Tales From The Money Pit

I never liked the Tom Hanks/Shelley Long farce. Even before I bought my first house. I don’t like when misfortune piles up on the unsuspecting.

I thought today was going to be a simple day. Long day, but simple. Took some vacation to clear things from sunrise to sunset. After the former, I started noticing the butterflies outside our bedroom window. Rather than take out all the wildflowers behind the house, I opted to keep the milkweed. The young miss attempted to sow wildflowers last summer, inspired by her environmental science course. We also had some nettles, which were attracting even more Red Admirals. So I saluted, and set to hacking out fledgling maple trees and fixing up the peripherals: hoses, burn chamber, and the deck.

By mid-morning, the sun was getting too high. My wife was up and we made a run to the hardware store to pick up a neat appliance which does a fabulous job on tar paper under carpeting. We had just emptied the bedroom, and I was about to unpack my new toy when I went to the basement to retrieve a claw hammer to deal with an odd nail or two.

It’s never a good sound to hear splashing liquid in one’s basement. The young miss had run a load of wash while we were out. And Gambit was spooked as I was. Double hit: wash water spurting up out the drain pipe and toilet backed up in the neighboring downstairs bathroom. I hate it when sewage takes a wrong turn and thinks my basement is a treatment plant.

That only set us back a few hours. Four loads on the wet vac to clean up. Then the repair crew arrived. Later they offered to have a look at a slow draining sink upstairs. Turned out the sink drainpipe was mostly being held together with a clog. They ran their rooter, and the pipe fell apart. It’s plumber time! But not till tomorrow.

As of 8pm, the bed is still disassembled. My wife is mopping the floor with a vinegar solution after the steam treatment and my scraping and sanding of the window. I made tomato/spinach/black bean burgers for the young miss and me. Wife settled for PB&J and a pepsi. I think a nice beer would go down well for me about right now. But ice tea will have to do. I think anything with alcohol content would put me out at this point. And I’m too pooped for a liquor store run at this point.

Good news is we got everything on today’s checklist punched out. And a few more things. Bad news is we’ll have to delay listing the home a day or two into the weekend. I don’t see us being ready by Thursday to receive potential buyers. Come by Sunday or Monday.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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7 Responses to Tales From The Money Pit

  1. charlesincenca says:

    ” I think anything with alcohol content would put me out at this point. And I’m too pooped for a liquor store run at this point.”
    And that, my advice ignoring brother, is THE Catch 22 of fermented beverages. The steward, bridal party and family and guests at Cana had no clue how, among other considerations, convenient it was that our Lord said to Himself, “Aw, what the heck, the water sucks and I don’t see a Rothschild or Mondavi nearby, bring the jars.”

    • Todd says:


      And I didn’t totally ignore your advice. Four of yesterday’s posts were written in advance. The PS series was completed at the end of May to run through next week. And of the other two series, DiM has draft posts through August 22nd, and Laudato Si, I write a few days ahead, as I read the document. And besides, my choice last night before repairing the bathroom cabinet was to write up this post or fiddle in the living room while my wife watched Henry and Anne on PBS.

      • Liam says:

        “Wolf Hall”? The fictionalizing was substantial, but I gather from reading many reviews that many reviewers have no idea how much of Wolf Hall was fiction. I mean events, sequence, characterizations, not just dialogues. Its premise is to humanize the demonized Cromwell. I hope Mark Rylance was paid well, because he mostly had to brood about and mutter half-thoughts thoughtfully. While the St Thomas More of “A Man for All Seasons” needed a corrective, the More of “Wolf Hall” is not that, but a hackeyed reversal of Cromwell.

      • Todd says:

        It was a new miniseries by BBC and hosted by an historian. Also included a few scenes with actors. Better than cable fare, but I wasn’t convinced I needed to see repeated scenes of Henry in swordplay or chasing Anne through a garden.

      • Liam says:

        Of Henry’s wives, the one most unjustly overlooked is Anne of Cleves. She played the hands she was dealt perfectly. The only one of Henry’s wives of whom that can be said. She became a great independent woman (of the Royal Family, only Lady Mary had a greater personal estate), outlived Henry and all of his other wives, and died a Catholic during the reign of Mary I.

  2. Jen says:

    Oh ugh. It’s always something, as my grandmother would say. Could be worse: my best friend and his wife bought a house. Nobody bothered to tell them that the mains were actually a Korean war paper pipe that was only designed to last 30 or 40 years. They discovered this when sewage was spewing out of every drain and toilet.

    Was it you, who had the great black bean burger recipe? I thought I’d saved one, but can’t find it. I know it was an online/blogging friend that had it.

  3. Jim McCrea says:

    Never, never, NEVER buy a new house without access to, or commissioning, a thorough inspection by a reputable building contractor. Pennies saved up front cost dollars thereafter.

    I know; in 1978 I bought my place based on trust fo 2 real estate agents, and learned to regret it mightily.

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