Monday, June 17, 2013

Wet 'N Wild

Lucy just scared the ever-loving crap out of me. I was on my hands and knees down in the basement, sopping up water that leaked out of the dehumidifier when I emptied it (every. freaking. time. with the leaking water - whussup, dehumidifier??).  It was half an hour or more since I had tucked the munchkins into their beds, and I was (am) alone - M. on an oh-so-convenient "business trip" or whatnot. FACT: He strolled around Burlington, VT and ate Ben and Jerry's ice cream tonight. Does this sound like a "business trip" to you?

Where was I?

Oh, right - I'm muttering to myself as I scrub the carpet and suddenly, out of absolutely nowhere, hear a voice right near my ear saying "I'm scared, Mommy." Oh, ho, ho! Who's scared now, little girl?!! Lucy had appeared, silently (why can't she be this quiet when *I* want her to be quiet?), right in front of me in her little wispy nightgown, like a creepy Victorian ghost.

I tucked her back into bed, and now I'm having a gin and tonic.

I'm doing my typical "M. is away, must be super mom/housekeeper/awesome person" that I sometimes do while he is gone.  I've cooked healthy meals. I've taken out the trash. I've bathed the children.  I've done laundry, and PUT IT AWAY (this never happens).  I've played catch with Finn, and taken them both to the special playground I never take them to because it's, in my mom eyes, too dangerous.  Also, our cleaning lady is coming tomorrow, so I spent a high percentage of Sunday and another hour or so tonight CLEANING ALL THE THINGS.  I should note that I would probably do this every time the cleaning lady comes, but this impulse is usually kept in check by M., who would prefer to NOT clean all the things in anticipation of her visit.

And by "clean," I really mean "throw things away."  This is something M. NEVER lets me do - the man is a hoarder, I swear. But since he's gone right now... Bwa ha ha ha!!  (evil laugh. Did that come off as an evil laugh?) I am 1000% certain that he will NEVER miss anything I've thrown away, and yet I know he would have stopped me from doing it.

Bottom line, the house looks nice.  It will cease to look nice by about 5:32 tomorrow evening, which is about 2 minutes after the kids and I will step through the front door.  But for now, it looks nice, and it pleases my soul.  My sister would make fun of me for this, right, Kristin?

One thing I am not doing as part of my crazy-lady-overachiever efforts is exercising.  That's because I'm limited to treadmill-running while M. is away, and my treadmill currently looks like this:

All folded up and moved to the middle of the family room.  Why?  Home owner suckery, is why.  Water in the basement!!!! Gah, what a nightmare! This is the same basement carpet that we had replaced less than two years ago when we had a freak water leak from our newly installed HVAC system (I don't think I blogged about this, as I can't find an old post to link to).  This time, the water was coming through the wall/ground of the house. The ground outside that wall is actually our neighbor's backyard (oh, the joys of townhouse living...) - we've had a lot of rain the last couple of weeks, and clearly it's not draining well.  THEY are not getting water in their basement, but WE are.

Last Tuesday-ish, on a day when there was much rain of the pouring kind, M. and I were turning lights out for the night around 11 pm when we discovered wet carpet beneath our feet over by the treadmill.  The same treadmill I had been running on earlier that night, obliviously.  It was too late to do anything about it that night (other than grump or stew), but the next day launched our "Oh f*ck, how do we deal with this?!" scrambling effort.  Which involves:

Step 1: Argue with husband, who thinks this is no big deal.
Step 2: Go to work. Google lots of things.
Step 3: Find convincing link that describes some stuff to do. Send to husband, who agrees that yes, actually, maybe something should be done. Even though the "something" involves scary-ish DIY stuff that we've never done before.
Step 4: Leave work early. Buy dehumidifier from Walmart. Go home, soak up some water with towels, assemble dehumidifier and turn on; also, aim fan at wet carpet. Pray.
Step 5: Let husband poke around in neighbors yard, where he discovers they have an in-ground drain/catch basin. Clearly someone's had water issues in the past.
Step 6: With much trepidation, pull up wall-to-wall carpeting in one corner of the room. Spy wet carpet padding, wet carpet, and gross, black-ish carpet tack strips.

Step 7: Cut away wet carpet pad, and pull up gross carpet tack strips that crumble at the slightest touch. Notice husband's sexy black socks and shorts.

Step 8: Scrub concrete with soapy water.

Step 9: Flatten out carpet. Run dehumidifier and fan continuously.

Step 10: When rain threatens, fold carpet back from wall again.  Notice that yes, water is still coming into the basement when it rains hard.  Poke around again in neighbors' yard.  Realize their drain is not draining.

Step 11: Make plans to install new drain for neighbors, who are clueless and can't be trusted to do it (Note, drain is not installed yet, what with the aforementioned business trip and all).

Step 12: While kids are rotting their brains with TV, spray a water/vinegar mixture on carpet, let sit for a few minutes, and scrub with dry cloths.  Sprinkle baking soda EVERYWHERE.  Let sit, then vacuum.  Gross musty smell? Gone.

The carpet looks and smells better:

But it's not fixed yet - still need to put down new carpet pad, and figure out how to install new tack strips and stretch the carpet over them. We may need to replace some of the molding, too. BUT, none of that is happening until we make sure we have this leaking water problem fixed.

Oh, to be a renter right now!

Any commiseration stories to make me feel better?

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