary confinement without you, my blogging friends.

I might have to visit the library every day, 20 miles away, to get my fix.  Okay.  I’ll admit it.  I am an internet junkie.  I, the one who fought it tooth and nail as long as I could from entering my home and taking over the young minds of my children.  And now, they have to drag me from my monitor when they come to visit!!!

I’ll post as soon as I can, everyone.  I hope you miss me half as much as I’ll miss you.


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  1. We do miss you. I check every day to see if you’re able to post. Just stay healthy–all that mold, added to the stress you’re under, isn’t a good thing.

    And cookbooks? I’d bet your blogging friends can re-supply you with plenty of them! Let us know when you’re ready, and you will have enough, I’d bet, for yourself and all your neighbors!

    Keeping all of you in my heart and prayers.

  2. Ooooh you said odor – yuck, I don’t if river flooding smells different then coastal flooding, but I can relate. I remember having to take my 11 month old to my office, that had been flooded. His diaper bag and playpen had to be left outside at home for a while before the horrific odor was gone. There are times when I can remember that stench so clearly , as unfortuanately you will.

    Hang in there, you are doing good. Let us know when you want cookbooks 🙂

    Keeping you in my prayers!

  3. Dear Friends,
    I came across the bayou to my friend JG, and she has her internet service working. I am on the waiting list for a “transfer” of mine from the old house to the cypress cottage, which won’t happen until Oct. 15th!

    Y’all are just the best every! But guess what? My husband got my china cabinet bottom door open today and my two favorite cookbooks were DRY!! They were on top of the stack. The rest are too far gone, but I’ll get over it!!! But y’all are so generous to offer cookbooks! I’d be just plain greedy to accept!

    I’ll be posting as soon as I can. I have to be able to hook up my external hard drive which holds all my photos in order to make a post with photos. Will do so soon as I can.

    And Sheryl, I remember now–I am

  4. Dry is good. I remember being shocked at the crawl space in my rental being dry after spring flood. I think I was speechless for an hour.

    Suppose your not close enough to pull a wireless router internet grab?
    I discuss this with neighbor once and awhile.

    Hope your insurance day goes well.

  5. Checking in to see how things are going with you. Remember you have a lot of people sending love your way. When you feel low remember our online
    Ditto on the cookbooks. I have some local Kentucky cookbooks for you.

  6. Everyone, I am so looking forward to getting internet again and posting the rest of the stories here. I know it will be back tracking, but I think there are a few more interesting stories to share!!!

    Heather? I saw the two horses on the levee yesterday. No sign of the cow. Don’t know why the horses have not be reclaimed. And the mini horse is still in that front yard looking skinny as ever.

    Cookbooks? Let’s have some fun with the cookbooks. I’ll come up with something when things get a little more normal, ok?

  7. I have a big collection of cookbooks, already going through some for you. Please post a PO BOX soon so your friends may send you a few cookbooks. Cooks know the hurt when our favorite books are lost or damanged, and sending you a book or two would make us feel like we are helping in some small way. I know loosing your books is the least of your worries, but its something we can help with for now. And we know you can share with your neighbors as well. Keep on keeping on Bayou Woman!! Heather, I am so thankful you could be there to help BW and all of those animals, Big hug to you as well.
    BW my posts will be sporatic for a bit, my phone line was damaged in the repair to my home, so its library runs for me as well until its fixed. But your still in my thoughts & prayers.

  8. Hi Deb, I can certainly comiserate about no home interntet!!! I look forward to your posts no matter how sporadic they are!!!! Ok, I will post an address, and y’all let those cookbooks rip and I am going to have some fun with them in future cooking posts!!!!!

    Bayou Woman
    1917 Bayou Dularge Rd.
    Theriot, LA 70397

  9. I hope this comment isn’t too late for some of you sending cookbooks. BW won’t tell you, but one of the reasons she was so sad about losing her cookbooks is because she writes in them (what else can you expect from a writer? 😉 ).

    She adds little notes if she tweaks the recipe by adding an ingredient, leaving something out, or changing the amount of something.

    I think it is wonderful that y’all want to help BW in this way. I have one small request that will make it even better. If you could find perhaps your favorite or most used recipe in the book and let BW know how you make it uniquely yours, she would be thrilled and it would be like a little piece of you sent to her.

    It’s going to be fun seeing all the different books she ends up receiving!

  10. That’s very tragic. We had some Ike damage, but fortunately most of it was from the wind, with no actual flooding.