Sunday, January 24, 2010

Titanic- The Home Version

You may recall that I started the New Year with a nasty flu bug and that it was really wiping me out. I have certainly had worse bugs but this one was at the very least a tenacious little punk. Mostly it just pulled up comfy spot on the sofa, with a bowl full of chips, the greasy kind, turned on the Discovery Channel and made himself at home. I couldn’t get this slacker to leave, even when the chips were gone he just moved onto a box of saltines and a brewsky. You wouldn’t believe the mess he made. Crumbs and empty glasses everywhere, pizza boxes littering the floor, the house was a wreck! I couldn’t even get all the delayed holiday gear put away. “Oh no, don’t do that. Let’s just lie here and take a nap” he said. “Look hyenas and giant ants are on next, you don’t want to miss that!” I was weak, I couldn’t resist and the hyenas weren’t so bad but those ants, they kind of stick with you. They’re like the largest colony on earth or something. Forget Al-Quaeda, bomb those freaking ants!

After convalescing for what I am pretty sure was a good six months I had begun to have fever free days. This coordinated beautifully with the first actual sunny day we’d had in those six months. Anxious to get as far as possible from those fever induced ant images, I grabbed my gardening gloves and headed out. It was nearly time for the spectacular Messy Garage Tulip Show. Hey, don’t judge me. Sure there were seven hundred spring bulbs sprouting their lights out in that garage but I was sick people, sick. I filled up the wheelbarrow with tulips and daffodils, iris and a bunch of other stuff I’m to lazy to list and began the tedious task of digging those babies into the ground. This was made all the more tedious because, I WAS USING A SPOON. Not because I lost my hand trowel, my bulb planter or even my mind, well maybe that one. But because I have planted so much in my garden that a spoon was all I could squeeze into the tiny spaces left. It was a long day.

After taking shower, then foolishly talking to my neighbor outside in my bathrobe with wet hair it was time to call it a day. Besides, I could’ve sworn I heard the Discovery Channel click on.

Later that night resting comfortably next to the Saint, who was graciously not snoring for once, I was annoyed…awoken by a light tapping sound. “Oh, it must be raining” I thought and rolled over to snuggle into the covers. “Wait a minute. There weren’t any clouds and rain doesn’t come one drop at a time?” I nudge the Saint, “Honey, do you hear that, what is that?” He’s a sound sleeper but a fast wake up and I am the complete opposite. “That’s a leak somewhere.” Ahhgggg-- He was right and it was coming from the hot water heater which is for some reason dumber than buckets with holes so kids won’t drown (an actual US government proposal, I kid you not) the tank is located in our bedroom. I have no doubt in my mind that the designer who came up with this brilliant plan was a dedicated crack smoker and had just made a major score the day our blueprints came across his desk.

Now the beloved Saint clad only in his nighttime skivvies made his way to the heater in search of the leak. “I think it’s coming from AAAAAHHHHH!!!” This is where he made that sound an exotic animal being attacked by rabid hyenas covered in giant ants on the Discovery Channel makes. It seems there isn’t an actual word for that.
And thus began our latest near death experience.

I rushed to his side and was just in time to hear that horrible animal sound again--but this time it was coming from me. The intake hose on the water heater had come undone and we were now standing under Niagara Falls at the dead of winter in our underwear. The water pressure was nothing short of a hydrant. The intake hose had been cut too short and now that it had come loose it could not reach the connector valve. The water was shooting onto the low ceiling and drenching us. This water comes from a well four hundred feet down and it was dangerously cold at forty three degrees. The pressure was so strong that it took both of us to push the ends together enough to at least slow down the outward flow but as the ends came closer together the water was blasted into our faces and torsos. We were shivering so hard the next day all our muscles would be sore. We could barely speak, our motor skills were clunky and our thought process’ were getting pretty sketchy.

The two of us tried to hold the ends together and figure out a plan. This was made all the more difficult by the frequent and slips of the hose and the onslaught of torrential ice water. One of us had to run outside to turn off the well pump and one had to stay to hold the hoses together. He has stronger upper body strength so I raced outside to the well house and back in just in time for his grip to slip and we took another assault. There was still a lot of pressure.

I ran to turn all the faucets on. The hose slipped again. The house was filling with water. I ran outside again to find a garden hose. We could not force the water into the nozzle, the intake hose was uncontrollable. Violently shivering and barely able to think and speak we realized there was another pump still on at the opposite side of the house. The water was kept coming like an icy geyser with the brief exception of some super heated tank water being suctioned out to scald the Saint’s hand before soaking us with freezing water again. I ran back outside to turn off the other pump. It was thirty eight degrees out there with a light breeze.
Coming back in I felt guilty because thinking I had it better than he did, I got away from the torrential ice water for a moment. Finally the water was under control and we could get out of the water and dry ourselves off. It had taken us about twenty three minutes to get out from under the water.

Right about then is when our Malamute who had been frightened by those wild animal sounds and run outside, came back in. Apparently haven taken comfort by rolling in something very much dead. I laughed so hard at the completeness of the night’s disaster that I nearly fainted in a fit of coughing. Of course that had more to do with the fact that the malingering flu bug had taken total possession of my lungs by that point.
Now to leave you with a few interesting tidbits that I discovered after our little shower fiesta:

1. The temperature of the Atlantic waters that Titanic sank in were 35 degrees.
2. The air temperature was 43 degrees.
3. Time before exhaustion or unconsciousness, 15 - 30 minutes.

1. Temperature of the water we were in, 43 degrees.
2. Air temperature, 38 degrees
3. Time before exhaustion or unconsciousness, 30 – 60
4. Physical exertion drains the body of heat faster than if you stay still
5. Wind drains the body of heat.
6. Leonardo Di Caprio is a liar.

I'm lighting a fire and taking a nap.
*editing note- I checked the outside temp and it was 38* I edited the text to reflect that.


  1. Oh LeSan my friend, I don't know how you do it!
    You are the queen of disasters and, although I know I shouldn't, I can't help but laugh at the descriptions of your misfortunes!

    I really, REALLY hope you're feeling better (and warmer!) now!
    *hugs* Nutty

  2. NUTTY~ Queen of disasters?! Too funny. Very sad. LOL
    I didn't even mention the no water problems we have been having. We had no at all over the holidays. sigh.
    Thanks Nutty,I'm in therapy now for water phobia but my therapist says one day I'll be able to bathe again. We're working our way up from Dixie cups now. ;-)

  3. Girl, you sure know how to tell a great story of personal disasters. How awful for you to have all that going on while you were sick. I sure hope you are warmed up, feeling better, and will soon be able to bathe.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  4. Good Morning: When I stop laughing I may come back and leave another comment. For now all I can say is, Keep up the good work your life's adventures make good stories and you have a wonderful way of telling them.

    Enjoy Your Day,

  5. Le San,
    Water is beautiful in its place but brought into quiet, warm, dry, inner places ... and it really is more than a bother. Your night sounds horrid! I hope you are not having a relapse... god knows those ants will get you this time! You are so generous with your mini disasters... always sharing with humor! Your writing laced with droll wit... though there is nothing dry about the circumstances!! Your choice of photography to illustrate this episode of 'Life with LeSan' are perfect and the sound of water here on your blog is quite fitting... only wish your hoses ... well, instead of having a fit ... wish they had fit!! How did the spooning bulbs go? Will we be seeing those shoots soon? Really I am impressed if you have soil that can be dug with a spoon!! Please be well and SAFE! ;>))

  6. Sounds like a night of he**! Our hot water tank blew the week before Christmas but luckily was in our garage and the water just stayed there. I could totally imagine the two of you trying to reconnect the hose and when the dog came in...
    Sometimes all you can do is laugh.
    I hope you are feeling better. You are so due some good luck!

  7. What a nightmare...and why do these things happen in the coldest part of winter? That is not REFRESHING at all.
    Even in a morbid sense, you told it in a while that made me feel sorry for you and laugh with you at the same time!

  8. I never liked that Leo DiCaprio anyway.

    So sorry to hear about the mishap, that must have been pretty nuts. I hope everything gets better for you.

  9. FLOWERLADAY~ Great stories of personal disaster huh? What am I going to blog about if I’m not trying to die? LOL I’m still a little skittish of water right now but I’m feeling better. So far 2010 has been off to a fantastic start. Looks like it’s going to be a long year. hehehe

    JWLW~ John it just warms my heart to know that you are laughing at my suffering. Keep laughing, I can use all the warmth I can get. This past month and a half has really cut into my living time. I hope you and Liza are doing well. I owe you some blog visits my friend.

    CAROL~ Yes, I have definitely reconsidered the bedroom fountain after this. It was a flipping nightmare. I was up until seven AM just trying to clean up. I did have a nasty little relapse unfortunately. It’s been a hell of a month, thank goodness February only has 28 days…or is it 29 this year?
    The spoon digging bulbs has been going fine but slow. Mostly just because I have a lot of other stuff going on and I don’t have all my strength back yet. I can actually dig in my beds with my fingers but it wears my gloves out. I am continually putting lots of organic matter down so it’s very rich and fluffy.

    CATHERINE~ You have your hot water tank in the garage? I guess your guy wasn’t smoking crack when he designed the place then! It absolutely was a nightmare. I think I was even more frightened when I found out just how serious the situation was after the fact. And the dog? Could anything have been more poetic? .

  10. ROSEY POLLEN~ Thank you for laughing at my pain. LOL It was absolutely unbelievable. Here we were warm and dry in our bed and the next minute were going down on the Titanic. The hardest thing was running back into that water every time I came back into the house from running around outside. I am so glad it’s over and that it didn’t turn out all the many worse ways it could have. All in all we got out a lot better than we could have. And the dog rolling in stink? Well that was just perfect.

    M.R.J. LE BLANC~ You know I never liked him either. I couldn’t help but think of him running around on that blasted ship up to his chest in that icy water for an hour and talking like it was just a little brisk. Grrr. I could barely think in that stuff!
    Thank you very much for taking the time to leave a comment. I really appreciate that and I am so glad to meet you.

  11. Well, at least the disaster turned into fodder for a hilarious blog post. Sorry to be laughing at your pain, but you tell it so well.

    Hope you're getting better and that somehow the dog's stink has been cleaned off -- and that you find a good lawyer to sue the idiot who put the hot water heater in the bedroom. (Seriously? Crack-smoker doesn't seem too far fetched as a guess!)

  12. Oh my gosh, LeSan. That is too funny! Well, I know it wasn't too funny while it was happening, though I did sense a smile or two when your dog came in for comic relief.

    Okay, I feel better now about being sick. And grateful my water heater is in our basement, not our bedroom. :-)

    Have a warm weekend!

  13. MEREDITH~ You got it, crack smoking and blue prints are an ugly combination. Unfortunately our garage is quite seperate from the house so it would be quite a project to relocate the darn thing. Maybe we should start sleeping in the garage?
    Oh, and the dog's stink? Well by that time we had enough water just lying around on the floor to wash her in.

    JEWEL~ Thanks for laughing at my pain. heheh You know how it is, sometimes all you have left is a sense of humor. Would you believe that we got a new tank put in and now it's leaking again! So the water is turned off again and we're living out of gallon jugs and pitchers. Well at least the dog hasn't rolled in anything...yet.
    I'm glad you're feeling better and back to writing stories. :-)

  14. What I really want to know now is .... how did I catch your flu just from reading your blog and, if you feel as awful as I do, how on earth did you function?!
    I'm going back to bed....... :(

  15. Hi LeSan,
    I am attempting to do some catching up on blog reading. I have been so busy figuring out what kind of appliances to get and moving things around, that I'm not keeping up. Then, I come here to see you've been sick. What an ordeal that must have been to have that water all over the place!

    I hope you got all your bulbs in. I'm excited to see your flowers this spring. Well, I'm excited to see everyones' and mine, too.

  16. LeSan,

    If you don't write a book it will be a complete waste of a brilliant writer. I would have laughed my head off, if I couldn't see it so
    clearly and feel the cold water. Yikes. You poor baby. But what great copy -- as my brother the writer would say.

    Take care,