Saturday, December 22, 2012

December Disaster

Sometimes, life take an unexpected turn or two. It's best to roll with it, but sometimes, the turns are so sharp and steep that I end up feeling like I'm careening out of control. Like this entire month.
Soft Pretzels
It was just last weekend that were at our friend's annual holiday party. It seems so long ago! There was lots of tasty food and drink and a white elephant gift exchange. Since we've been careening along, we were last minute gift buyers and only took one gift instead of two. I let SP 'play' and after everyone had selected/stolen their gifts, he had a bottle of Cake Vodka. I've heard good things and we tried it mixed with cranberry juice and soda. Tasty stuff indeed!
Cheese & crackers
We lurched into the first half of December with our 'basement project guy' here every day, sometimes until 7 or 8 at night. With a lot of pressure from us, he finished in time for us to clean all the debris and dust and move everything out for the new carpet. We also cleared out SP's office, which is upstairs, for new carpet. This means the sunroom, dining room, and my office were filled with boxes and boxes of books and computer parts and just... stuff.
Chocolates! Truffles!
That wouldn't have mattered if all the carpet had been installed on Monday. Unfortunately, the installers hadn't brought the piece for his office. Then when they called to have someone deliver it (while they did the basement carpet), they discovered the wrong size had been ordered. The company put a rush order on the correct size. Not being one for clutter or mess or disorganization, this made me kind of.... twitchy. I really wanted my house back together!
White Chocolate Cheesecake, Deviled Eggs, Meatballs
Tuesday I headed out for an already rescheduled twice hair appointment. Maybe trivial and girly to some, but my was long, for me, which annoys me, and my lovely genetic gray early hair had that fantastic skunk streak as the roots were like an inch of gray/white. I was so happy to depart the salon with all hairs brown. That happiness was short lived.
Fruitcake and Deviled Eggs
SP had texted me that the gas company detected a leak at our house, shut our gas off, and we had to get someone to fix it because it was our responsibility. Given that the water company is replacing the water main on our road, I figured they were responsible and my temper flared. I was already annoyed at the near constant construction noise and vibrations since December 11, there had already been one water line break, and we had to wait on Tuesday for plywood to be put down over the trench at the top of our driveway in order to get in/out.
Candied ginger
So I cancelled my lunch plans and shopping plans and headed home. There was much confusion and many phone calls. Turns out the gas company mis-labeled the gas lines. So when the water company was digging the trench for the new line, they hit the gas lines. Not just of our house but of 3 homes that we know about. The gas company repaired that break, but when they tested the line, they found a leak near our house, which is our responsibility.
We called our trusty plumber/rooter/sewer pump guys (kind of sad that it's like we're all old pals now because they've been here like 7 times in 4 years). Of course we had to wait for them to finish their immediate jobs and then get to us, so it was nearly 4 pm when the guy got here. He was pretty sure it was the riser, but it could be something worse, so he gave us a range of $800~$2,800 to fix the problem because they weren't sure what they'd encounter. But they couldn't start until the next morning because they needed daylight for the digging and stuff.
Mini beef burger sliders
So it was a cold, cold night. My dad got into town that night. Fortunately, the sunroom and the basement guest room have baseboard electric heat, so we spent the evening in the sunroom, my parents' room was heated, and we had an electric blanket. But by morning it was 57 degrees in the house. Brrr! They started early, but it was not easy. It was not simple. It was not just the riser, there were like 3 leaks. Our entire gas line had to be replaced. The yard was dug up, our mulch and shrubs uprooted, a concrete slab of the walkway moved, then they had to get in the house to where the gas comes in (which made me fear for our day old new carpet in the basement), the new line wouldn't feed through the old line because the old line was actually two pipes of different sizes connected plus the old line was apparently a complete piece of crap that was disintegrating. Blah, blah, blah. Then the gas company wanted to red flag our hot water tank - which made me almost dissolve into tears, but our guys fixed the issue there, the new gas line passed inspection, the gas company came in and checked our gas stove and furnace and water tank and lit the pilot lights. And at 6 pm, after 30 hours without gas, without heat, without hot water, without showers, it was fixed. Except that they had to come back the next day to fill in the holes and re-plant the shrubs and put the concrete slab back.
White chocolate cheesecake
So they finished up Thursday morning, the concrete slab was placed back intact, which was a huge worry for us because we weren't sure how I'd get in/out of the house in the wheelchair if there was a slab missing, and the gas disaster was over.

Obviously, it cost us the high end of the range. It seems every December is some kind of disaster. I am only half joking when I say I'm going to add a category to our budget called 'December Disaster.' Last December we had to replace the furnace, and the year before that we had 2 water line breaks, one time without water for 12 hours and the other time without water for 9 hours.

As if that wasn't enough, our new couch was delivered on Wednesday in the midst of the water company digging up the road and the plumbers fixing the gas leak and one delivery guy got a stone in his shoe and it left a big scratch in the hardwood, which we just put in last year.

Then I dropped the flour container and poofed flour all over the hardwood and SP had to dig it out of the cracks with a toothpick.

Oh, and our basement guy? He's coming back tomorrow to finish some small things plus fix a new issue: some closet doors no longer shut because of the new carpet. SP's office carpet came Friday afternoon. Things are slowly getting back to normal.

But we're still a little frazzled. And I am dreading the bills in January: new carpet, new couch, basement guy, gas line repairs, holiday stuff... We thought we had it all spaced out better but somehow, it all bunched up in December.

I think it's going to be a while before we recover from this December!!!!

But at least the house isn't still 57 degrees and we can shower.

1 comment:

  1. Yikes, that sounds awful.

    I hope 2013 has some happy surprises in store for you two! :)