Sunday, April 27, 2008


Because it's been over a month since my last post and there's SO much to cover (and SO little time to do it), I decided to do a photo blog update. BUT before I get to that, I must first say a few words:


In the beginning of the month, I bid farewell to two wonderful volunteers - Matt and Sarah. These two essentially adopted my house as their own and managed the rebuilding with responsibility, integrity and care. I really appreciate the work they did. (And in spending time with them, I learned what extraordinary human beings they are. Now I respect and admire them as well.)

I remember when Matt first came to my house. He carried a notebook, into which he jotted notes on nearly everything I said about the house (not even skilled professionals and contractors do that!) And followed through on everything. I could trust him... and that's HUGE. THANKS MATT!!

Sarah managed all the volunteers who came through, even volunteers who weren't from! Because I couldn't work at the house full-time, she kept track of all the individual projects and made sure things got done... and done well. THANK YOU, SARAH!

And now here's the PROGRESS, brought to you via these lovely slideshows:

The Exterior Wall

The Kitchen

The Bathroom


I wanna thank Ann*, Carey, Barbara, Emily and Aiji (and any other volunteers who worked on the fireplaces) for this:

For the fireplace, I added white to the existing paint color. Nice!

Notice the fans hanging from the ceiling. I am SO thrilled that they work (these are the pre-Katrina fans).


My neighbors gave me their old (but in great condition) sofa set when they got a new one.

Both my uncle and my aunt happened to me moving at the same time and THEY gave me furniture TOO. Plus, my uncle gave me some extra tile (once I use it, I'll post pics)!




Finally, I wanted to acknowledge some volunteers who came back to check on me last month:

Peris and Jaye
My very first volunteers. They quite randomly happened upon my blog last year and emailed to offer their assistance with my rebuilding effort, while they were here for Jazz Fest 2007. YES!, I responded. Come on down! That was way back when we thought all that needed to be removed was four feet of drywall. HA!


[Somehow I don't have any NOW photos. I'll get 'em next time. This couple comes to New Orleans more often than I go ANYWHERE. lol.]

Met Ann last year while she was visiting from Germany, here to write a story on the 2nd anniversary of Katrina. She ended up hanging out with us for several days, helping out at my house, and ultimately offering to donate her car to me upon her departure!


NOW - Ann, back at work once again. THANKS ANN!

The UUs
Last fall, Clark came down with his wife and about 10 other members of the Unitarian Universalist Church. They mudded and sanded... and mudded and sanded... and mudded and sanded. Man, I appreciated their help.



That's all for now, until next time. Hopefully, the next update will be titled Moving Day. I'm SOOO close, y'all. Keep your fingers crossed for me. And thanks for reading!


Aminisha said...

JENGGAAAA!!!! MY God How wonderful and beautiful your house and your support and your paint color and your volunteer friends and your metal flashing and all your construction terms that I don't know what they mean but I know who to call when I get a job and save enough money to by my own house. OFFICIALLY INSPIRED. That is my name after reading/seeing this Girl, you put the severe in persevere. Hard core. Can I be you when I grow up?

kenya said...

congrats, Jenga!! I'm really happy for you and proud of you for being the definition of perseverance. Peace & Bleesings, Kenya.

Mtume said...

Jenga, I'm very happy for you and very proud of you for sticking it out all this time. I'm one of the ones who's been reading from the beginning, and I'll admit now (since it doesn't really matter anymore) that there were times when it did indeed seem like a futile, impossible task.

Even when I was in N.O. around Xmas time, it stilled seemed like you had a looooooooong uphill climb in front of you. But now I can see it all coming together. Your house looks fantastic.

My favorite parts are the roof tiles in the bathroom (very creative and unique); the blue room (looks like the sky); and the purple heart (it's a visual metaphor...i dig it).

Good job. Rock on, Young Jenga. :-)


P.S. "You put the severe in persevere?" Aminishi is a trip. :-)

Oh, one other thing. I don't know if you can slow down the slide shows, but the longer captions go by too fast. I had to watch some of them twice to read what they said. And I'm a fairly fast reader. Later.....

Gerry said...

Wow! Makes it hard to complain that one can't get started on one's own home improvements!

whitney said...

WOW! So much progress in just four months since I saw your house!!!! It's really lovely, Jenga! It must feel really amazing to see this work of art finally coming all together, but like any work of art, it's really more about the process than the final product. I'm sure you have learned so much more than you imagined during this process and I know you have taught and inspired even more...

I love the colorful spirit you have given your home! I'm so happy for you!!!

Utahna said...

Wow! Big congratulations, Jenga! It's looking great; love the blue room and the fireplace. Gorgeous. Are you still needing a fridge?