Money where your mouth Is – Part 7


Part One- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-one/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/06/03/june-3rd-your-truth-chris-ritchey
Part Two- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-the-process-part-two/
Part Three- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-3/
Part Four- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-4/
Part Five – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-5/
Part Six- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-six/

It was just over a  year ago when we were working to create a garden from the muck  and mire   lot next door. We could have just  taken down the large dangerous tree and mowed grass.

However, for many years I had had to block views from that lot- when it held one of the “rentals” of Lorain and finally the vacant lot of “long grass and critters – of both two legged and 4 legged kind.
Apart from the fact, I had made promises to the City of Lorain ,   we would make the lot desirable and would enhance the ambiance, stop the 4th street cut though from the alley and parking of marine and construction vehicles and accumulate trash, I needed to be able to find at least a little joy in looking out of my windows. I no longer wanted to shudder at the construction parking lot and marinas we had put up with for many months, the  tenants from hell in the little brown house as it slowly deteriorated. I wanted a little peace and not angst . Part 1 through 6 will tell you of that journey.

We were almost finished with the hardscape and clearing of  lower lot in July of last year (2016)when illness struck and the 2nd phase of the lot behind the fence had to take a step back.
Lower front 2016

and then same time  2017

The illness held up Phase 2 for at least two months. There we were with dump trucks full of in fill dirt needing to be moved and levelled, 9 trees- fruit and evergreen -to be planted and Lilly pond to be dug. What a mess we were in.

Also when we took down that very large tree so close to our house we realized that side of the house needed to be painted ( well Klinar of the Building Dept. didn’t have to tell me that I could see it.) This meant more expense as the whole house need to be painted.

I can’t say I didn’t have two willing helpers whilst their “Poo Bah” was in hospital – they worked that dirt….


They more than made up for the weed letter from the City of Lorain and Building Dept. complained to by the “King of Construstruction” ( which of course turned out to be Swiss Chard, Morning Glories and Mint on my property poking through the fence in the alley .


https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/municipal-manipulation-lorain-e-again/
One thing leads to another, apart from educating the city inspectors as to what is a weed and what is food we then had to stop  put screening around the chain link fence to contain the garden and plant tall “ornamental grasses “ to stop prying “alley commandos” from their vigilante inspection process”
The offending weeds ( spot the weeds in the fence ??)
and the same view after the screen of prying eyes fame

More expense and time and effort.

October 2016 found things getting better and the garden crew ( Gavin and Braedyn) were busy digging and the fruit trees were planted along with the layout for the “Lilly ponds”. The snows stopped work, but Spring found the need to put in a gravel parking spot and gravel along the alley – yet more money – but the fruit trees started to blossom, the Lilly ponds and dry stream bed feature brought flowers and smiles from behind the fence

Lilly pond and dry stream bed
Spring/Summer was busy this year peach blossoms in the mini orchard turned to peaches, apples, plums and cherries blossomed but another year is needed.

Scarecrows to guard the crops.
and planting to be done , ponds to be filled


Slowly the grass came in enough on the back lot-

then came the weed whacking and tidying

Sunflowers bloomed and sheds for tools put together

 and the corn grew,

Lily pads and still ponds thrived the sunlight

Roses Lilacs and rhubarb…

And a Scotch Broom sweeps clean 😉

So here we are 18 months later $20,000 dollars poorer – this put up a fence and a mini orchard and just mow turned into something much , much more than envisioned.  I am more relaxed and happy as I look out of the windows although the project that nearly killed the gardener…

but we have kept our word to the city administration and to ourselves remained true.

After Phase One we sent an update  of the front lot project to  the City  Of Lorain- we had used 6 local businesses, 10 ( men employed by  contractors) and spent $11,045.50

Phase Two  , we used  5 local businesses , materials, labor  etc came to  another $8,935.00 and still climbing ….

 The collage: Today Oct 2017:

 

Before

 

Soon the snow will fly  and next spring , hopefully all being well, tweeking will be done  and the gardens will continue to “bear fruit”.  Some have mentioned we were stupid to  put that amount of money  into  an empty  lot in “Low rain”  but this is our neighborhood, our home . We certainly  can’t make a difference on other neighboring streets, or  the “downtown” but we could make a difference on this old block, give the school kids and teachers a better view , show a little pride  and  put our money  where my  mouth is ! After all I  can’t criticize unless I am prepared to  do  my  bit to  beautify  this old neighborhood.

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October 16, 2017 at 12:39 pm 2 comments

Oct. 3rd – the NON Viking funeral – Chris Ritchey

My mood has not changed, nothing seems to rouse me from my lethargic state of mind , not the ongoing hurricanes, the issues with Lorain, happiness when having one of my favourite people in the world visit- at least there was at last some laughter.

I have been Roku jumping from one channel to another from histories to murders and the ongoing documentaries of “end of life rituals” from around the world.

End of Life rituals- those rituals to give the dead their honor and due and supposedly give those that mourn some comfort and an outlet for their grief. Those were denied to your family by Tim and Sue Lombardi and their collective family , their daughter Angela of the do over Chris and wedding ritual, the Vyka, Gott, Zaworski, and Gonzales and even the “man of God- Father Daniel Divas . They took any honoring of your name Ritchey and any of our end of life ritual away from your family.https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/a-memory-of-vipers-chris-ritchey/

They could not take everything though from your aged grandmother , your father , sister, nephew and brother in law. As I was told of Angela’s ( a complete misnomer in that name in my opinion ) decision to withhold you from us and to take you that burying place- not of your faith and a place so intensely disliked by you (after experiencing their ritual of one of their own at that cemetery) and denying the time and place or knowledge of their rites to us . I knew that at least we had to try and I had to try to give to you what I could – to send your body from this dimension with love. Did those cretins of the cremains honestly believe I would let you go without honoring you and being involved in your goodbye? You were and are MY son I gave you life , I loved you in life , in death and now.

As I read the words of denial penned by your “bride” – I remembered the Viking ship. The ship you had to make for a class at LCCC- the brief- a piece of work made with all natural materials sourced from your home – you sat and carved and cut from a log from the wood pile, tree branches from your tree planted as a child, a piece of deer skin found in the garage and scraped down for the sail and finally burning not painting the decoration to add to the dimension.

I knew that Viking Ship which I carried around to college visits when you were transferring from LCCC was the closest thing I could do to give to you to honor the bravery of your fight against that disgusting disease. Your Nana called you her Viking and you were a warrior, so brave, hiding from us your pain. Something to show our love as well- the little England bear purchased from Harrods by you for me when you were returning from soccer in Manchester. I carried that little bear with me in those first dreadful days after you died whilst meanness , selfishness and grief fragmented us beyond all being . It was still damp from my tears.

So as your last journey took you into the flames we did our best to honor you , love you and negate the poison and irreverence shown by others, the items of love from us all- those denied – were with you ……. we still miss you every day and love you more than ever…….

October 2, 2017 at 9:58 pm 2 comments

Sept 3rd – Houston- Chris Ritchey


https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/28/the-stunning-images-from-record-setting-flooding-in-houston-texas.html
It amazes me sometimes when “connectivity ” happens in my life. Houston has been on the news all week with Hurricane Harvey and the great flood. I watched those streets on the television , buildings, roads , homes and areas I knew so well faced with the deluge and felt helpless and sad – something I have been feeling every day since you became ill.

The memories of those areas and another “Labor Day weekend” and the trip to MD Anderson to save your life.

“the only hope for a “cure was SGN 35” stated the officious (imho) Dr. Pohlman of the Cleveland Clinic as they brushed you off and away from their “treatment” closed to you – https://my.clevelandclinic.org/staff/900-brad-pohlman – the man with hands as cold as ice. Houston we found had the SGN35 trial so with credit card in hand we rushed to Houston. We did go to MD Anderson, Houston and hope was reborn.

Two months I stayed with you in Houston in order for you to have the treatments . When you were feeling alright we toured the city tried to take our minds away from dying. In Houston we had a lovely couple take you under their wing. We were invited to their home and to their ranch. My fond memories of them and their caring hospitality came “flooding” back as I toured, through the news media ,once more those well known streets.

The memories of you on their ranch driving the feed tractor – riding horses – touring Galveston- the cattle on the ranch and the drying up fishing pond ( due to the drought they were having) the plague of red ants . I wondered how they were fairing, those cattle -were they flooded and struggling, the streets I recognized only from the before photos.

The elation I felt on that November 7th day when your scans showed clear https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/11/07/an-update-houston-and-hodgkins/ only to come crashing into hell less than a month later when you died on Dec. 3rd…. the hope that was Houston obliterated.

Yes! Houston – a city that gave us hope and welcome – I cry for Houston may they find their hope – I will always be thankful for their friendship – and I was thankful for those last days I had with you – but the memories are painful … I love you Chris that never goes away but gets stronger with each tear.

September 3, 2017 at 11:29 am 1 comment

Am I bovvered ? Lorain- fire in the belly?


The Catherine Tate Show https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Catherine_Tate_Show

Those that follow this blog will have realized I haven’t written anything for a few weeks. I write for me for the most part to get what is inside me out so I can breathe and to share my son. Other than that I write about the happenings or non happenings in my life, city and history.

August is a bad time for me – I can’t celebrate with fond memories the day of the birth of my son because it is also the anniversary of his being told he was dying and all the fuss and drama of that “damned in- law family” on that day as we waited in the hospital. Happy memories are tainted, my birthday ,wedding anniversary all contribute to the angst that is August for me.
UPDATE: SEPT 2ND. 2017 http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20170901/lorain-aware-of-violations-at-building-that-burned-on-broadway
However, I can usually be raised from these depths by some of the “happenings or non happenings of government , building inspections , neighbors from hell, windmills to be tilted to start pounding at the keyboard. But so far even the absolute disgust felt at the total devastation of an historic building, possible loss of lives just blocks away didn’t move me except for a little bump of conscience. .

That situation should have stirred me to be a bothered.(bovvered)

VIDEO: good Samaritans take action to help residents trapped in burning building
http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/2017/08/thistle-building-history.html

The mere fact reports stated from the Chronicle Telegram Newspaper that earlier in another administration ( Foltin) “inspections were “case closed” by an administration that was “landlord friendly” on this building.
http://www.chroniclet.com/Local-News/2017/08/07/Section-of-Broadway-remains-closed-until-Thistle-Building-is-razed.html

photo source Morning Journal


A Building Inspector Desvari ( now deceased) known for fraudulent activities http://www.chroniclet.com/news/2010/07/21/Former-Lorain-building-official-charged-again.html
decided according to the current Chief Building Inspector Dick Klinar ( call me Richard) two days after the fire on August 9th 2017.

“There are many variables that determine if a sprinkler system is required, size of building, number of exits, distance to property lines, distance to exits, Type of construction, etc. Mr. Disvari { sp Desvari}approved it for this use in 2007 so he must have determined it was not necessary.

4. There was no exterior fire escape there, that would have been determined at the time of construction of the building if necessary.

5. The old violations on file were either dismissed or abated. The most current were forwarded to the prosecuter {prosecutor}

I should have been all over this situation where people’s lives were put in jeopardy due to a sober living facility on the ground floor that doesn’t seem to have “from the research of others” quite the legitimacy of authorized care programs. Hard Questions should and could be asked so why am I not asking them?

More like a bed and shared 1/2 bath with this disgrace on the floors above -NOTE( video choppy and hard to see but worth the patience to those that might be bothered.)

Remember??? OLD VIOLATIONS ON FILE DISMISSED OR ABATED ( Dick Klinar)

hmm looking at the video gives new meaning to “abated”

I waited for the outrage from the community-

1. an Historic Building gone- due to ??? ( still waiting for that determination)

2. Inspection process that was and is as rotting as the roof that was sheltering those of the need of help and care.

3. People living in the middle of an entertainment district whose very lives were in danger( in my opinion- obviously not shared by others) every night they bedded down.

4. The risk to other occupied businesses and “residents” on Broadway let alone to the responding Fire and Police services.

5. The financial and physical cost to the City of Lorain

6. And where is our “legal dept., housing court, the checks and balances where is the follow through?

No! there was no outrage not even a little flutter except on one of the facebook pages but that soon died down. Lorain was not bovvered so why should this Loraine?

Am I bovvered???? well I took the time out from being underwater to surface for a short while this morning so I must be a little bovvered

August 25, 2017 at 4:39 pm 2 comments

August 3rd – INSPIRE- Chris Ritchey

Words are all I have left – As I have gone through some difficult and very painful procedures health wise I have not complained, held my breath and let the health care personages do their jobs. I have put up with the pain and not made a sound whilst they went about their business. That would not have been the case before you had to deal with the obscenity that is cancer and all those damned procedures. I watched your every flinch, grimace , holding your breath during all those tests and procedures- but you uttered not a cry even when they literally killed you chemically – mouth full of ulcers – joints exploding in pain.

Now I deal with life differently on all levels. I know the debilitating pain you tried to hide from me in Texas, the consequences to your body after the double stem transplant – your voice so weak and yet when you would answer your phone the strength would come back into your voice for those few minutes in order to shield the caller from how you were really feeling. The nurse who said to me in those last days He is phenomenally strong- anyone else would have been on that vent 4 days ago.

You have become and became my inspiration to “deal with” – how could I be cowardly when you were so brave!

Inspire – one of the meanings of this word
2. breathe in (air); inhale.

Middle English enspire, from Old French inspirer, from Latin inspirare ‘breathe or blow into,’ from in- ‘into’ + spirare ‘breathe.’ The word was originally used of a divine or supernatural being, in the sense ‘impart a truth or idea to someone.’

In the end it was the inability to breathe that took you from us…. and yet captured in your art work is that very breath you took and blew into a celtic glass piece As soon as I saw the piece I knew it was

Breath of Life – Celtic Knot – Chris Ritchey

inspired by the very necklace I wore so often when you were young – you used to be fascinated by it. I made up stories for you of treasures and adventures of a little boy named Chris – pirates and treasure hunts just the way I make up stories for Gavin and Braedyn now as we go into the places of our imaginations.

I will always love you Chris until my last breath and beyond….

You are my inspiration in more than one sense of the word……………

August 3, 2017 at 12:53 am 3 comments

Many faces of The Captain- Settlers’ Watch- Lorain 2017

Photo Mark Teleha

As I started to write this post with regard to the tree carvings at Settlers’ Watch and their journey
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/08/02/settlers-watch-an-overview/
( yes you will see they have travelled over time) I realized we were coming up on the 10th anniversary of the first carvings. Time, bugs, road salt and weather have taken their toll.

But it is “The Captain” who has changed and was on life support for a year or more. We spent hundreds in chemicals and treatments and this is his story.

Born 2007 The Captain had a rough birth- CVSI had raised money to carve some of trees taken down by Ohio Edison – 19 of them along 2nd street making the street uglier and without any softness or much worth .

We had just started the carving – first up Lorain Portside Sign to coincide with the Lorain Bicentennial August 2007
https://www.flickr.com/photos/12219598@N06/

when a change in the plan for the new sewers blindsided us. Originally these were going to bypass the area BUT as with all things plans change and trees marked for carving were taken down ( without warning) and piles of materials were stored on the site. We had already taken donations and the carvings were contracted.

This meant since they chopped down his tree and the one destined to be Eric Barnes Eagle we had to purchase other pieces of wood to be carved into the Captain and Eric Barnes Eagle off site.
The eagle when finished was safely stored at inside at the City of Lorain but the Captain went to Black River Landing.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/06/13/the-captain-arrives-and-the-eagle-landed/

He was supposed to be sealed and not stored on concrete due to the heat coming up from the concrete and in direct sunlight- this didn’t happen . Unfortunately, in the ensuing months of not being maintained , the toll taken by summer and winter the Captain started with issues.

2007-2008

Photo Mark Teleha


When we finally brought him back to the site he was very dry and whilst the other carvings took a gallon of sealer for all 4 he took 2 gallons by himself, he was soaking it up like a sponge but he and the other carvings finally had a home

Photo Mark Teleha

There he stood spring , summer , fall and winter for the next 4 years

Lorain365

His other problem is he attracts seagulls – these seagulls have a tendency to sit on his hat and poop – that poop eats away at the sealer opening his wood up to the elements and bugs .In 4 years he went from this to this

And his issues continued:

It was one day (during Pride Day 3 years ago) as we went to give him a coat of sealer we noticed what looked like a bullet hole in his back. No! not a bullet hole BUT wood wasps had made their homes in him, and the Heron and Lighthouse.

The Heron and Lighthouse were a quick fix but the Captain had a attracted seagulls who delighted in sitting on his hat . Their guano had eaten through the sealer and the wood on the top of his head leaving a huge hole in his head – just brilliant for collecting water. .

Research was started as how to preserve him and his crumbling insides- Many hundreds of dollars later we tried with preservatives , bug deterrents – drilling holes in him filling him with the wood chemicals, stabilizing wood pieces and plugging him up. We reached out to professionals all over the country. We added a hat over his carved head until we could deal with the damage and the seagulls. We had to leave his head open to access his insides.

Photo Lorain 365

Try as we might, his rotted insides didn’t react well and the chemicals actually reacted with the sealer and the Captain turned a dark mahogany.

He was literally flaking to death – his ship’s wheel would find the stanchions falling to the ground, his arms where the wasps and insects had done the most damage were hollow and flaking off, shedding with every week. It looked like curtains for the Captain. Obviously none of the “professional fixes ” were working we had to stabilize him whilst we experimented – otherwise the Captain was sunk.

His hat was retied onto his head ,back to front to protect his face , his cracks and holes filled with a special wood compound but

would it harden- would it stay- could we carve it -like the can said?

We worked on the top of his arms and shoulders , replaced the wheel stanchions . covered his top half with a black bag to keep out the water and painted his lower half with a white preservative- and there he sat for most of last summer, fall and winter.

Photo Lorain 365

The unveiling was done with much trepidation this June

The test areas seemed to be holding so the next step filling the insides- no more bugs but cavities were still a huge problem, experiments with special insulation foam and various fill products seemed to work- he was less hollow and stable. Where the foam etc leaked out we could carve it and it held the wood product alright and so we left him without his black bag and the water was shedding off him .

So there we were – what next? Obviously we couldn’t leave him looking like he was and we could no longer seal it with the varnish- The men in the know-( his surgeons) decided house paint.. but that would look awful I thought but something has to be done to cover and seal the patches etc. House paint it was – Tudor Brown ( can you guess where that came from)- well it looks good on my house) – the problem was he looked flat and semi glossed… a bit softening and highlighting, the Captains face changed again –

He is a little grayer ( more like driftwood than mahogany this time around) – but then who wouldn’t be grayer after all he has been through- I know I am! Fingers crossed and if you would like to donate to the Captain’s Hat
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/passing-the-captains-hat-2015-update/

If you can see your way to helping to fill the Captains Hat – 100% percent of your donation goes to the project. We are a 501C3
Make checks payable to Charleston Village Society- ( Captain’s Hat in the memo line)
1127 West 4th Street, Lorain, Ohio 44052

There is still work to do at the very base and if this fix holds then hopefully he will remain at his helm for a few more years …Oh and his hat was put back on just incase a seagull alights!!!

July 26, 2017 at 9:54 pm Leave a comment

I try I really do – City of Lorain-OPEN LETTER

WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE MORE IS SAID THAN DONE!!!!

I have tried for years to help, give the benefit of the doubt but I am totally “cheesed off” – nothing changes – and why is that – no accountability. I have had retaliation, vindictiveness hurled through words and concrete for my trouble. BUT the tipping point has come…..

Check it out I have paid my taxes , volunteered up the yin yang – been involved for 30 years – took a derelict lot next door ( which we purchased for a nominal sum) but have now put into that lot over $22,000 in the last year . We didn’t have to do that we could have taken down the diseased and dangerous tree and just cut the grass.

Hello, City of Lorain having the new blue cart system, that wouldn’t fit behind our property like the old cans – just so my neighbors didn’t have to look at them cooking in the sunshine – we purchased a little home for them ( another 400 dollars) and covered them with trellis and roses .

So why is it when most of the street is adhering to rules for the past weeks( since the new garbage rules came out ) – I have watched garbage piles ( from the same address walk up and down the street for 9 weeks before it disappeared one night, grass that gets cut whenever.

and now for the 2nd week looked at mattresses infested with bed bugs ( Dale the Bed Bug Exterminator came and sprayed) WHY for the 2nd week have we looked at 2 box spring and mattresses leaning up against a dividing hedge.

Well I suppose it hides from view the red dump truck that is once again making it and its load part of the streetscape for the past 4 years – goes away and comes back like an unwanted relative. And around the corner more garbage and trash.

OK I get it some people will not follow the rules, don’t care or too lazy to follow but WHY should the rest of us have to put up with it…… why make any rules at all…… the Building Dept representative on facebook saying their side of the story

Heather Graves All of these lovely comments. I have one question and one question only to each and every one of you. When you go to work in the morning, afternoon, evening whatever the case may be…when your boss tells you to do something -you do it correct? I went through all of the comments. So…most of them are complaining because he is doing something. Others are complaining because he’s not citing in their neighborhoods. You do realize you can’t have it both ways correct? You can’t expect him to only cite what you don’t approve of. By all means make the complaints. The building department will do due process. If it’s a ghost foreclosure..meaning the bank gave orders to vacate and then never took possession…that house could sit there for YEARS, and then all of you can assume that it’s owned by the City of Lorain. Then there are the homes that are owned by someone that lives in Florida. What does anyone expect from that? Put out a warrant and send a pair of cops to go pick them up? I think you all need a reality check as far as what can and can’t be done in this city. I know…because I work in this department. As far as the gentleman that had his house taken a picture of after he took a picture of the inspector. Can you stop for a second and consider what these guys go through everyday? Constant complaints on them…threats…you have no idea. I get it…there is a genuine distaste for city workers, but please consider that we aren’t all bad. Most of us just want to go to work; work and go home without being yelled at, criticized and called names. We are all making our living one day at a time just as everyone else. I hope you all read this and at least a slight part of the other side.

You have my sympathy Ms. Graves but you and the staff are getting paid a million or so to do your jobs if it is so impossible to do them then maybe we should rethink the department and what will work…….. because I am not getting paid to look at trash and see property values tank WE ARE PAYING FOR THE PRIVILEGE ……….

July 19, 2017 at 12:57 pm 4 comments

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