January 20, 2011

When crazy gets crazier.

Well, after all the hoopla of getting my mom home safely, things just got weirder!  Joe planned to fly to California to pick up his mom and aunt and drive them here just a few days after my mom left town.  Want to guess what happened? Well, the basement flooded the night before Joe was set to fly out.  We shut off the water and called a plumber to come the next day

The plumbers came and found the leak.  A pipe had burst because we had not drained and shut off the valves to the outside spigots.  Silly new home owners!  But there was a problem...the pipe that burst was stuck between 2 beams in the wall.  I asked, "Are those beams holding up the house, by any chance?"  The guys shrugged an "I don't have any clue" shrug, and started cutting anyway.  At this point I'm panicking so I e-mail our friend Larry for help.  Joe called to check on the progress and said he had just e-mailed Larry asking him to come check on things as well.  So good to have a friend that everyone just plain knows they can count on when you're in a pinch!

Larry came after the plumbers left and advised me on how we might start repairing the gaping hole in the laundry room wall and confirmed that the beams were not holding the house up at all.  Phew!  The we enjoyed a nice long chat on the stairs, taking my mind off the chaos that was waiting for me downstairs.

I thought we were in the clear, but when I went to shower finally at 11:00 pm, no water came out when I turned it on hot, but water did come out on cold.  Odd.  I called Joe in CA to run it by him.  We decided the hot water heater was empty and that we had a risk of burning it up.

I go bumbling around the utility closet and find that in our panic, we had shut off the water to the tank, but it was so oxidized that when I turned it on, water came spewing out from all sides!  Not again!  I had to shut the water to the house again so the utility closet didn't flood.

I spent the rest of the night watching YouTube videos on plumbing and decided I could fix things myself.  The next morning I hit Home Depot with my list.  I bought a hack saw, some emory cloth, and was talked out of buying the stop and waste compression connection valve and into some new fangled device called a Shark Bite.  The man assumed I was shopping for my husband and kept saying completely sexist things like, "Oh, your husband will love the shark bite because it'll make him look like a stud!  Truth is, it's so easy even a gal could use it."  Hannah Jane kept watching me to see if I would admit that I was doing it, but I kind of wanted to see how sexist he could possibly be!

Before I could come home and fix the pipes, I had to take Hannah Jane to sell girl scout cookies.  Yup.  This hectic day would be her only chance to sell hard core for the season.  So it was Home Depot, cookie selling all day, quickly home to fix pipes and dinner, clean the house, and welcome Joe's family home by 7pm.  Nuts!!!

We went to Barb's neighborhood first and they were crazy cookie buyers!  Our street was not so interested.  Only people who actually knew us well bought cookies.  By the end of the day she had sold 112 boxes!  That sounds like a lot, but she had a 300  box goal and we won't be able to put much more before the deadline.  We'll see.

Anyway, cookie sales were done for the day and it was time to plumb!  Hannah Jane happily took my picture and said, "Men around here will never believe that a woman did this!  Now we have proof!"  I used the hacksaw to cut out the old copper pipes and then the emory cloth to smooth the area for the Shark Bite connector.  Then I popped that doodad in there and turned the water on.  A leak.  I needed more muscle I though.  I called our neighbor Jason to just cram it on there a little firmer for me.  He came and jammed it on there but it still leaked.  We realized that the solder bumps from the old connection were the problem.  More emory cloth and we were all set!  Hooray!  No leaks!

Now doesn't that look better?  A quick clean up and within minutes, Joe and is family arrived.  The timing couldn't have been closer!  Boy oh boy!  We enjoyed a nice few days with Joe's mom and aunt Jeanie.  We ate good food, saw the sights, and played and laughed a lot!  It was the most hectic time I can recall.  Hubs out of town, plumbers, holes in walls, no showering or flushing for days, learning to plumb, and having company right on top of it all! 


  1. You're a great mom to take Hannah out selling Girl Scout cookies in the midst of the plumbing debacle :)

  2. You're a great mom to take Hannah out selling Girl Scout cookies in the midst of the plumbing debacle. If this comment shows up twice, it's because it disappeared right away--sometimes it does that, and then reappears later.


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