Saturday, October 08, 2005

Another Day In Paradise

We were supposed to be partying! Emphasis on supposed. For reasons that will soon be painfully obvious, there are no pictures.

The rains that we've been waiting for, while the southern part of our country was being overwhelmed by "ladies" named Katrina and Rita, simply passed us by.

Then a new woman arrived in town. Her name was Tammy. And she was no lady!

Friday, the rain started, but it was almost a "gentle summer rain," predicted to turn heavy overnight, but to "taper off." Ha! Nine inches later. . .

At 9:30 this morning, the Fundraiser and I arrived at the food bank, expecting to meet the rest of the Party Committee so that we could put the finishing touches on the Party Place (the cleared out warehouse, set with tables all festively decorated) to find:

Rising Flood Waters, oh my!! (Actually, the first thing I encountered was a very nice police officer, erecting barricades on our access road (never a good sign). When I told him that I was "going to work," he encouraged me to get what I needed and take it home to work on there.

So, the Other Half and I drove down the drive and oh, my lord! the boat had better be leaving the dock soon, Mamma!

Heeding the words of emergency personnel everywhere, the Fundraiser and I left cars on higher ground and waded in so that we could fetch phone lists and such. We spoke with the Committee Chair and Other Committee Members and sadly went home to the task of calling 115 people to cancel.

That's the bad news. The good news is that they all still want to donate the $$ that they had sent (no one asked for a refund).

So, just when I think I'm home free, at home, to relax and take an unplanned evening to eat popcorn, watch the Penn State-Ohio State football game (did you see that game??Wow!) and knit, another monkey wrench.

Water. In the basement. On the floor! I used the shop vac, then turned to the carpet shampooer (in "extract" mode), all the towels, three buckets. It really seemed like I was getting somewhere, and then it got ugly.

That was when I discovered the two tiny holes in the mortar where floor and wall come together. And water pouring through to beat the band.

Short version: nothing worked, until the Other Half, in a brilliant brainstorm, tried a can of spray-in insulation. (Hey, it said "waterproof" on the label. We had nothing, I repeat, nothing to lose! Thinking that it wasn't working, we dammed up the area with all the towels we could find, and sat down to eat an overcooked, dried out dinner, figuring we had about 15 minutes before time to bail again. Ten minutes later (I am not a patient person), I checked. The rush of water had stopped! There wasn't even a trickle. The golf ball-size glop of foam had grown to softball size, and was doing its job. Can you say "happy dance?" Just in time for the start of the game.
Of course, the foam insulation can specified clean up instruction. Who in the hell keeps "mineral spirits" in the house in this era of acrylic paint. (That's paint thinner, folks, for oil-based paint.) When one's fingers are coated with sticky insulation that will be tacky enough to paint in 2 hours) as the Other Half's fingers were, well, any port in a storm.

Here's what doesn't work: gasoline, WD-40, nail polish remover, thick coating of dish detergent combined with a scrubby, ditto with a nail brush.

Here's what does: Mineral spirits. From K-Mart. By the gallon. Because that's the only size they have.

So, now we have a gallon minus about a tablespoon of mineral spirits in the basement. Just in case we ever insulate our fingertips again.

That was the bad news.

The good news is that we did get to watch The Game, and that Penn State is still undefeated :yes!: and that there was time for cat brushing and sitting with feet up and knitting. I am now 9 body cm. from joining sleeves (guess I'd better start them) and starting the yoke on my cardigan.

I'm pleased with the way this yarn works up. It's definitely "outerwear" with something substantial underneath. We're talkin' serious itch here!

Tomorrow: Was there serious flooding at the food bank? Will the party be rescheduled? What will happen to all that chili? Stay tuned.

no fair posting after i go to bed!

try getting that stuff out of your hair! i have waist length hair, and while we were doing up the basement of my old house to sell, i accidentally hit my head on the ceiling (steep stairs into the basement). it ended up all over my hair, and i thought for sure i was going to have to get a hair cut. so, we waited until it had set, and ended up being able to pick most of teh stuff out without pulling too much hair. whew. my fiance was in a panic, because he loves my long hair.
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