I have had a little trouble focusing at work lately, despite mountains of work (finally - lots of billable work) to do. I think life and challenges and summer and anniversaries etc just made it too hard. So last week I put together a list of all the work items I can and must accomplish over the next three weeks, accounting for deadlines and home-stuff and a day off here and there to visit with Sisters and Friends. I even calculated approximately how much time I think I'll have to bill to each project to get it done. (This is my world, people, my daily life is billed in 6 minute increments. Really. Not kidding).
I had a FAB weekend as the 2nd Annual Sister Act Tour hit Atlantic city (translation: my sisters and I met there for a weekend. 8-8-08 had to be great! Last year we did NYC). Perfect sunny weather, great fun. Yes will blog more when I get photos...my digital camera died, so I'm countin' on the Sistahs. It took me 5.75 hours to get home, instead of 3.3 because of a mere hailstorm and tornado. I waited them out at a local pizza joint, ate some stromboli and watched Olympic badmitton and finished my book (yep, trashy strikes again). But I wasn't really in a hurry to get home, so that was ok. For once no deadlines there.
I get home with time to spare - time to clean up my whirlwind messes from last week's working marathon, put out the kids' new towels, make the place all nice and clean smelling for their arrival that evening, weed out the damned plant boxes up on the catwalk (see header photo - those pink boxes are hell and I'm never doing them again...yet another postfor another day), and I decide to unpack and do some laundry. This is huge for me; I like to put off the laundry. But something was telling me..."Go to the basement." And as I descended the steps, I thought, "Gee the basement seems damp and hot for a basement with a dehumidifier running......."
And I went into the laundry room - to see water on the floor. And hear water leaking out of my fairly new hot water heater..... first I cried. Yep. Just cried. The water heater is wedged up against the dryer (the dryer I hate that Ex picked out and installed a couple years ago - just after the water heater) which is wedged up against the old, ginormous side-by-side fridge that I hate being in the basement and loved being in the garage but got overruled by Ex last year so 5 boys hauled it down the stairs, giving my son a hyneria in the process and how it's there forever and I hate it, which is wedged up against the furnace.
Can I move the dryer away from the water heater to figure out what the hell is leaking? NOOOO. the washer is in the way at a 90 degree angle.
I cry some more. Lest you think I'm all "Wonder Woman" - nope after the long trip and weekend of no sleep, and admitting some honest personal decision flaws in my life to myself on that long, solitary drive, I'm pretty much tapped out.
Friend calls, I cry to him but only for 3 seconds because my cell doesn't get good reception in the basement.
Then I brainstorm and remember Son is home alone next door and make an emergency call to Mr. Son the Man (no longer crying). Some might think this twisted, but he really loves being the Man around here and knows I will listen to his advice (I heard through a secret source that Ex doesn't give him much credit in the problem-solving arena. I hope that will change. He's really his Father's and Grandfathers' kid in that area). We empty the fridge, move it a little, after moving the old metal "closet" with rags in it, move out the dryer, find the shut off lever for the water heater, but only after Son SHOVES the sink next to the washer before I can say DON'T so he disconnects the pipe that drains the sink and I have that mess to figure out, too.
And now I'm wondering why this fairly new water heater is leaking? and yelling inside my head, "I HATE THIS HOUSE I HATE THIS HOUSE I HATE THIS HOUSE."
And thinking this is what I get for "taking" the house and "making" Ex move out. OK So not true but at the moment I was wishing I were in a beachside condo in Florida already....
Drag my sorry butt up 2 flights of stairs for the 15 millionth time to the office to find the hot water heater paperwork. Yes it's under warranty but all that fine print about getting approval ahead of time. On a sunday night when the hotline is closed, uh-huh.
And I'm looking at the water heater and thinking the top of it looks a little funky. did it explode? Did the pressure valve not release? Or is that gunk up there normal? And I know that Ex would know by looking at it for 15 seconds.
So I make the call. Which he doesn't answer. Surprise surprise...
But eventually I talk to him and he agrees to come over and look. I tell him I don't want him to fix it or anything - just want him to look and see if the top is "normal" or not. "Because, you know, you installed it."
He arrives - and walks past the 2 dozen pink roses on the foyer table next to the Card my parents gave me - and does a double take. I let him.
As he walks down the basement stairs he comments, "You need the dehumidifier on down here" and I tell him, "I just shut it off when I discovered the leak" Pompous ass. like I don't know it's damp and humid in the basement? Duh.
And he is baffled by the sight. First thinks the pressure valve didn't release. then thinks it did. Then says nope it's just lime buildup. And the tank shouldn't leak. (Um no duh - I kind of figured that but then why is there a steady stream of water dripping out of the bottom? Oh yes I did get my sorry butt flat on the disgusting basement floor and shine a flashlight under there and slide a paper plate under there to catch the drips. i know it shouldn't be leaking but it is). So he tells me to call someone. Duh.
Check. I had already called a local hot water heater hotline. Have they called me back? Nope.
So here I sit on Monday morning, unable to take a shower to wash the beach grime out of my hair, waiting for a call to repair my hot water heater. Wondering why I left all that work sitting on my desk at the office and didn't bring it home.....blasting my carefully planned life all to hell and back.
PS Edited to add: happy to report that indeed old friend Brian, who has maintained the heating and air conditioning in our houses for 20 years, was able to drop everything and come out. Home Depot/GE honored our warranty and gave Brian a brand-spanking new heater with no fuss, well except that he had to drag the old one out there. $633 later, I have a new hot water heater, my furnace has been inspected, my air filters changed, and I feel better about everything. I must learn not to panic and to know that with a little time and money, all will be well....
thanks for the support out there bloggers!!
Now back to work for me...