Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Why I learned to use my own power tools VI

Asphyxiation

The new windows were at last installed, as was the kitchen door. Hedda brought her family back into their (now somewhat more secure) home. Friend Ted then helped her take away the siding and paneling to the back porch, and instal the framework, then the windows and sliding glass door to make a small solarium, of sorts (I say "of sorts" because Hedda's little bungalow stands in the shade of two tall houses and a 35-foot pine tree, so what sun there is must make a herculean labor to shine in, there). They had cleared out the heavy shelves, and now there was easy access to the basement staircase, through its trap door. The plumber and electrician wold have no difficulty reaching any point in the house, to bring all of it to code.

After Hedda had received delivery of her new washing machine and dryer, and had the crates placed directly beneath the bathroom, the master plumber informed her that the heavy-draining items needed to be above ground-level, in order to properly drain (apparently, he didn't believe in sump pumps and other mechanical aids to such systems). So Hedda came to borrow a heavy-duty hand truck, and she moved the units up the stairs on her own, later that night. They rested in her all-too cozy bedroom(#5) for the next six months.

Meanwhile, the plumbing contractor, puttering around in the basement, discovered traces of an infestation in some of the timber. The exterminator was called. The exterminator told Hedda that the fumigation process would occur only in the basement, there should be only a very little bit of a smell leaking up into the rest of the house, and it was safe for pets and small children. Hedda seemed slightly comforted, and did not move the family back to her mother's.

The day after the exterminator left, Hedda had flu-like symptoms, her son was weak and had a giant headache, the dog was irritable, and the aging cat was so listless Hedda rushed him to the veterinarian. They had all received a dose of "safe" insecticide.


Previous entries on this story:
Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, and Part V.

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