Gentilly Girl- a part of the 99%

August 29, 2009


Filed under: Federal Flood,Gentilly,Katrina,Levees,Louisiana,New Orleans,Rebuilding,Sinn Fein — Morwen Madrigal @ 3:29 pm

Sinn Fein!

December 17, 2008

I Am Not Dying, Just Exhausted

Filed under: Gentilly,Nagin's Minions,New Orleans,NOLA Politics,Sinn Fein — Morwen Madrigal @ 10:24 pm

3.5 hours at the V.A. today with my Doc and many others. My low weight is fine, but I need more carbs. Need bloodwork for the HIV, but I look very well.  Yes I need some meds to help sleep and work on my anxiety over New Orleans’ fate. These things can be fixed.

My bleeding prob will be fixed next month. The Ovarian/Uterine worries will be resolved by tests. The sinus/tinnitus probs are to be resolved. Everything is within allowable parameters.

It’s about stress and not having seen a doc for years. Doc said I was worried about too many things, especially about my health condition, our house and the City.  There’s a ton of bloodwork ahead, but this guy is great with HIV stuffs.  He knows my history, and the fact that I violate all of the thoughts on the course of this disease. The rationale is that I have worn myself out whilst trying to fight many issues. (Of course y’all knew that I would go to that point.)

I will not stop on these issues. Now I can calm down on what all of this work is doing to my body. And this verifies that the Third Battle for New Orleans keeps me alive. One must have a reason to exist, and I freakin’ have one- the Soul of New Orleans. Even if I must leave this plane, New Orleans and Her folks must be restored.

Considering the B/S of Mayor Nagin and his business friends, I just might live forever. Works for me Darlin’s.

After my inquisition I headed to Krystal for some Murder Burgers and continued to the Starlight. I chomped away whist talking to friends about what is going down in the community. Had a few cocktails too. Realized that the angst/anxieity/depression of being a rebuilder in the City can make for some strange feelings.  I’m tired, but Doc Oct saved my life today.  What I’m feeling is the fight, not my mortality.

I ain’t going anywhere but New Orleans.

Geek Dinner at our house next month, and I will be able to celebrate all that we NOLA Bloggers have worked for. There is no reason to back down now. The Goddess protects those who PROTECT.  And… It’s time for planning Rising Tide IV. This year nothing will stop me from from being a more active member than last year.

I am NOT going away anytime soon.  The Bitch from Gentilly shall abide, and she will fight like all Hell.

Sinn Fein

October 6, 2008

Gentilly Fest 2008 This Saturday

Filed under: Event,Firemen,Gentilly,New Orleans,NOPD — Morwen Madrigal @ 4:42 pm

The Gentilly Civic Improvement Association (GCIA) is proud to announce Gentiily Fest 2008 this Saturday 10/11. The Fest will be held at Ponchartrian Park from 11am til 7 pm.

This is the first all things “Gentilly” festival ever held. Great entertainments, arts & crafts and lots of good food. Eighty percent of the proceeds go to support our first responders- NOPD and NOFD.

Be there!

August 29, 2008

Third Anniversary

There is nothing else to say.

August 21, 2008

Just Say “NO” to Entergy

Gentle Readers, many of you know my complete disregard and mistrust I have for electric/gas Utility companies. They hold a monopoly over our lives and our pocket books.  Under Entergy New Orleans we are as rats on a cage and the utility does what it wishes to us for the sake of their shareholders. This shit must stop or the rebuilding effort here is going to die on the vine.

For the latest threat to our ability to live here, I must direct you to the American Zombie’s take on the topic.  (Yes… go read it! I can wait)

There are two main reasons I champion Alternative forms of energy- one is the lessening of harm to the planet and it’s denizens, and the other is the use of what Nature provides as energy that is Goddess-given to each and every one of us (no one can own the tides, or the wind, or the Sun or the temperature variations  of the Earth’s crust. ) These are the gifts given freely and are not subject to the whims of a corporate Board or the demands of shareholders in said corporation.

Betts and I have already taken the first steps to independance on this issue by rebuilding Green and getting the Geo-thermal system in. The next step is the final one needed to cut the umbilical cord, and that is adding the Solar system to complete the changeover. I’ll be meeting with a company in the next week in order to facilitate our possibly being a model home (using a 70 year old house) to prove the workability of the concept of home energy freedom.  It won’t eliminate our need for Natural Gas for the stove and our back-up generator, but our excess power production will provide more than enough roll-over credits to cover that expense.

Soon our carbon-footprint, just like our utility bill, will only be the size of a baby’s shoe.

More details on the Entergy poop, the further Greening of the house and a water purication system to recycle grey water to come as the info arrives.

August 20, 2008

Home For the 3rd Anniversary of the Flood

Filed under: Federal Flood,Gentilly,Levees,New Orleans,Our House,Rebuilding — Morwen Madrigal @ 3:27 pm

It’s been a long three years since the Flood walls collapsed and water filled 80% of New Orleans, but we are finally moving into our repaired home this weekend. There have been good times and many, many roadblocks and poop spilled upon us in getting this far.  I don’t feel like going into the gory details right now… I’m groovin’!

Yesterday we went to City Hall because they can’t find some of our inspection reports, but in the end Permits accepted our Occupancy approval as good enough for all of this stuff. They called the power company and said to release our account and get the place powered. Later Entergy and I set Friday as the turn-on date, ISP/phones for Monday and satellite the next day. We will be moved in by the weekend, and I expect to sleep in our bedroom Saturday or Sunday night, five days shy of the anniversary of the flooding.

May those still out of their real homes find their way back soon.

April 29, 2008

The Lost Neighborhood Lives!

Today the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center (GNOCDC), released their repopulation maps for the city. The data is based on mail deliveries to addresses, LRA Grants received and those selling their home to the Road Home.

What I found from this map is that our little neighborhood is doing far better than I had expected. There are only four sell-outs, and from the numbers of folks receiving LRA Grants, it looks to me that we should have 95% of our folks home and into their houses soon. (Can’t find my block-by-block house count currently) As our little area has been occupied since 1821 (not the houses, but the properties), this makes me very happy.

Eight more days to go and we move back into our darling home. Yard still looks like crap, but ya’s gonna do?

February 24, 2008

A Tightly Wound Spring…

Filed under: Aside,Gentilly,Insanity,New Orleans,Our House,Rebuilding — Tags: , , , , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 1:26 am

These last several days have been very, very tiring for me: getting the house fixed enough to get us out of this “dumpster” we been living in for two years, deciding how I’m go to pack stuffs and have it moved to the house… when do we get the girls fixed so they can roam the courtyard and then, how will the catz act through the entire process. There are mounds of papers and files all through the hovel (must not lose them…. that’s Grants and SBA poop). And then there are the tools and the kitchen.

Setting up the offices are first, but I need the Contractor’s map of all the wiring in the house to bring it all together in order for Betts to be able to function on the next workday. Four ‘puters need to be networked right away and the three extra terminals must be ready for the cottages and the gameroom. (have two new 8-point routers and 16 lines running through the place.) Must get Cox in so Betts can have her phones. Still need to get Entergy up there in order to put in the new gas and electric meters.

Our guys are doing great work, but weather (humidity) and final probs keep cropping up. (The ceiling in the offices had the beams a little warped when the tidal wave from the canal walls lifted one end of the house, and the resulting ceiling looked like the surf at Moloki.) The plumbers put the drain collection pipe for our bedroom potty in a strange place, and I want that fixed. The first part of the back deck must be built next week… I want a back staircase and the generator landing ready soon.

And there’s things we should be attending to, but it’s hard to get out of here early enough to get them done. Betts’ biz is hopping, so we can’t bug-out of the office in order to take care of things like buying the appliances (they don’t take payment over the phone), getting the last few fixtures and buying/making curtains. The rains force us to stay in since the sidewalks have 8″ of water on them and we can’t get out, or the traffic starting around 3 PM is so bad we can’t make it to where we need to. (Still haven’t picked up Opal’s ashes.)

The rains are also slowing down the cementing of the new connection to the sewer main, and that means we still have a huge hole in front of the only garage that we can get to at this time. The gravel for that one drive cannot be laid yet, and that means slogging through a mud pit to get into and out of the place. The sewer drain for the FEMA trailer still needs to be moved to our side yard connection so’s the dumpster can be put in place and we can move forward on finishing (and re-finishing) the drives.

Still awaiting the delayed House Elevation Grant and the next infusion from the SBA. Both will come through, but waiting and worrying is taking it’s toll on both of us. Things would have been pretty much done now if the grant would have hit last Summer as promised… the State had to find a way to screw up what we were to get months ago. This kept our worker count lower than expected so we could keep them doing our house instead of running off and starting other projects (thus putting us on the back burner).

It seems like the only times we leave this dump are for food, household stuffs and buying building materials. We have only played one tournament since right after Thanksgiving. Going to the bar to socialize doesn’t really happen anymore: we show up at odd times once in a while, and it’s almost always that the two of us are the only folks there. Shopping for some nice clothes is out: no place here to store them. (I’ve learned to mix and match various warm weather clothes in layers with my short supply of winter stuff to stay warm)

I’m just rambling and peeved that with all we have done to rebuild here, it is still like slogging through 4′ deep mud. I can’t do Psych meds because they either do nothing or they knock me out for the day. There’s only so much I can drink (and not become a total lush). Betts and I alternate with bouts of stomach attacks. I’m lucky to have a decent night’s sleep one a week… most of the nights are spent laying there with my mind racing over the entire ‘Verse. The only thing in my mind are how’s this affect the Coast, or the city, then Gentilly and lastly our home. It is like living in the center of a merry-go-round that never stops, and the characters are always changing on each spin.

Alright, enough bitching and moaning. We ARE the lucky amongst many in this city. We are almost home, though it seems like that promise changes daily. Many folks here haven’t even started on rebuilding. (I don’t know how they are keeping it together in the face of all this shit)

And I just made a decision: I’m waking Betts up from her nap in a few minutes, and we are going to the Starlight for a few drinks as we should have done earlier. Thank the Goddess that the bar is open all weekend nights. Maybe I’ll get to see the Sun rise as we leave with our to-go cups make it home and fall into a deep sleep.

“Bartender? GROG! NOW! Aaarrrggghhh me maties. We have returned… “ 

January 9, 2008

Owls’ Tuesday

Filed under: Gentilly,Green Living,New Orleans,Our House,Rebuilding — Tags: , , , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 4:10 pm

Yesterday brought some much needed tension release for the Owls (our community’s name for Betty and myself).

I woke up to hear that the framing inspector approved the work on the house with flying colors. He stated that the work was perfect, and that we have done overkill on the strengthening and stabilitization of the entire structure. (We haven’t had the railroad iron added to the corners yet.) It’s safe to say that the man was impressed. Our garage doors were also installed to our delight.
Later in the evening we sat down and talked out the insulation and attic poop with our contractor. Seems we can’t close the attic completely because the house might suffer due to moisture concerns. I had done some research on this matter in my studies about Greening the place, but ours is not adaptable to this concept. Oh well, the new approach being taken costs less, and at this point we need to scale back on the money being laid out.

Tomorrow the guys can put the Tyvek over the sheathing, and then in goes the insulation. Next week the walls are to be closed in. Flooring should start right afterwards and then it’s paint time. Our cabinets are to be installed and the appliances moved in. After that I’ll be putting in the Game Room’s sconces and Bath vanity lighting whilst Brent builds our office desks (48 running foot of them, and one of mine must be able to handle 50 gallon aquariums.)

Then I guess we just move in as soon as the last City Inspection is done. The outside will be unfinished, but the inside will be cozy and livable.


Later in the night we went to the Pool tourney at the Phoenix. All three of us lost early, so we retired to the Starlight for more pool and drinks. Thank the Goddess that the tourists are gone… there’s parking on Rampart! YAY!

Anyway, that’s how Tuesday went and I am so much de-stressed. This flooded house nightmare is finally coming to a close and we can get out of this dump we’ve spent almost two years in. (And I keep telling outsiders that we are the lucky ones in that we can move forward on getting back into our home. My heart is heavy for those who can’t even start on rebuilding yet.)

Pics as soon as I get my tush up there in the daylight.

October 25, 2007

More House Repairs…

Filed under: Gentilly,New Orleans,Our House,Rebuilding — Tags: , , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 7:17 pm

Now that the gang is working on the structural aspect of the house I’ve started taking photos of the repair work.

Many floor joists had to be replaced because of rotting from the top edge (leaky plumbing for years). We couldn’t see it from below once the house was raised, but when the botch-job flooring from the previous owners was ripped up, almost half of the joists had to be replaced. It’s fine by me since I don’t relish falling through the floor when I’m on the potty, and I damn sure don’t want the pool table crashing onto the garage floor (“Oh the Humanity!”).

The rafters are being replaced and properly tied into the old portion of the house. How the place survived with this incompletion I do not know, but it’s getting fixed now.

Next week the slab will be poured and the string-walls built. Rebar ties all of this together with the pillars and creates a great foundation for the place. The front staircase also goes in at this time, and all of the lower area will be able to handle up to a 300 mph wind blast. (Plumbing and electrical starts during the week too.)

These guys are amazing in how fast and accurately they are working. Their attention to detail is fantastic considering how many changes are happening inside the house and their thoughtfulness when it comes to our living in what will be a very easily managed home is laudable (Just have to keep them reined in concerning costs. *rolls eyes*). We are also replacing the windows and cutting down on the total number of them in order to be able to add storm shutters for more protection.
The Pool House is almost finished, and the other cottage will be functional near the end of the year. The back deck (imagine a courtyard with a 12′ wide mezzanine surrounding it) is going to be so tres kewl! It’s reminding me of some places in the Quarter in look and feel. I just need to get back into the house so I can rebuild the courtyard at my leisure in order to restore the old ambiance of the place, and that can’t happen until the boys are done.

The front yard is going to hold four driveways (two for us and two for our tenants), so we’ve decided on doing the remainder as a rock garden. The drainage to the street will also be improved by putting in a pipe and filling in the ditch so the yard stops eroding into the storm drains.

It’ll probably be late Spring before I can start rebuilding the side yard, but that’s the breaks. I won’t be able to put in the new trees until next Fall now, so we get to ponder more on what we want this part of the compound to be like.

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