Archive for November 12th, 2006

Water on the floor

Ay me, we have water on the floor in the utility room.  Somehow all the cleaning and painting and extra people overloaded the sewer line at the back of the house.  We have been aware of the issues this pipe has for some time.  The person who installed it did not get quite  enough slope in the line. 

So, if you create too much sediment, it makes a dam, which then collects toilet paper and other detritus and eventually the water stops running freely.  Then if you wash clothes the laundry water backs up in the shower, and if you don’t notice because you are out playing with the remains of last night’s bonfire, then the shower overflows and you have lots of water on the floor in the bathroom and utility room and your husband says in a tense voice, “I have to go to Lowe’s.  I have to get a tool.”

The situation was exacerbated by the fact that I also ran the dishwasher 4 times in 2 days, washed platters and serving dishes, and then mopped the floors this morning, since we had a party last night and wine was spilled as well as Death By Chocolate Cake.  (Also called Flourless Chocolate Nemesis Cake.)  (Someone at the party last night renamed it Chocolate Orgasm.)  Anyway, some of that got spilled on the floor last night and that got tracked all over so it was expedient to mop the floors.

Since I also went on a frenzied fanatic cleaning spree all day yesterday, my house is truly spick and span today.  Well, except for my bedroom, which I did not get dusted at all yet, although it did get both thoroughly vacuumed and the sheets changed.  And the water on the floor in the back bathroom.

We discovered this morning that even though this event was well attended, the group of partygoers needed to be quite a big larger.  While we were able to kill the bottle of champagne, we fell far short on the keg of beer.  It initially contained 8 gallons and has about 5 left in it.  Pikers.

Both beer and wine were very good.  The champagne maintained tiny bubbles that never went flat even when the bottle had been opened for four hours.  The beer was very good.  It was Spaten Oktoberfest, and there is a whole story around the purchase of that keg of beer. 

When it arrived from the distributor, it suddenly became apparent that the bung hole in a German keg is quite a different size from one in an American keg.  Turns out that Dutch kegs and English kegs are different too.  There is no international standard for keg tap size. 

Then the most amazing thing was that although the distributor has this beer on their price list and sells it regularly, they do not have a properly sized keg tapper available to rent.  So we had to do an emergency web search and find a keg tap and buy it and have it delivered by 2nd Day Federal Express and it got here just in time to tap the keg.  Our backup plan was to have a bunch of cases of good imported beer on ice.  The keg was better.

Ah, I hear water draining from the shower pan back there.  The tool that my very useful husband went to buy is a snake.  This is a long steel tape which you force down a clogged sewer line which hopefully moves the sediment dam and allows all the backed up water to drain.  This just happened.  So now I can do another load of laundry to clean all the towels and rags we threw down in the bathroom and utility room to stem the rising tide of water there.  Sort of a preview of global warming in minature.  Our levee was not high enough.

But enough about today’s little disaster. 

I was awfully busy yesterday.  I started the final dusting of the house on Friday, I think.  Wednesday the contractors installed the replacement window we had ordered.  This made it possible for me to paint the trim around it.  Then my kitchen dragon and the rocks it guards were able to return to their homes.  While I was doing that, Jim was making the flourless chocolate cake mentioned above.  This is an extremely intense chocolate experience to eat as it melts away in your mouth. 

I did seven massages on Thursday, so even though I had planned to start dusting procedures then, I didn’t get around to it.  I only had five scheduled for Friday, plus getting my own.  So while I was doing that, Jim went to Springfield to rent the champagne flutes and pick up a few things at the bakery and at the warehouse store. 

After I finished working Friday, my friend Sue Day came over to visit and view the new kitchen.  We had tea and talked for a while, and after she left I began the dusting process.  Jim got home from the job at the liquor store while I was in the middle of this.

We finally collapsed into bed around midnight.  Bright and early on Saturday, we arose from our bed and started doing things.  First thing, of course, we made coffee.  Jim made a New York Style Cheese Cake while I dusted for a while.  Then he went off to pick up the ice — 80 pounds.  We moved the champagne bottle outside to start the cooling process.  As soon as he got home, I put the reserve bottles of Piper Sonoma on ice in a cooler in the back bedroom.  They are still there.

When he got back, I made us some breakfast.  Soft boiled eggs and toast.  It was good.  I immediately left the house on my own little shopping trip.  I had to go down to the dairy where we get milk because Jim could not make the spinach and artichoke dip until I got the milk home.  We also wanted to have some frozen strawberries in case anybody wanted a daiquiri, so I had to pick that up, and the tortilla chips for the dip he was going to make. 

While I was at the grocery store, I explored their flower cooler, but all their blossoms were wilted.  On my way to the dairy I stopped off at the florist shop by the airport and bought a whole armload of fresh flowers.  They are all over the house right now, being spectacular.  Really.

While I was driving down the dairy’s driveway, I saw a red tailed hawk squatting out in the middle of their milo field, eating a mouse.  On my way back down the driveway, there was a flock of ten meadow larks that were enjoying the fact that the hawk had something to eat for breakfast already.  They flew merrily down the side of the road in front of me, scattering into the field on the opposite side from where the hawk was dining.

When I got home, I put the flowers in a bucket of water and Jim started making the spinach and artichoke dip.  He had gone out to the garden and picked a whole bunch of spinach and arugula for the dip right out of our cold frames.  I am here to testify that this is positively the most amazing dip you have ever tasted, it came right off of Emeril’s website, except we do him one better because we grow our own greens and get unhomogenized fresh milk for the sauce.

So while he was cooking that, I went back to dusting.  I spent a very intimate ten minutes with the carved tiger eye dragon fan.  Then I had the kitchen available so I arranged my flowers.


There are other bouquets in the living room and the sauna dressing room.  The one in the living room is blue and has love in a mist and delphiniums and dutch irises.  The one in the sauna dressing room has star gazer lilies and a proteus. 

My first guests arrived two hours early, having misunderstood or forgotten what time the party was to start.  Nancy and Cliff and  Roger arrived in plenty of time to forestall my usual attack of pre-party panic:  “What if no one comes?”  Someone always does.  You would think I would get over the childhood trauma of the tenth birthday party that no one except my parent’s best friends attended.  You’d think.

Well, I have it on good authority that there is a floor that needs attention back in the back of the house.  I think I’d best go attend to that, and also perhaps wash the towels and rags that were used to staunch the flow of water back there.  

Y’all have a wonderful day. 

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