THE BLOG
05/31/2016 02:36 pm ET Updated Jun 01, 2017

Whose Monkeys Are These?

Benoit Chartron via Getty Images

I feel more and more like I could be the ringmaster of a real circus and not break a sweat.

We had some landscaping done over the weekend. Easy enough... except the landscaping company moved our sump-pump hose up against the house foundation while they were working -- and neglected to move it back. Saturday and Sunday, cue the rain. And more rain. Our sump pump, while working just fine, was working OVERTIME because everything it was pushing out just came right back in. And eventually, there was no where else for it to go except through the egress window frame in the basement store room. Where we store things. Like wrapping paper. And paperback books. And cardboard boxes of things. See where this is going? South.

Since the store room has an ever-so-slightly angled grade, all that water that soaked all the paper stuff ran across the store room and through a wall to soak the carpet on the other side. Not to mention the drywall along the way.

Fortunately it didn't get farther before we discovered it early Monday, and immediately set every fan and our little hard-working dehumidifier to work (after using every towel in the house we could get our hands on quickly; bless you, T, for thinking to use the dog towels first!).

Once it was (relatively) under control, T stayed downstairs to survey the damage (and start throwing out soggy paper things), and I put in a call to our friendly neighborhood flood recovery specialists.

And of course, T left for a business trip that night, to return Thursday late evening.

The flood recovery specialists sent someone over that Monday afternoon, shortly after T left, to survey the damage. We had guys at our house the next morning removing soaked drywall and insulation (fortunately, there wasn't as much as we feared), and installing dryers and dehumidifiers that made ours feel woefully inadequate, I'm sure. They said they'd return Friday morning to install new drywall, remove the dryers, and clean and sanitize the carpet and padding that got wet.

In the meantime, we've been waiting for 2-3 days of decent (read "above 40 degrees and no rain") so that our house trim could be painted. The crew was able to come about 3 weeks ago to power wash the trim and porch, leaving us with patchy, bare wood where the old paint just chipped away. Which is fine. For a few days. But after a week, with no evidence that we were going to do anything about it (ladders, tarps, painting equipment of any kind laying about), I think our neighbors began to calculate just how much their property values were decreasing. I mean, it looked BAD.

Did I mention my son was going to prom this year? Guess where they wanted to do pictures? On our front porch. (We really do have a lovely, big covered porch, with a gorgeous flowering crabapple tree right next to it; in fact, pictures there may have originally been my idea...).

I put in a -- relatively -- controlled call to our painter last week: "Hey, it's been three weeks, and it's looking like we'll have several days of clear weather; how about coming and getting started on the painting part of the job? Especially the front porch part. Where a bunch of prom kids are showing up on Friday afternoon for pictures?" Even my son, Z, was getting nervous about how the porch was looking. "Um, Mom, are they ever coming back?"

Wednesday of prom week, the painters did indeed show up.

With the wrong color.

They promised me they'd be back Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. with the correct color and a larger crew.

And, well... the following is a transcript of what transpired Thursday at my house.

6:45 a.m.:
Up, feed pets, let dog out, get files for the day out, start up computer.

7:14 a.m.:
Run back upstairs for quick shower.

7:15 a.m.:
About-face and back downstairs immediately upon hearing noise on front porch.

7:15 a.m.:
Painters here on front porch.

What happened to "We'll see you at 8"?

7:17 a.m.:
Back upstairs to throw sweats on. Bid adieu to shower.

7:18 a.m.:
Call from flood recovery guy that they're almost to the house. What? What? What happened to "We'll be back on Friday morning"?

7:20 a.m.:
Shoving litter box, water dish and cat food dishes into office; ambushing and tackling 2 indignant cats and tossing them unceremoniously into office with various toys.

7:28 a.m.:
Backing car out of garage (at dangerous speed -- don't tell teenager) for use later in morning.

7:30 a.m.:
Enormous, noisy truck backs into driveway ("BEEP BEEP BEEP"). Gaining no favor with neighbors.

7:30 a.m. and 10 seconds:
Cats freaking out in closed office. Definite strains of "We're too old for this!" being yowled my way. Dog wants to "help" everyone. Exile dog to back yard.

7:31 a.m.:
Realize there is no hope of getting much of anything done today. Maybe some writing.

7:33 a.m.:
Sit down at computer in midst of chaos, and discover said computer has no intention of booting up. Now, nor in the near future.

7:38 a.m.:
Realize new record has been set at our house for a day careening wildly downhill.

7:39 a.m.... discover we are out of ibuprofen.

Yes, these are my monkeys. Yes, this is my circus. And I am... The Ringmaster.