Thank you all so much for your prayers! We have felt them and things have taken a turn. Its been another busy week here. We had an appliance guy look at the dishwasher and washing machine. He fixed the leak to the dishwasher but found another one coming from our faucet. The washing machine was rusted shut so he recommended that we just get a new one. He told me that it was unlikely (but not impossible) that mold was growing under the sink because it would be more likely to be on top of the cabinet floor than underneath it. BUT he said that its very likely that there is mold in the washing machine since its been leaking for so long. So- we are getting a new washing machine! YAY! Please pray that our property manager can find one that fits in the laundry closet soon- she hasnt found one small enough yet and the old one is still in there.
We also had a plumber come out to fix the leaky faucet and ended up with a shiny new faucet! This week the electrician is scheduled to come out and replace all of our plugs. We’ve had 2 carpet guys come out to give estimates and….drumroll please… we are getting new carpet! YAHOOOO! This means we will have to pretty much move back out, and then move back in AGAIN, but I dont care- I have visions of us dancing around barefoot on new carpet to divert my attention!
James also found that the air filter to the air conditioner/heater had not been changed and it was not on properly- so half was black and half was clean which means it wasnt filtering our air. He changed it and I feel about 40% better now. We noticed that there is a thin layer of grime (probably blown out of the vents while the filter was dirty) on the walls, especially in the bathrooms, so this week we will be cleaning all the walls, ceilings, counter tops, and floors and wherever else we think that junk may have landed.
Now here’s the craziest part. I noticed a while back that I feel worse at night and a couple nights ago we were reflecting and realized that all of my really bad asthma attacks came after we started cooking dinner. The next night I was folding laundry in the bedroom and didnt realize that James had already started cooking. He thought it was something in the oven (like maybe they didnt get all the cleaner wiped out and it was producing fumes) so he fried chicken. The minute I walked out there it was like all the air was forced out of my lungs. Its been kind of scary, my asthma has always been very mild. Up until now I have only had to use my inhaler a couple times a year and mostly just because my chest feels tight, not because I’m having an attack. Since we have moved here, my chest is really tight whenever I’m home and I’ve had an attack almost every night we’ve been here.
Please pray for guidance on this and that God would reveal to us what is going on here. We need to be able to cook but not under these conditions. God has provided for us in so many ways the last 3 years that I know He’ll get us through this too. Last week our pastor spoke on contentment. It really was a good swift kick in the pants for me because I know I had not been feeling very content during this time. So, this last week I have been working on being more content in the Lord rather than focusing on how to fix our situation, and it has brought some peace and calmness in the midst of all the sickness and craziness. (If you want to check out the sermon you can find it HERE.) I know that its ok to strive for better circumstances, but I am learning to put my trust back in God while doing so instead of trusting clean carpet, lol.
Thanks again for all your prayers!
What a month this has been! And where did summer go???
So… we’re moved into our new place and I LOVE living in RB, but to be honest, it has been a rough week. Just about everything that could go wrong has and I’m having really bad asthma/sinus problems again. Here’s a rundown of what’s been going on…
The second time we looked at this place I had some allergy stuff going on, but thought it was just the new paint. While we were signing all the paper work our property manager told us that the people in here before us were really dirty and you should have seen it before the cleaning crew came in. I’m wondering why she’s telling us that but just let it go. When we started moving in, I started noticing parts that didnt get clean… I’ll spare you the details, but believe me it was gross. We’re still not all the way unpacked a week later because I keep finding things to clean and I just plain don’t feel good and have lost a lot of energy. (When I leave the house, I feel great though!) Thank goodness for my amazing, wonderful, and caring husband who has had to do more than his fair share of the work while my asthma/alergies are acting up.
We found that most private renters in CA do not replace the carpet, especially if you have pets. It’s a real treasure to find a place with new carpet. They didn’t replace the carpet here because it was only 4 years old. The property manager told us that although it had been steam cleaned, some workers created some new stains that were bugging her so she was going to send the guy out again to see if he could work on those spots. After moving all of our stuff in we started noticing that more and more stains were coming up. As we started moving boxes around we noticed that they were getting bigger and darker pretty much anywhere where any pressure had been applied. James took his shoes off for an hour one night and they became black on the bottom. We also started noticing little kitty prints all over everything. I was completely grossed out. They sent the carpet guy out and although it looks better, our socks still get dirty when we walk on it (and we have not had shoes in the house since then, so we know its all coming from the carpet and not anything we’ve tracked in) and I’m still finding kitty prints everywhere.
As we are putting things away we started noticing other things. Most of the plug ins didn’t hold the plug snug (which my brother, an electrician, said could be a fire hazard.) The bathrooms weren’t painted, the master bedrooms door handle was broken. And then we found that lint trap in the dryer was broken and taped together with masking tape and the cage it slid into was broken too. James pulled the washer/dryer out and found the dryer vent wasn’t attached properly and was completely full of lint. And the dryer wasnt plugged in. And the plate to the plug in was broken. The master bathroom was really dirty, and when I go in there I get really bad headaches. I started cleaning the master and found there was a huge stain in the cabinet where it looked like the plumbing had leaked (for a long time) before it was fixed. Also, the shower head was so full of corrosion that even James didn’t want to use it.
I decided to stop cleaning and set up my office. I have been SOOOO excited to have an office where I will have space and quiet to work in, instead of a tiny corner in the living room. I got my desk all set up but my computer wouldn’t turn on.
That night we went to church and we were completely worn out. I was ready to be refreshed but was a little disappointed to find that instead of a sermon, we had the missionaries we support there for a talk. Once they started talking I realized God’s perfect timing in this. One of the missionaries was serving in Africa and lived in a place where 500,000 people lived within a 3 mile radius. Wow. Suddenly our living conditions didnt seem quite so bad. It really put things in perspective and I thought ok, I can do this.
I wished I could say my enthusiasm lasted into the week but I will admit I had a brief meltdown. Monday we took the computer in and found out the conductors on my motherboard had exploded and the people who built my computer had done it cheaply so my power source was also on the way out, among a few other things. So, it cost a small fortune to fix. A small fortune we definitely didn’t have after all of the other events of this month. I did our first load of dishes and the kitchen flooded. I got the floor all dried up and the next day we did a load of laundry and the Kitchen flooded again. I called James and he just started giggling.
I’m worried that between the leaky dishwasher and washing machine (which we have NO idea how long they have been leaking) the flood in the guest bathroom before we moved in, and the previous leak under the sink in the master, and the really gross carpet that there may be mold here too. I checked how much it would cost to get someone out here to test for mold and it looks like its anywhere between $300 and $1500. The more reputable companies falling in the $650 and up range. Argh. The carpet guy wonders if there may still be a lot of ash in the carpet and the ducts from the ’07 fires since they were really close to here. That would cause my asthma to flair up too. And we haven’t ruled out that we might have brought some mold spores with us, although we have been really careful to clean everything as we unpacked.
The landlord has been really reistant to make any changes, but the GOOD news is that I spent most of the day talking to our property manager yesterday and they sent the caprpet guy out this morning to estimate how much it would be to put in new carpet. No guarantee they will replace it, but its a start. And early next week they are supposed to send out someone to look at our dishwasher and determine if we need a new washing machine. And an electician is supposed to come out and look at our plug ins. YAY!
I’ve wondered several times this week if we are under spiritual attack or if we’re being tested, or just missing something important God is trying to tell us. Or maybe we just made a mistake? I was pretty sure up until about 2 days ago that we were supposed to be here. We are praying for clarity, health, and that all the necessary changes will be made. I know that God is faithful and He is still in control. As usual though, I wish He would just hurry it up, lol. Thank you all for your continued prayers! We really do appreciate it. Please don’t pray for patience for us though- we really can’t handle that right now!
We really do love everything else about this place and hope we can stay! Its HUGE and there’s lots of parking so we will actually be able to have people over. That was really important to us. I love it here because there’s less traffic and everyone is SO very nice. I went for a walk (this is a GREAT neighborhood for walking, btw) and a lady who was about to back out of her driveway actually stopped, smiled, and waved me on. I would have just been run over in Mira Mesa, lol. The day we moved in 3 neighbors came over to introduce themselves to James. The one occupying the other side of the duplex came out again to meet me when I got there. And there are rabbits, lizards, and birds, oh my! I’d be in heaven if I could just breath properly.
Whew! The last two weeks have been a whirlwind! In July I started feeling really run and exhausted all the time. I had a hard time focusing and didnt have any energy. I assumed it was allergies. One day while I was cleaning the bedroom, I found a little mold on our bookcase. I thought it was a little weird and James thought maybe some moisture was getting through the sliding glass door. So we cleaned it and forgot about it. As the month went on, I started feeling worse and worse… I had a sore throat, dizzy, headaches that eventually turned into migraines, my body started aching and felt so heavy… like someone filled my clothes with bricks. I also had such horrible nausea that I began to worry I was pregnant. And then I found it…
In the closet I found a pair of boots covered in mold. James came in and we started pulling out shoes- 15 pairs in all were covered in mold. Because we had "disturbed" the mold, I felt even worse the next day. The cats were puking and Pepper’s eyes got all goopy. James came home from work and we went to a hotel. 20 minutes later, I started feeling fine.
A guy had come out to check the moisture and found that the levels were higher than normal, but not alarmingly high. We were basically told to get a dehumidifier. James didn’t feel sick around the mold so he, my very wonderful and amazing husband, spent the next two days cleaning our room where he found pretty much anything touching the floor under the bed or in the closet, covered in mold.
We came home from the hotel and within 15 minutes I started getting all the symptoms I had before. So, we grabbed some clothes and headed to Bryan’s. James went back and looked under the carpet and found black mold. They think because we were in an end unit at the bottom of a slope that the water from the sprinkler system was running down and making the slab under our condo too wet. That combined with the sun beating down on our west facing wall created higher humidity, causing the mold.
Our landlord let us out of our lease and after almost 2 weeks of looking, we have found a new place to live. Its a duplex in a duplex complex with lots of trees and grass. It’s an older duplex so it has lots of "character" but its much bigger than our old place and we got a great deal on the rent. Oh, and did I mention there are lots of TREES and GRASS??? The streets are wide and there is less traffic too. We sign the papers and start moving tomorrow.
We took pictures to document the mold just in case we needed them. I was going to include a few but I don’t have my USB cord with me, so maybe later…
Thank you SO MUCH for all your prayers during this time- they have truly been felt!