I should change the name of this blog to “My Comically Insane (but good) Life With 4 Kids And An Old House”. OMG. This weekend was nuts. So we had an open house this weekend. Great, we want to get the house sold, an open house sounds like a good idea, maybe it will generate some interest. So, two weeks ago we schedule it for this weekend and plan on getting some final little projects done around the house. No biggie.
Well, Friday night D comes up from the basement saying he thinks our house knows we want to sell it and is breaking so that we stay put. Apparently there is a small leak in a pipe near the furnace, but it isn’t too bad. We talk about it and decide we’ll fix it after the open house since it’s pretty minor and can probably wait. Sigh…one more thing to fix, but at least it isn’t that big.
Saturday D goes back down to put some things in the basement, comes up and says the leak is worse and we’ll have to fix it before the open house. Eek! I’m not horribly worried at this point, after-all he did run new plumbing to bathroom remodels and did a great job there. I do know he’s a perfectionist so this could take a while, but better to have it fixed. So around 12pm he heads down to start working on the pipe. I’m upstairs cleaning the house (you know the, “company clean”), planning to run to the grocery for flowers and drinks to set out, thinking I’ll blow our open house visitors away with my pretty, staged, spotless house. All of a sudden I hear banging…not all that unusual when we have to work on the pipes in this house, but I just get this feeling of, uh-oh, this is going to be much bigger then we thought. After a while I hear “shoot!”. Hehe. You know where this is going.
Sure enough, D comes up and says the pipe is old and there is no easy way to get it off and his efforts to un-twist and bang the thing off failed. And it seems, made the leak worse. At this point I freak out. Knowing how long it takes him to fix plumbing I realize there is no way he’ll get this done before the open house and still have time to mow and help clean. Even though I’m sure he could eventually fix it (with a 1/2 a dozen runs to Lowes for parts) we know we don’t have the time. So we call a plumber. The first time we’ve given in and paid someone to fix a pipe for us. Blech.
Three hours later the plumber arrives and before he starts, gives us the warning that the pipes are old (yup, we know that) and the connecting pipes could break as he starts to work on them (yup, we’ve figured that out before too). He asks are we sure we don’t want to just re-pipe the whole basement? Umm…maybe another time? So he gets started. The connecting pipe does break. Great. He fixes that, another connecting pipe cracks. And another. Oops-there goes an elbow thingy. Let me just sign my savings account over now. He fixes a pipe and a leak springs up a foot down the line. He’s chasing leaks across the basement. SEVEN hours later, it’s nearly midnight, most of the basement is re-piped and we still don’t have water because the pump switch cracked with all the banging and no store that sells pump switches is open at 12am. Wal-Mart, you might consider carrying a 30-50 psi pump pressure switch with low pressure cut-off. I’m sure they would sell like hotcakes.
We decide there is nothing to do but call it a night and try to finish in the morning. The house is as clean as it could get without water. Which isn’t clean at all. Think a day’s worth of dirty dishes piled up, wet plumber tracks all over the kitchen, bathrooms waiting to be cleaned and more. Open house in less than 14 hours.
We’re up bright and early Sunday morning which would normally mean heading to church, but today we’re all stinky and dirty due to our lack of showers and our house is still a mess. So church is not happening for us today. I rush out to Lowes and get there as the doors open, grab the pump switch from the shelf and race home. Fortunately this part of the repair went smoothly and by 10:30am we have running water again! Unfortunately the yard still needs mowed and the house needs cleaned. Open house in 3.5 hours. It normally takes us 3-4 hours to mow our nearly 1 acre yard (we have a gazillion trees so it takes a while) so you can imagine the panic that ensues. I run around the house, taking breaks to feed and change Lilly, D mows at breakneck speed and we race against the clock. 20 minutes before the realtor is due to arrive D races into the shower, I’m running the kids (AKA pack mules at this point) around putting things away while setting up the flowers, setting drinks out and loading up the diaper bag. 10 minutes ’till 2:00 we rush out of the driveway and pass the realtor on our road. Haha! D’s hair isn’t done, Bella and Garrett haven’t had showers and we’re all starving. But we did it! The house is sparkling, calm music playing, flowers in vases, drinks out for the visitors, and all of the house info is laid out neatly. Whew! If only they knew the insanity that had taken place only minutes before.
Since we were hadn’t had lunch we head to a restaurant, park and start to unload looking forward to relaxing while we watch the Colt’s game. All of a sudden Christian yells “oh no!” In rush to get out of the house in time, he ran out to the van barefoot and now has no shoes. Of course. All we can do at this point is laugh!
It all worked out okay and was a great day in the end. We went to my sister’s and had delicious homemade pizza, watched the Colts lose (boohoo) and relaxed. The open house was busy and there is some interest from a couple of the families that came through. Yay! And the good in this whole fiasco is that we have new pipes in the house and it was SO nice to go back to a house that looks like a model home. And with 4 kids and a dog I expect that model home look to last, oh, about 30 minutes. : -)
And for a picture…here’s one of my house. As much work as restoring a 120+ year old house has been, I’ll miss this place terribly when we leave.