Sewergate – The Continuing Story

15 May

Wednesday, I left you with the glorious mental images of a hole of poop in my front yard.  However, the angels smiled upon me, and a man appeared in a white van in my driveway, got out, went to the hole, measured stuff…and left.

Then came back a bit later, went to the hole, where he spent an hour making angry noises and yelling incomprehensibly from where I was hiding in the house.  Because when he first pulled up and I went to the window to see who was out there, he glared at me.  So I hid from the angry man, who coughed as if he had Black Lung.  Or Ebola. Or, you know, one of those plagues you get from hanging around holes full of poop.   Sadly, the latter is completely possible, since we provided him with the hole of said poop.

He never came to the door.  He just angrily fixed the sewer pipe and left.

Meanwhile, another crew came by and dropped off backfill for the hole, which was to be put in the hole once the line was fixed.  I ran a load of laundry, mainly to make sure the line was actually fixed, and once the hole did not fill with soapy bleachy water, I ran all the washing appliances in the house and waited for those who would fill the hole to return.

They didn’t.

The next morning – after trying to get a very angry tantruming Maura to the bus, and catching her back the back of the shirt as she ran blindly howling down the front walk towards the gaping hole – I sent a message to our property manager to give to the plumbers.  “Come fix this hole before my disabled daughter kills herself or me in it!”

The property manager sent all his apologies, and contacted the plumbing company, which stated that someone was on their way.  Someone did come – and filled the small, non-life-threatening hole on the other side of the driveway, where the water meter was.

But the giant gaping hole at the end of the sidewalk?  That they left, like an obnoxious crater of post-modern art.

Luckily, the Shovel of Safety is still doing a commendable job.  And my friend brought me a bottle of wine and chocolate, because she is a true friend.

HOLD UP!

A plumber just pulled up to the house.

I’m obviously hallucinating and need to go to the ER. Send flowers and sangria.

UPDATE –

The hole has been filled…ish.  See, somehow, despite taking dirt out of the hole, and dropping off a bunch of filler dirt, there wasn’t enough dirt to fill the hole.  We’re pretty sure the first hole filler used some of that dirt to make the giant mound of dirt over at the much smaller hole, which now resembles a small burial mound.

So the guy kind of made a new hole to fill that hole more.

Oh sure, I said “They put some over here <pointing to landscaping> so you can take from there” – but I didn’t think he’d dig down into the area.

He was also kind enough to leave all the broken sewer bits.  We wouldn’t want them in the hole.  No, that could be bad.  So he just left them next to the boulder that was pulled out of the landscaping last year.  I’ve decided to make a sculpture out of the broken bits of sewer pipe, and title it “Oh Shit”.  It should auction for thousands, right?

sadly, this is the improvement

sadly, this is the improvement

Sewergate – Day 48217346

13 May

Okay, so it’s only been almost a full week since my downstairs shower drain started spewing the evil we tried to flush down it.  It just seems longer.

It seems longer because somehow, the problem hasn’t gotten better.  (To catch those of you not in the know up on this – Thursday, our downstairs bathroom flooded whenever someone did something like shower upstairs, or run the washing machine full of wet towels from cleaning up the bathroom.  Roto Rooter came out Friday to unclog the drain only to discover that when the new water line was put in, they oops, drilled the new water line in through the sewer line, busting apart the sewer line, causing everything we flushed to catch on the broken shards of concrete and backing up the line into our house after a week of this.  Funny enough, the new water line passed inspection. Roto Rooter offered to have someone out the next morning, but the property management company wanted those who broke it to fix it so they wouldn’t have to pay for the fixing of the sewer line, and it took these yahoos four days to get out here.)

We spent the weekend waiting to hear about when someone would come out to fix it.  And Monday as well. Finally we were told that it would be fixed Tuesday.  While waiting, we were not doing things like…showering, washing dishes, running dishwasher, running washing machine, etc…because Roto Rooter guy warned us that the clog was only partially cleared, it would definitely clog up again with normal usage.

And now, because all of this wasn’t enough – it’s gotten Even More Interesting!!!

And by interesting, I mean “there’s a big hole full of our waste products at the end of my front sidewalk and no one seems to think this is a problem except us”. Even Maura knows there shouldn’t be a big hole out there.  That’s how bad this is.

It’s okay though – the big hole that they dug yesterday is protected by a shovel and a rake.  No.  Really. A shovel and a rake.  See, usually, when they dig giant holes at the end of your walkway/side of your driveway, they try to at least cover it with plywood so you don’t fall into the three foot hole of waste water and broken pipe.  But they were all out of plywood.  So they angled our shovel over it to at least warn people of the impending hole of doom.

The idea was that the other plumber would be out at any moment to then replace the broken piece of pipe (which was removed by the hole diggers).

He never showed.

We made calls.

We were told he’d try to get out there that evening, but really, it was no problem for us to use the water in the house, the ground would absorb everything that went down the drain.  My husband was on the phone with people, incredulously saying “So he’s okay with human excrement in an open hole in our front yard?”

Meanwhile I’m all “But there’s a HOLE at the end of our sidewalk!  Why isn’t anyone concerned about that?”  Because with our dumb luck, some UPS driver will miss the glaring danger warning that is a freaking shovel and injure himself in the hole and sue us instead of the jackwagons who opened up a hole in our yard and then left it.

And because this all wasn’t gross enough, Maura took it upon herself to poop.  And I remembered that she ate half a tray of melon and grapes the day before.  And the girl who never ever flushes decided to flush.

So now it’s a poop hole.

Because human excrement doesn’t get absorbed by the ground.

I woke up this morning not knowing what day it was.  Because every day has become the same.  Wake up, wait for plumbers, end day in frustration and sewage.  And now holes.  And jokes on my Facebook about Taco Bell and pooping directly into said hole.

To sum up – shit’s gotten really real at my house.  In a way even I couldn’t dream up.

It's like a water feature...in HELL!

It’s like a water feature…in HELL!

 

And on Wednesday, I stopped

9 May

Life has been…interesting…the past few…I don’t even know how long.  We’re renting a house that was obviously built on cursed land and is in need of an old priest and a young priest (we’re way past that frou-frou smudging technique), Maura’s been obnoxiously, everyone’s been busy and stressed, and then the property manager called to state that in light of all the expenses of the house, they decided to sell once our lease is up in June, so we need to find a new place to live in a highly competitive rental market.

On Monday, I wrestled Maura onto the bus, as she didn’t want to get on, and tried not to let her accidentally injure my already pulled muscles from the previous bus-wresting match.

On Tuesday, I took her with me to the grocery store.  Only for her to have a complete meltdown because she didn’t want to go to the store for food, she wanted to go to Chipolte.  But we needed food for the house.  But she chose to scream instead as I wrapped an arm around her to keep her from running into the parking lot and tried to bribe her with ice cream in the store.  It didn’t work.  We went home without groceries, and I ordered pizza.

Wednesday morning, I spent a good ten minutes dealing with a very angry stubborn Maura who was upset by the new rule of “no dolls can go to school”.  Once again, I had to maneuver her physically – but from a seated protesting position on the floor, then out the door, then down the stairs, then down the sidewalk, driveway, etc.  She screamed.  She bit her hand.  She was generally awful.  I did manage to get her on the bus.

And then I went inside, and I just stopped.

I was done.  D.O.N.E. Didn’t matter what, I just couldn’t.  And because it was a Wednesday, which is early release day every Wednesday, I knew that at 12:10, Maura would be back and there may or may not be yet another battle of wills again.

And I couldn’t anymore.  The stress, anxiety, worrying, all of life, the muscles throbbing in my right shoulder from Maura continually pulling on them – it all welled up.

Done.  I laid in my bed and caught up on tv shows and did nothing.  I ignored calls from friends.  I hid out.  I couldn’t deal with one more thing all while knowing that in a few hours, I’d have to at least deal with Maura.

This is a reality of my world, the reality of a parent who’s also a lifetime caregiver.  You do so much every day, and then one day, you stop.  You’ve hit “empty” on the emotional tank and you crawl into bed after taking your anxiety pill and hide for a bit.

Ironically, when Maura did get home that day, she was in a happy mood, didn’t pester me for tv, just happily played with her dolls. I watched tv and listened to her happy doll chatter.  Then she came in, climbed into bed with me to play with her dolls, lining them all up against my legs.  A few moments later, I heard a little snore.

She had fallen asleep.

It’s been a long time since she’s napped without being ill.  Obviously the mood swings of the past several days had exhausted her too.

That Wednesday afternoon, we both stopped for a while.

And then later on that evening, I totally cracked on my husband, sobbed and whined and voiced all the anxiety that had been building up.  How I hated to have to move again, how I was too emotionally drained to do anything creative most days, how I couldn’t even cook dinner anymore.  I was sucking at everything.

He assured me I wasn’t, and then we made a new game plan for life – because he’s awesome and I’m a lucky gal to have someone who’ll put up with my anxieties and stress. Teens crept in the room to ask if things were okay.  I totally lied and said that they were, then felt sappy that I have such caring teens, and knowing that they weren’t dumb enough to believe my lie.  And then somewhere along the way, we started watching “Honest Trailers” and laughing over them and life started back up again.

Thursday I woke up feeling better, once again able to handle what life throws at me.

So of course, what life threw at me was a flooded downstairs bathroom.  Which we spent the day going “Gee, why did it flood?”.  The boys who predominantly use said downstairs bath, swore they didn’t do anything to cause the flood – one used it and it was dry.  The other went in later to use it and it was flooded.  I chalked it up to the wonky toilet that clogs, that it must have overflowed, and chucked sopping wet towels into the washer.

And then the downstairs shower drain bubbled up and spewed again.

Because the main drain is clogged.  So when we ran a shower upstairs, or the washer, or even flushed a toilet, the drain backed up and out of the shower downstairs.

Which is how we spent our Friday.  Waiting for plumbers, showing more plumbers into the house, hearing the plumber say “Oh my God!” as he fished a camera through the drain pipe, having the plumber show me where the other plumbers who put in the new water line (because that’s how we spent March, with the main water line feeding into the house bursting) – in putting in the new line, they oops, went through the sewer line, busting it, chucking clay piping into the sewer line, causing anything we flushed to get caught on the shards of sewer pipe, causing a clog. I would have rather them have found a skull clogging the drain to be honest.

Which is why at this point, we need an old priest and a young priest – because the levels of ridiculousness have become astounding in my life.

Luckily, when evil starts bubbling up from the shower drain, you suddenly look at moving as a great thing.

And I have realized that this post sums up why I’m taking anxiety meds.  Because wow.

If you’d like to help, please send boxes and sangria.

 

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