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Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Ides of May: condemnation of my home

For those of you who are just positive that Ides are only in March, let me offer you this comment in the next paragraph on Ides or ides. I learned this in Latin class in 1960, but have been challenged on this point for over 40 years! Yes, there is an Ides of May. I just wanted to get this out of the way so you could concentrate on the real purpose of this post.

(pl.) early 14c., "middle day of a Roman month," from Fr. Ides (12c.), from L. idus , a word perhaps of Etruscan origin. The 15th of March, May, July, and October; the 13th of other months. Read the whole entry here if you like. The soothsayer who warned Caesar of impending disaster has made March ides famous. Every month has its own ides.

Condemnation of my house
For those who follow who are detractors (yes, I know who you are), you will love this. I received a letter from the city stating that unless I fix certain things before May 30, 2011, the city will began the condemnation process in court. From roof rafters to paint inside are on the list. On Monday, I will get the code and see if the city can demand one must have paint on the walls of fresh sheetrock. I think not.

Still, I cannot afford the other repairs.

1) I divorced a prominent man who smeared my name to city, courts, and children.
2) I have refused affairs with prominent men who then told others I am a lesbian. I am not.
3) All this has created for me with some entities an aura of the bad woman in town.
4) Workmen have not been allowed to work on my home by their wives over the years.
5) Churches have openly condemned me to others in church for divorcing a minister.
7) I have refused to marry men that have proposed just to gain my security in the world.
8) People to whom I have turned for help also have the most to gain by purchasing my property before the condemnation procedures. Or, they have speculators and investors to whom they are loyal and can alert their friends to my misfortune for their own gain.
9) Now, no one is listening to anything for me because of homes ripped asunder and scattered by the tornadoes that came through here. Over 900 homes and businesses were destroyed completely.
10) Some of the people who were going to help me find sources for help were themselves victims of the storms' destruction.
11) Church groups that do this type work are concentrating their efforts on tornado damage.

As you can see, there are things that have worked against me for years. No, I was not going to move to escape the talk that ex continues to flame. He is so determined to "get even no matter what I have to do and if it the last thing I do" (his words), that he would cause me problems whereever I had gone.

I am liberal and outspoken in the past. This does not work well for getting any

My position
I need ideas. I am a single female, senior citizen, permanently and totally disabled. No, I did not think a person could see, hear, think, and be able to walk and drive a car and be totally disabled. No, the house is not too big for me to handle.

What I have checked
1) A person from the Amish came by some time ago, talked with me, heard I divorced a minister, left in a huff and refused my calls.
2) A church group in town was going to send a roofer to solve my problem. He came and started cursing me, saying I still owed him $500 from 20 years ago. My ex left town without honoring the divorce decree about paying all bills made before the divorce.
3) Churches around here say, "Have you asked your own church?" My church declared I was going to hell for divorcing. Just for a loan of less than $200 for two weeks, I was told the church did not have to help me because my children did not attend their church. Okay, from a thousand miles away, how can they? They all did go to church where they lived. Other churches have people who want to continually talk of the divorce and ask about my husband. I cannot worship in those conditions.
4) FEMA agreed I did have additional damage beyond what the condition of the house was before the tornado. But, the letter said that I was capable of  fixing/paying for the damage myself. No, they would not help with the additional expense of a generator!
5) Habitat for Humanity does not do repairs in this county. Other Habitats cannot cross county lines to repair.
6) No, my children or family cannot help me...that's a final word on that subject.
7) To do a reverse mortgage, the house would have to be repaired. If I could do that, I would not be writing.
8) Friends who could help are too old for climbing on a roof

I have heard of groups traveling around helping others to rebuild. But, I don't know the groups. Besides, there are people who think it is foolish for me to worry about my own house when theirs is damaged. Well, mine is damaged and I will be forcibly removed if I cannot pull something from the hat.

Please don't suggest I move or sell the lot. I already know that option. I have lived here since 1977 and want to live in my own home. I really don't need lectures or detractors at this moment. I cannot afford to rent or buy elsewhere. This house is paid for. Living in an apartment would be worse than death. If you have something less than the kind of help I am looking for, or want to criticize me please write No, I don't think there is a millionaire in my small audience. And, I hope not to drive any of you away with what seems like "downer" posts.

I guess you all may think I have too many problems. I do, too, and try to keep them to myself. I guess this is a last ditch effort to get something going and see if I can get the city to relent. A friend is working on getting her church to sponsor me and handle the money under their 501(c)3. There is already a fund that I cannot touch started, but no money so far.

If you want to recommend me to a group that can help, I welcome that. No, I don't think you all have the answer.

Try not to hate me or leave! If you want to be less than helpful or want to criticize or suggest I sell, please comment at Yes, I know I am repeating myself when I give you my email address.

Oh, I got the internet back today. Want to read some other trivia about kalends, ides, and nones? This is one of the unofficial sites about info, but seems to have it all straight. I love trivia.


  1. Linda
    I'm very sorry to hear all of this. I wonder if you can call both Catholic Charities and Salvation Army to see what kind of assistance they might be able to provide. I think that they can work across county lines. Catholic Charities has several programs in place to assist with bills for example. They might have other ideas regardless. See if you can't get a social worker from there to come out and evaluate your needs.

    Next, find free legal aid if you can. Again, not sure of your area and what it offers but legal aid need only be in the same state.They can advise you as to how to proceed if you represent yourself in court.

    Does FEMA have an appeals process?
    Can you get an extension on the deadline?
    I agree that not having paint on the walls is not a crime of any kind. Sounds like a vendetta or an attempt to get you to pay fines and fees. Counties and states are all about taking money from the poor to feed their rich revenue habits. They are like junkies. They will take what they can get. Go see your congressman regarding FEMAS decision.They are also good sources to other aid that might exist but nobody knows about. Get pissed off and fight with all your might.I'll be thinking of you and praying too.

  2. Thanks for the kind words. If FEMA relented, it would only be for the few boards blown away from the already damaged roof. The only reason I called them was for help with the debris from other homes in my yard and the extra damage done. BUT, they had to enter my home and note exactly what appliances, fans, and such that I owned. I thought that was strange. They also took pictures inside...strange.

  3. That they entered your home is very strange unless that is the protocal. Did others endure the same kind of investigation?
    Listen, a few boards cost money that you don't have and the city will expect you to fix. If you appeal with FEMA, maybe you can buy yourself some time with the city as well.

  4. I wondered about the entrance into my home and pictures she took. Also, there was an accounting of every appliance and even fans I owned and if they all worked. Buying time is all I have going right now! I will ask others. However, most people with major damage are not going to be that interested. Minor damage will be harder to find. I will look into it.

  5. I am so sorry that you are going through this. I really have no advice for you other than to second the suggestions already posted above. I do know that the most help I received came from my making friends with the city, county, inspectors and so on. The inspectors could see that I was really trying and they were very helpful with sharing their knowledge with me, for which I will always be eternally grateful. You really have to connect on a personal level, otherwise you are just another number in their overworked day.

    Do you have an estimate about what this work will cost? Any insurance? Not that insurance will work. I had major damage (over $200 thousand plus dollars) due to a windstorm. I finally ended up having to sue my insurance company to get them to pay. Yes, I won, but the whole process took years. In the end, the whole bill paid by the insurance company for repairs,replacements, lawyers and so on was over 1 million dollars, not including my medical bills paid through another insurer. I nearly died during this and was hospitalized for weeks at a time. My health really suffered and it took years to get it back.

    I will keep you in my prayers for a good outcome. Do you have an address where your readers could send small amounts or cards of encouragement? Please take care of yourself and keep us updated.

  6. Ms.X, The tornado damage was minimal to an already raggedy roof. The cost of generator and expensive extension cords was about $1100, borrowed. The substitute postal carrier distributes mail far and wide, so the address at top right of my blog is a friend who has no such problem. If you want to contact me by email, the address is top left. You had a horrendous experience that I cannot even fathom. But, it happens. The six months I fought with a workman's comp covered injury is what caused the fibromyalgia to kick in full force. If the torn meniscus had been operated on immediately, I would not have spent time gaining weight and losing strength. Remember, the city launched to start of this condemnation threat. They are nice to me, just will carry yhis through. Thanks for the concern.

  7. cont to Ms.X, so as you can see, the tornado was not the biggest problem; my lack of funds in general is the problem coupled with the city's assurance that I only have until May 31. If I had a plan or other influential sources to convince them differently, I could buy time. However, most answers are either 'good luck,' or 'I will pray for you."

  8. I'm not sure I understand the purpose of the generator and expensive electrical cords if it wasn't to do repairs. Did you actually purchase these items to make repairs to your home? My sister seems to think that you borrowed this money to rent the items and then didn't have money to do repairs.

    Or, was the generator used to keep your freezers going? We truly hope that is not the case, as study after study shows that the average freezer contains far less than the cost of this generator and cords. It might be better to take the loss rather than borrowing more money that you do not have.You could feed the feral cats. We live in a similar area as you, and after losing the freezer the first time, we decided no more. We only have our refrigerator freezers now and we can and dry food. Feel bad for you no matter what, but were not sure we understand your posts about the generators use.

  9. I borrowed the money to buy the generator and cords from a friend who will not pressure me for the return of the money. We were told it would be 10-12 days before the power would be back on. Three blocks from here, there were no power poles standing for about a mile. So, I believed them. Yes, I wanted to save the freezer full of mostly meat. But, you are right, losing the meat would have been cheaper than buying a generator and cords.

    With my chonic bronchitis and allergy problems, I would have ended up very ill in the heat. The only shelter had no lights and no electricity, just cots. I cannot breathe under these conditions and remain free of chest and head congestion, not even in my own home. I cannot sleep with windows open. I have terrible allergies. The generator was from a health angle, but if I got a generator, it was wise to purchase it before the food spoiled. Fortunately, the electricity came back on after five days, three days after the generator was bought. I did not predice a tornado would cause me problems or that the electricity was restored sooner than predicted. Actually, the people two doors down went the whole ten days without electricity. Then, briefly, we all lost electricity again.

    Hindsight on when the electricity is being restored is perfect. But, at the time, we relied on officials. Now, there are areas of town once again without electricity. I still have not pushed the freezer and refrigerator fully against the wall, because I injured my back that needs major surgery when I pulled them out.

    I did not rent the generators to do repairs. I cannot do repairs on my own. Anyone who came to do repairs would have his own generator. I would not feed the food to the feral cats. I would turn on the grill or donate it to churches who took all such food and grilled it in their parking lots.

    Listen: I cannot do any of this grilling. I have serious back problems that keep me from standing or walking for very long. I cannot make that many trips up and down the stairs. I cannot do many things for very long at all. Fibromyalgia knocks me for a loop. It took me over three full weeks to get over the extra energy expended and the lung problems caused by five days without ac.

    No shelter in town had ac, nor did my friends who were without electricity. I could have gone to home of exbf, but he smokes and does not use his ac, plus he would not want the hens in his back yard, even if I could get their pen their.

    Maybe you don't understand that this area was like a war zone. I have great empathy now for people in a similar situation. I guess it takes something like this in order for anyone to really understand the situation.

    Do you now understand the generator use?

  10. Anonymous, I also discussed with friends that I would never have bought the generator if I had known that the electricity would have come back on after five days. Also, as it was, I had to go to the dr about my back and need an MRI when it is scheduled. I had to go to another dr for 10 days of meds for chest and head congestion. Buying the generator did not solve a health issue. But, I was going to unplug the refrigerator every night for about 8 hours and plug in the window unit in my bedroom to help me not become congested from the heat. Yes, summer heat or winter house heat will cause me to become congested and have sinus, throat, ear, and lung problems. If you do not understand heat and night air and allergy problems, just won't understand.

  11. Anonymous, I have about $500+ dollars of meat bought on sale. The truth worth would be closer to $1000. Some weeks I buy no meat at all. I did not need a study to tell me that spending $1000+ for a generator was foolish in order to save $500+ worth of meat. Actually, I sat for five hours waiting for the truck to get these generators in town, unloaded, prepped and to my home. I bought an expensive generator because NO ONE had any generators. No, the price was not jacked up. It was just an expensive generator anywhere it was sold. I had to go to an electrical supply house that was handwriting all tickets because they had no electricity. All stores that opened kept the doors open and hand-wrote tickets. None could find a generator to buy, according to owners, managers, and employees. One person had a relative from Texas driving here with four generators in his pickup truck for four relatives living here. We were not stupid or making foolish decisions. I can only imagine how the people in Joplin are doing right now. Oh, some people here still have not had electricity restored a month later.

  12. Thank you for clarifying your post. Actually, we have lived through this same thing many times. As I stated, we live in a similar area as you. We have suffered through exactly what you have as well as floods and earthquakes and wildfires. We have family in Joplin, so we are well aware of the situation. We certainly didn't mean to imply that you are stupid in any way. We were only trying to fully understand your posts, and you decisions for why you did things the way you did. Nothing more.

  13. Okay. Obviously I did not do a good job of explaining my situation. I apologized to ex bf for borrowing money needlessly. He was not all upset--"You did not know the electricity would come back on so soon." I suppose I broke even on the value of the food vs the cost of generator. Of course, I could have let the food spoil and start from scratch and saved the cost of the generator. If I thought I could get enough for it to justify selling it, I would sell it. But,as ex bf said, "At least you have one now." It is sort of insurance that I will never need one the rest of my life. You know how that goes. Tornado season is not over. I have knew what people went through until now. Of course, others have had it worse, here and in Joplin and NO. At least I now have an inkling, nothing more.

  14. Anonymous, the only reason I mentioned the tornado was to let anyone understand why certain avenues of help were now closed. Not much damage was done to my house, only a few boards!


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