My dear readers….a good friend of mine called to chat and just happened to mention that she had a water leak in her bathroom. She was a bit distraught because they had found mold and would have to replace sheetrock etc. She said she had emptied out cabinets and had boxes everywhere.
I could sympathize with her.
It brought to mind my story from about three years ago. I dug it out of the archives, posting it again.
I cringe just thinking back to that day.
If you missed it the first time around…sit back and relax, it is quite a story.
Where Is That Little Dutch Boy When You Need Him?
……You remember, Hans Brinker…. the young boy who stuck his finger in the Dike to stop the flow of water?
Of course, those in the Netherlands say the story, written by Mary Mapes Dodge, is about the silver skates and not about holding back the sea.
I would have to read the book again…but for some reason, I associate Hans Brinker with the finger holding deal. ?
Yesterday, … I needed Hans and the whole village to hold back the water pouring out from under my sink! ?
So dear readers, sit back and grab your coffee or tea…I have yet another tale to tell.
The good news is I was home…in the kitchen….preparing a recipe for this Blog!
As many of you know, many times I photograph a step by step process to making a recipe.
I don’t mind it…in fact I enjoy it, but it takes quite a set-up with lighting, serving pieces, special angles, cameras dusted with flour and so on.
This will always be a work in progress as I attempt to perfect my craft. (gosh, I don’t know that I will ever perfect it, but I am trying! ) ?
So, the kitchen is laden with all kinds of paraphernalia, from large white lighting boards, planks of light wood, dark wood, napkins, kitchen towels of various colors, etc….because one does not know which colors will go well with the final prepared recipe I am making.
I only tell you all this to explain that my counters were full of “stuff”, in addition to all the ingredients for the Cheesy Creamy Chicken Enchiladas, that hopefully you will see in the near future….or maybe not! ?
Now, back to the little Dutch Boy….I had just finished a camera shot of all the ingredients for the enchiladas and since it involves roasted chicken…I went to the sink to wash my hands.
Earlier, I made and shot pics of my recipe for Yummy Crisp Smashed Potatoes, so there were a few dishes in the sink.
So I am at the sink and I hear a loud pop!
It sounded like a can of biscuits exploding, only much louder!
I quickly looked around the dishes in the sink and on the counter and could see nothing that could have caused this “explosion”!
I glanced out the window over the sink, thinking it could have come from outside, but knowing deep down…it was an inside job!
It wasn’t until I felt water surrounding my customary footwear …flip flops… that I looked down and saw water streaming out from my under-the-sink cabinet doors!
I opened both cabinet doors and another little explosion sounded as water started gushing out like water from a broken Dam.
I mean had it been a movie, I most likely would have been pushed to the other side of the room by the strong current of flowing water!
Ok, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but the water was pouring out so fast, that I was standing in about 4 inches of water, telling myself to THINK! THINK! THINK!
Now, you know…that when things like this happen…all your loved ones have decided to take trips to Africa, where there are no cell phones or means of communication.
Ok…no one went to Africa, but they might as well have.
My mind flashed to the Captain…, who I imagined was having a grand old time..flying through the beautiful, blue skies.
Or perhaps he was sitting under a beach umbrella, drinking pina coladas at some resort in the Cayman Islands…while I was kneeling in front of a volcano, spewing water, desperately searching for a shut off valve under the sink.
Which by the way, I am sure I now have a concussion, because I came out from under the sink so fast I hit the back of my head!
I realize that I have got to get this water shut off and since I couldn’t find a valve under the sink..I slip and slide through the kitchen, kicking off my slippery flip flops only to find that bare feet do not work any better….and massaging the growing lump on my head.
Luckily, I had my phone in my pocket…assuming it was not water logged, as my clam diggers were sopping wet.
As I started for the garage, I punched the button on my phone, (a couple attempts due to wet hands) to call Siri.
“Siri, plumbers in Cape Coral near me.” I sputtered trying to steady my concerned tone.
You know sometimes that Siri woman’s voice can be annoying, especially when she mis-understands what I am saying.
Perhaps I was speaking too excitedly, as I slipped and tripped over the dog … (Jesse had a frightened look on his little puppy dog face…I knew he was thinking, it is time to abandon ship)!
Back to the voice on the IPhone.
Siri responded in her usual monotone….she said “Here is the list of 6 contractors near you.” (They were building contractors)
Smart phones, my foot! Siri was proving worthless in a crisis, and I said to the faceless recording…
”Siri, you are worthless to me”, to which she replied “that doesn’t sound good”! ?
So, now I am outside my house….hopping up and down, because the hot concrete driveway is burning my bare feet…(at least I wasn’t slipping and sliding and my feet are dry for the first time in 20 minutes)
And I am trying to talk to Aztec Plumbing…the first plumber listed on Google. (No thanks to you Siri!)
The man from Aztec tells me a plumber is on the way…but to look for an outside valve by the bib!
I finally find a valve and I describe it in detail to him and he says “that is it”. (It didn’t look like a bib to me.)
So I go back into the Poseidon….and slush my way over to the sink and check the tap and the water is still on.
Trying not to panic, I go back outside, little Jesse at my heels and he is almost treading water now… and I search for this valve by the bib…..(I thought a bib was something put on a baby to catch food dribbles.)
Of course, by this time I had tried to call the Captain to ask where the valve and bib were and I got “the” message…
You know the one.
…”I can’t come to the phone right now, please leave your name and number and I will return your call”…yeah right!!!
Mental note to self: In times of crisis, don’t depend on Smart phone Siri or the pilot who is doing his job, flying the friendly skies.
When push comes to shove…I am on my own! But I can do this!
So, back outside in the blasted hot sun, I see that behind the air conditioner is another valve…. it was “frozen” or stiff…altho I did manage to move it to an almost perpendicular position.
I rush back into the Titanic and check the water tap…hoping it is finally off. The water is still on, however… now it is a little stream, obviously not shut completely off.
I had put a bucket under the sink…well, it was my little blue cleaning bucket that holds my cleaning supplies…and I was dumping it in the hall bathroom every chance I got, which was like I was performing a ballet on ice…or in my case, in water.
Have you ever carried a bucket full of water while slipping and sliding on slick tile?
It ain’t easy or pretty!
In between emptying the bucket, I am taking every single towel I own (including all my beach towels) and sopping up water!
The Plumber arrived and after a quick look under the sink, shut off the water valve out by the street.
This process required a special 3 foot long tool that is used to shut off all the water to the house. (he said even if I would have had the tool, he found it very hard to turn or move the valve to the off position)
Apparently, this valve had not been touched since the city of Cape Coral was incorporated in 1957 and was completely corroded.
The plumber then determined (by kneeling in front of the sink, in the water on water logged towels), that the culprit was a foot long water filter, (3 inch in diameter) that connected water to the fridge ice maker….a seam exploded or burst on the cylinder.
Jim, the plumber, also turned the gas valve back on out by the air conditioner…that was the first valve the guy on the phone said …”yes, that is it”! ? Remember the one I tried to budge?
Thank goodness Jim corrected that situation.
Jim replaced the “frozen” outdoor valve and gave me the mechanical tour so that in the future….really? Seriously?? In the future? I would be able to turn off the water.
Jim also replaced the valve under the sink that was so corroded it would not move.
As you can see, by now Jim and I are on a first name basis.
I mean after one is wearing a wet, baggy black T-shirt and what were once white clam diggers, (or capri pants to some of you), sweat pouring down one’s face and the perfectly combed hair-do is now hanging in wet strings all around one’s red, blotched face…one cannot help but be a bit more personal. No room for pretense here.
Plus, Jim is in the same boat (no pun intended). His work pants are now completely drenched from the knees down and the front of his uniform shirt is sopping wet.
Yes, after all we have been through together, we are definitely on a first name basis. ?
By this time, the Captain finally has landed his plane, checked his messages and calls to tell me all the same things Jim, the plumber has told me.
However, my hero did come to my aid and called a Remediator to come in and check for water damage and mold etc, and he did offer to fly home immediately. ?
“Oh, pshaw”…I said….”I’ve got this under control”! ?
Actually, I was still mopping up water with bath towels, beach towels…any towel I could find as well as lugging that cumbersome shop vac around!
The Remediators came and pulled off all the baseboards and quarter rounds, used the shop vac to suck up water that had gathered under the cabinets and set up these loud, huge blowers which will stay on for at least 24 hours or longer. The Remediators will not replace anything until all the drying is complete.
The Remediators used probes to test the baseboards for water….and of course, they tested positive and had to be removed, placed upside down to dry!
They also sprayed some sort of orange smelling barrier mold spray/ protectant…(they said the orange smell covered the real smell)…but now I am kind of sick of the orange smell…if you know what I mean. ?
Oh, I almost forgot….do you know what a bib is?
It is the water faucet or spigot….Bibb (spelled both ways)! AND my “bib” is not close to the valve…it is around a corner.
Just sayin’ ?
So, I write this post at my little desk, in my noisy and cluttered kitchen….. and I literally watch the paint dry..or in my case the water dry.
I have now washed, dried and folded about 40 towels….and the bright side? My linen closets are now neat and tidy.
And you know what? I am truly blessed.
It could have been so much worse…I may have been away from home and come home to a completely flooded house.
As it is….the kitchen, dining room and parts of the living room were the only areas affected.
So tell me dear readers….Have you ever had a water break at your home?