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Monday, December 28, 2009

Sheryl Crow, Home

One thing you may notice is that my comment service has changed. Haloscan was trying to badger me out of more money in order to keep my comments. So they held them ransom and waited for me to pay them or tell them to piss off. I chose the latter. It sucks losing five years worth of comments, but what can you do? I’ve been expunging a lot of things from my life lately, it’s part of moving forward I believe.

When we last left out soaked crusader, she was in the kitchen shaking her head in disbelief feeling much like Noah, sans the Ark. (Please see post below if you are new here or haven’t been around for a while.)

I got on the phone with our insurance company to find out if our insurance would cover any of the mess. The lady on the other end of the phone was very nice and very professional as she said, “Dang, honey, I hope we cover that. I’ll check and give you a call back.”


While waiting for her to find out, I disassembled the lower cabinets trying to find where the pipe had burst. I disconnected the dishwasher and moved it to the other side of the kitchen, and relocated everything to the dining room before she called back.

“Are you okay, Mrs. Lane?”

“I’ve been better. What did you find out?”

She talked for ten solid minutes about water abatement, mold and emergency mitigation??? Before finally saying, “yes most of it will be covered.” She gave me a couple of plumbing company phone numbers to call. None of which would come as far as where I live, but each gave me another number to call, rinse and repeat until someone finally said yes.

A someone who brought his crack! I think I’m blind. Seriously, this dude’s ass was as white as the hottest part of a flame but certainly not hot at all.

Keep in mind, I had turned the water off, cleaned the mess, cleared out the entire kitchen, removed everything from the lower half, exposed and pointed out where the break was, and it still took that dumb bastard way too long to repair the pipe. So long that it cost me my entire two-week paycheck from the job I hate just to pay him. (Here’s where you can insert a ton of cussery.)

There it is, that little tiny break in the copper pipe that caused all this mess.

That put a kibosh on Christmas at the Lane Estate. The kids were more okay about it than I was. The old man thinks now is a good time to join the Jehovah Witnesses.

I finally called Mr. Lane back, after letting several of his calls go to the answering machine. It really wasn’t his fault that any of that happened, but knowing he was a plumber for ten years and could have repaired it not just quicker but at no expense to us, pissed me off beyond words as I signed over what would have been my kids’ Christmas.

The insurance lady kept calling back to see how things were going. After the plumber left she said she was sending an emergency mitigation team out. I didn’t even know what that meant but said okay.

While waiting for the team to arrive, I thought I ought to call the county assessor while I was still pissed off. I offered a friendly, “I know none of this is your fault, but” before I chewed her ass up and spit it out. She explained that the house hadn’t been assessed in a very long time and that was why our taxes had more than doubled. She said we could dispute it by having someone come in and reassess. While the kitchen is virtually uninhabitable, maybe a reassessment would be a good idea.

The only thing she offered me was a blueprint of the house to see that their facts (square footage etc. were accurate). “Sure, send it to my email address.”

I checked my email and here’s where my brain flew out of my freakin’ skull!!! You guys, this fucking house is a 148 years old!!! We were told it was 80-100 max! How do you wrap your head around that tidbit? I had no choice but to grow a deeper respect for this ol’ gal, although she was acting her age. I thought about getting her on the National Register of Historic Places, which is kind of like signing grandma up for social security, and then I realized the paperwork would be a nightmare. Maybe I’ll just send her picture into Willard Scott.

In two years, providing we are still here, I’m going to throw a big ol’ bash for her 150th birthday. You’re all invited but you must wear clothing from 1861.

The mitigation team leader called several times in between the insurance lady and my old man. It was very Grand Central Stationesque.

At 8 p.m. they arrived looking like Ghostbusters. They had every gadget known (and not know) to man. They knew they’d have to go into the crawlspace, which has a dirt floor and is roughly 18 inches deep. You literally have to slither on your belly to get in there. You can imagine all of the animal bones one might have under a house that is pushing 150. It’s seriously the grossest place on Earth. I’ve been down there once, and vowed to never do that again.

They were a tough bunch ready to go in and face the dank crawlspace… until I told them about the spiders down there. Oh, the look on their faces was classic. “They are about as big as your hand, and they move really fast…I don‘t think they bite.” Apparently “mitigation team” means a group of guys who draw straws to find out who has to do the shitty part of the job.

The guy who must have drawn the short straw said the damage below the house is extensive and will be repaired within our claim (thank Blog!) but the work would be done once the floor in the kitchen is removed because the space was too tight as is.

One of the gadgets they had was a thermal imaging device. The team leader showed me that the windows weren’t sealed properly and there appeared to be no insulation whatsoever in the floor. The device read, 80 degrees at ceiling level and 35 degrees on the floor. That was when I told him about us getting denied for a loan before all this happened. He had a ton of anger for us. It was kind of nice. He promised to find a way to remedy that in the repairs.

They brought three industrial sized fans and a chest-height dehumidifier to dry everything out so mold and bacteria wouldn’t grow. They said I saved this ol’ gal by getting the water shut off quickly. I told them I was pretty much ninja like that, they agreed, I like them.

Because of the timing on this pipe break was less than convenient, the demo work will have to wait until after the first of the year. Until then, the coffee pot is in the bathroom and we are living on cereal and granola bars.

Then there was that damn crow, I wanted to tell you about. You already know how stupid our dogs are, but this time, they really outdid themselves. I believe their stupidity is contagious and I’ve caught a heavy dose.

They went out in the yard and got a bird. It was a big ass crow. Seriously big, nearly as big as the dumb dogs! (I later noticed, it was longer than my arm.) Even though I called them repeatedly, they wouldn’t leave it alone.

Even though I detest crows, I'm a dumb sucker who now probably has encephalitis because I went outside in my pajamas, scooped that fucker up in a towel and brought it in the house.


It had two puncture wounds that were bleeding, and a bum wing, which may have been how the dogs were able to catch it. After I warmed him and he was out of shock, I wrapped the bad wing, put ointment on the wounds, which I got to stop bleeding with a cold rag (in the trash now with my towel) gave it bird seed, bread and sugar water, set it in a plastic tote box.

That SOB pulled the dressing off his wing, jumped out of the box, flew into the window, flew into the wall, hopped around like an emo kid at a rock concert, and proceeded to shit on the pile of folded laundry… the WHOLE LOAD.

When that fucker stretched its wings out, it was as big as an eagle and it freaked my shit out. I decided to evict the crow from our home. But trying to wrestle it into a towel was much harder now that it was feeling well and I was feeling pretty intimidated by its monstrosity. Ultimately, I succeeded and took it out onto the front porch where it hopped out of the towel, flew onto the railing and up into the tree… above my car, where it showed its gratitude by unloading its ass.

I hope you all had a merry Christmas and your new year is filled with wonderful things that do not involve crows and or water explosions.