Saturday, August 10, 2013

Mick, Please Tell Me You Peed on The Floor

There are things you never think you will say in your life, but never is such a very, very long time.  And it seems that never can come up and surprise you sometime.  Like last Thursday night at about 8:30 when I hollered from the bathroom , "Mick, please tell me you peed on the floor."  Those exact words came out of my very mouth.  I am a bit ahead of myself in this story.  I need to start from the beginning.

It was getting to the end of another long week.  As I mentioned in my last post, my stamina for unpacking had come to a grinding halt somewhere after finding the bed linens and toothbrushes.  I figured we were good enough for a while and it was time for some fun.  Scott was off on a business dinner.  By some force of miracle or magic, I had managed to get the kids home from camp, fed, and (mostly) ready for the next day all by a reasonable time.  With just one lucky phone call, it turned out a couple of the neighborhood moms were already hanging out with their kids, so down the street we went for a play date.  The best part about California late afternoon play dates, they involve wine for the mommies.  As the day turned to night and with the kids getting tired, I walked home with a smile, thinking this place is starting to feel like home and finally things are starting to get a bit easier.  The friend part definitely, the house part, well, let the story continue. 

Thanks to all the fun at the play date, we didn't get home until 8:30, so as soon as we walked in the door, I was hustling the kids to get ready for bed.  Moments later is when I walked into the bathroom, to find myself standing in a puddle or more like a pool of water, to shout (or maybe it was a plead) out, "Mick, please tell me you peed on the floor."  Though I knew good and well he hadn't peed on the floor, because there was way too much water on the floor and Mick is fully potty trained.  No, we had a full-on leak.

Yes, we had lived in the house a whole week, and it was our first leak.  Crap.  Where was it coming from?  Once I opened the cabinet under the sink and a river appeared, the plumbing under the sink became the lead suspect.  OK.  No problem.

I could fix this. I shut off the valves under the sink and threw some towels on the floor.  I whisked the kids off to the beds with super quick kisses and skipped the books, but promised to read them plumbing manuals tomorrow night instead.

Then, I went to finish cleaning up the mess.  But it was still leaking.  Why?  It was leaking at a spot behind the valve.  Crap.  I couldn't fix this, and I didn't want to turn off all the water to the house.  Now what?

It was time to call a 24-hour plumber.  I asked his advice.  To which he answered, turn off all the water to the house.   Crap.

I took a minute to catch my breath.  The leak had been going for a couple of hours, I figured what was a few more minutes.  I didn't know how long we would be living our new rustic water-free lifestyle.  I went ahead and took a quick shower.  Then, I filled up a bunch of pitchers of water.

Then, I went outside in my pajamas and tried to shut off water to the house.  The valve wouldn't budge, as it probably hadn't been turned in 54 years.  I tried again, no luck.  Then, I went in and got my Vice Grip Pliers.  Surer than you know what, I got that valve closed.  I probably scared all the neighbors as I wielded tools and a flashlight in the front yard in my pajamas at 9:00 at night, but I got the water off and the leak stopped.

Vice Grip Pliers should receive the Nobel Prize.  They have probably kept saved the entire world from crumbling into pieces, they definitely kept my house from floating away this past week.  As for the plumber, we avoided the late night fee and he came the next morning.  Lucky for us, it was a small crack in a fitting piece that was easy to repair.  We were back to the world of running water by 9AM Friday morning.

That is life in the stroller lane. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Finally a Home!

Temporary housing is a lot of things.  It is a roof when you don't have one.  It is ready to move in the day you land into town.  It is fully furnished when all your belongings are stored in crates somewhere far away.  But temporary housing is definitely NOT A HOME. 

As of last week, after a million loads in the red wagon, we finally emptied our temporary apartment.  The kids and I celebrated wheeling out the last load including the cats.  Yes, Buford peed and threw up during the drive to the new house.  But unlike the flight, this time he didn't do it on me and I had lots of towels available for clean up.  And yes, Epy ran away again, but this time I saw where she ran and we didn't have a plane to catch.  By 10pm we were able to coax her out of her hiding spot in the garage.  She hasn't left the house again, and as long as we don't move she probably never will again. 

It has been a long road from Mintawood Court to Longmeadow Drive, but once again we have HOME.   We still have boxes decorating much of the house and the garage is a war zone, but it our war zone.  The kids have all their toys and space to play with them. 

The five of us were way too cozy in our 1400 sq ft apartment with one TV and no yard.  So having a whole house, a yard, and multiple TVs with a DVR - well we are feeling like the Clampetts when they moved to Beverly Hills.  The other night I asked Scott rather alarmed "Where are the kids?"  he replied "Outside playing."  That was the first time the kids have been able to simply go outside since we left - and that was  music to my ears.  Or better yet, silence to my ears.  Since that also meant, it was the first time we enjoyed them playing outside, while we enjoyed in the quiet inside.  Oh the joys of owning a home. 

Of course, the joys of owning a house cuts both ways as well.  Our work is cut out for us as we now look to bringing this 54-year-old home into the 21st century.  Our list is very, very, very long.  Good news, the house no longer has a tarp on the roof.  Bad news, every day I add new things to my punch list.  But all that can wait a little while, we have found the toothbrushes and bed linens, so that counts as moved in in my book.  The rest of the stuff can wait a little while.  The Harrell posse is tired because moving twice in two months in two different cities will wear you out.  It has been all work and very little play, so we need a little bit of fun this summer before school starts,.  The boxes are just going to have to wait a little while. 

That is life in the stroller lane.