Sunday, November 8, 2009


Part 2 of the hot water tank saga.

November 8, 2009

It’s now 8 days later and visits from Murphy keep popping up, bless his little pea pickin’ heart.

Prior to the discovery of the wet carpet I had been working my way back into my Princess Plan. For those of you who aren’t on de-cluttering lists with me I’ll give you a quick explanation of the Princes Plan.

It’s a system I’m developing to help people come from being paupers enslaved by clutter and debt in their all aspects of their life to being the royalty they truly are. I plan on finally being the princess my Papa always called me.

I had started the plan on January 1, 2009 and was doing pretty good on it with the help of Dave Ramsey and with working out a system that was greatly improving the look and feel of my home and ranch.

Then the surprise unemployment hit and I hit the road, things not only backslid as far as the clutter department went they had worsened. Only our basic finances had continued to improve, albeit slowly and not the gazelle intense like I had planned, but we were current on all our bills and had even paid off four small ones in the last eight months.

Then this series of Murphy’s visits started hitting and things went from bad to worse real quick.

When last I left you it was Halloween and the day after. We were starting to empty the utility room. Now what comes out of a room in any home has to go into another one somewhere in the house.

Remember the “Uninvited Guest” story, well we still have all the dining room stuff in the living room. Now the utility room items needed a place to park. Some went to the overstuffed sunroom, more went to the living room and some went to my bedroom. The clutter was deepening. Small paths were starting to form through the lower level.

My kitchen cabinets are now covered in small appliances, which in turn makes it FUN to try and cook in there.

So let’s flash back to last Saturday.

As soon as he could Gary turned off the hot water tank because the leaking was pretty bad. Not only was it making a mess it was the hot water that was leaking so the electric meter was doing a boogie dance on the back porch while the water meter readers were rubbing their hands together with glee as the meter spun gallon by gallon.

This meant no hot water in the house until the floor dried. You know the one that was absolutely sodden. As Gary labored to get the tank drained I continued to fold the laundry I had done earlier that day.

Sean has a lot of allergies, dust and mold being two biggies so pulling up wet starting to mildew carpet was something he could not do without risking a severe asthma attack, so he took over farm chores when it came to that job and Gary pulled the carpet up by himself Sean helped drag the dripping carpet and pad to the “non-burn” area for things that will go to the dump on the next run there. He of course started wheezing.

While they did this I cooked dinner.

This brought up a slight problem. Dishes, no hot water—oops! Gary cheerfully loaded the dishes in the dishwasher and assured me by the next afternoon the hot water would be back on and we’d be fine. Does that man live here? Has anything ever gone as planned on this ranch?

The next morning I went to the camper and brought in a large supply of paper plates, plastic cups and silverware. I am the more realistic of the two of us on things like this. I KNOW how things happen around here. It’s called life and it happens to everyone.

We seldom use paper and plastic when camping so this was an unusual thing for the guys and I so we periodically forgot and still grabbed dishes out of the cupboards and drawers out of habit. So we added a Murphy expense by using paper and plastic instead of the usual wash and reuse.

All day Sunday Gary and Sean worked on getting the floor dried out, while I ran and did a single mystery shop and picked up more supplies for the project.

When I got back home I discovered the two of them had used every single towel in the house trying to soak up water so the floor would dry quicker. EVERY single one, including my cream colored ones!!! I was not amused, but hollering would not have solved anything. They were trying to fix the problem. They had drug the dripping towels across the carpet that was still down in the bathroom and placed them in the shower stall. Gary promised he’d put them on the line the next day while I was gone so they’d at least dry and not sour.

They had made some progress, there was no longer standing water from the hot water tank, and the mildewed sheet rock no longer existed. A large hole in the wall, with a small one a now nearly 10 week old kitten could have easily gone down under the house through had taken its place. Thankfully Gypsy was locked securely in my bedroom.

I pointed out that Lizzie B was only slightly bigger and she might just take a trip (or an opossum come in) through that gaping wound so they blocked it temporarily at night with heavy plywood to prevent this. During the day there was always someone in there working so the board was removed to aid in the drying out of the lower wall studs and insulation. Yep all my interior walls are insulated, luckily the mildew had been limited to the outside of the sheet rock, there was none on the interior of the walls. .

I suggested fans and a small heater to speed up the drying process as Sunday passed into Monday, still no hot water.

Gary had already winterized the camper since we knew we’d be home for a month or two and now he had to un-winterize it because for some strange reason Sean and I thought we might need showers before going to work on Monday. Luckily they had forgot the towels in the camper when they were mopping water up. So we were all blessed with nice hot showers and the world was a safer place for it.

Dishes were starting to be more than the dishwasher would hold. Enter the boiling teapot into the daily scenario. I’ve done many a dish by heating water on a campfire at rendezvous (pre-1840 Fur Trade Era re-enactments), so this was no biggie.

Monday I mystery shopped, picked up more materials, did a few returns while Gary stayed home and took things down off the wall to prepare to paint the room. Sean went to work of course.

While I was out I picked up paint chips for both the utility room walls and the dining room wall that would need painted when we got back to it

Tuesday, still no hot water, but the wall studs were finally dry so Gary put up the new piece of sheet rock, and then had to take it back down because he forgot to put the mouse/rat poison down the conveniently open wall and under the house. Luckily I reminded him before he taped and mudded the wall or Murphy would have gotten a giggle I’m certain.

When you live in the country you take all the precautions you can to head off rodents. I cannot tell you how much money we’ve spent due to rodents over the years everything from fifth wheel and vehicle repairs to a whole new re-wiring of the landlines in our home, so we are very cautious about them. We have mousers inside and out of the house. We put Just One Bite (a vet recommended mouse and rat poison) any where we can that we know for CERTAIN our animals can’t get to it and if we notice a mouse dropping we set traps. Again where the pets can’t get to them.

That evening the guys thankfully slid the new hot water tank into its place. Only the connectors and plumbing didn’t match! Murphy snickered.

While I was out the next day doing mystery I picked up the right parts. That night we all did a jig, and then the water line started leaking!! Dang it Murphy I needed to do dishes!

While I was doing the mystery shops I checked the discounted returns and mis-mixed paints at all the stores. At the very last one I found the exact colors I wanted at half price!!! That’s one for the good guys, finally.

Jan who will post this and move on to part three of the saga in OK

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