Tag Archives: plumbing

Leak

As the week winds up and we lounge together by the pool in Chicago Land, I thought about The Leak.

From August 7, 2016 on Colorado’s Western Slope via Leak:

Two-plus weeks ago Erin and I took a break from our projects. While her sister Ellie, her family and their brother Edmund traveled to check on another property out of state, Erin manned Ellie’s house, the 5 small dogs and the cat.

I held down our home front. I’d intended to take a break from the downstairs project downstairs and check off the list of small tasks upstairs.

About midway through our sideways vacation I went downstairs for something I had seen that would be perfect upstairs.

Ordinarily I avoid going downstairs without Erin. I can go from zero to sensory overload in 06.1 seconds over the astounding collection of vintage items from 3 generations of her large family – all being sorted and repacked. Have I mentioned the fifty pounds of stuff on a ten pound property including the garage?

clutter pixabay garage

When I first arrived I enjoyed revisiting her things I saw growing up. But after sleeping on a futon for over three months (haven’t made a path to the bed yet), I now easily lose focus and my attitude can spin out of balance very quickly. Frequent, very fervent prayer helps. Still, I wanted to surprise Erin when she returned. I kept looking.

As I descended the stairs I told myself storage naturally smells musty, and dismissed what I thought was exceptionally dank air. But then I noticed the bottoms of some cardboard boxes were noticeably dark. Stepping cautiously into the room I heard and felt my feet squishing into the old carpet.

Houston, we have water.

flood toon pixabayA phone call and an hour later Erin and I teamed up to extract water. We couldn’t cut the water at the main until we found the leak.

So I became G. Annie Roo, super sleuth. I like the sound of that.

Without Edmund the fix-all brother we became very resourceful, reducing trips up and down the stairs. The following day we finally we discovered the cracked pipe. Ta-da!

Over the following week we tossed water on the lawn from bowls we filled with recycled milk jugs. Between that move, we replaced and repacked wet boxes. We were thankful to learn the 3-inch hole in the old cast iron drain is exclusive to the kitchen. We are not happy to learn the broken, slightly sunken concrete driveway outside the kitchen wall suggests a bigger problem. This whole project might take a while.

The contractors are due to arrive soon. By then we will have settled into our adjusted routine and used the better part of a tree for disposable dinner ware 😦

So goes this week’s episode in the continuing saga of two old broads rehabilitating the vintage family rental. Were the property owner any other than Erin’s mom we would have taken another, less laborious course. As it is love runs deeper and for now the futon awaits me.

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13:1 (NLT)

Images courtesy of Pixabay

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2018-08-13 · 06:00

Aftermath

After the weeks of disruption, seeming like the entire local family being upside down with the plumbing challenges, we have running water in the kitchen again. No sign of water downstairs. Yeay!

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I doubt I ever take indoor plumbing for granted again. Without it we city folk get more like fruitcake – a little nuts and heavy on the fruit.

I never made it out to Keira’s this week, but Peter’s Branch Family Reunion continued – the fish are still biting. His offspring will begin their departures in the morning.

What’s most noteworthy throughout this ordeal has been God’s Holy Spirit constantly in control. He commanded an air of considerate cooperation – so welcome working among siblings.

Sure, there will be more repairs in the near future:

  • We must replace the kitchen faucet as both hot and cold water now drip about one quart per hour. We’ve been turning the hot water on and off under the sink since before I arrived, so we can live with the drip until Edmund’s next visit.
  • The steady flow of good ol’ boy contractors and the mud took a toll, but we we put a dent in the dry goods pantry serving them sweet tea.
  • Edmund pitched in and helped pave a way downstairs, then drug the mattress upstairs for us – I shall be grateful for years to come. Still, in the process he noticed the downstairs retaining walls are deteriorating. That’s gonna hurt.
Ellie, Roo and Erin

Electra Bolt (Ellie), Roo and Erin. Go Cubs!

With God’s empowering presence,Erin, Ellie and I wrestled the futon mattress down the stairs and the box spring up to make room for the former. We shall be utilizing moist heat and ice packs for a few more days. Edmund doesn’t get what all that’s about – yet. I seem to be the only one to notice the dank smell, so no worries there either.

All the chaos forced remarkable progress on the property. The pressure of time restrictions was a little nerve wracking, but I’m glad for it now. There’s a Thera-Pedic bed (old-school premiere brand) upstairs in my room/office today. Can I hear a thunderous applause? Forget about memory foam, sleep numbers and gel toppers. This like-new heirloom is the real deal for a good night’s sleep.

After only the one annoying instance between anybody, and some new aches, we got through the crisis together unscathed. We dread the bill arriving at Keira’s, but realistically, such comes with maintaining this old house. We are blessed to continue loving and caring for the first property Erin’s parents bought in Colorado.

Making it work to the family’s best advantage, I feel more deeply committed to loosing my root bag here a little bit more.

Until the next crisis – probably the electrical system, we’ll face it as it comes.

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22, 23 (NLT)

 

All images are property of Rapture Practice! Publications (c) 2016 and are not to be duplicated or otherwise distributed without prior written permission. Thank you!

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Routine

For the past few days I’ve been reflecting upon my early thirties. Then I’d finally come to appreciate the value of routine.

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God blessed me with a good foster mom. I often recall her saying during my child bearing years, “Mijita, todos ustedes tienen que tener horarios.” Not really grasping her meaning, I’d typically melt into her arms, soak up the love and forget what she said. In Spanish it sounded far more pleasant than when she would later tell me, “Girl, you must get your act together!”

I’d dismissed suggestions that I had more challenges than dyslexia, possibly other forms of autism. Who had time for health care while caring for four boys, an unpredictable, “bi-polar” and often violent husband, and all their companions-du-jour? Yeah, I knew about crazy – in other people. We were fine…  😉

For me if we all got up, everybody ate, got to school or whatever, nobody permanently harmed and got back to bed at night, it was a good day. I couldn’t grasp the value of scheduled daily tasks, a routine until my marriage finally ended. By then I stopped being a DV victim.

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Fast forward some decades and I live within a very structured routine. The time-space continuum shifts when my routine is altered. Erin and I are comfortable with this. She’s a night owl and I rise long before the sun does. Until the dam broke in the plumbing, etc. Aye!

We were unprepared for the disruptions to the entire property. Hourly the sudden changes annoyingly altered our habitual behaviors.

construction pixabayI confess, minutes into this morning I was setting things down and closing doors harder than necessary. “Where is the…” Living alone, controlled but intentional banging and “slightly slamming” doors, etc. to release tension worked for me. Such timid forms of violence is nothing compared to the savagery I’ve survived.

I remembered I no longer live alone as Erin stepped away from me – without the coffee pot. Violence here is never appropriate.

Because today, with so many tasks demanding immediate attention, Erin was up early with me, making coffee, using the bathroom, etc. The newly replaced futon mattress loomed over the love seat in the living room, against the linen closet – where we keep cleaning rags. The vacuum cleaner was parked wherever we used it last – and often. This is not our m.o. Have I mentioned our 480 square feet of crowded living space upstairs?

Now imagine the two cats nervously observing everything, add some large bags of items for family visiting for the first reunion in ten years. And we’re grilling for a small army of out of town family in light, intermittent rain, of course. That had to be ready for someone to pick up and deliver to Keira’s whenever they arrive. Then add contractors working all over the property. Chaos.

There we were, waking our bodies and our brains – in the same tiny room of the house together, simultaneously. One can imagine this is a potentially volatile scenario with two old broads well set in our ways. As the sounds of my banging around Erin increased in volume, she paused quoting, “Something vexes thee?*”

We laughed – hysterically. The frustration and tension from our disrupted routine was dispelled. We sat down together – with coffee and prayed. Several times. All morning.

friends coffee pixabay

“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 (NLT)

 

*The late Alan Rickman and Geraldine McEwan from Robin Hood; Prince of Theives video clip courtesy YouTube

Photo Images courtesy Pixabay

** (c) 2016 Rapture Practice! Publications images not to be duplicated, shared or otherwise distributed without prior, written permission. Thank you!

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