Thursday, October 21, 2021

Thought I Was Dreaming - Boy, Was I Wrong

We woke up this morning about 4:30 a.m. to the sound of breaking glass and all kinds of crashing noises. At first I thought it was all a dream because the noise ended as suddenly as it began. But in the meantime, my wife jumped out of bed and proceeded to break one of her big toes before she could get the lights turned on. After that shock, we started looking around the house and could find nothing wrong anywhere...so maybe it really was a dream?

And then my wife opened up to bedroom closet and found complete chaos inside. Broken glass, piles of open jigsaw puzzles all over the place, books with bent covers and pages everywhere, just a complete mess that made it impossible even to step into the closet to take a closer look. That started a two-hour process during which I began to feel that I was trying to dig someone out of a collapsed mine shaft from the outside. Honestly, it was so awful that I can't even describe it, and I wish I had thought to stop and take a photo before I started in on the mess so you could have seen it. 

As it turns out, the builder made a rookie mistake 22 years ago when the shelves were installed on that side of the closet, and the shelves have probably been trying to escape from the wall ever since. The carpenter measured wrong and apparently missed the studs with all of the top screws. The only thing holding the shelves in place all these years have been the bottom screws because they were drilled into secure wooden mounts at the base of the shelving. Apparently it was easier just to fake it rather than fix it, and that's what the builder chose to do. And neither we, nor the inspector caught it. 

Anyhow, Goodwill has benefited from some of the cleanup efforts, and more will be delivered to them tomorrow. 

I'm finally settling down to do a little reading and wondering how in the world I could have missed out on reading Ann Cleaves and Laurie R. King all these years. I'm reading one each of their books right now, and absolutely loving both of them. I'm about halfway through each, and I'm finding it difficult to choose between them. They are both absolutely excellent.

Tomorrow has to be a better day; it's almost impossible that it wouldn't be. Thank goodness for Ann Cleaves and Laurie R. King because I especially need a good book right now.

24 comments:

  1. What a nightmare! And why is it that we seldom ever think of taking a Before Photo before we start digging in to clean up a mess?

    I'm so glad to hear that you're becoming acquainted with two of my favorites, Cleeves and King. They're fantastic writers.

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    1. It was quite a dig-out, for sure, Cathy. Still kicking myself for not taking a picture, but at 4:30 in the morning it never crossed my mind.

      Loving both books, but the Laurie King book is due back at the library in a couple of days, so I'm concentrating on finishing that one now. Great story.

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  2. Oh, good grief, what an experience! Thank goodness you have some good books to distract you. I've read most of King's Holmes pastiche series over the years and have enjoyed them quite a bit and of course Cleeves' Vera series is just about my absolute favorite. You are in good hands. (Obviously, better hands than that carpenter!)

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    1. I"m liking this first Vera Stanhope novel so much more than the first one in the new series that I'm really surprised. It seems to even flow better for me than the other book. I'm looking forward to reading the whole series now.

      The Murder of Mary Russell is really fun...love this backstory for Mrs. Hudson.

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  3. Oh my goodness, how horrible! With all the work we've had done on this house in the last 2 years, your experience is even scarier. We never really know what lies behind the walls, I suppose. At least you have more great reading ahead!

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    1. I still can't believe the shelves were put up that way - and that we never noticed. It's kind of a miracle that thing stayed up long as it did, I guess.

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  4. Yikes. I've had a similar experience- except I was IN the closet when it happened. Luckily there were few books on the shelves, mostly sweaters, but still it was painful and a lot to clean up.

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    1. I can't imagine being inside the closet when this one would have come down and not at least being covered in bruises. Maybe worse. You were lucky, sounds like.

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  5. Oh my goodness, Sam. Thank goodness neither you nor your wife were standing beside it when it went. But what a frightening experience. I bet you thought you had intruders!

    Laurie King and Anne Cleeves... both terrific authors. My favourite of the King books so far is The Moor and also O Jerusalem, but all of the ones I've read were good. I must get back to the series, my next one is Justice Hall. We have a new series of Cleeves's Shetland series just begun on TV and another of her series starts this week coming too. Plus, Vera has just finished (starring the wonderful Brenda Blethyn). A very popular author on TV.

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    1. My first thought was that someone had broken a window and was in the house. That's why I didn't immediately jump out of bed...listening...but my wife made a racket when she stubbed her toe. LOL

      I'm really loving The Murder of Mary Russell, and I'm almost done. It's due back in two days, so I have to finish it before getting back to the Cleeves book and the others I'm in the process of reading.

      I'm sure we'll eventually get a look at the new Shetland series, so it's good to know that's in the pipeline. Series 11 of the Vera series is available here now...is that the one you are watching there? Cleeves is remarkable.

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  6. What a rude awakening! I'm sorry so many things got messed up and broken. I'm glad it was only the one closet, but still...

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    1. It could have been a whole lot worse as far as breakage went, but I lost a couple of collectables I've had, in once case, for about 40 years. And, of course, it can't be replaced - not that I would want to anyway.

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  7. How very scary. I thought you were going to say it was a burglar. I actually knew a builder in Houston many years ago during the building boom, and he was indeed a shoddy builder. He later worked for us up here and made some big mistakes. I had the feeling that in those days in Houston, there was so much building going on that noone paid much attention to standards. He is dead now, so I can write this without him ever seeing it.

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    1. I really thought it was a break-in, Nan. I probably shouldn't say it, but I'm well-armed and fully trained, and my first thought was that someone breaking a window that loudly was probably out of his head on drugs or something. It was spooky for a few minutes.

      What you say about the builder is very true, especially during the boom years of growth that we go through here every couple of decades. You never really know who is building your house or how competent the inspectors are. I've never moved into a home where major defects didn't show up at some point relatively early on. This shelf surprise us by hanging on for so long before cratering in such a dramatic manner, though.

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  8. Till halway through your post I thought a burglar had got in and got disturbed. This is bad too and I hope everything sorted out now.

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    1. It's pretty much all sorted out now, thanks. The crash forced me to get rid of some things I should have gotten rid of a long time ago. Now looking for a competent carpenter willing to take such a small job.

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  9. Oh, dear! I can't imagine waking up to that kind of noise--how frightening. To add injury to insult, your poor wife's broken toe!

    I haven't read Laurie King in quite a while, but I read most her Holmes books as soon as the library got them in. Vera is my favorite of Cleeves' characters. Enjoy!

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    1. That broken toe is going to remind her every day for a long time not to hit the floor at full speed, Jen.

      I just reviewed the Laurie King book...what a great surprise that turned out to be. And of my limited reading of Cleeves to this point, Vera is definitely my favorite character. I thought she'd never show up in this first book, but she finally got there. :-)

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  10. How horrible to awaken to that and I feel for your wife. If I had heard that kind of noise, here in California, the first thing I would have thought was that it was an earthquake. Although the earthquakes I have experienced have not caused that level of damage.

    I have read several books from different series by Ann Cleeves, even some from one of her early series, before she hit it big. She does write very well.

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    1. I've never experience an earthquake...can't imagine what that would be like. It was a mess, but it turned out to be a mixed blessing of sorts. All that cleaning up turned up some interesting items I'd forgotten all about - and forced me to take the time to throw out a bunch of rather useless junk, too.

      I hear that some of Cleeves's early books are only available in e-book format because they sold so little when published...and that most of them went to British libraries. I find that kind of interesting.

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  11. Sounds like a complete shelf collapse, yikes! What a disaster, sorry to hear. It's nuts when things aren't installed correctly. Best to take a breather.

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    1. As I mentioned above, it didn't turn out too badly in the long run...other than the fact that it is going to cost me $400 to put it all back together correctly. Don't think I'll ever forget the experience, though. :-)

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  12. Oh no! What a bummer of a thing to wake up to. And your wife's poor toe! I'm glad you can look at the fiasco with a sense of humor at least. Thank goodness for good books that help us escape when real life is just a bit too much :)

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    1. The books really did help take my mind off of the mess...that is still ongoing as the repairs finally start today. And the real bonus was uncovering a few books I've been wondering about and had feared were long gone.

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