another chapter in the Diary of an Inept Homeowner


It just occurred to me that I have two brothers-in-law that speak Russian. OK, they might not be totally fluent but still. How weird is that? Especially since neither one is Russian and they don't know each other.

Yesterday, I was so efficient that it was scary. I woke up, did a load of laundry, did a load of dishes and took out the garbage. On my way home, I bought three flats of flowers (which equals about a billion individual flowers) and I planted them ALL. I bought marigolds (which I don't really like, but they work as deer repellant and I'm all for that), purple and orange violas and these crazy super bright cone shaped flowers that have a name like celica or celico or something. Then I got a call at 9 pm from the painter, informing me that he will be power washing the house tomorrow. So I took everything (furniture, outdoor fireplace, bbq...) off of the deck (which is on the second story), down the stairs and around the house BY MYSELF and IN THE DARK.

I realized this morning that Mr. Painter Man might have a little trouble power washing the house because the outdoor water is not on. The outdoor water is not on because the pipe that connects the water to the sprinkler system has two valves that were left open when the sprinkler system was blown out last fall. They require lots of upper body strength and wrench-use to close. I had asked a certain husband of mine to take care of this but he hadn't gotten around to it yet and now he is out of town.

So I cancelled my lunch meeting and ran home to try to figure out how I could get the water situation all set so our house can be washed and subsequently painted before Leo and I get a nasty letter from the city (because we let it go until it was at that point).

I found a wrench.

I managed to get valve number 1 closed but valve number 2 was too large for my wrench.

I waited for the painter and hoped he had a larger wrench.

He did, but I wasn't strong enough to close it.

So the painter closed it.

But it turned out not to matter because, while I thought the water was still off, the painter turned on an outdoor faucet and water came pouring out. So I guess what I thought was the main valve for outside was, in fact, just for the sprinkler system. And I felt like an idiot for freaking out on the painter about the water. And, I guess, we did not shut off our outdoor faucets last winter. And, I guess, we are really darn lucky that a pipe didn't burst because it was crazy cold this winter (did I mention that snow has been forecasted for this weekend? Yea! for Michigan).

So I can now add this story as a new chapter to my growing book of stupid homeowner tricks including the time we called a repairman for the garage door opener only to be told that a trash can was in front of the safety sensor and the time I had to call a repair man to relight the water heater pilot light because I had the attic fan on without opening a window.

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