Archive for July, 2010

Make like a tree…and leave.

July 28, 2010

So, I casually glanced out my dining room window this morning and saw the scene above.

“What IDIOT has trimmed his tree and put it on MY curb!” We have some personal space issues in this neighborhood, and it makes me crazy. More of the same…or so I thought!

So, I walked outside in my jammies and saw MORE limbs piled at the other side of my yard:

Hey…that’s the kind of tree I have in MY yard! Genius that I am, it began to dawn on me that this was MY tree I was all ticked off about. MY TREE!


A huge chunk of my tree had broken off and, apparently, fell onto the neighbor’s house. A casual inspection didn’t show damage other than to the large shrub in his flower bed. But, I’m thankful that I have good insurance, nonetheless.

I don’t like this tree. It’s a Bradford Pear, known for its quick growth and lush foliage. But, they’re weak and notorious for splitting. It’s intrusive and prevents the growth of grass on that side of the yard – and its dang roots make the ground all lumpy and bumpy. I lost one to a storm on the other side of the yard several years ago. I’ve been worried about this one, since it had gotten so large. I think I’m going to have it removed. Maybe my Sweet Boyfriend and I can do it all except the stump.

What a way to start the day. It’s gotta get better than this.

Doesn’t it?


Adding the “Fun” to “Dysfunctional”

July 25, 2010

The last couple of days have just been loads of fun.

I took Friday off. I’m not able to get away for a “real” vacation this year, so I’m doing a few three-day weekends. This weekend was one of them. It started out great. I got some much-needed stuff taken care of around the house. I cooked a lovely dinner for my boyfriend and my daughter. Enjoyed some great company and pleasant conversation. And then all hell broke loose.

Wandering down the entryway hall, I noticed that my cream-colored tiles were darkened for almost a foot – adjoining the wall that backs up to the cooling system innards. I recognized an overflowing condensation drain in an instant. Been there. Do you know how much water your air conditioner can produce in a day? Upwards of FIVE GALLONS! Five gallons! And, if your drain isn’t working, that’s going to end up in your ceiling…inside your walls…and as in this case…underneath your flooring. Not good. Not good at all. This was maybe 8:00 p.m.

Since I had experienced air conditioner troubles earlier this summer, I have the dubious pleasure of being able to say I have “My Air Conditioner Guy.” I called him. Of course, he was at home enjoying his evening, so I left word. And tried not to fret too much.

So, I started cleaning up dinner. I had made a pasta dish and had boiled way too many noodles for it. The extras had turned to a gelatinous mass in the pan. No worry. I confidently glopped them into the sink and shoved ’em down the disposal. Big mistake! Huge. Aforementioned gelatinous noodles turned into the World’s Most Efficient Stopper – and suddenly I was faced with a plumbing problem.

I do own a plunger. We plunged. This merely drove bits of noodles into the other sink and – horrors – into the dishwasher. Most of the yucky water, however…went nowhere. I couldn’t stand it. I just went to bed and covered my head.

Next morning found me at Walmart bright and early, where I purchased TWO of the huge bottles of Liquid Plumr gel. 1.5 bottles and many hours later, I realized this was getting me nowhere.

In the meantime, My Air Conditioner Guy showed up. He explained to me how slime turns to concrete in air conditioner pipe systems and then he built me a little bypass pipe thingy so I can pour bleach down my drain system a few times a year, thus eliminating the slime…and the concrete it would otherwise morph into. He also noticed that my house wasn’t all that cool. So, he went outside to check things out. My stomach began to churn, because I know my system is on its last leg, and I’m hoping…praying…it will last through this summer while I finish paying off a major purchase.

Well, guess WHAT!? My air conditioner has ants. ANTS! Apparently, ants are attracted to things electrical, and they often build huge nests in and around said devices. It seems they really love my air conditioner. He washed them off, but explained that they will be back and that they can cause shorting and other unpleasant things. So, I was instructed to get anti-ant chemicals and use them throughout the year. My house is much cooler now. Ants! Who knew?

But, there’s that kitchen sink full of water….

My sweet boyfriend came over and gave me a quick lesson on pipe dismantling. We did find lots of stuff we wish we’d never seen. We scraped. We rinsed. We dumped. Everything looked good. Put it all back together. Turned on the water. No go. All we got for our troubles was a lake of CLEAR water. At least that’s progress.

So, we went to Lowes and got a pipe snake. And ant poison. Lots of ant poison.

Once again, we dismantled the pipes. We threaded the snake way into the drain – much farther than I even want to THINK about…stabbed it around a little bit…came up with noodle bits. Felt pretty good about it. Then, we put everything back together and ran a bunch of water. We got a double sink full of standing water. Again! We were both tired and disgusted and agreed I should maybe call a plumber.

On Angie’s List you can get not only reviews of a service provider’s work but the price they charged the reviewer as well. Sink unclogging in this area starts at $150 and goes upward!!! Since I had just paid My Air Conditioner Guy $137.50, I was in no mood for even the low end of the scale. So, I went back to plunging.

Guess what! After about an hour of frantic squishing and sucking – using TWO plungers simultaneously – the sink suddenly went “Gah-LUG!” All the water drained out, and it’s been just fine ever since. Two problems resolved.

Now I just have to deal with those ants!

Oh…and my embroidery machine started doing something funky yesterday afternoon.