When it Rains, It Pours

Literally pours in our case.  Ben went downstairs to our living room and noticed water dripping either from the ceiling or down the wall.  The slate tiles in front of our fireplace were wet and the carpet was damp.  We thought that the water was coming in from the fireplace or from the wall, but closer inspection and a trip up the stairs to our  guest bedroom revealed that we have extensive water damage up there as well.  Water has leaked in the ceiling, down the wall, buckled the drywall where the window meets the wall, and dripped all the way down to end up in the living room.  The carpet is wet in there as well.

I called our insurance company (Liberty Mutual) and they told me they’re getting a TON of complaints similar to ours.   Unfortunately, she told us that the damage will keep happening until the root cause (all the snow and ice that’s been built up) is completely gone.  She said that we can try to extract the water from the carpet ourselves and to keep all receipts.  She also put the worry about mold in my head.  We took lots of pictures and documented the damage as best we could and will give our guy a call to see what he thinks needs to be done and how much it’s going to cost us.

My neighbor had the same damage and in his kitchen they’re going to tear out his drywall, repaint, hang cabinets if necessary, etc.  In his bedroom they’re going to replace the carpet,  tear out & replace the drywall, repaint, and replace the trim.  He just noticed that he has more water damage in his laundry room and upstairs bathroom.  The estimator will be coming out again to take a look at that damage.

Who knew that little dribbles of water could cause this much damage?  We’re committed to paying the $500 deductible.  Hopefully, we can get this all repaired soon.

How’s YOUR week going?


Some days you’re just speechless, yanno?

Had a good weekend even though I felt like we were just go-go-go both days.  Took Mallory to see Ben’s mom on Saturday.  It’s a good time for us to visit, make sure she’s doing okay after the sudden loss of her husband, and for her to just be delighted by her granddaughter.  From there we hit a few errands including buying Ben a few new fish for his tank and strolling through Whole Foods.  Squish scared the pants off a woman with a quick super high pitched shriek of excitement as we were walking through the bulk foods section.  I think she may have lopped 3 years off her life, the poor lady!  Took another family outing to Franklin Covey because we’re determined to ‘get organized.’  Well, at least we have refills of the tools we like to use.  We’ll see if the getting organized follows.

Sunday was a pretty hectic day as well.  Got up and got dressed – made sure Mallory had a mid-morning nap before my sister picked us up to go to church for the first time together.  She had a blast and was pretty good throughout the whole service except for when she started growling.  Of course this week’s sermon was about the devil  tempting Jesus when he was in the wilderness.    I’m sure many in the congregation felt there was a demon sitting in the back pew *sigh*.  All in all, an ok church but I’m still on my church shopping adventure.  We’ll see where I end up next week.

Following that, we drove up to see my parents and had lunch up there.  They took us to the new house and we got to take the tour with the tile up, lights installed, and cabinetry in place.  Words can not describe how much effort they put into the planning of this house and how they’re going to use it.  They plan to ‘live’ in the downstairs (so it’s kind of like a condo) and put visitors upstairs.  To save money and heating and stuff the upstairs and downstairs are two different zones.  They even have a separate hot water tank for upstairs!  Also, their pantry off the kitchen is larger than my office here at work.  They’ve worked hard all their life for that house and have done things the right way – good for them!  They give me hope that we too can have the same things they did.  We grew up in a trailer in SW PA and now they’re building a monstrosity of a house.  They’re living the American dream 🙂

Came home to a tremendous shock.  Ben had made dinner, cleaned up the living room – dining room – kitchen – AND family room – including dusting, organizing stuff that he didn’t know where it went, and vacuuming.  There were even fresh flowers in a crystal vase on the dining room table in addition to the smell of an awesome beef stew coming from the crock pot.  He worked pretty hard while Mallory and I were out of the house and it was so nice to be able to just sit and relax after I got home.  That was a pretty cool gift!

How was YOUR weekend?

My Cell Phone Conundrum

I hate technology.  Funny, isn’t it?  I work for a company that peddles the stuff.  Today, my ire is directed at cell phones, notably Smart Phones.  Sure, it’s great for me to have the Internet, my email, and other stuff at hand, but is it really *necessary*?  I’m beginning to think the answer is ‘no.’

My cell phone is the Samsung Saga.  It has about a 12 hour battery life (and that’s pushing it) if you don’t use synch-heavy applications like Exchange or Internet Explorer.  DUH.  It’s a smartphone.  That’s what they do.  Plus, lately it’s been dropping calls to the point of where I have actually ordered landline service from AT&T to the tune of $14.95/month so that I have a reliable phone at home.  I also have mysterious disappearances of texts in 2 week blocks.  I know that I’ve sent and/or received texts in those period of time, but they just randomly disappear.  All in all, I’m pretty disappointed with Verizon, its service, and Samsung phones.

Now, on to today’s issue!  As I walked into Verizon today I could feel my heartbeat start racing and my fight or flight reaction kicked in.  I *hate* going in there because it’s always bad news and it seems like it’s never in the customer’s favor.  After I signed in on the little kiosk, I waited about 20 minutes until I got called back to talk to a service rep.  She looked up my account, saw that I was three days outside my warranty and told me that my only option to solve my problems would be to get a new phone.  I could upgrade to a blah blah blah phone for only $199 today.  Seriously?

When I asked what my $5/month insurance payment went towards, she told me that they could ‘depot return’ my phone for a fee of $50 and I would receive a refurbished unit of my current model in 3-5 business days.  Again, SERIOUSLY?  She couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to sign up for a new phone that very day. 

There may be some changes here in the future that may not require me to be so technologically dependent, but those are in next week.  I’m stuck between suffering through what I’m dealing with now, getting shafted by paying $50 for a phone that I know has quality issues, or buying more phone than I need and spending money I don’t really want to spend.   I feel held hostage!

Ice Dam-mit!

On the bright side, a minor miracle occurred sometime last night.  Our street finally got plowed!  Yeah, I know… after 23″ of snow fell they finally deemed it necessary to clear our street. However, they managed to plow in our driveway so Ben had to get it all cleared before my little Versa could venture out.  I almost got stuck in the babysitter’s driveway, but I managed to punch it and get outta there.

Got home today and was greeted with Ben who immediately laid some bad news on me.  Ice dams have built up on our gutters / roof and today’s ‘warm’ weather (yeah, the whole 33 degrees) combined with the sun shining on the west side of our house melted some of the snow/ice.  It doesn’t have anywhere to go except to crawl under the shingles on our roof or drip down some awesome icicles.  The picture below was taken from where the bottom back door looks up onto the kitchen window.  See those daggers of death?  Nice, huh?  We’ve had almost continuous temperatures below freezing since the big snow on February 5th.  It’s not forecast to get above 32 degrees in the next 10 days.  These icicles are only going to get more massive as the daily slight thaw / freeze cycle continues.

Evil ice... evil I say!

The entire side of my house is covered in ice!

Ice ice baby!

So what does this mean for our little family, you may ask?  Well, it leads to the ice digging under my shingles where it huddles and gets itself all nice and warm.  Once it gets above 32 degrees it turns into drippy runny water.  Water + roof = bad bad things.  It’s currently leaking from the ceiling in our kitchen, down our kitchen cabinets, and onto the kitchen counter.  When Ben walked in the door the throw rug in front of the sink was sopping wet and the counter was a mess.  We were told to pick the place where the ceiling soffit looked the weakest / most wet and bore a hole to let the water escape more easily.  Hopefully, that will contain some of the damage.  As I write this I keep hearing drip drip dripdripdrip drip dripdrip drip . It’s coming down at a pretty good clip.  We just noticed that the entire soffit will most likely need replaced and one of the kitchen cabinets is starting to swell and separate.  Yay, fun!

Tupperware to the rescue!

Drip... drip... drip...

The not-so-funny part about this whole mess?  I tried calling a roofing company that’s a client of ours.  Remember, my boss is also my immediate next door neighbor.  I called him when I got home and told him I was going to call our client and let him know what was going on.  I called the roofing company and left a message on their emergency line.  Two minutes later my boss/neighbor called me back to tell them to make it a 2-for-1 deal because his kitchen is getting water damage as well.  Got a return call from the roofers and they wanted $450 PLUS $89/hour PER CREW MEMBER to come out and knock the snow/ ice down.  They can’t fix any roof damage now, but this will stop the immediate water from dripping.  After the thaw they will come out, look at the roof, and assess the damage. We thought about it – the damage is already done.  Water is in the soffitt and it’s going to be an insurance claim.

One of the good things about this whole ordeal is that I’ve wanted to replace our kitchen cabinets and rip out those soffits for the past three years.  However, the mess and cost were keeping me from it.  I already have the new cabinets down in the basement.  We bought them at the Habitat for Humanity recycling store for less than 10% of their original cost – they originally retailed for over $26,000.  I figure we’ll probably get a new roof out of this mess.  It was most likely damaged in Hurricane Ivan that blew through here last September with 70mph winds (no joke), and this is the last straw.  I’m also hoping that insurance will pay to rip out the soffit and get the ceiling and drywall fixed.  We can cover the rest.  Looks like I gotta start planning, huh?

So, how’s your week going?

Squishy Pants – new pics!

I came up with a new nickname for her today when she was being cranky… Squawkamole.  No, not like whack-a-mole.  Think guacamole instead.  I have new pics of her to share.  She’s getting SO big!  I’ll post more on her Shutterfly site here when I feel like it.  This snow has me feeling lazy 🙂

Update: Pics are up at http://malloryjaynerogers.shutterfly.com

I'm trouble. That's T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

Give me what I want or the frog gets it.

Mama's Eskimo Baby

I’m so over this effing snow…

Today we got 9″.  That was between 11AM and 7PM.  We’re expecting another 4″ overnight and 2 – 3″ tomorrow.  Driving home from work this evening was an exercise in vigilance because the plows couldn’t keep up with the rate of the snow falling.  Luckily, today was a holiday (Presidents Day – whoopee!) and it kept traffic to a minimum.  It took me an hour to get home; I think it would have easily taken me 2+ if the freeways had the normal amount of cars on them.

On Friday we received 13-15″ depending on which local news station you watch.  All told, we’ve had over 22″ of snow in February alone.  The record for Central Ohio is 29″ and some change.  Needless to say, we’re going to shatter that.  It’s not forecast to get above 30 degrees this week so we’ll have to just suffer through.  There’s talk of ANOTHER Alberta Clipper system that could dump additional snow on us.  Mother Nature is definitely on my shit list this year.  I’m just sayin’…

Anyways, here’s pics of our lovely winter wonderland.  Wanna come visit? 🙂

Killer Icicles!

Killer Icicles!

Our back door.

Piling up at the back door...

5 hours of snow...

This was clear this morning...

Today was a day of milestones…

Well, at least we’ll never forget what day they happened seeing as how it’s Valentine’s Day.  Squish hit three big milestones unassisted today:  getting to a sitting position from lying down, getting on her hands and knees and rocking like a skier getting ready to leap out of the gate, and starting to pull herself up on things… namely my shirt when we’re sitting on the floor together.

She’s been able to do this stuff for a long time, but I suspect she just didn’t feel like it.  Today she really turned on the juice and surprised the crap out of us.  I wouldn’t be shocked if we came downstairs tomorrow morning and she had a pot of coffee on.  Every day is a day of wonder and amusement.

I’m still doing ok with the no sugar thing.  It’s hard, but manageable.  Squish and I took a 2 hour trip to the grocery store and refilled our pantry and fridge with healthy things.  Out went the white rice, in came the brown rice, quinoa (can someone PLEASE tell me how to pronounce that?!), and barley.  Got rid of anything that had a lot of saturated or transfats and empty carbs and replaced it with a ton of fruit & veggies.  My produce part of the list was a mile long!  Cooked with wheat flour for the first time this weekend too – I made pizza calzones.  To make it healthy I snuck in a whole shredded zucchini into the ground turkey filling.  It was awesome.  I made 6 more – they’re frozen and ready to go in my lunch this week.  Pair ’em up with a salad and it’s perfectly balanced.

Saved a ton at the grocery store with The Grocery Game. I even spread the word about it to another family who was neck deep in coupons like me.  All told, I saved roughly $40 grocery shopping by matching up what was on sale with the matching coupon.  I got Soft Soap (the hand dispenser for the bathroom) and Lipton Onion Soup Mix for FREE!  I like free.  It’s my favorite four letter word.

Back to work tomorrow – bleh~!  Ben has the day off for Presidents Day.  Plus, it’s his birthday so he’s kinda psyched about that.  I’m taking Squish to the babysitter so he can have an entire day to play Bioshock 2.  Aw crap!  I gotta get him a card.  *gulp*.

Oh yeah.  Did I mention we’re forecast to get another 5″ – 9″ between now and tomorrow night?  I think Mother Nature took a wrong turn at Albuquerque – where does she think I live, Buffalo!?  At least a lot of people have the day off so they won’t be clogging the roads.

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