TLC – What Not to Wear in NOLA

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Alexandra Williams sent me a message on Facebook to let me know that TLC is searching for female Hurricane Katrina survivors for a show that will be filmed in New Orleans. The following is an email that I received after my initial contact:

New Pitch – Females with Katrina Stories

TLC’s show, “What Not to Wear” is currently filming it’s 8th season and we are casting women from the New Orleans area. We are looking to highlight deserving women around the city and we’d love to feature someone who survived Katrina and as a result, is struggling with wardrobe issues that are hurting their career and social lives.

I’ve included information about the show below and look forward to speaking with you further about this heartwarming opportunity. We are looking to film 4 episodes in the New Orleans area. Looking to get some amazing women with great personalities! If you could help out by spreading the word I would greatly appreciate it.

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How To Vote

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As mentioned in a previous post, we’re trying to win an antique mantel through a contest on Facebook. Because a few people mentioned difficulty voting, I decided to repost instructions with screenshots…

To vote for us, all you have to do is two things (click images for larger view):

  1. Go to http://facebook.com/historicflooring and click the “like” button (you must be logged into your Facebook account).

  2. Then go to http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=447353487277&set=o.184672036945 and click the “like” link located at the top of the comments section.

Voting ends Sunday night so PLEASE vote.

A Well-Built Dream House with @KatrinaSOS

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JB, aka the Building Moxie, posted an article about us on his blog:

Picture of Mississippi Power sign in yard taken October 9, 2008… Going on year six now, and much still to do, I ask her what remains. She tells me. “Flooring, trim and painting.” The HardiePlank has been installed, but it is not yet caulked or painted. She tells me of a unique wood configuration in the downstairs bath, and it *is* at about this point that my title comes to me. Sure, here are these folks that have gotten the short end of the stick, but here they are . . .  still, persevering – on their way to what I would consider their dream home.

I mean — Look at this list of elements or features now installed in, on or around their house: OVE – 2×6, 24″ framing, soy-based spray foam insulation, passive solar, mini-split HVAC systems with HVAC condensation reclaimed/collected for garden, hybrid water heaters, Pex plumbing, bamboo flooring, metal roofing, HardiePlank siding, and the eXapath raceway system. Quite an impressive list I would say, and in many ways very “green” — right down to the low and No-VOC coatings used.

Read the full article at http://www.buildingmoxie.com/2010/10/a-well-built-dream-house-with-katrinasos/.

Please Vote For Us

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We’re trying to win a beautiful antique wormy chestnut mantel from Historic Flooring (view pics here).

To vote for us, go to http://facebook.com/historicflooring and “like” their page. Then, go to http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=447353487277&set=o.184672036945 and like our photo.

Voting will continue until Sunday, Oct, 31st at midnight.

Interview With Rob Jones at BuildDirect

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My recent interview with Rob Jones was posted on the BuildDirect blog today:

… I talked to Sadie via email, to find out about this extreme example of a major house renovation that tested the limits of budget, resolve, and hope. But, what came out of a grim situation was a call to solve her problems in the context of solving a wider problem experienced by everyone touched by the disaster, and to call attention to the plight of many people in their same situation.

Read more at http://blog.builddirect.com/interview-with-katrina-sos-sadie-hebert/.

FEMA & Freedom of Information Act

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Our records from FEMA finally arrived today…almost 18 months after my initial request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). It consists of 111 pages compiled in a single PDF document on CD.

Although a lot of information is missing or deliberately omitted, there is proof that rental assistance was approved. Is also shows where we provided our landlord’s contact information as required but does not explain why he was not paid or why we were not reimbursed.

I’m not sure what, if anything, we can do with this information without legal representation, but at least we now have evidence should we get the opportunity to use it.

Churches hammering away at Katrina damage

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I just wanted to share an article that was published in The Reading Eagle, a local PA newspaper, after volunteers from West Lawn UMC traveled to Mississippi to help rebuild. The article discusses their experience working with us and Cheryl Lewis, a disabled veteran from Biloxi.

We had the opportunity to meet Cheryl during a gathering on the evening of the last workday. She was very inspirational and positive despite all that has happened.

Read the article at http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=216956.

5 Year Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

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picture of frozen water in bathroomI know that I haven’t posted an update in a while. I attempted to do so several times but it is difficult to talk about your hardships when others are suffering from earthquakes, floods, fires, oil, etc. However, I feel an update is due because yesterday was the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and today is the anniversary of learning about the devastation and destruction she brought us…huge casino barges on the wrong side of the street, major bridges washed away, communities wiped off the map, people swept out to sea…

We did not have heat or insulation this past winter and it was EXTREMELY cold. The picture to the right was taken the morning after one of the coldest nights. We attempted to drip the water so the pipes wouldn’t freeze but you can see what happened (we later realized that PEX doesn’t freeze). But we now have working HVAC upstairs and installation of the downstairs units should be finished in about a week.

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New program helps Katrina victims rebuild their lives

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By Trang Pham-Bui (WLOX):

… The amount of money you get is based on your home’s damage assessment, previous benefits you’ve received, and available funds. To apply for the program, you can call Hope CDA at (228) 435-7180 or stop by their office on 425 Division Street in east Biloxi.

Read full story or watch related video

If God is Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise

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Spike Lee is currently filming in South Mississippi for a new documentary, “If God is Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise,” which is reported to be a follow-up to “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts.” The first film was very enlightening as it opened my eyes to many events that occurred during a time when communication was nonexistent in South Mississippi. We heard rumors of shootings and such but never anything about how the people in NOLA were treated. That was such a horrific series of events and I couldn’t begin to imagine what it was like for the people stranded in the Superdome.

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Refrigerator Dilemma (Advice Needed)

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We’ve been living in the new house for about a week now and really need to get a refrigerator. I’ve been looking around online and have been dissatisfied with my search results. Here’s my dilemma…

Since we live in the country, and have a bunch of kids that eat a lot, we need a separate freezer to store food. The freezer will go in the pantry so it will be close to the kitchen. This got me to thinking that we really could do without the freezer part attached to a standard refrigerator. I mean, I should be able to save money by purchasing a freezerless frig right?

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Forgotten…But Not Gone

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Mike Hines, co-founder of Homepath Products, posted an article about us on his blog yesterday evening. It is encouraging to hear such kind words and to have our hard work recognized as such. The following is an excerpt from the article:

At Homepath Products we produce the eXapath™ in-wall cable pathway system. It’s a practical building subsystem that enables modification to or upgrading of low voltage cables, even after the walls are closed up. Ideal here because it allows the addition of wall outlets, from floor to ceiling, providing flexibility for the Hebert’s to easily add or upgrade at a future time.

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Happy Thanksgiving

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LG Art Cool

I am thankful for all the wonderful people that I’ve met over the past month. I will be eternally grateful for all the assistance. Although I can’t say that I’m thankful for Katrina and the aftermath, if none of this had ever happened, we may have never crossed paths. I am also thankful for friends being there for us in our time of need.

We are moving in our house this weekend. Insulation is still in the works but we were able to order part of the HVAC system so we should have heat in the next week or two. We decided to go with the Art Cool mini-splits by LG.

Letter To Action Reporter

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The following letter was sent to a local reporter several times over the past 4-5 months (edited to protect privacy):

Mr. XXXXXXXX,

My husband and I are rebuilding our home in Saucier that was damaged beyond repair during Katrina. Because we were underinsured, we’ve done most of the work ourselves, including the house plans, plumbing, electric, etc. We are both computer teachers so this is not something that we ever did prior to Katrina, but we have saved money and developed a great sense of satisfaction. We have five children, ages 10 to 17, that have also helped a great deal.

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