Let’s recap what has happened in the last few days:
- I logged into our bank account Wednesday evening when what to my wandering eyes should appear but our tax refunds. Last year, after our first-ever tax bill, I painstakingly calculated exactly how much to withhold so that this year’s taxes would be as close to net-zero as possible. That was, of course, before we even knew Noah was on the way. Since our fourteen-pound, diaper-wearing tax break was born in 2014, he gave us a nicely-sized refund. As I stared at the screen, the possibilities of what to do with the money were tantalizing: pay off some debt! Put most of it in savings! So recklessly carefree!
- Thursday morning, we had a snowstorm and the government was on a two-hour delay / unscheduled telework day. I had signed up for some online classes for just such an occasion, so I sat down at the computer in our basement den/office/music studio/creative space to plow through some of the lessons. Before long, I noticed that my socks were getting wet. Figuring that Heidi had tracked in some snow that had left the carpet damp, I ran upstairs to put on new socks. Back at the computer, it wasn’t long before this fresh pair of socks was also soaked. Frowning, I rolled my chair back to look at the situation a little more closely, and saw trails of sopping-wet carpet left by the wheels of the chair. Panning my head toward the rest of the room with a growing sense of dread, I finally noticed the damp spots that were springing up across the floor like little oil slicks. I ran back to the rear of the room to the water access panel, fearing the worst – only to have my fear confirmed. Our pressure regulator valve was leaking, and there was no telling how long it had been doing so. I cried a little inside when I realized just how much
junkstuff we had in the room that would need to be quickly moved and bounded upstairs to recruit Gina.
- The plumbers were mercifully able to come that same afternoon. They fixed the pressure valve, but as a special bonus, they also discovered the burst pipe leading to the spigot on the front of the house. They happily repaired this for me too, as a two-for-two special. And of course they had to cut a couple of holes in the drywall for good measure.
- Thursday evening, I was still hopeful that I could Rug Doctor the excess moisture from the top of the carpet and all would be well. I was so young and naïve. By Friday, the carpet was still soggy, and I finally resigned myself to the fact that this would not be an easy or quick process.
- Gina and I manhandled the remaining furniture out of the room, exhausting ourselves and pulling muscles in the process.
- I called in a homeowner’s insurance claim and a water damage restoration company. There are currently five high-powered fans and a dehumidifier running in the room downstairs, and they’ve been going strong for two days now. The room still has an interesting smell, and the fans have played havoc with the temperature differential through the house.
- The rest of the basement looks like a creepy warehouse you see in TV shows where the bad guy is a creepy magician that lives in the warehouse and random stuff is stacked haphazardly everywhere and oh no, look out, the creepy magician IS RIGHT BEHIND YOU.
- In a completely unrelated chain of events, on Saturday afternoon I smashed my thumbnail in the inner workings of the baby stroller in the dining room at Chuy’s before sitting down to a nice Tex-Mex lunch with family. I’ve been cataloging the kaleidoscope of colors that my thumbnail has displayed. It’s moved past blood red and is currently sitting somewhere near dark-washed denim. It will likely fall off.
- Between the insurance deductible, rising home taxes, thumbnail replacement surgery, and other various bills coming due, that tax refund is suddenly thinning out. So much for that life-size replica of the Iron Throne.
So I guess you could say that this hasn’t been a banner weekend for our house. I’m ready to move on from winter.
Oh, and anybody want some wet carpet? I can get you a good price.