Boo…Hisss

Thursday morning I was still in bed, most of the way asleep, but as my oldest, Lois  is completely un-self conscious about how much noise she makes, I was at least aware she was taking a shower. A few minutes into her shower I hear a scream & as I’m rousing myself to get out of bed & praying a pipe hasn’t burst or the tub hasn’t fallen through the floor (the thought that crossed my mind was: “Please don’t let whatever this is cost me too much money”) Lois hits my bedroom door at full speed, covered with soap, her hair full of shampoo bubbles screaming “There’s a snake in the shower!” at full voice. Mr 11 was at summer school working on his reading comprehension, so was unavailable to take care of this wildlife incursion, much to my dismay.
So I got out of bed, grabbed my phone & went into the bathroom, Lois had left the shower running as the snake was wrapped around the cold water faucet, so I got that turned off gingerly & went to the bathroom while contemplating the snake & what I was going to do about it!
I took a few pictures to document it to Mr 11 & of course, facebook, & then had Lois get me a metal shish-kebab skewer & the biggest lobster pot we own, I was able to knock the snake into the pot & take it right out the back door

(conveniently located right beside the bathroom door) & dump it in the grass. Lois swears it wasn’t on the faucet when she turned the water on, she’d been in about 4-5 minutes, getting wet & soaping up when she looked down & found it on the faucet! We don’t know if it came up from the basement & came through a hole in the tub caulk, or through the back door (our screen door-which I’m so glad to have, we haven’t had one since 2006 when it fell off in an ice storm. Doesn’t fit very well) or through the faucet or drain (the drain holes are pretty small, so we don’t think that’s the case, but it’s well known around here that they do come up through drains, sinks, toilets etc.

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More Jeep Things

As I mentioned in my last post, I had issues with my lovely Jeep Compass. They were serious engine issues, my ex’s guesstimate as to what it might have cost to fix the problem was between 2 & 3 thousand dollars. The Jeep dealership was actually less optimistic than that.

I was already considering the Salesman’s comment about replacing the Compass with another car when I said I didn’t find it funny last Thursday morning. Friday I went in to talk to them about it.

Long story short I am the somewhat reluctant but very relieved owner of a 2009 Jeep grand cherokee. It is HUGE. It is very white & it is coming with a very large payment.

However, I didn’t have the money to pay for the repairs the compass needed, I didn’t have the money to pay for the tires the compass would have had to have had by January to pass inspection, they were able to put what I owed on the compass (not an inconsiderable amount at all, let me tell you) into the payment on the cherokee, they combined credits for taking a 2009 after the 2010s were released with loyalty credits & multiple other credits that they didn’t exactly explain to make it a work-able situation.

I like the way the new car sits up so high, and the Sirius satellite radio (which I’m already familiar with because the company I work for has Sirius music channels in its lineup for your listening pleasure & the kids & I all often use them at home when doing something which we’d prefer to have music with (house cleaning is the #1 thing I do while listening to Sirius in my house I admit).

The car is not as roomy in the drivers seat area as the compass was, which surprises me as it’s a lot bigger everywhere else. If I hadn’t gone from the drivers seat of one to the other I would think I was crazy, but I’ve got to lose weight to drive this car comfortably (not exactly a bad thing, I admit).

It is so freakin’ huge I feel like I am going to drive over things, I’ve also seen it do a few odd things in the lights system, I was driving home the first night & suddenly although the high beams light on the dash was on, the headlights were on low, I flipped them back to low & back to high & they were high beams again, also the first & second nights, my front right turn signal didn’t work, the light on the instrument panel for the right turn flashed rapidly which is a signal that one of the outside lights is out & so when I got home I tried them & found it was the front right. Then, the last 2 nights though, the right turn light worked fine!

I certainly hope I don’t have a car built on a Monday when the workers were hung over or a Friday when they were all in a hurry to get the day over with & go home! Loose wires seems like the most likely reason for this, but of course everything is sealed up so I can’t even see any wires to check, let alone check them & of course because both issues are no longer going on, it’s useless to take it to the dealership.

Along with the new car payment I have a new insurance payment & of course, here it is the last month before renewal so I have a great big payment to make on the insurance just for October, then in November it will be spread out between the 6 months payments like normal.

The younger kids like the new truck a lot (the compass seemed more like a car, although it’s considered a medium size SUV, this thing seems more like a real truck- handles like one too) They like anything new & different is part of the situation & the back seat is bigger & has a slide out cup holder which I like due to the disgusting mess they’ve made of previous back seat cup holders.

Ms 19 is less excited, she is concerned because her BF read online that they get horrible gas mileage, this is the first 6 cylinder car I’ve ever owned (the ex & I had an Iroc with an 8 cylinder for a winter once, but I tried to not drive it more than I had to- he had trouble getting it started on many a cold morning & would spray ether in the carburetor & the image of the mushroom cloud like fireballs which would come off the top of that engine scarred me for life).

So I wasn’t expecting much in the gas mileage department, the paper stuck to the window glass said 13 city & 20 highway which was concerning, but of course, twisting mountain roads are neither city or highway & I’ve had cars I thought would do great do horribly & cars I thought would be terrible get great mileage here.

The compass had a read out that gave an MPG average read out & before it started having engine trouble it averaged 27-30 MPG, after it started having issues & running on only 3 cylinders it averages 23-25 MPG, still better than this cherokee I admit, but the cherokee is doing pretty well for what it is, it’s MPG readout like the compass’ one showed 18-19 the first half of the first day & it’s been between 19 & 21 every day since then, not too shabby considering the size of the truck & the size of the engine.

One great thing is that although my plates still renew in December, this car’s state inspection expires in April, this is good because I’m more likely to have money to replace tires then & do any other repairs which are required like brakes etc in April than I am in December which is when the Compass’ inspections expired.

Oh & the very best thing about this new car? It has a lifetime warranty on the drivetrain. As the lead mechanic at the dealership said, if what happened to the compass’ engine happened to this car, it would be covered, at most I might have to pay $100.  That, I can affort.

Christmas Countdown December 18

The ‘weekend’ (can’t really be a weekend if I’m working from 10 to 3 tomorrow can it?) began fairly early this morning when I made sure ms 12 got up to go to school – called the school to say mr 9 wasn’t going & went back to sleep.
The Doctor’s office called me back at 8:15 to say the doctor usually is at the local nursing home (where ms 18 works) on Thursdays but if we could come pretty soon she’d see us before going over there.
So we got dressed mr 9 ate toast in the car & I made my breakfast stuff & we ate/drank in the car on the way there & were in the office at quarter to 9. They soaked his foot- checked it out & decided it needed stitches.
Dr O talked with mr 9 about the stitches while she was doing them & gave him a shot to numb the area- now- 3+ hours later he’s pretty much numb there still.
We went to the grocery store & picked up much of the meat we’ll be eating for dinners in the next 2 weeks including a nice roast for Christmas (Turkey once a year is more than enough for me) Now if I can just get the roast the right amount of cooked – as in keep the center nice & rare but not get anyone sick from it!
It looks like We’re going to be going to Chrissie’s daughter’s chorus Christmas recital tonight. That should be fun-even ms 18 is thinking about going with us.
Right now I should be making mouse ornaments & so will let this be for now.

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Christmas is the gentlest, loveliest festival of the revolving year – and yet, for all that, when it speaks, its voice has strong authority.  ~W.J. Cameron

Christmas Countdown December 17

This is a day which I’m sure- we’ll look back on & laugh. Someday.
Right now it’s not at all pretty & I’m sure before the week is over I will be stark raving bonkers.
Work was ok- busier than it has been just lately. I came home planning on making cookies because mr 9’s class Christmas party is tomorrow- ms 12’s is Friday & I thought the cookies would keep.
We had a lot of fun making cookies- we made rice krispy treats- easy fudge- chocolate chip cookies & our butter cookie recipe which we used for both simple butter cookies & pepermint & chocolate pinwheel cookies.
I wanted to keep the butter cookies simple- as in roll it into a bar- cut pieces off & bake. Mr 9 wanted to make cookie cutter cookies- which I really don’t like to do- a lot gets wasted & the more you roll it out the tougher the dough gets so the last few cookies are not so good (of course I’m too cheap or frugal to just throw the dough away)
After much debate I split the half of the dough which wasn’t for pinwheel cookies & gave mr 9 about a third of that half to make his cookie cutter cookies.
That was just fine- except that he dropped a cookie cutter while he was making his cookies & didn’t pick it up on his way to the oven to take cookies out.
So then- a little while later- on his way back to the washer & dryer (where he was making his cookies) he stepped on the cookie cutter he had dropped- he stepped hard & now has an inch long gash in his foot.
We cleaned him up & debated what to do next. It is a deep cut but it was already 8:30 by then & of course- since late August the kids don’t have insurance any longer (In March they’ll have insurance through their dad but it’s a long time until March) So I didn’t want to take him to the emergency room.
Ms 18 stayed with him- his foot wrapped in a cloth & elevated. Ms 12 & I went to the grocery store & got big bandages & some anti-bacterial cream with pain killer in it.
I’ve already called our doctor’s office (who will accept payments from me for his care) hopefully they’ll call me first thing in the morning & fit mr 9 in bright & early-I have a feeling it’s going to require a couple of stitches.
Mr 9 is taking the whole thing quite personally- the cookie cutter happened to be in the shape of Texas (my mother lived there for awhile once & bought a lot of things in the shape of & about Texas & gave many of them to me) So now he hates Texas!
He is quite upset about missing school tomorrow this is the kid who has 2 weeks of- beginning after school on Friday & is mad because they don’t have a half day Friday! I found out though- that his upset is not due to scholarly activities it’s  due to the Christmas party.
Cookie baking pictures are below.

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He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. ~Roy L Smith.

Graduation ‘Vacation’

I say vacation because it was the first day I’ve been home from work at all since the end of February – when I reluctantly used my rolled- over paid day off from last year – because I had to or I’d have lost it. Having May 25 off was like a mini-vacation- even if it did mess up my overtime pay.

On Saturday after work 18 & I hadn’t agreed on what we were going to serve to eat. I had planned to have a cook out & burn our brush as a bonfire party sort of thing- but my ex moved to Oregon & I didn’t want to try to have a burn without another adult around. Also- the house was in total disarray from the work which was still in progress. Nothing was finished & everything was a mess still so having many people over was sort of out of the question.

Finally I decided that it would be best to just do strawberry shortcakes for dinner. 18 was a little skeptical but I persevered & went & bought the strawberries- bisquick & whipped cream. 11 & I sliced the strawberries & mixed them with sugar on Saturday evening. Everyone slept late on Sunday morning & we had a pancake breakfast. 18 was freaking out from about 11 am forward because she had to be there at 12:30 pm for a 2pm graduation ceremony & she insisted that we should all be there from then onward because she had heard that it was always crazy before & after graduation.

18- the BF- their friend A- left a little before noon to pick up 18’s friends V & B & take them with them to graduation. 11- 8 & I waited a little while before leaving because I knew 11 & especially 8 wouldn’t be able to sit still very well. We drove into town with no problem. However when we got to the road leading to the high school’s drive way the traffic started- I took an early left & went to the elementary school- because the high school & elementary are close together & share a parking lot. We found a great parking space & walked over to the high school.

There were people being seated in the auditorium where they had set up a live video feed. The kids & I got flyers with everyone graduating’s name on them but went over to the new gym after a quick stop at the bathrooms. We were told at the door that there wasn’t much of any room left in the gym for seating. I said I wasn’t going to watch my oldest graduate via video feed & they let me in to try to find a place to- at least stand- the kids & I found a place in the back somewhat behind the bleachers against the wall because I knew I wouldn’t be able to stand for 2 hours if I didn’t have something to lean on.


We settled against the wall & I checked my phone to see what time it was & found that I had a text message from someone I didn’t know. It turned out to be 18’s friend B who said to- when we came in- head toward the front- center seats- that they’d saved us some. We headed forward- earning ourselves some glares & found V-B-A & the BF all in a row with 3 seats for the kids & I saved in front of their seats.

Thus ensued a half hour of chaos- trying to keep 11 & 8 entertained & still. Worse was yet to come because then- at 2pm the seniors entered & I was hard put to keep 11 & 8 busy- in retrospect I should have asked 18 to leave me her cell phone. Because the bejeweled & Zuma games I have on my cell phone kept one kid busy- but I had to mediate arguments on who got the game next & how long they each could have it- whereas if I’d had 2 cell phones I could have listened & watched the graduation with my full attention.

Really though- the principals speech & especially the superintendent’s speech were fairly routine & sounded like they knew them by rote. I asked A- who is a recent graduate of Floyd Co. if it sounded the same as what he heard when he graduated- he admitted he didn’t remember. We sat in the middle of the gym- we had great seats! Thanks to the BF & A who had saved them for us. Because of my center row seating I was able to see everything.

I was amazed at how many faces I knew. It still amazes & amuses me to live in such a small town. I knew at least half the people in the crowd & I have never been to a PTA meeting (not bragging- though I hate the whole group thing & am well pleased that most of my work schedules have been such that I’m not available to go to PTA meetings) When I was a kid I could go to a town event (the fireworks & carnival they had on & around 4th of July for example) & I’d barely see anyone I knew at all- to see someone I knew was an event to be remembered- of course- now when I go home I see familiar faces every time.

In the stands on May 25th I saw women I’d worked with at my current job & in the clothing factory I worked in 8 years ago.  I saw guys who had played softball with my ex & run rescue squad calls with him. People who I knew from the stores & through Colleen from both 1993 & 1994 & the first time I came here back in 1987. (I saw Colleen later on -after the graduation- in the crowd. )

They handed the diplomas out & we all filtered outside- I – in a throwback to my father’s ideas when I was a child & a teenager (dragging him to concerts)- insisted that we sit in the chairs & wait until the majority of the crowd was outside before we went out- much to 11 & 8’s dismay- they were very restless.

We tried to locate 18 & her crowd but they were not visible- I called her & they found us because we were standing under a tree. we took a bunch of pictures of 18 with everyone & then I took 11 & 8 home. 11 & I mixed up shortcake mix & when the teenagers arrived we put them in the oven. Everyone seemed to enjoy the strawberry shortcakes very well. Then they decided to go swimming. (the young crowd that is- I wasn’t about to do so & 11 & 8 were rather annoyed with me that I wouldn’t go.

They found something else fun to do & I settled down in the hammock to read my book for awhile-when I first got in I overbalanced & fell right out the other side of the hammock- only my pride was bruised – but that was quite enough & I sulked & read for a little while- soon enough 11 & 8 found me having peace & quiet & felt they had to do something about that- as in they got in the hammock with me & we all talked for an hour or so.

The ‘big kids’ came back around 8 laughing because they’d gone ‘chunky dunking’ When I asked what that was they told me they’d all gotten naked in the river where they’d been (not on a back road either- in full sight of a fairly main road) & because all 3 girls could not be called svelte they decided it couldn’t be called skinny dipping so they re-named it chunky dunking.


Tuesday Torments

I didn’t expect this to be the sort of day I’d look back upon & wonder how I got through it, I really thought things would be pretty good. It was a very long day yesterday & was made even longer by the chaos emanating from home, calls, picture messages etc. Chrissea had text-ed to let me know she & Sami wouldn’t be back up last night & 18 had picture messaged a first look at her second lip piercing, in the words of M.A. one of my favorite co-workers: “Does she not want to ever have a job?” 18 then text-ed to let me know they’d finished off the kerosene, that the heater was ‘full’ but there was no more. I was ok about that because I thought the heater was full & I’d be able to warm up in the morning before going out the door to get more!

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When I arrived home I found the heater already out of kerosene. So I knew I wasn’t going to get much done in the morning. 11 was asleep on the couch, which I knew didn’t bode well, I essentially went right to bed & knew no more until 11 woke me up to say she was still sick & laid down with me for a few minutes, she was feeling miserable & coughing up a storm, I got out the good cough medicine (the stuff with the pain killers in it, that the doctor gave me to give her over the summer when she was in pain from the enlarged lymph nodes) She took a dose, reluctantly, but she did it & went up to her own bed & slept for about 5 hours straight, I visited with 8 for a few minutes before the bus came, 18 came down & visited until her ride came & then I went back to sleep.

I know I’ve been burning the candle at both ends lately (getting to bed closer to 2 or 3 instead of 1 am most nights just lately) but I’m embarrassed to say how late I slept, when I got up & saw to my horror just how late it was I got dressed immediately & went to get 11 up, it’s nice to be able to go upstairs, because she didn’t hear me at all when I called to her from the bottom of the stairs!

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She opted to go with me to the store for kerosene & to get warm in the car, but we dallied, I got back into bed & drank my breakfast stuff while talking to her & called legal aid, I didn’t get through at first & so cut the legs on a pair of jeans I recently bought for 11, (the school has rules now about the bagginess of the legs of the jeans & she can’t wear them if they bag up more than just a little- I hate it because she & 8 grow so quickly & if I make the cut & they have a growth spurt I’ve wasted these jeans. (yes, I can hear my grandmother telling me to hem them up & then I could just let them down as the kids grow taller, but they’re flared legs, hemming would make them look very funny in my opinion)

I tried the legal aid people a second time & got them on the phone, they said that the age at which a child can make their own decision on which parent they want to stay with is 14 & the custody order would still supersede that unless I was amenable to a change, they said with the custody order in hand if the ex refused to relinquish the kids at the end of a visit I could go right to the police, either here or in NC & they would take the kids back for me. The woman I spoke to was a paralegal & said she had to double check the answers to some of my other questions & that she’d call me back, she also said if she hadn’t called my by tomorrow afternoon to call her back, which I could only do during break. (& my break is 145 tomorrow which is, I doubt, what she meant by afternoon)

beck-88109.jpgMy look for the 80’s, ah & I thought is was fat back then!

We went off to town in the car, me playing more of my random 80’s & 90’s music Cd’s the ex gave me, I didn’t even know he liked Frankie Goes to Hollywood! There are many, varied types of these Cd’s in this collection of his, ‘Heart of Metal,’ ‘Road Songs,’ ‘Best of the 80’s’ & so on, Many of them, I can tell what songs he bought them for but some of them, as I play them for this, the first time all I can think is ‘WTF were you thinking here dude?’ Oh well, it widens my own collection & I’m hearing more than a few of these for the first time in 12-15 years so it’s all good.

We took the long way to town, just for something to do because though it was cold today, it was sunny & bright, we stopped at the bank & encountered only one open lane at the drive through, which did give me time to write the check, even with all that time to wait (5 cars ahead of me when we joined the line) I still forgot to sign the back of the check, the teller, who is always there, despairs of me. After getting a look at my usual place to buy kerosene (it was, at this point after noon & too busy to go to,) we drove back over to the other place which is cheaper than the near-to-my- house store for kerosene (we’re talking 30 cents a gallon cheaper, it makes a difference, I got milk, 11 a water & the all important Sobe lean & we headed home, congratulating ourselves with a quick in & out trip to town.

Partway back home I got to thinking about the water filter again & thought maybe there really was a missing gasket, so I stopped at the hardware store which sells the filter brand that the house has (there are 3 hardware stores in the county, but only this one has this type of filter) the guy behind the counter seemed to remember me from my past two visits (in the last 2 weeks!) & confirmed that there is supposed to be an ‘o-ring’ between the filter jar & the top piece (which is exactly where the water was spraying out from) I confirmed which of the filter models was in my basement & he found me the correct o-ring.

I bounced home in a fit of excitement ‘I can do this myself’ I thought, ‘I don’t need the plumber, I don’t have to wait for the back child support to come through, I will have a shower tonight & I won’t have to go down to the basement to turn the water off afterwards either! I can do this easy peasy & it won’t cost me any more than the $3.99 I just paid for this 0-ring!”

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We arrived home & 11 brought the o-ring, the milk & the drinks in to the house & I lugged the kerosene in & got the heater filled & literally had the book of matches in my hand to light the heater when the phone rang. It was 18, moaning that she now has what 11 & 8 have had & could I come get her? Augh! I just made the 20+ mile round trip to town! I told her she had crummy timing & didn’t light the heater & 11 & I got back in the car & went to get 18. She was outside waiting when we got there & introduced me to yet another of her friends. (to me it seems like she has hundreds, though I admit to having been socially inept & having only 6 or 7 friends at her age, after all, due to homeschooling I didn’t know anyone & even in the groups I was in & at work, most people were already in cliques etc & didn’t want me to join them)

When we arrived home (Again) I finally lit the heater & took laundry out to hang on the clothesline, along with the o-ring, I went straight to the basement to install my lovely new o-ring & wonder of wonders, I couldn’t get the filter jar off. If you recall, the first person I had try to do so didn’t want to try too hard because he was worried about breaking the pipes leading to & away from the filter, I knew I wasn’t strong enough to do it & so gave up for the moment expecting that 18’s BF would be home at 4:15 or so & could do it for me.

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I hung the laundry on the line, cleaned up the kitchen a little (as best I could without water that is) & started scanning pictures & doing the stuff I needed to do on the computer. I never got to visit a single other person’s blog today, just checking email & doing routine maintenance over at The Fretting Zoo was more than enough, because as I discovered to my horror soon after sitting down at the computer desk, the mouse’s left click button was broken, it worked, but after every third or fourth click it would fall off & I’d have to reinstall it! I think one of the speakers on top of the monitor fell off & landed on the button.

I immediately knew I would require another mouse, that’s not something I could wait on. Though I wasn’t about to go right out because I had to pick up 8 at school at 4pm after remediation, I went alone to do that & then we checked the p.o. box & came back home, Chrissea & Sami showed up & we all visited & I got another 15 minutes on the computer & 18’s BF came home & I dragged him right out to the basement, he tried to finesse the filter jar off, tried to coax it & nudge it, it wasn’t happening & then the worst happened, the outflow pipe snapped.

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I was actually sort of relieved when it happened, I decided we’d bypass the filter & just run a straight pipe where the filter was, (this sort of thing isn’t hard to do- I already had the glue after all & I’ve done plenty of this sort of thing both in the trailer & here- when 11 broke the hot water pipe under the sink in the bathroom for instance) I set the BF to sawing through the other side of the filter’s joining pipe, checked the pipe & saw it was 3/4 inch & with mr 8 along for the ride, I set out to go back to the hardware store where I’d purchased the o-ring to get some pipe.

I encountered an even more helpful person this time who sold me a 12 inch piece of 3/4 inch pipe & 2 joiners for it. 8 made the acquaintance of the hardware store cat who looks like our cat Scarlett but has green eyes instead of yellow. I was still feeling like this would work out, not having a filter isn’t good but if it worked long enough for me to get that bonus money that is supposed to be coming from child support enforcement out of the ex’s tax refund, then I could have the plumber fix my patch job & install the water filter under the sink where he says most normal people’s filters are located to make it easier to change regularly – my under sink pipes could use some work anyway because the drain parts haven’t been right since I changed the faucets. So no big deal at all.

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We arrived home to find the BF in the basement still sawing at the pipe with my hacksaw (the blade on the hacksaw was installed by the ex, I think, before 8 was even born) With 8 & I supporting the filter & The other part of the pipe he was able to cut through it finally, then we set about putting the new pipe in, immediately it became apparent that I hadn’t looked at the pipe as carefully as I thought I had, oh the outgoing side was 3/4 inch, but the part coming from the well pump was one inch pipe. I was thoroughly frustrated at that point & It was 5 past 5 so the hardware store was already closed, I sent the BF & 18 to the Village Mart because they have a fairly good emergency plumbing department.

While they were gone I got the 3/4 inch end all put together & glued, it wasn’t great because there was about 1/4 inch of 3/4 pipe sticking out of the next joiner, I glued the joiner I’d purchased in place & then measured & cut the piece of pipe so all I needed to do was put in the piece the BF & 18 were sent to get. They came back with something which was 1 inch on both ends, but had screw threads in one end which the BF thought we might be able to use, we filled the excess with glue & used yet more plumbers tape to make it sturdier & then left it.

The glue can said 2 hours minimum to dry before putting any pressure on the joins so Chrissea & I set out for C’Burg to get a mouse & pick up a 1 inch to 3/4 inch pipe joiner just in case the thing we did didn’t work. We got gas, went to Lowes & say my former MIL who surprised me by saying that she felt the ex has changed, I told her about my discussion with legal aid & she was fairly positive about the whole thing. We got the pipe joiner, a new hacksaw blade, light bulbs & some more tub caulk because my tub is a mess & all the caulking is tearing away from the tub & the wall.

Then over to Best buy where I got a fairly cool mouse for $20, (At least it’s an optical, no ball, I hate those & I already have to deal with one 43 hours a week at work) 18 & the BF had given me $2 for a dollar menu burger for each of them (no one but 11, Sami & Chrissea liked the pasta bake which in between all this plumbing nightmare I was coaching 11 on how to make tonight for dinner) I got myself a burger from the dollar menu & my 5th or 6th diet coke of the day (I may never sleep again)

We drove home & decided between us, 18 & the BF that the time had come to try the water pipes. The BF went down to turn the water on & came back to say it was leaking worse than the filter had been. While we were discussing whether we could run it long enough for me to get a shower & the dishes to be done 18 started yelling that there was a weird noise coming from the basement, the BF & I ran outside, I only looked through the basement window, the BF went in, water was spewing out of the outflow pipe, it had blown out the whole patch job we did.

my-wet-basement.jpgSee that white thing in the top center of the pic? That’s my lovely hot water heater from November- Fat lot of good it’s doing me right now!

Now there’s about 5 inches of water on the low end of my basement floor again (this makes 3 times now for those keeping score at home) I am fed up, completely beaten by the plumbing & will be taking a sponge bath with a facecloth which I’ve soaked with water from my spare water jugs & microwaved to warm it (Yech) Home-ownership is very nice, no one can tell you you can’t have 4 cars in your yard, a huge dog, 4 cats & 7 people living at your house (that’s what we currently have, among other things) but on the other hand, there’s no landlord to call upon in this situation.

Many Kudos to my mother who is wiring me (hopefully) enough money to get the plumber out here either tomorrow or Friday at the latest (I think 18 will flip out & kill someone if she doesn’t get a real shower before Friday- maybe I’d better have her ask a friend to let her use theirs) Things could always be worse, though I’m not too sure I can think of how just now…. Maybe if the whole house was submerged, not just the basement? Yeah, I guess it could be worse.

Picture = 1,000 Words

Of course, I’m still speechless. Everyone’s ok & that’s the important thing

distantviewtree.jpg So it was a little windy here in VA on Sunday

first-view-of-tree.jpg That tree from December 2006, it finally finished falling.

kitchendamage.jpg When 18 called to tell me she said it as if the kitchen was full of tree, really there’s only this little hole in the roof (about 3 feet by 4 inches)

garage-damage.jpg Then this lovely branch plunged through the garage roof.

newladder.jpg but the real damage is upstairs…

hole-in-the-wall.jpg in 18’s room, this is directly over her bed & you can see daylight & tree.

br.jpg This was in that left corner above the bed 18 was sitting on the near side of the bed when it happened & all the kids, plus Chrissea’s daughter Sami were upstairs at the time.

lois-ceiling.jpgHere’s some daylight, can’t see the tree though

sideviewtree.jpgFrom the side of the house, you can see where that second half of tree sheared off & fell on the house.

treeonroof.jpgYou can really get an idea of just how big this dumb tree was from this angle. (maybe it’s a smart tree, I think it’s been gunning for me since we moved in to tell the truth)

tree-on-the-roof2.jpg 18’s bf climbed out on the roof to give us theselovely views of the mess, looking back toward 18’s bedroom window from the garage roof

top-view-tree.jpg& down the roof toward the back of the house, that’s the lights in my kitchen through the window over the sink you can see down at the bottom right of the picture.

Now if I can just get enough money from the insurance co. to take the rest of the scary tall trees back there down, along with replacing the roof & fixing all 3 holes! It could become a blessing in disguise in the long run.