Thursday, March 6, 2014

What a week

This week needs to end.  It is Thursday and I feel like it has been a month since Monday.

This week started out well - got up on Monday morning, everyone healthy. Monday went GREAT.  No problems, no activities.  Got news from my mom that my Grandma's chemo session went well and her blood levels were looking good.

Tuesday - same thing.  Started great.  Got Arlington off to school on the bus then drove Finley and Cainan to school because she had to take her Diorama:

I was also volunteering in Cainan's class on Tuesday.  I was looking forward to seeing the kids - he has quite a few little cuties in there -  and seeing what his class was up to.  

I came home from volunteering and as soon as I walk in the house, I am hit with a smell I can't place.  My first thought is that I left my little space heater on and it was making that smell because it was leaning on something it was burning.  Nope - that wasn't it.

My second thought was the dogs had done something.  They didn't look guilty, but I started to roam the house looking everywhere.  Nope - that wasn't it.

So - I started to relax.  I had started a big project before I left, and had tons of things all over the floor - I thought maybe that was what I was smelling (I really couldn't place the smell) - maybe something in my millions of piles of papers, braille stuff, etc. that I was organizing.  That must be it.  

I went into the bathroom and I heard it.  Running water.  It sounded like it was coming from our floor board (baseboard heater).  This wall is also against the outside wall, and I know there are very few instances where pipes are in outside walls.  I thought it could be from the roof - so much ice - maybe it was melting.  But it just sounded so consistent that I just didn't know.

Then it hit me.  We had problems about two months ago with freezing pipes in our master bedroom.  It has been so cold for so long that even the best built houses are having freezing problems.  I went down into the basement to see if I could locate the problem.  When we discovered it last time, the pipe was ice cold that lead to the master bedroom.  But when I touched it - it was hot.  Hmmmmmm.  I looked everywhere.  The smell was strong in the basement, but everything seemed to be working.  Boiler - check.  Water - check.  What was going on?

Dogs were following me all around - no help at all.  They thought it was fun going all around the house.  "What are you looking for mama?  A ball?  Did you hide a ball?".  Dumbos.  Why couldn't they tell me why I left a good smelling house, and came back to this?

I came back upstairs and sat down.  It was driving me nuts, but so far I have found nothing.  I was being paranoid.  The pipes were obviously not frozen because they were warm.  Right?


I went to our bedroom to put some laundry away and I was hit immediately with the smell when I opened the door.  I was immediately filled with dread.  I started in the main part of the bedroom - nothing.  I went into the bathroom.  Nothing.  Then I went into our sitting area and as soon as I stepped on the carpet I knew.  Squish.  I looked at the baseboard in the corner, and there was water all around it.  The carpet was soaked and the smell very strong.

My first call was to Mat.  I had no idea how to shut off the water because we have a stupid well.  So - he took his best guess, and I went down into the basement and tried it.  Nope - didn't work.  So he told me to call the plumber.

We have a local plumber that is great.  He helped us last year when our water heater decided to die and flood our basement.  So I called and they put him on the phone.  He talked me through shutting off the boiler and the water (unfortunately both needed to be shut down to stop the flow of water) and in the mean time had his guys on their way (he is local, so it was less than 10 minutes).

They got here and were able to discover the problem pretty quickly.  We were lucky on a lot of levels.  1) I was at home and not gone for a whole day.  2) a part on our boiler had malfunctioned or we would have had a lot (a LOT) more water.  3) the break was above the carpet and not deep under the floor, so they could get to it easily.

Within a few hours, they had the pipe fixed and the water/heat back on.  They told me the smell was antifreeze that was in the lines.  They told me that the part on the boiler that had malfunctioned would have to be replaced, but that it was working enough that it could wait for them to come back.  They told me that they would have to come back on Friday and re-antifreeze the lines (since it would take 4-5 hours to do that).

As long as we were not going to flood and we had water and heat - I didn't care.  And it wasn't even that expensive.  Whew.

They cranked up the heat and told me it would take a few hours and that we were to leave the bedroom at atleast 68 degrees until they came back on Friday to treat the lines.  

At 5pm - 4 hours after they left - I went into the bedroom, and the thermostat read 61 degrees.  I felt the base boards - nothing.  GREAT.  I went into the basement - pipes were cold.  GREAT.  I called the plumber and he came right back and found that we had to have our lines purged of air.  Took him about an hour (during the time we were supposed to be at Cainan's Karate class) to get it up and running.  He came up to report that the pump was about dead (the one to kickstart the master bedroom's heat) and that it should be replaced.

Super great.

But we had heat again.  

The smell and wetness were still there, so I called Stanley Steamer to come out and see what they could do.  They told me they couldn't do anything while the carpet was wet, but that even if it dries, the chances of us not getting mold and not having that smell long term - not good.  They suggested we replaced the carpet.

Mat wanted to try a dehumidifier first.  AFter all - it is winter - the air is very dry - so he felt our chances of problems were very low.  So - we drag out the dehumidifier just to find out that it is no longer working.  It has breathed its last breath and would not be helping us at.all.

Where is the hidden camera.

Wednesday morning - Mat and I wake up and hear running water again.  This time behind the bed.  I about died.  I thought we had another pipe burst in the night (since it was down to about -2 degrees outside).  I called the plumber and he was pretty sure it was just the sound of air in the system (since we didn't have any water leaking on the floor this time), but he advised me to shut down the heat in that room and he would send someone out.

And it was just air.  So.Glad.  I thanked them for easing my panic and that we hopefully would not need to see them again until Friday.

Finley did not go to school on Wednesday because she woke up sick and miserable.  She wasn't running a fever, but she was all stuffed up and crying, and when she gets in this mind set, it is very hard to get her to school and for her to stay there.  So - instead of torturing the teacher, and me, I kept her home.  She did lay around all day and did rest.  But her staying home, and having to wait for the plumber threw a big wrench in my day.  I was supposed to meet with Finley's braille teacher.  Then I was supposed to work in the Library.  Then I was supposed to meet up with one of our donors for our June event.  All had to be canceled.

But we had heat!  And water!  And no leaking!!

I made myself a sandwich for lunch once Finley was settled.  A yummy, Islay's ham sandwich.  People who don't live in the Western PA area will not understand how delicious this ham is.  And how I painstakingly brought it back from my last trip to Connellsville because I can't get it anywhere else.  After a rough few days, I was looking forward to sitting for a few minutes and eating.

The door bell rang.  I had to leave my sandwich.  Which was made of meat.

Do you see where this is going?

Even though I put it in the MIDDLE of my counter, Scooby still managed to get it and eat it.  Whole thing.  Then he just sat there looking at me daring me to accuse him of doing anything wrong.


To top off my day, I got an email from Finley's braille teacher.  We couldn't meet that morning, but she didn't want me to have to wait to tell me that they had noticed a change in Finley's vision at school.  She took these pictures:

She has started writing on the right side of the paper.  Even with a guide on the left - she seems to not be seeing the left upper part of the paper.  The braille teacher is guessing that she has had a significant change in her left field of vision.  Finley was not aware that she was doing this, and when it was brought to her attention, she was surprised.

This always tightens our chest.  We go along for so long that we relax about Finley, even if it is just a little bit.  We have not seen this before so this really, well, stinks.  Finley has a vision field test on the 25th of March, so we will take this along and then see what the vision field results are, and go from there.

Stupid research needs to hurry up.

Today tried to redeem itself, and it went pretty well.  Thursdays are always busy because Finley has gymnastics and it involves me taking all 3 kids for 2 hours.  Thank God for electronics.

So we will see what happens tomorrow when the plumber returns.  He is hoping for no surprises once he starts replacing parts and getting all the pipes squared away.  But the way this week is going - I am thinking that surprises are in store.


Lindsay Yazzolino said...

Well look on the bright side: at least you were able to read an awesome, inspirational book to cheer you up!

Shayla McCartney said...

Things will be better!

I am sorry your carpet got ruined an