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Sunday, July 11, 2010


Dear Diary (Friday),

This hasn't been a good week, and to make matters worse, the pipes to the kitchen sink broke this morning while I was sleeping. A cascading waterfall ran down the steps, and water leaked through the hardwood floors to the basement, which may explain why water is also spraying out of the heating ducts?

I shut off the water and started mopping and sponging. I had to take everything out of the cupboards and sop out everything in there too. Piles of stuff are stacked up everywhere.

Then it started to rain outside.

I went to the store in the downpour and bought critical supplies -- chips, M&M's, and Pepsi. I don't care what Dr. Phil would say at this particular moment. Sometimes the best possible thing is to medicate with comfort food and take a step back. I can deal with Chinese printers who don't speak English, impossible deadlines, changing software, and so many other things, but plumbing brings me to my knees. I can see why the Romans gave up plumbing after Herculaneum got smothered by a volcano.

Dear Diary (Saturday),

I almost had a break down this morning when I realized water was still leaking above the shut off valve in the kitchen, dripping down the pipe, through the floor, and into the basement. I turned off the shut off valve in the basement, which immediately leaked a stream of very cold water down my arm, straight into my arm pit.

The obvious solution was to go to garage sales because I couldn't deal with any more water issues. I bought a planter for 50 cents. I may put a cactus in it because I don't want to look at any more water. I was up late last night sopping things up in the basement, and there are still puddles down there.

Deep breath and a time out...

I put a washer in the kitchen shut off valve, dismantled the water supply, and sat on the kitchen floor deeply mystified why things weren't working. It all looked like it should work. I made some adjustments to the fittings, reassembled, turned the water back on, and held my breath. So far, so good. Shhhhhh.... I feel superstitious about upsetting the plumbing god right now.

There's kitchen stuff all over the house, the basement is still a soggy mess, and I've just discovered another area in the basement which got drenched, but maybe, just maybe the worst is over? Or maybe the worst will be over once I pay for the water lost -- which I'm pretty sure would fill at least 3 swimming pools.

Maybe the bright side of all this is that my furnace ducts have been very thoroughly rinsed with water. I don't want to die of black mold, so I'm pretty sure I'm the only one in Ohio with the furnace set to 95 to push hot air through the ducts.

Dear Diary (Sunday),

My feet and ankles hurt, and the last thing I want to do on a perfect summer day is spend it in a dank basement. I've discovered that paint cans begin to rust and clothes get musty within 2 days. A fan will help water evaporate by moving air around. Wet cardboard boxes don't hold anything, and newspaper wrapped around dishes holds about 3X more water than the paper's mass. There are a lot of steps down to my basement, and even more steps going up. Above all, I have learned that I really don't need everything in the basement!



  2. My pour(as in buckets) friend!! Life will get better--love the illo!

  3. I'm with you on the M&MS, sometimes you just need a dose of chocolate. You definitely did not have a good Friday, I hope everything improves soon!

  4. Oh no, my heart goes out to you what a terrible weekend. I suppose looking on the bright side you now have very clean heater ducts and you may have begun a spring clean of the basement? By the way I love the idea of basements, and attics, we don't tend to have them here it just all one level or if your lucky two. Have an M&M for me!

  5. I feel bad for laughing because when plumbing goes wrong it's tragic, but the way you've written about it.... 'I can see why the Romans gave up plumbing after Herculaneum got smothered by a volcano.' in particular had me in stitches.

    Beautiful illustration and I hope things improve soon.

  6. Good God you poor thing! And you still did an Illustration Friday post! I am waiting for the plumber to come back to my house tomorrow with the right parts to fix a 40 year old tub faucet. Apparently you have to special order such things. I will keep my fingers crossed for you that the plumbing gods at your house are appeased.

  7. Well Linda, the wonderful thing about this is that you can see it with such a good writing head. Your writing is superb, witty and keeps us entertained.

    Why are we always entertained by the misfortunes of someone else? A: because it is not us that it is happening to.

    see you :)

  8. Thanks everyone, and thanks Resa for the follow! I caved and called the insurance company. I now have large, noisy, hot machines with snaking tubes all over the house which are sucking water out of my floors -- except for the kitchen floor where they ripped out the linoleum. I didn't like that floor that much anyway. Things look worse than they did before, but eventually, I guess everything will get back to normal? Please?

    A friend tells me that my original mistake is thinking there's only one plumbing god, but that they are a jealous group of evil spirits.

  9. Oh wow - I hope things are improving! At least you made the best of it by writing it down & doing a lovely sketch :)

  10. Thanks! The rescue equipment is still here, still very noisy and hot, but I'm hoping they'll take it away today. Writing and painting was a way to take time outs and get a grip with all this stuff going on.