Monday, April 11, 2011

TWO Weeks from HELL

About a week and a half ago I got terribly sick with a slight fever and sore throat.  I thought I had the flu or strep throat... but no meds would help.  Swallowing hurt, eating hurt, breathing hurt (no kidding)! So after a few days of suffering, I finally got out the flashlight to see what was going on in there... it was a HUGE canker sore in the back of my throat.  It was sort of oblong shaped, almost the size of a dime in the middle, with jagged edges.  It was terrible.  I have gotten canker sores since I was a toddler, as have my mom and her mom.  But, this was my first throat canker.  I went to the dentist a few days ago and when he saw it he exclaimed, "WHOA! That is traumatic!!" The worst he'd ever seen... hahaha! When I do things, I do them all the way!

But that is not the only horrible thing that occurred in the last week.  I was walking through my house and smelled something that I thought was burning hair.  (Like the smell of hair burning in a hair dryer.)  I got a small whiff of it, thought it was odd, and then forgot about it.  Later that night while I was laying in bed I could hear the door of our furnace banging and thought I'd go wedge it with something to keep it from vibrating.  When I opened my furnace room door this is what I found:

That is our floor drain.  At first I thought it was soil, because we had a ton of rain the day before... but I was wrong.  It was our sewage!!! So, this is what I faintly smelled earlier in the day.  

I used a spackle scrapper to collect all the gross crap.  Then I sprayed it all with a bleach cleaner and mopped it up with paper towels.  It was a messy, and SMELLY, job.  I wore a mask and purple cleaning gloves - oh so attractive!  

By the time I found this treasure the water had mostly gone down the drain but quite a lot of it went into the bedroom that shares the wall with the furnace room.  Here is a picture of the damage in the adjoining bedroom.

 We had to cut out all the padding that got wet.  It was disgusting.  We have a box fan in the window trying to get as much of the moisture out of the room because the wet carpet stinks.  We are going to replace the padding and then get the carpet cleaned. 

Last Thursday we called Roto Rooter to have them come and unclog our sewer drain.  Seems easy enough right?  Well they came and poked and prodded our yard for over 2 hours and could NOT find the access to our sewage pipe.  Luckily the Roto Rooter guy is a neighbor and he did not charge us for his time.  He recommended we call the city to see if they had the coordinates of the sewer access.  

The sewer department did have the coordinates, and sent out two of their men the next day to locate it.  Well... of course they couldn't find it either!  And since it was Friday, they couldn't do anything about it until MONDAY.  Fortunately our parent's live an hour away so we were able to stay at their place for the weekend because we were completely clogged... couldn't shower or flush the toilets.  

Today the city came through in a big way! They sent for an excavator to dig our yard, and they were finally able to find our sewer access!!   

Once they found it they sent for a truck with a tool to "snake out" our sewer pipe.  After a while using the tool they had me flush the toilets in the house.  BIG MISTAKE!  They hadn't gotten the clog and the furnace room flooded again... and it was GROSS GROSS GROSS!  Luckily Curt came home from work at lunch, so he was able to help me clean up the water and sewage before it damaged anymore of the house.   We filled the wet vac 2.5 times with the nastiness that was flooding out of the floor drain.  

The snake didn't work, but luckily the guys wouldn't give up! They called another team to come out, this time with a tool that sprays high powered water.  It took about 15 minutes or so, but the water tool was able to break apart the clog!!!  Finally our sewage is going into the sewer and not our house!!

 Here is the lucky part... because we pay ridiculously high property taxes, the city offers the sewer cleaning service FREE of charge!  :o)  So we didn't have to pay for the 3.5 hours and 9 people it took to clean out our sewer pipe today!! 

My canker is finally settling down, only woke me up two times last night. (At least I slept!) And we can finally flush our toilets and take a shower!  Thankfully it is warmer outside, so my house is all opened up and airing out.  It still smells a bit Port-a-potty-ish here, but it is getting better.  Thank goodness for bleach!

 Here's to hoping this week is uneventful!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spring Card Challenges

Many sites are currently having Springtime card challenges, and I wanted to participate!  One of the challenges was Bunnies, so that was my inspiration for this card.

My Mother-in-law gave me all of her old stamps, and this border stamp was part of her stash.  I am always so glad when a challenge gets me to use her old rubber mounted stamps.  I typically just use my new clear polymer stamps, but there is something special about stamping with her previously loved stamps.  

 I colored the images with both Prismacolor pencils and Copic markers.  The majority of the image was colored with the pencils and then blended with mineral spirits.  I love the effect you can get with the mineral spirits and pencils.  

Products Used
Stamps: Stampin' Up! (border), PTI Friendship Jar Spring Fillers (sentiment)
Patterned Paper: K&Company (from Super Paper Pad), Core'dinations (So Mod)
Prismacolor Pencils, Copics (B00, E33)
Glossy Accents and Diamond Stickles

Creative Cowgirls Challenge Blog: Spring or Easter
Crafty Creations: Bunnies
Stampers R Us: Spring Theme

Friday, April 1, 2011

Make it Monday #8 & Other Challenges

PTI's Make it Monday for this week is Ink Blending Techniques.  Here is my creation:

To create the background I embossed my paper using a Sizzix Texturz plate.  I really wanted the flowers to stay white, so I decided to use the debossed side of the paper.  To make sure the ink wouldn't go into the debossed areas I colored them with a white crayon.  Then I used some distress ink to create the background.  I simply used a tissue to wipe the ink off of the crayon wax, and Viola! The flowers really pop off the paper in person.    

Products Used
Embossing Plate: Sizzix Texturz plate "Flower Rings"
Paper: PTI Stamper's Select White Cardstock
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Inks (Wild Honey, Mustard Seed)
Memento (Rich Cocoa), ColorBox (Canary)
Stamps: PTI Mega Mixed Messages ("thanks" sentiment)
The Paper Company Dots and Stripes stamp set 

Papertrey Ink:  Make it Monday #8