Lisa's Rants and Raves
- Written by Lisa Houserman Lisa Houserman
- Created: 27 November 2017 27 November 2017
For those who enjoy hearing about the life and times of the woman next door known as Mother, this week should not disappoint. (Note I said “should” so don't get your hopes up too much.)
This isn't really related to what she has done but is more or less how certain things have unfolded in her life as of late which have led to additional stress being placed on our dear gal. Mind you, having me as a daughter is enough to lead one to drink quite heavily so anything extra isn't a good scene.
This summer it was determined that a massive amount of construction work would need to unfold in her basement, which we have always called “the cellar.” I've noticed lately we (family members) have switched to the “basement” usage and am not clear why. I am crystal clear that this is an official digression so there you have that.
She has been struggling with water flowing madly IN her basement during and after storms and/or during various thawing events. These days we have the spring thaw every other day so this was becoming quite a problem. Not to mention but mold was involved and some shoring up of the foundation was in order.
There is a company that repairs this kind of jazz and has for years. I shall not name them yet—note “yet,” because I shall give them an appropriate amount of time to make things right before “outing” them. I think you see in what direction this is moving at this point.
First off they told Mother that they would be out sometime in September and that she needed to do X, Y and Z in order to prep for the occasion. Being the organized-beyond-recognition-character that she is, she immediately began to perform said prep work MONTHS prior to the official start-of-work date. This is in her nature, as many of you realize.
She seized one of The Child's friends and any passerby who happened to step into her whirling dervish path, and instructed them to carry out various tasks. Clipping rhododendrons, moving brick sidewalks (which she installed by herself, mind you), pruning this, adjusting that and moving EVERYTHING around in “the basement,” were all carried out with speed and agility. The woman was ready for their arrival a week after they told her it would be MONTHS before they would begin.
That whole saga might be a digression but it adds a bit to this otherwise boring piece so just go with it.
This particular company warranties their work for the life of the home. They have also been featured on national telly shows about fixing up ancient houses, etc., so it is not some fly-by-night joint operating out of a seedy hotel room.
Since the second they exited stage left and declared the work finished, it has been one thing after another. I can't keep up with all of it but in short order the first thing that was discovered is how they neglected to hook up or plug in the new sump pump apparatus. (She now has 2 pumps of sump in her basement/cellar region, by the by.)
Then there was something else that has slipped my mind and then recently some rather large developments unfolded.
There was a bit of standing water in the first part of the downstairs region (trying to utilize different words for basement and cellar) after a recent rain. Some told her not to worry about this and to just see how it played out. I did NOT feel that way as this operation was not cheap by any stretch of the imagination.
I filmed a bit of this the first time (and the second but more about that later) and showed it to the gent from the company in question who recently came out to assess the situation. After being asked to slow down the video, back up the video, run the video again, play the video whilst standing on my head, please play this as you recite the Pledge of Allegiance backwards, etc., blah, blah and blah, he announced that they would return in early January to fix the problem.
Two days later on a Saturday night I was summoned next door because Mother went to check on the “land down under” (not Australia) and was greeted by water POURING from a wall just like a kitchen spigot.
Since I had been asked to play the original video over and over again and in various manners, I decided to remedy this right off by recording every minute from the time I first entered the house and beyond. That way the repair person from the company would know TOTAL details—to the max even.
Keep in mind that water was spilling over the edge of a five gallon bucket in 4 minutes—literally—Mother timed it. This was happening as I strolled purposefully through the entire basement and filmed every bit of the “festivities.” She was pretty good about it but I could tell that she desperately wanted me to empty the *&%$#@ bucket and THEN commence recording!
Moving along, after some time I reached back into my mind for engineering ideas that I learned when I used to camp alone all of the time. “If I could only find a piece of old gutter,” thought I. I went to the garage and found a piece of gutter which was appropriately located near other items that begin with the letter G, since Mother alphabetizes everything, of course. (I made that part up but honestly, it is something she might do.)
The piece was short by a bit over a foot so we had to rig something up which would take the water from the wall to point B and then slowly release into said gutter piece, which was aimed directly above a working drain.
We found some plastic tray-sort-of-item and used some kind of plastic cutting device to remove the end on each one. This is rather hard to describe in print. I put that together and made it so the water would end up “setting a spell” prior to exiting madly into the gutter. I guess it was a spillway for lack of a better description.
The bottom line is that we were able to divert the water which was zooming out of the wall to the drain via a total contraption constructed by your charming columnist.
The company is able to return to the scene of the crime, so to speak, but not until January 4. Meanwhile, we will have to check on this every time there is a thawing scenario or a heavy rain situation.
There you have that saga. Since Mother still works at age 91 and has all sorts of irons in the fire, I have seized the folder containing the contract, etc., from “Mystery Company.”
The whole thing puts me in the mind of a cartoon in which the character plugs a hole from which water is spewing, only to have it break through in another area.
I must dash next door to check on this invention—that's the best I can do in terms of a catchy ending. I know, it's not very clever but I'm waterlogged and exhausted.
THE END (Interstate Crosscheck – AIPAC – Geoengineering - “War is a Racket,” by Major General Smedley Butler)