You don’t know what you don’t know

(Post title inspired by Donald Rumsfeld: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There_are_known_knowns)

As is obvious by my recent posts, Andrew and I have been in the mindset of fixing and house projects. A few weeks ago, I pulled back some paint (yes, it literally pulled back like a piece of vinyl) that had been bothering me in the kitchen. It was puckered and soft and… I thought it was simply a bad paint job – which the house has a lot of. Nope. It was termites.

As a kid, I don’t remember being afraid of bugs. My brother Jesse and I used to happily pluck and collect exoskeletons from tree trunks, like fruit. But a bug phobia has slowly and intensely crept into my adult life. I know, I know. Spiders are wonderful creatures who eat other bugs and maintain the fragile bug ecosystem. I still hate spiders. I don’t kill them if I see them, usually – I feel bad about killing anything. But I don’t want them near me. Same goes for any other insect. Blech – their disgusting little legs! Do they even have hearts or brains?  Mesa must feel the same way, because she is a total bug murderer. She hunts moths, flies and grasshoppers with an intensity usually reserved for chasing cats. The best part is she actually eats them, too – which is both repulsive and amusing.

Anyway, this termite thing has given me real justification to tell all the bug-lovers: “Look. Bugs suck. They ate my house and cost me money.”

Unfortunately, the termites weren’t even the worst of what we found when we continued to pull back paint and take out the damaged drywall. Behind the drywall, we found rotted, moldy wood from what was probably years of water damage.  This was structural damage that comprised an exterior stud, the ends of a couple roof beams, a portion of a bottom sill plate and the framing around a window.

We did locate the source of the leak almost immediately. While all the framing was exposed, we then had a thunderous rain storm and literally saw the water flowing from a crack in the roof’s edge, down the wood framing of the wall. Andrew cheekily remarked it was like we had a water feature in our kitchen.

About a month and $2000 dollars later – we have a nice, clean new wall and a guaranteed whole house termite treatment. It hasn’t been the best of times. But I am soooooo glad to have our house back to normal.

On a final note, Mesa and I completed a class at the community college called: “Fun and Games for Dogs and Their Owners” ! We learned crawl, wave, roll over and our favorite – jump through a hula hoop! She is so good at it and gets loads of air! I was very proud of her during the class. She was the only pit mix among purebreds and her personality shone (in a good way). She had hardly any issues with other dogs, other than barking a couple times at a pesky young shepherd mix.

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2 thoughts on “You don’t know what you don’t know

  1. Sounds horrible! In NM do they not require the whole termite inspection deal when you buy a house?! So much fun that you and Mesa can do that, our dogs want to eat other dogs so they get to play in the back yard only : (

  2. They did not require a termite inspection, no. It was suggested, but we didn’t do it… sigh. At least the “treatment” (aka poison) is very effective so we know there will be no more damage. It’s definitely one of the dangers of buying an older, foreclosed house. And Mesa isn’t awesome with other dogs either, but she loved the class. There was no real contact between the dogs, and it was all on leash. Thanks for reading!

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