This Old House

posted by Momo Fali on September 10, 2007

Friday brought disaster #756 to the Fali household. What really burned me up, is that Friday is the day I actually get stuff accomplished around here. We often have weekend visitors, so I save the piles of dog hair and kitchen counter crumbs to be cleaned up on Friday so our guests will walk in and say things like, “Your house is always so clean!” AH, HA, HA! I feel like an evil genius when that happens.

This past Friday was no different. I had managed to move the entire dining room around, mostly because the area rug has left a mark on the floor and I want to even things out. My thought being that maybe people will think we designed the floor to have a sun-faded wring around all the edges. In addition, I managed to do some dusting, sweeping, mopping, and bathroom cleaning. Because, scrubbing other people’s poo off the toilets is just another wonderful thing about being a homemaker.

I had run the dishwasher and done four loads of laundry, when my daughter went into the basement. I heard a dreaded, “MOM!” from downstairs. The type of “MOM!” you hear when someone is about to projectile vomit, or the kind where someone other than the kid yelling has broken something very expensive. Either way, I knew it was bad.

My daughter ran upstairs and said she had stepped in a puddle. I thought, “No problem!” because, last week after a morning of diarrhea and vomiting, our dog was confined to the basement while we were out of the house. When I came home, I found she had peed on the floor down there, which was a pleasant surprise considering what I was expecting to find. So, in this case, I was thinking the dog had managed to sneak downstairs and pee. Because, well…our dog is old and the basement is chilly. I can just see her dog brain thinking, “Ugh. The heat, the humidity…I’m not going out in that sweltering grass.” And, again because, “MOM!” usually means I’ll find something resembling pea soup on the walls, dog pee was not a bad alternative. This was not a big deal.

But, I couldn’t be so lucky to have dog urine on the floor. Instead, it was covered with four loads worth of laundry water, as well as what was run through the dishwasher. The toilets had backed up too, but thankfully no one had pooped since I started the laundry. There was only #1, which had been diluted by tons and tons of water, soap and bleach. But still it was a mess. One wall to the other, the entire floor covered with two inches of water. After a three hour clean-up, my husband called the plumber. I didn’t want to call, because the last time they came out, he brought a bucket into my kitchen and said, “Look here. This is what was causing your back-up”, and showed me a BIG wad of a certain, supposedly flushable, feminine product. Oh, that’s not embarrassing. I mean, what was I supposed to say? “Well, where in the world did those come from?” I may as well have passed gas right there in front of a complete stranger.

But, knowing that I had not flushed anything of the sort since that day, and because I couldn’t bear the thought of having sewage come up into our basement, I was happy to hear they could come out the next morning.

After lots of snaking, and having a plumber pull a tree root through our basement floor, we were back in business. And, let me tell you just how nice it is to be in business, when you have a family of four who needs to do their business.

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