Why Lemony?
(the “About Me” page)

April 21, 2006

The Smell of Algae is Going Away

Apparently Thursday morning's events were pretty amusing to those who witnessed them—something about the Water Company guy who turned off the water for us originally, coming out to check on the valve, concluding that in fact it was leaking on their side, and then another Water Company guy coming out to give a second opinion. Bahíyyih says that both guys were very nice and that the second one was even supportive about homeschooling.

In short, the water company will take it from here. The leak is on their side of the service box at the curb (somehow, we have a curb on a tar-and-gravel road—it's the only piece of concrete for a dozen yards in either direction). They plan to repair it on Monday.

And the basement is drying up pretty well. The last damp corner no longer has any wet spots on the floor, and the smell of algae is receding. The smell was bothering me, but frankly, it could have been much worse—I don't know why it didn't smell like mildew instead. And luckily, it didn't particularly bother the rest of the household.

So back to normal. Relatively.

Posted by Billy at 12:13 PM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2006

Plumbing Day Update

Today was to be the day that our yard gets dug up by a nice guy (seriously) with a back hoe. However, it's not happening, because of this sequence of events:

  1. Monday morning: the plumbers think that the leak is from our water service, probably a leak in the pipe that goes between the main at the street and our house.
  2. The water company turns off water at curb, to see if that stops the leak.
  3. The leak in the basement gradually slows down.
  4. Monday afternoon: The plumbers come back to survey the situation. They decide to operate. That will involve digging up the pipe in the front yard and in order to replace it. The operation is scheduled for Wednesday. It will be out-patient; our yard will be able to go back home the same day, but there will be a period of recovery as grass etc. grows back.
  5. We decide to turn the water back on until the repair can be made, since the leak is only about 10 gallons a day, which we seem to be able handle.
  6. We call the water company to get the water turned back on in the meantime; they say "No, we can't do that; you claimed the leak was damaging property, so we sent someone in 30 minutes instead of 7-10 days, and now we aren't going to turn it back on until you give us written evidence that it was repaired." Reasonable.
  7. We tell the plumbers, who come back and try to turn the water back on. They have trouble getting a grip on it (it's about 4 feet underground, down a metal pipe that is full of leaked water, and they use a long steel tool to turn the valve). "The service box is shifted over, and we can't get the key onto the valve handle." They dig a hole around the pipe and try to shift it over to get a better angle. Eventually we decide that we didn't want the water on anyway -- the yard is waterlogged below the 18-inch level; this will give it a chance to dry up and make the work easier. Besides, it will halt water damage to our basement.
  8. We call JULIE to mark the location of our gas line (and cable TV and telephone and electric, but those are not in the front yard).
  9. Bahiyyih buys white "marking paint", which Billy sprays haphazardly in a snaking line (three snaking lines, actually) over the front yard in the vicinity of said digging. Bahiyyih "Steady Hand of the Quilter" Baker probably should have done the spraying instead.
  10. We fetch water from Heidi's house, for drinking and flushing toilets. We make plans to use paper plates and stuff for the next few days.
  11. Monday evening: we discover that the toilets still flush. What the? In fact, the water is on. But the leak has stopped. We're not really sure why. The water tastes funny -- we figure some leaked into the pipes from the yard during the time that it was turned off. We continue to drink water from Heidi's house, although showering, flushing, dishwashing all seem to be okay with our local supply.
  12. Georgia has a soccer game. We play in the park and have a good time.
  13. Tuesday: a guy with some neat underground pipe-finding equipment marks where our gas lines are.
  14. Wednesday morning: the plumbers and the guy with the backhoe show up. We tell them the situation. "Well, if the leak has stopped, there's no need to dig up your yard, is there?" Maybe the problem was in the valve at the street, and it was "fixed" by turning it off and then slightly on. In any event, that valve belongs to the water company, and it's their responsibility to fix it if it's broken.
  15. Bahiyyih announces that it smells like the water company is doing one of their periodic chlorine flushes (which they do about three times a year, and which makes the water taste distinctly swimming-pool-ish), just in time to clear out our dirty pipes.

In short, the leak has stopped, apparently just because the valve at the street was closed and then opened just a little bit, in a failed attempt to open it all the way.

So no plumbing day after all. We'll see what happens next.

Posted by Billy at 01:15 PM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2006

I'm quilting, I'm quilting...

Yeah, working on Olivia's quilt. It's fun and fast and done soon! And it's keeping me positive and happy while the following unfolds...

We have an expensive plumbing crisis involving lots of leaks through the basement wall. Hopefully all will be dry after Wednesday when the plumbers dig a huge trench in the front yard and replace the water service pipe. That's the pipe that connects one's house to the city's big water pipe and it's the homeowner's responsibility to fix it when it gets old and decrepit and gets lots of leaks. Apparently the front yard, about two feet down, is totally waterlogged and it's all seeping into the basement at the rate of about 10 gallons a day. Luckily there's a big hole in the basement floor where a sump pump usually goes to collect all this water or we'd be floating in it. As it is, we've had to move a bunch of stuff and roll back the carpet but we haven't had a lot of water damage. That we can see, anyways. We don't really know what state the drywall is in after all this water running down behind it. And the carpet smells kind of funny.

I'll tell you one thing. I know a whole lot more about plumbing now than I used to. There's a lot going on underground and behind walls that you don't usually see, or even know is there. But I must say that it's a very expensive education.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 02:50 PM | Comments (0)

April 09, 2006

In the Park

Devyn, Georgia, Maya, and I went to the park this afternoon. We met another set of cousins and had a good time. And we took pictures! Well, the kids wanted to take some pictures. So we did. And I gave our URL to our park buddies, so here we are!


Usually, Maya's the one getting buried in sand.

Group picture!

And we got home a little late, but it was worth it. I think. I'll still take a watch next time.

Posted by Billy at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

April 06, 2006

Salt cookies

Note to self: Don't cook things that aren't edible.

We made salt dough and the girls made shapes out of it today- hearts, stars, handprints, stuff like that. Then we popped it into the oven to harden for 2 1/2 hours. The problem was- that stuff smelled SO GOOD like yummy cookies or cake but tastes like solid ocean (as Khalil said). It's not for eating. And poor Teresa was totally fooled and cried plaintively when I wouldn't let her eat any 'cookies'. It was torture. Maybe we just better make some real cookies now.

Second note to self: Don't leave little girls alone with a set of poster paints.

I went off to nurse Teresa to sleep for her nap while girls were painting their dough shapes and when I came back, there was paint EVERYWHERE, including the whole table, the hands and arms of said little girls, and dripped all over the carpet. I thought they could handle it and they said they could, but imaginative possiblilties of paint just took over in my absence.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 03:33 PM | Comments (2)

April 03, 2006

I didn't see that one coming

I thought I was more of a Kaylee, though I do like the captain best. Khalil got me hooked on this great little sci-fi western series (that he owns the DVD of, in it's entirety) called firefly. It's good fun. Very funny, though a little violent at times. Well written though, sometimes lite, sometimes creepy, always exciting. I found the quiz thanks to Brent (see sidebar), whose writing is also good fun. Check it out!

You scored as RiVER. River Tam: you can kill people with your mind (or so you claim). All we really know about you is that you are hella-smart and that you were involved in some sort of Weapon-X-type program, which is usually more curse than blessing.

Some advice: beware the men with the blue hands...



Captain Malcolm Reynolds


Simon, the Doctor


Kaylee, the Mechanic


Inara, the "Companion"


Jayne Cobb, resident bad-ass


First Mate Zoe


Shepherd Book


Wash, the Pilot


created with QuizFarm.com

Posted by Bahiyyih at 07:40 PM | Comments (3)

April 01, 2006

two things

(These pictures are from a couple months ago, but you can see the toddler coming out here.)

One- Teresa is turning into a little toddling person, a baby no longer. She still nurses and uses diapers, but she's doing so many toddler things already. When did this all happen? I just blinked and she got so big! Here's part of a list. She walks (faster every day), kisses Maya, hugs and pats a stuffed sheep very lovingly, gives me a sassy smile when she is going to do something she knows she isn't supposed to (like suck on a dirty wet washcloth, put a bead in her mouth, etc.), misbehaves on purpose to communicate to me that she needs a diaper change, uses her first attempts at hand signs to tell me things- mostly 'all done', nods and shakes her head vigorously for yes and no, yells at and pulls her sisters' hair, insists on feeding herself (she's very impatient with being spoon-fed), drinks from a sippy cup without spilling a drop (except when she wants to make a puddle to play in), wrestles with daddy, plays by herself, tries to put clothes on herself, loves her big girl shoes, cries when daddy leaves in the morning and hugs him tight when he gets home at night, and wants to be where the action is with all the big kids. Arg, she's so cute! She makes us all laugh so many times a day.


Ok, so two- a few new things around the webble. Billy lovingly put up an About me page that I wrote a few months ago, and I added a few more people to the 'community' section- check out Khalil, entering the world of the webble! Welcome, brother, welcome!

Posted by Bahiyyih at 10:56 PM | Comments (2)