Monday, May 4, 2015

Sump Pump and Done

Today the boys were back at it again. Jim, Tommy, and Dan did it. They not only fixed the leak but made it even better. 

I will admit, yesterday I had my doubts but these three, well actually two, sorry Danny but Jim and Tommy actually do this shit for a living and have done it a million times. And they not only know what they are doing but they do it well... or at least 99%. 

Today when I got home I heard Dan say "99%" over and over. I thought maybe it was the quality of material or grade of gravel... this obviously isn't an area of my expertise. He explained to me that whatever they were doing, they were going to do it till it was 99% acceptable and then move on. 

Smart. I like it. 

Sometimes I like to poke a little fun when I'm telling my stories, but in all honesty I owe so much to Jim, tommy, and Henry. 

Here's Henry. 


He's the one who brought the gravel and sat with me in the kitchen to keep me company. This man is one of the best. I'm pretty sure I could call Henry at any time of day or night and he would be right over with whatever it is I needed. 


This is Jim. He makes running this Bobcat look like no big deal. He taught Max how to manipulate the arm and let Max drive it around the house and onto the trailer. I'm so glad I wasn't there to see that part of the driving. Max has decided to work with Jim this summer. I know Jim will take good care of Max and Max will have the time of his life. Most of my favorite stories involve Jim. Again, he thought nothing of it to spend two days working in my yard. He's like family to the Hamlin's. 

Which brings me to family.

Tommy. 

Tommy is as close to Dan as two people can be. They talk the same, their mannerisms are they same, just about everything about them is the same. This is probably why I love and respect him so much. 

I remember back when Dan and I were first married, we were driving on I70 very late at night. Our car broke down and this was before cell phones. Dan knew we were close to the Richmond, IN exit where Tommy and Debbie used to live. Dan and I crossed 70, walked through a farm field and walked up to the only house we could find. Dan nudged me onto the porch and said, "you better stand there when they open the door so they don't think I'm here to rob them". When I explained to the nervous elderly couple that my car broke down and I needed to use the phone they finally said yes, and Dan and I walked in. 

In the middle of the night he called his big brother, Tommy. 

And he came right over and picked us up. 

All joking aside from yesterday, Tommy really does know just about everything about anything. He's the first person we called for this job. 

My boys adore him. They love the way he gives Dan shit, as big brothers do. They love their Aunt Debbie even more for her maternal and culinary skills. 

Family is the best. Who else can you vent to, laugh with, cry on without judgment? 


I love this picture because I envision my two boys standing this same way with each other after working their asses off. 

Nothing but memories and free labor. 




Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sump Pump Woes

Sump Pump defined by Webster:

1. n. A pain in my ass lately.  
2. n. Very needed in keeping water out of my basement. 
3. A Sunday No Funday kinda fix. 

Okay maybe not found in the dictionary as defined above but it should be because a few months ago Dan and I noticed puddles near our back step which has led us to definition 3. 

The good news is there has been no water in our basement. Not a drop.... that is until we turned it off during repairs and found out exactly the job a sump pump provides. 

This is my sump pump. I want to give her a name but don't want to piss her off because we learned today how much we need her. 

I even put Santa next to her so she knows that he's watching if she ever decides to pull some shit. 


Here's how the day started. 


Dan, his brother Tommy, and Jim just shooting the shit in my backyard...with a pickup truck... 

Next came this.


No big deal. I've actually had this in my yard before. Jim is very skilled and Tommy is always right (his own words) and recognizing a kindred spirit in carrying the burden of always being right I felt pretty good about the outcome of what was about to go down. 

Even when this started happening... 

 Cutting the cement. 

Removal of slab. 

And then this started happening and it hit me. Holy shit they are cutting my cement and removing my slab! 

Here is a picture of water filling the hole. This. Never. Stops. Hence why we have a sump pump. 


Once we got this far down we found the pipe and saw that the leak was under the other sidewalk slab. So guess what? 


 We tore that up and followed the pipe until we realized, the damn leak is even further down the sidewalk. 


I could tell this was going to be a long day.... 

There were times we had to unplug the sump pump. During this time Dan or I would run down to the basement to make sure all was well. 

We still needed to determine where the leak was located. The men decided to take a look in a secret wishing well I never knew was located in my yard. 

Probably because I never go on this side of the trees. 


When I asked Dan what this thing is called he said, "I don't know...another hole in our yard??" 

Hmmm it's like a secret tunnel or something. Should I throw a penny in it and wish for that moment back when yesterday I thought eating mac n cheese and fifteen cookies was a good idea? 

Tommy checking for an access pipe or something. 

By the way, watching these three work is a real treat. Jim's role is the muscle, driving the Bobcat, lifting cement, digging out dirt. Tommy's role is whatever he wants because he's done this a million times and knows what he is doing. Dan's role is to tell Tommy that we don't need to make a bigger job than what's needed. So together they are like the trifecta of not complimenting each other's abilities. 

So fun. 

Getting caught up in "the plan" we kinda forgot to check the basement. I'm sure you can imagine what happened next. 


I walked down and saw water all over the basement. Three things happened. 

1. I stood at the base of my steps, frozen and in shock. 
2. I noticed that my TRX was hanging perfecting fine, reminding me that I have no excuse for getting back at it especially after the carb overload of yesterday, and to be honest, the past ten months since I stopped working out. 
3. I screamed for Dan. 

I ran over to the sump pump, picked up the unplugged cord that was an inch underwater, and handed it to Dan and said, "good luck sweetie, you're paid up on your life insurance right?" 

Just kidding, but for the record he has a DNR and I would go all Merideth Grey on him if needed....as he would for me. 

People that's true love. 

I spent the next hour sweeping water towards the sump pump. 

By the time I got up stairs I found out that the good news is, there is a clog in the hose. Easy fix according to Tommy. 

I'd also like to note that Tommy in the Hamlin house is Dan's big brother. Big Tom is Dan's father and baby Tommy is our son. Sometimes baby Tommy is called "precious angel of God" by Dan's mom. At any rate this is all necessary because when we are all together and someone yells for a Tommy/Tom or is gossiping about a Tommy/Tom it's real important who we know who we are talking to/about. 

Baby Tommy mowing the grass. 

The "easy fix" started with a trip to Lowes. 


Tommy and baby Tommy taking care of business. 


This is when Tommy asked incredulously, "Are you taking pictures?!" And I reminded him that I was going to write about our adventures of the day. Then I saw an expression very familiar cross his face. One that says, "oh for chrissakes we don't have time for this shit!" One that Dan so lovely gives on a daily basis. 

With a car full of pvc pipe we head home. 


We get things worked out, pipes placed together and in their correct places when we notice there's another leak under the step. 

After taking turns chiseling away the cement that was blocking the men from getting a closer look at the cracked pipe corner piece, Tommy cracked the already cracked pipe, Dan lost his shit, and they decided to call Kris, my brother-in-law who is a licensed and professional plumber/pipefitter. 

I know you are all wondering why this guy hasn't been here all along. 

Me too. 


At around 5:30 we decided to surrender to this day. I have three slabs of sidewalk on my lawn. A "Tommy made" back-up sump pump that is cleverly held together with a bungee cord and duct tape.  Even as I type it is pumping the water that the sump pump is pumping out into a muddy cesspool death trap hole. 

So ends day 1 of Sump Pump Woes. 

Day 2 is tentatively scheduled for Monday or Tuesday depending on Jim and Tommy's grave digging schedule (no shit, they really dig graves). The good news is that they have a plan of action. The bad news is that Kris decided after ALL that work we are just going to move the pipe from the basement over about 3 feet, which entails a special drill bit and probably another bottle of George Dickel.