Tuesday, April 15, 2008

And now for something completely different....not

Just in case anyone thinks I may make up the dramas in my life ('cause I know it's tempting), I took the little one to school this morning, left a note for my mother telling her how to work my treadmill, did a stint at the school's garage/jumble sale sorting room, and returned home at 10am. As I walked in the front door, I stepped back 30 years when my mum said "You might want to look at this". Even in your 40's, when you hear that maternal suggestion, your heart sinks, you fear you're in deep doo-doo then remember you're in your own home and you haven't done anything remotely shameless for about 20 years, - and then the real fear sets in - if it's not my hussy behaviour, what?
I slowly ascended the stairs to the guest room, where I was met with her pointing to the ceiling, and a rather long bulging line in the plaster which looked suspiciously like water damage. She then pointed to a few other spots in the ceiling and held out a dripping wet rag, which she had used to mop up "the puddle" on the floor.

I may have mentioned that we have a tall house. Our bathroom is above the guest bedroom, and the shower (my husband's dream, being an American) is bigger than many English 3rd bedrooms. It seems it has been leaking for some time, and the water is now collecting in secret places, ready to make itself well and truly known. I called out the plumbers who, last year, had to drill through over fifty feet of tree roots (planted by the city) in our underground sewage pipes, to stop it seeping into our basement family room, (which also occured when family was staying).

Plumber comes out, takes a look at the marks, tells me it's all been leaking for quite a while and we need to "have the ceiling opened up". It took me a few seconds to register; rather like the feeling I sometimes get when my blood sugar level drops and I start feeling shakey. (When you have done as many rehabs as we have, this type of news brings out the worst in me.)
He also said because there's probably mold in there, (a big allergen for me and one son) we need to get it done ASAP. The plan is to have "restoration specialists" (ie. water damage people) come in, cut a huge hole in the ceiling, and inspect and treat any possible mold, which, as I discovered on reading our policy today, isn't covered by insurance. Then we get the plumbers in to mend whatever is broken in our shower, then we get another company in to dry wall and plaster the ceiling over.
We have my mum staying for another 2 weeks!!!! The only other unused room is on the top floor - an unbelievable 70 stairs from our basement family room. Even I don't want to do that.

I can't even think about organising this till the weekend as we have a double bed, two night stands and a chest of drawers to relocate. I could totally implode over this but my husband keeps talking about how much worse it could have been etc. so I am trying to keep a persective - like having been in Hurricane Katrina. My English upbringing tends towards the "Woe is me" but really, apart from the fact that my in-laws are supposed to visiting in a month, and my mother has nowhere to sleep, everythings' fine and dandy.
Ho hum - just another boring day!
Oh yes, and hubby's going to be travelling a lot in the next few weeks so guess who has to deal with it all. Guess I won't be sending out my book proposal for a while eh?


  1. You know, what happened to you is JUST what I have dreams about all the time. I've often wondered what psychological analysis could reveal about a woman who continually dreams about water-leak bulges in her ceiling...

    Anyway, I'm really sorry that it's REALLY happening to you. It's even worse when you have company, too.


  2. Arg :( Sorry to hear of your troubles.

  3. This made my life seem fine and dandy!! Poor you - woe's you Oh woe Oh woe.

  4. Oh dear, I'm so sorry about your water problems - they terrify me too. I popped over to see what your day had been like, and I feel awful that I should have been complaining about anything! Really, there's nothing I need to complain about - so what's a TV? It's all junk anyway. Best of luck and hope you manage to sort it all out. M xx

  5. Oh...... what a terrible to do. I'm really sorry. It's the kind of thing that really upsets me too. (More than usual, I mean) I get really stressed when things go wrong like that. Hope you get it fixed soon.

  6. I just spotted your silver lining. The in-laws are 'supposed' to be visiting... 'supposed' to be visiting. But how can they when the guest bedroom ceiling is opened up?

    Personally I would be doing a happy dance about now...

  7. Well yes but...it's the little one's birthday then and he would be devastated, AND if they don't come here, we will end up having to go to Little Rock in the summer. You do not want to be in Arkansas at that time of year. The heat is stifling.
    I am sitting here in complete denial. Despite the fact that the plumber told us to get moving immediately because of the mold possibility, my husband seems to think we can leave it a week, and I have my head in the sand!!!

  8. i symapthise with your plight. our house has been falling down around us for years and it can be extremely distressing. i will photograph the mould on the cellar bedroom wall and you'll feel much better, and possibly relieved.

  9. OMG I feeeel for you! I would say "It could be worse, but it could be better! It's bad enough as it is!"

    And also probably "Woe is me!"

  10. That's just awful, but as your husband observed, it could have been worse--it could have happened in January. I'm assuming the snow has gone down to a manageable level by April, even in chicago.

    It does always seem to happen at critical moments, though, doesn't it? We heard nary a peep from our hot water heater until the morning my son and his girlfriend arrived for a visit and it decided to pack up. No where near the level of your trauma, but still . . .

  11. Oh noooooooo! Gawd, I absolutely empathise with your reaction - I would feel very close to the edge too! And your husband sounds like mine! All I can do is wish you lots of luck and support and the hope that the damage won't be as extensive as it first appears - oh, and I'll also hope for a lottery win for you. In the meantime, enjoy having your mum there.

  12. I know you're busy but you have been tagged! I understand if you don't want to do it!

  13. Maggie - will definitely get to it. Now I have to go and "cook" at school with 18 4 year olds!!!

  14. Oh, no, the law of 'Murphy' strikes again! Isn't it always the way. It never rains, but it pours (sorry, no water pun intended!)

    Sympathy sent your way. These things always happen when 'hubby' is set to be travelling too.

    Looks like you'll be on the top floor and your mother will be in your room (but hold out for as long as you can!!)

  15. Have to get the "restoration experts" in on Monday. Apparently if I leave it any longer then the insurance company might decide we didn't act quickly enough to mitigate the damage.
    Middle child is going in with little one, but his room is huge and we can actually fit the double bed in that has to be moved anyway. Mum has middle child's bedroom all to herself although will now be in a single/twin bed instead of a big double, but hey.
    I might use this time to quietly donate the ugly dark wooden chest of drawers and night stand thing that we have had since getting married 18 years ago TODAY. (Husband out of town so big bunch of flowers arrived.)


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