Tag Archives: diy

The Leak Heard ‘Round the Neighborhood

Life this week has been reminiscent of that one summer I spent in Australia when we were allotted three bathroom breaks a day, took an average of four showers a week and washed our five outfits even less, beating our clothes against rocks and hanging them over foliage to dry.

Let’s back up. Last week I checked in on our water bill and noticed that it was, oh, five times our normal monthly cost. The bar graph of average usage was actually quite comical. Normal, normal, normal, we need more ink for this month. Because of MLK Day Monday, we couldn’t start dealing with the problem until Tuesday. Ugh, that guy and his revolutionary upheaval of atrocious civil rights violations. So inconvenient. The mysterious part was that we couldn’t find anywhere inside or outside the house that indicated a leak or excess water build up. So naturally, we were all whatever, it’s probably the meter.

JK. That is so not us. We were all OMG the leak is in the foundation! Our house is going to be ripped apart and the insurance won’t cover it and there are CHILDREN and BABIES that are going to fall in that massive hole and it’s all over for us!!! How can we live without a FLOOR?!?!

Spoiler: we still have a floor. And we can account for all of our children.

Did you know that normal, run of the mill plumbers don’t actually come and find a leak? Nope. They come out, check to make sure you didn’t somehow miss a giant bubbling puddle of sewer water in the middle of your house, and then refer you to a super professional Leak Detection Specialist. In other words, a weathered gentleman in an SUV who pokes around in your yard with the Leak Detection Specialty High Tech Equipment, or what looked like—to the untrained eye, of course–a metal pole with a handle.

The L.D.S. was worth every penny (and it was a lot of pennies), because he poked in just the right spot to send the leaking water pouring out of the ground and into the yard. And that’s where his job ends, by the way. If you have any pennies left, they will then go back to the plumber who has to re-reschedule another appointment to actually fix the leak.

The leak, which happens to be in a pipe located under a root the size of a fallen redwood. I don’t know if your natural inclination would be the same as my husband’s, but Clayton thought surely we have to destroy that root before the plumber charges us to do it. And yes, that seems to make a lot of financial sense when you’ll be charged by the hour and just getting to the leak could take several hours. However, that would make sense in the middle of the day, with adequate lighting, and the appropriate root-destroying accoutrements. We had neither.

root

But, bless his heart, off we went as the sun was setting to the local cheap power tool warehouse (because, Nat, it costs the same to buy one here than to rent one at Home Depot). One of us was in a big ol’ hurry to scoop himself up a [specific name that I don’t remember] saw. The other one had spent six hours sitting on the floor cleaning out the second bedroom and organizing old paperwork while almost six months pregnant, so she could barely straighten her legs to get out of the other one’s vehicle and waddle across the parking lot. To paint you a picture, Frantic McFrenzy darted a few steps, felt bad, turned around and came back, couldn’t wait any more, darted a few steps in front, felt bad, came back, and so on as we walked into and around the store looking for the money saving saw of redemption.

In all of our blade comparing excitement, I forgot the one reason I’d agreed to go with Clayton in the first place: the opportunity to use a working toilet. Ours has been merely a collection receptacle, just so you get your necessary dose of TMI here. So, on top of my prenatal stiffness, I was working with like a five hour bladder. Not ideal.

Cut to 8 p.m. and Clayton is still outside in the dark, sawing to the light of his iPhone flashlight app and, concerned spouse that I am, I’m curled up watching The Bachelor not so secretly hoping Clayton is preoccupied through the handing out of the final rose. Or at least until one of these chicks cries.

When he comes back in, he brings with him 1. lots of mud and tree shavings and 2. a noticeable air of disappointment.

“Well, that went about as expected.” To know where our expectations typically land on the optimistic to pessimistic spectrum, please see above reaction to water bill.

Tree root still splayed out over top of our busted pipe, almost mocking in its undaunted façade. Water meter still spinning like a whirling dervish when it’s turned on. We’ve been keeping the water completely turned off for the majority of the day, rather than pay $128 to make a pot of coffee.

Remind me to tell you about that one time I was in charge of turning the water off after Clayton had gone to work and there were winged, clawed beasts waiting in the meter hole when I, and my basketball stomach, bent down to wrangle it. Maybe the garbage man had to stop, get out of his truck and assist the pregnant woman on the verge of hyperventilation. I would have hugged him but I’d already maxed out my awkward capacity for the day.

Guys, we’ve really been roughing it in our air conditioned house with electricity and take out meals.

The plumber comes back tomorrow and we’re hoping he can de-root and de-leak by COB. We are not at all worried that removing the tree root will cause the gigantic pine tree to fall backwards on top of our house. No, hadn’t even crossed our minds, even though we have some experience in that department. We really need to find our homeowners insurance policy.

trees text  But hey, silver linings–we have a new saw and now we know BOTH Ashleys are cray cray.

Precipice

Just checking in quickly to confirm that, yes, people who blog daily with kids and jobs and dogs are superhuman.

We are gearing up for a week-long vacation in Maine, with a brief stop in Boston. I will be excited once 1) all of Addison’s belongings are actually loaded into our car for transport and 2) the dang flights are finished. Figuring out how to take my fly-happy pills while breastfeeding has proven challenging, so I may be going it with just a prayer and a 4:30 a.m. mimosa.

Work is picking up, which is both exhilarating and exhausting. Thankfully my mom volunteered to Addiesit a couple times a week. For now, I’m foregoing entrusting my one and only offspring to a 16-year old texting-while-diaper-changing,boyfriend-inviting-into-my-house babysitter. And exhale.

Clayton and I are expert planners, so when the time came for us to get ready for our first vacation with an infant and plan for Addison’s first birthday the weekend after we return home, we also decided to throw in a master bedroom redesign. If nothing else, at least the bedroom furniture I’ve had since I was 13 is officially out of commission. Buh-bye particle board. Hello legitimate wood dresser, reading nook and “are you kidding me that your shoes are on the new ottoman?” ottoman.

IMG_4005

I also tackled updating a black tv stand to use as a pink book shelf in A’s room, crafting some new art for her room, two mind (and savings account) blowing trips to Hobby Lobby, a novel-length list of ideas for the upcoming birthday of the century and redoing the gallery photo wall in our entryway.

IMG_3839

IMG_3843

IMG_3989

IMG_3996

IMG_3910

(Any thoughts for a wall treatment for that ginormous blank wall behind those photos? Oh, and rates for your services to actually come and execute said treatment.)

Maybe I’ll have a chance to post some pictures of the master bedroom “after.” Most likely I won’t, so just go right ahead and lower those expectations now. For the “before,” just imagine a freshman dorm room pieced together with help from childhood bedroom furniture, Craigslist acquisitions and absolutely zilch on the walls. It was a special kind of cozy in there.

The rest of the week will be a whirlwind of packing and cleaning and proofreading other people’s poor grammar and list making and list losing and list re-making and baby chasing and coffee drinking. Or, what I like to call The Everyday at Casa Noa.

I hope your summer has been full of Florida-caliber sunshine and free of mosquito bites!

IMG_3987