Friday, September 19, 2008

Under Water................

Other than a bit of celebrating for our lovely friend, Ello, I’ve been largely absent from blogland the last week or so because I’ve been under water – figuratively and literally, I’m afraid – we flooded last Sunday.

First, I hope all of my bloggy friends who live in areas hardest hit are doing okay. Stacey, Ralph, and Travis, I’ve been thinking of you guys especially over the last week or so...

My case isn’t so bad, I keep telling myself how much worse it could be and how dare I even bemoan my own situation while so many people have been flooded out of homes and are dealing with devastation in their communities? But guilting myself into bucking up doesn’t seem to be working.

The actual damage here wasn’t so bad. I’ve lived in my house for eleven years and this is the first time we’ve gotten a drop of water... unfortunately, it was sewage... ewe, ewe, ewe... And, lovely as it is – I live in a bi-level... there are seven steps down to my family room/laundry room/etc... seven steps up to the bedrooms... so, the water came in through my downstairs shower and flooded into the laundry room... we got a handle on it pretty quick, but the flippin’ smell is killing me!!!!!

I have washed more laundry this week than I ever remember washing in my life.

I’ve bleached the floors, poured bleach down drains, and I think I bleached myself...

The carpet has about a one foot square in the doorway that got wet, despite my best efforts... I cannot get the flippin smell out.... I wet vacc’d, vacuumed, steam cleaned it... I steam cleaned again, sprayed Febreze – I think I have to tear it up and I can’t can’t can’t afford new carpet and that is our most used room so I can’t very well have the kids walking around on whatever the hell is underneath there....

Oh, and in the mad dash to move everything in the water’s way, and stop the rush, and put towels down to protect the carpet... I fell down the stairs – not once, but three flippin’ times! Partially because it was dripping with water... mostly because I’m a klutz... but I’m so bruised I look like a poster child for the abuse hotline and I’d really like a long hot bath... that lasts ten years or so...

Ah, better. There were already some personal issues going on that made this little added difficulty a bit harder to handle... I’m not getting into it here, but we’ll just say that my hands are too full to blog much. I’m sorry I haven’t been checking in on you all with regularity, but I hope you’ve all weathered the storms and are doing well...

For now, I’ll leave you with a poem. It’s one of my favorites, and it’s been making me feel a bit better lately:


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as a Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be,
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance,
My head is bloodied, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how straight the gate
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

- William Ernest Henley


The Anti-Wife said...

You poor thing! How awful. You're probably better off pulling up the carpet and padding because there could be hidden mold and mildew in it - plus a thousand other unsavory beasties. I'll be thinking good thoughts for you!

Lillie Ammann said...

I hope you get rid of the smell and the bruises soon!

ChrisEldin said...

HI Merry,

I agree with AW. You have to get a thorough cleaning so the problem doesn't linger and get worse. Do companies do this? NOt sure of hte cost though.
I hope you get sorted through quickly..,

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi AW, Lillie, and Chris,

Thank you all for the good thoughts. (Lillie, so nice to see you!)

Well, bruises are healing, but the carpet needs to go. I'm pricing out flooring today and then I'll spend the rest of the week dismanteling my bookshelves :-(

We're going to rip out the carpet this coming weekend and hopefully get the new floor in asap and be done with the mess... hopefully it won't be too expensive because we're doing it ourself.

Hope you all are doing well.

moonrat said...

best wishes!! keep your nose above!

silken said...

hey Merry, sorry to hear of how this has affected your family. it is amazing how long this storm lasted so far inland!

thanks for thinking of us, we all are fine. trying to get back to normal. there are many around here that are not so fine, though....

hope all works out for you soon!

Zoe Winters said...

Glad you're back. even if you're waterlogged. ;)

Ello said...

Merry, I'm so sorry that you are going through this!!! I'm sending you lots of good karmic thoughts to get you over and out of the problem.

And I know I owe you something! I will get to it as soon as I have a free moment.

Merry Monteleone said...

Thanks, Moonie, I'm trying.

Hi Silken,

Thanks for stopping in... I'm glad you guys are okay, too. Tell your dad I'm looking for an Astros hat - I think Oswalt's got Zambrano in the Wins column (though I'm pretty sure Z's got the better era, we bet on wins)

Hey Zoe,

I'll probably be stopping back around at the blogs next week some time. Glad to see you're back at it.

Hey Ello,

I'm sure you're swamped, so no rush at all just whenever you get around to it. By the way, the title's changed already... and there's a prologue.... I should be cleaning, but the story's going so well I've been stealing moments whenever I can.

Zoe Winters said...

Thanks Merry, glad to be back!

Mom In Scrubs said...

Ugh, how awful...what a year for floods! We had them earlier this summer - record breakers, but I was blessedly on high ground.

Hope the flooring change goes smooth and easy, and that things settle down for you soon. Glad to have you back!

Demon Hunter said...


Oh my goodness. Try ammonia and Mean Green too, but usually bleach kills everything. I hope you get it back the way you want it and take care. Check in and let us know how you're doing. :-)

Merry Monteleone said...

Hey Mom in Scrubs,

Thanks for the well wishes... the smell has subsided some, but the floor still needs to go - it's looking like it'll be a while though - hubby has a rough work schedule and we got hit with a car repair bill I didn't see coming... whine, whine, whine...

I think the next post better be a cheery one or I'll lose all my readers :-)

Hey Demon Hunter!

How are the wedding plans coming? I hadn't thought of ammonia, and it works wonders on mildewy towels... I'll try that!

I did try vinegar mixed with water, which made the basement smell like mixed salad and sewege... ewe...

Josephine Damian said...

Merry: Oh, no! Flooding is the worst! Does this mean you won't make your WIP deadline?

Sewage? Ewwwww.

I had a plumbing leak and was in danger of having my whole house flood two weeks before I finished my first novel. I had to have my entire house re-plumbed - a nightmare, but told the plumber I needed to finish my first novel!

I spent two weeks of turning the water supply to my house off overnight and when I left the house and prayed a lot so that my pipes would not leak more than they had.

Merry Monteleone said...

Holy crap, Josie, you're a marine when it comes to your writing!

My current wip is actually coming along amazingly well... I'm uber excited about it - and I'll probably post something this weekend or next week when I get a little more time.

I haven't been able to work on it as much as I want to, for obvious reasons, but I'm still getting at least a little work in on it each day and I'm still aiming for the deadline.

Mary Witzl said...

Poor, poor Merry! I know a little what this is like; we had a very small flood one year and all our drains rose and stank up the house -- a lot of bleach got used, though to little avail. I don't think I could resist the urge to take up the carpets and cap up the drains (capping the drains worked in Japan in that at least it kept down the smell). I think I used up several boxes of baking soda too, but it did little good.

Although I don't envy you the smell, I DO envy you the extra moisture and wish we had some here: it is as dry as a bone and everything is parched. I can't get over how many people smoke here either; the whole place seems like a tinderbox ready to go off any minute.

I'll try to mentally send you some of our dryness for some of your extra moisture! Hope those bruises heal. That was one of my mother's favorite poems too.

jerseygirl89 said...

I'm so sorry! Merry, that just stinks (er, figuratively and literally, I guess). I hope things are going better on the personal and the home fronts.

Demon Hunter said...

Hey. The wedding plans are coming along and I'm trying not to pull my hair out---plus I have a wedding planner, but it's still so much to do...period. But I'm getting there. :-)

Family Fun & Faith said...

Hi Merry, I am sorry to hear that your home received more damage than mine did from Ike! We haad trees down and fence down, no power for a week, but all are safe. Some in the congregation lost most of their belongings and we have been working in the community to help get folks back on their feet.

Don't worry about the bet, you guys played longer than we did, although not by much!

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Mary,

Thanks for the dry wishes! Things are mostly sorted out now... that's one of my favorite poems, too. Thanks for the visit - I hope you guys are loving the new place.

Hi Jersey,

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've visited, I'll be stopping around soon... how is the pregnancy coming along and everything by you?

Things are starting to smooth out here - I think I'm just having one of those down years, one thing after another.

Hi Demon,

I'm glad they're coming along - don't pull out any hair, it makes for bad wedding pics :-)

Hi FF&F,

I'm glad to hear you guys weathered the storm, and it's wonderful that you're helping out in the community. There is usually some flooding here during spring and fall (though not in my area - this is the first in 11 years in my home, but the north end of town floods at least once a year) Like I said, my damage at least wasn't sooo bad - I have neighbors that lost all of the belongings in the first floor of their homes.

A bet is a bet, FF&F, and your guy definitely out performed big Z... as soon as I find an Astros hat I'll post and let you know... are you still blogging at Communati, or only at myspace?

Personally, I'm rooting for the Dodgers now. I just kind of get a kick out of Torre getting this far this year. Serves the Yankees right for letting him go.