Monday, October 31, 2011

Little victories, little irritants

When I went to my O.D. earlier this month for my yearly allergy meds, he asked me what else was going on in my life. Well, of course he did. He's an O.D., not an M.D., so visiting him is more than just here-are-your-pills-here's-your-bill. And, because he's a disarming sort of guy, I chatted a little bit with him. Mentioned that as soon as I remembered to check to see what kind of batteries my scale takes, I'd be starting Weight Watcher's online.


Crud, I thought. He typed that into his laptop. It's in my file. I guess I really have to do it now instead of just talk about it forever. Dammit.

Well, I did finally remember to get batteries for the blasted scale. I've been on program about 2 1/2 weeks, and as of last Wednesday lost 5.6 pounds. I've lost a little more since then, I think, because this morning? I put on the belt that I always wear with these pants and put the buckle through a notch one tighter than I've ever used before! And I didn't snap in half when I tried to sit down. Yaaaay!

In other news--the water-in-the-closet thing seems to have vanished. It slowed when the rain stopped, sped up when the rain came down pretty hard about a week ago, and then dried up altogether. The association manager is puzzled. As am I.

But now? There's a mouse in one of the walls. I think so, anyway. The cat has developed quite an interest in one corner of the living room. There are no holes in the wall (yet), but I'm pretty sure that soon I'll be finding out whether a declawed cat can catch a mouse. She's eager to try.

And hey! Tomorrow's November!

I don't think I'm going to try NaBloPoMo this year. I really didn't have much to say last year, I have even less to say this one, and Thanksgiving is bearing down on me like it's a train and I'm a silent-movie heroine tied to the tracks. Help!

Let's see if I can post more than 4 times in a month though, shall we?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Neighbor dodged a bullet too.

Well, it's not the neighbor's water heater. They've checked, their closet is completely dry. The last thing the manager can think of it that it might still be coming from mine, from some sort of release valve at the top. I've put a bucket under the valve to see if it catches any water. I'm thinking it won't, because right under that valve is pretty dry.

I wonder if there's a blockage farther down the line in the drainage pipe, and it's backing up from there?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bullet: dodged. I hope.

Around 4 o'clock the association manager came and looked at my situation. He's pretty sure that the water's not coming from a busted main, given where the mains are located (he checked the plans for our building) and where it looks like the water's coming from. Thank goodness. They would have had to tear things apart in here to get at it.

He then checked the little meter-reader thingie attached to my pipes (don't you love when I get all technical?), and it wasn't reading like there was any water running. To test it, I went and turned on the kitchen tap. Nope, there's no water running unless it's been requested. So it's not coming from any of my plumbing.

Then he wondered if it was coming from my water heater, because it was feeling a little wet on the floor around its base. He asked me for a clean, dry, old towel--what he was about to do was going to pretty much destroy it. I found a tea towel that I don't care if I never see again, and gave it to him to dry the floor around the water heater. If water started showing up again in a few minutes, that's where the problem is. Boy, howdy, did that thing come back filthy.

A few minutes later: no water around the water heater. So he thinks that the problem is next door. He thinks my neighbor's water heater is leaking, and that the slope we've been built on has the water running into my unit, using the drain in my closet. Unfortunately, my neighbors weren't home to confirm this, but he's left them a note. I hope they come home soon.

I've asked him to keep me posted, so that I know when I can stop worrying the problem is on my end. He said he would. Though I suppose if I don't hear from him again, that'll be an answer too. Of sorts.

And now back to straightening up the downstairs. Though I have a bunch of junk in the living room that used to be in the closet. I'm not going to put it back in there until I know that I won't have to drag it out again. And besides, it's wet in there.

I could do with things being a little less interesting

My parents are coming tomorrow morning to drop of Pippin, my Very Hairy Little Sister (aka their dog). They're visiting my aunt in Virginia this weekend, and they're pretty sure Pip would have a miserable time. Not that she would have all that much of a better one with me. She's bound to be depressed, pining for my Dad all weekend. But at least here she won't have to deal with my aunt's youngest grandchild, who is a bit on the rowdy side. Pip doesn't like children as a rule, and she likes active ones even less, I think. All that quick movement bothers her.

I took today off to clean. Not that the dog will care what things look like. Really, I should clean, though, and this is a good excuse. I'm off tomorrow through Monday to stay with the dog, just because she's a bit sensitive and probably won't like being alone. Yes. I am pet-owned, and not just by my own pets.

Turns out it's a good thing I'm taking the next few days off, because things at home just got more "interesting."

The night before last, I noticed a weird isolated wet spot on the carpet. My first thought was that the cat had done it, but no, there was no smell. And then I thought, well, maybe I put something really wet there? Couldn't remember doing that. I put a towel down to blot things, and went to bed.

It was still damp yesterday morning. I changed the towel, wondering what the heck it was. It was a little wet by the door as well, and my early-morning, not-much-coffee-in-me-yet logic thought maybe all the rain we've been having has caused the slab foundation to reach critical mass, and I was taking on water? I went to work, and didn't think about it again until last night, right before bedtime, when I finally figured out that the water wasn't coming from outside. It was wetter by the steps. Besides, this isn't like my old place, where the threshold was level with the pavement outside. There's a fairly decent step up into the house.

I checked the floor of the closet under the stairs, and it didn't feel wet. Worried and tired, I went to bed and lay there a bit wondering what was going on before eventually drifting off to sleep.

This morning I finally found my flashlight (I'd looked for it last night and couldn't find it. Today? It was in plain sight. I swear, someone plays swapsies with my stuff at night) and looked in the closet. Yep. There's a water stain down the middle of the floor, well away from where I felt it last night. I think the pipe broke in the foundation.

I looked around me at the state of the house. It's more of a mess than it was yesterday, because when I clean things get more messy before they get better. Then I did a mental list of all the things I need to do that use water. Dishes. Laundry. Cleaning the downstairs powder room. I desperately need a shower.

Then I wondered, who fixes this? According to the agreement with the owners' association, I'm responsible for everything from the studs inward. The association takes care of the other stuff. What if the problem is in the foundation? Is that my responsibility? Theirs? The water authority's? If it's mine, how much is this going to cost? I haven't received a pay raise in two years, and prices keep going up. It's chipped away at my savings "cushion" bit by bit, and there's not much left. Will homeowner's insurance cover this? Or is this part of that "act of God" thing? It's not a flood, but it does have to do with water.

I have been running around all morning trying to make the place presentable for the strangers I'm about to call in. I'm also doing all of the water-related stuff now, because I have no idea how long I'll be without it. I also don't know how they're going to get at this pipe without breaking up the foundation and/or knocking down a wall.

The first step is to call the fellow who administers the association and ask him whose responsibility this is. I am really, really hoping he says it's not mine.

And? The dog is coming. There's a crate coming with her, so I'm not worried about her getting underfoot. Hey, it'll make for an interesting weekend for her, right?

Off to take a shower. And to fill up a bunch of bottles with water. Wish me luck. More news as it happens