Wednesday 8 September 2010

Pay It Forward gift and the termite repairs begin...

Another Pay It Forward gift was sent recently to Gemma who kindly posted about it here.
Gemma told me that her favourite colour was seafoam green and that she loved the scent of roses so I combined the two into this small painting.
Acrylics on 6"x6" gallery wrapped canvas
© Serena Lewis

This was the whole package
I'm so glad that Gemma loved her gift.

I have just one more official Pay It Forward gift to do and one more that is unofficial.
Thank goodness there were no time limits with the Pay It Forward challenge as life has sure thrown a few curve balls since March and it's still ongoing.

One of those curve balls was the second infestation of termites!
They sure are hungry little buggers!
I discovered the nests in two different areas of the house.....the dining room and the corner wall near the front entrance.
Those little black specks on the floor you see in the pic above are actually large black ants which apparently LOVE cleaning up termite nests.  Thankfully they do because, if it wasn't for me noticing THEIR activity, we would never have discovered the huge termite nest sitting inside the wall near the front entrance.  It makes me wonder if there are any more nests like this in the house that are yet undiscovered.

Anywhoo, we had a four month treatment of bait boxes stuck to selected walls which was followed up with a full-on chemical treatment.  That entailed small holes being drilled, approx. 2 metres apart, just above the skirting boards throughout the whole house and the Termidor solution sprayed into the wall cavities.  Last week, the repairs started.  Something that needs to be done, of course, but a major intrusion on our normal day-to-day living.  I had to move A LOT of our furniture into the centre of the rooms so the workman could move about easily and access the about upheaval!  It was very difficult for Brad too as, being legally blind, he needed me to guide him through certain areas.

The pic below is the corner wall where one side faces into our dining area and the other side faces towards the lounge and family/my studio areas of the house.  You can still see a small part of the nest waiting to be cleaned away.

 The chewed up studs were replaced with treated pine

This (below) is the corner wall near the front entrance after stud replacement.

Bob, the repairman, did get the walls to the point of having the sheeting in place and the first coat of plaster applied. Tomorrow (Thursday), he comes back to apply another coat of plaster and then the fun part begins......SANDING!

I am SOOOOOOO NOT looking forward to the sanding part....can you imagine the fine dust everywhere???!!!

The saving grace is that Bob, the repairman, is such a sweet, old man.  I think he does these jobs for the termite mob to supplement his aged pension.  I had Brad play Golden Oldies music on the days Bob was here and we could hear his appreciation as he sang along while he worked.  A few times, I think we were all singing along together.  Bob's sweet and considerate attitude helped to ease the inconvenience of the actual repair-work but I'm not quite so sure if it will be enough when the sanding

Stay tuned as I'll be posting again soon on how I've progressed with Michelle's wedding tie box.

~ Love, light and peace ~


  1. I love the seafoam green rose Serena. You certainly have a gift. You have captured the rose beautifully. Gemma was certainly a lucky recipient of this and the other goodies.
    OOOhh termites, I hate them. Luckily we don't see them around so much down here. What destruction they cause. Lucky that you saw the ants. I would never have thought of termites if I saw them around.You are lucky to have such a lovely man doing the repairs. I hope it has cleared them up once and for all.
    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving lovely comments.

  2. Oh wow Serena. It's a lot of work to get rid of termites. The house we sold last year in San Jose had that problem, but it wasn't very bad so we were able to get rid of them easily. Looks like you really got a big problem there. Hopefully you can get all the nests. Our home now that we have lived in for 21 years is 77 years old. It's all redwood though. Well at least you were all singing and having a good time while work was being done. That's a beautiful rose you did for Serena. Awesome. I read her post and she was so happy to have received the package. By the way, thank you for your kind words and sorry about the little boy in the neighborhood. Take care, God Bless You.

  3. Serena, I love your blog design and your header with all your artwork. Your pay it forwards are just beautiful...lucky them!

    And your home! Oh my goodness, what you've gone through this year with both home and health for you and your family! I hope you leave that pain behind soon.

    I'm surprised that concrete isn't used more in your area. I do hope that the sanding is done quickly and with the least possible mess.

  4. How sweet that you played the repairman Oldies songs!!! I would have loved it! I used to work at a nursing home where they would play the oldies and I always felt like I was on vacation on a cruise boat!!! Made my job so much more enjoyable!!!

  5. That looks like such an upheaval. Hope they can get to the bottom of it soon, you have enough on your plate without all this again too

  6. Wow what a lovely gift you made!
    I hope your termite problem is soon erradicated!!

  7. another infestation??!! o.0 that house is cursed :/

    i hate the sanding part. i am still finding plaster dust in places from when the ceiling was done over 2 weeks ago :/

  8. What a gorgeous rose! And in her favorite color! Great gifts, Serena.

    Now that they hunted the darn termites thru the whole house, I hope you are done with them once and for all. The dust will be a pain, but then hopefully it will be THE END!! Sounds like Bob is a gem. I love that you were all singing the oldies together!! :):)

    I'd get sheets and blankets out to cover everything I could and sing, I guess. ;)

  9. Hi Serena,
    Oh wow, Gemma is very lucky.
    I lurve that seafoam green Rose.

    Gosh, You're a calm woman, showing pics of all that mess those termites and repairs I was wiggling in my chair.
    Lucky Bob is a good man and looks like he cleans as he goes!
    Good on Brad for playing the oldies and keeping his mind busy as well.

  10. Hi Serena!
    What a lovely Pay it Forward package! I'm sure she was thrilled!!

    termites....ugh! Luckily we don't have them here but I've heard the damage they can do! Horrible! I sure hope you get your situation cleared up and soon.
    Have a lovely day and thanks so much for your comment on my blog today ♥

  11. oh wow...what an ordeal. EEK! So glad it has been fixed.

    and by the way, on that painting, the detail and shading is stunning!

  12. OMG Isn't living in a construction zone fun? Hope you get rid of all the termites. Yikes can't imagine the dust. Well soon it'll be over!!!
    Hope your headache has improved.
    YES! I love my beautiful PIF gifts.

  13. good luck with all that work, yikes!

    i wanted to pop in to say how much i love that blue rose.

  14. Lee - Thanks...yep, termites tend to thrive more in the humid climates.

    Gloria - Thanks. I hope that this will be our last battle of the termites.

    Kate - Thanks! We do have concrete slabs and, would you believe, this house even has a Termiguard barrier around the perimeter of the house. The pest people blamed poor yard drainage for the reason as it, apparently, weakened the barrier and allowed easy access for the termites. I just hope it's the last attack as the owner has had proper drainage installed now.

    Julie - Yes, he was a sweet man and, guess what? Bob has a Doctorate in Music and taught music for many years in schools until he found that he enjoyed the Manual Arts too. He was telling met that he used to travel around the nursing homes and perform for the residents.

    Jane - Yes, it seems we've had lots of problems in this house, particularly in the past two years. I hope it will soon be over too.

    Thanks, Shashi!

  15. Jennifer - This is the second and same infestation as mentioned back in's just taken them this long to treat and repair. Yes, I'm dreading the sanding part.

    Rita - I hope this will be the end of it too...and yes, I will be using lots of sheets to cover the sensitive items....sanding dust is so fine.

    Anna - It hasn't been pleasant living with termites, that's for sure. I'll just be glad when it's all over.

    Thanks, Darla...and you're welcome ~ :)

    Thanks, too.

    Thanks Gemma. It has certainly been an I hope not to experience again. ;)

    Thanks, Monica...your comment is much appreciated ~ :)

  16. What a gorgeous gift, Serena. :) I personally am glad that you've taken your time with each of these lovely pay-it-forward gifts, and put your talent and skills into making them each beautiful and unique.

    So sorry to hear about another infestation. I do hope the landlord will go ahead and order a full inspection after this. What a mess! But at least you are able to take it graciously and with good humor.

  17. Love your rose painting Serena, good luck with all the sanding.

  18. Termites only pick the best homes. I hope you know that. They will not pick some shack somewhere and move in. They want the very best that is available. You should be thrilled at them choosing you.

    Just kidding, of course, and my son, who lives in Florida has to have his house covered in a tent and the whole thing filled with poison gas that seeps from the tent into all the cracks and crevices in the house killing the termites.

    I liked your sea foam green rose.

    Thanks for your visit.

  19. Beautiful drawing!
    Thanks for following and your comments ^^ And yeah I believe your son is a superstar!

  20. Beautiful Rose and she should be delighted.

    Termites, ugh..Hope I don't have any here. One of these days when we sell I'm sure the inspector will let us know.