Monday, May 16, 2016

Week 20 - My Water-Logged Basement

It was a wild and stormy week. How’s that for drama? Seriously though, the week started with a tornado warning for Lincoln that had everyone in my building who works past 4:30 huddled in the basement hallway at the end of the day. The sirens were still going when I headed north out of the danger zone. When a tornado touched down south of Omaha, I turned full on weather weanie and skipped knitting. That’s saying a lot because I never miss knitting and it turned out to be unnecessary but who knew at the time? Little did I know, Wahoo would be getting our share the next day. 

Now when I got my new gutters and roof a few years ago after hail damage, for some reason they screwed on the downspout extenders in the back but not in the front. This has led to some issues so I am in the habit of checking both downspouts out front before storms, which I did Monday and both were attached. When I’m in bed and it’s raining, I can actually hear a drip on the more problematic one that’s right outside my bedroom. I woke up in the wee hours Wednesday morning and was aware of not hearing it but figured the slammin’ rain was drowning it out. Nope. 

It wasn’t until I was leaving for work Wednesday morning that I looked down the stairs to see water. I scoped it out to find standing water in every single room but I left for work anyway because I had a class scheduled that afternoon. Only when I got to work did I decide to reschedule the class and take half a vacation day to deal with the water. I stopped and borrowed Lorri’s shop vac on the way home and spent 4 hours moving boxes and totes and vacuuming up the water. My egg crate light covers that were supposed to keep the cardboard in the storage room from getting wet were a total failure so all of those boxes were wet plus some linens too, as usual. I did 2 loads of sheets and had them hanging on the line by the time I called it done. There was no more standing water and just a few dampish spots when I headed upstairs. Exhausted. I sat like a zombie and went to bed early, knowing I’d have to get up early to bake. 

Leaving the baking led to stress dreams starring Gordon Ramsey, who was yelling at me because my lemon bars were cut too small. I got up at 5:30 and put the lemon bars in the oven then made cranberry walnut cole slaw, both for the water aerobics cookout after work, and was eating breakfast by 6:15. My arms and shoulders were sore but I’d lived to tell. Too bad it was going to be a LONG day. Long for fun reasons but still long. I did have fun thrifting at lunch with Dodie and then after work at the cookout. Then I had to go home and prep for the cleaning lady to come Friday. I didn’t finish until 10:15, at which point I took a shower and fell into bed. I was so excited that the next day was Friday.

My goal for Friday was to run absolutely every errand on my list so I could stay home all weekend and reclaim the basement. Because while it was pretty well dried out, I had moved everything to vacuum so it was even more of a shambles than before the water, which was saying something because it was none too tidy to start. After a quick stop to fill my tire, which was 90% flat and clearly had been for awhile, I hit Menard’s and HyVee so got home ~7:30 but with my car full of everything I’d need over the weekend. Well, I’d still have to run errands on Saturday in town but everything I needed from Lincoln. The fact that my lawn was cut and my house was clean was the icing on the cake. I went to bed with high hopes for a productive weekend. 

After hitting 2 banks, 2 markets and 2 friends’ houses, I was back home and ready for basement duty. I went down right after lunch on Saturday and worked for 4 hours straight. I dragged tons of wet boxes to the trash, rebuilt the ebay linen shelf with sturdier components (it had fallen down on me while I was vacuuming) and generally got most stuff put back where it belonged. The craft room was still a train wreck but dry so I called it good and went upstairs near dinner time. More exhaustion but also satisfaction. And Sunday was another day. 

My intent wasn’t to head downstairs first thing but since I’d gotten up at 5:30 and was done with my morning veg time by 9:30, I found myself staying down there after I put in the first load of laundry. Three hours and four loads of laundry later and I’d gone through most of the craft room. I’d found a basket of stuff that had gotten wet (hence the 2 extra loads) and had 4 huge bags of clothes for Goodwill that I’d pulled from various ironing and mending baskets. That felt good. 

After taking time for a cup of tea and some phone calls, I was back up and cooking. My rotation had gone off the rails earlier in the week but I had a fridge full of produce so got busy with that. By the time the night was done, I had a nice dinner (cheesy baked cauliflower with pork roast) and all kinds of food for the coming week. I also had 2 big bags for the chickens and the kitchen was pretty well cleaned up. I also interspersed hand scrubbing my kitchen floor a few feet at a time to try to remove the gunge that has built up on my laminate. If you’ve ever considered laminate, STOP. It’s a nightmare and always looks like crap. You’ve been warned. 

Anyway, it was a busy and exhausting week but after her storms, Mother Nature had cooperated with a cold weekend so I couldn’t garden anyway. And the water was the kick in the butt I needed to get going on my basement. Now it’s at the point where there are individual baskets and boxes to go through rather than a complete slog through. Nice. And let me just add that I went all Nebraska farmer on my errant downspout and it’s now duct taped so thoroughly that it’ll never come off. No more kicks in the butt for me, thank you very much. Now to get back outside. The to do list never ends but as I say – better busy than bored.

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