It Started Out Good

Yesterday, the plan was to clean and organize my six-year-old hooligan’s bedroom.  He has a sentimental attachment to every itty-bitty little soldier-man he has ever played with.  He also will not give away ANY of his stuffed animals, and ummm, let’s just say he has A LOT. 

So I figured we could get rid of everything else, keep the zoo and things will be fine.  Yeah right, three hours into it, and every broken toy has a name and a story.  He’s not budging.

We decide to take a break, eat lunch and maybe with some pasta and a snickerdoodle in his tummy I could convince him we don’t really need all 4,682 army men.

While downstairs, I notice the gate to the pool pump/filter area is open.  I go outside to close the gate and notice water is streaming out of one side of the pool pump pipe.  It’s not a flood, but it’s a steady flow. 


I turn off the pump.  Tighten the fittings.  Open secondary filter basket.  Re-tighten seal.  Freak out a little.  Make the sign of the cross.  Turn pump back on.  Still leaking.


Turn off pump.  Cuss a lot.  Unscrew valves.  Re-tighten.  Still cussing.  Make sure 0-ring in lid is secure.  Re-tighten.  Turn on pump.  Still leaking.

Cuss even louder.

Look everywhere for a possible crack in the PVC pipe.  Kneel on rocks while doing this.  Eyes water because of the pain.  Don’t see anything.

Get camera.  Take pictures of other side of pipe I can’t see.  Upload photos.  Study them.  No visible crack anywhere.

Frustrated.  And pissed.  Go back outside.

Re-tighten everything.  I mean everything.  Check washers.  Still freaking out.  Turn on pump.  LEAKING.  Jump up and down in full adult tantrum mode.  (Does that ever solve anything?)

Re-check valves.  Turn on pump again.  NOW PUMP WILL NOT EVEN PRIME.  NOT EVEN PRIME!  CRAP.  WHY, why, why.  At least it was priming before.  What’s happening?

Look at pressure gage.  Open valve and release air.  Re-tighten valve.  Now, I can’t even get any pressure head.  Ahhhhhhhh!  Where’s my pressure? 

Freak out.

Decide to calm down.  Tell myself I understand how a positive displacement pump works.  Think for a minute about it’s various mechanisms and a plan of action.  I try about 89 other things.  Still.  Not.  Working.  Repeat very choice words, over and over.  And over.

Have gone in and out of the gate so many times now I have broken the latch.  Crap.

Decide to call the Wild Boar.  Tell him everything I’ve done.  Freak out at him when he tells me I must be missing something.  Email photos to him.  We look at the pipes together.  Can’t figure it out. 

It also didn’t help matters that it was close to ninety degrees outside, I was sweating to death and now my butt was wet from sitting in puddles of water and rocks. 

Now the kids are whining because I never finished making them lunch because this whole disaster distracted me.

Now I look at the pool and it’s slightly murky.  Somehow in all the turning off/on of the pump I potentially backflowed some diatomaceious earth back into the pool.  I cuss.  Loudly.

Now pump doesn’t work at all.  Still freaking out I call the pool repair guy.  They can’t be here until Wednesday.  Beg him.  It’s not going to happen.  I will potentially have a swamp by then.  I freak out, again.  Make the sign of the cross one more time.

Go back outside and super-chlorinate the pool.  Try to not inhale the fumes.

I have now crossed my fingers, legs and eyes and hope the pool doesn’t turn green.  I will spend every available minute brushing and cleaning the pool until the illusive repair guy shows up.  I wish Joe the plumber was available, I’m sure he could take care of it.

It all sucks, especially since I have been so diligently caring for that suck-the-life-out-of-you-hole-in-the-ground in my backyard.

I really, really, really don’t want to replace the pool pump, again!  But, I guess I don’t want a green swamp either.

And if this wasn’t enough, I then get a call that the neighbor of our vineyard property has ruined a portion of our road. 

He asked us if he could remove as much wood as he could off of our land so he could sell it as firewood.  Even though we really didn’t want anyone on the property screwing with the major investment we are putting into developing it, we agreed.  Vineyard soil is delicate but we figured he would respect that.

Well, the neighbor decided to not just remove the already fallen logs from our property, but he and another guy started cutting and dragging logs from a hard to reach spot on his land using our road.  They then drug these logs over a barbed wire fence (that is now destroyed) and by doing so pushed parts of the very narrow road, which is on a very steep slope, away.  This has made the road more narrow and impassable by the heavy equipment currently on the property.

We like the neighbors but unfortunately they have lived there so long I think they feel they sort of own this piece of land and kind of just do as they please. 

The Wild Boar had to go tell him the road needs to be repaired immediately and it might take an engineer to get it done right.  It’s not an easy fix, as it’s a dirt road on a steep hillside slope.  Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

This is not good my friends.  Not good.

Shortly after that I went back upstairs to find the a/c unit had stopped functioning.  I had a slight heart palpitation.  Then recalled everything I’ve ever learned about refrigeration, thought about it.  Put those principles into play and fixed it!  Ha!  I beat the system.  Finally.

Pool pump you may have stumped me but air conditioning I’ve got you covered.

My six-year-old then asked since everything is breaking if we should just go to a hotel.  Whatever.

Needless to say I am annoyed, can you tell?

Thanks for listening to my day from hell.


This is how I felt today, so this is all I could muster.  The six-year-old hooligan is imitating the swamp thing that will most likely emerge from the pool if the pump is not repaired soon!  Nice huh?

Post a Comment


  1. HoneyB 1

    I’m sorry you had such a horrible day! I hope the pool gets fixed – and that is too bad about your neighbor not respecting your property! Nobody can blame you for cussing! I probably would do the same thing!

    Despite your troubles, it is still cute the hooligan suggested the hotel room!

  2. Deeba 2

    What an absolute nightmare…horror! At least the little fellow is an out-of-the-box thinker. Take care girl!!

  3. Cass 3

    Good thing you actually OWN a winery because after a day like that you’d need wine on an IV drip. As far as the toy issue with your son, I had 3 kids that I nannied for in high school – they were the same way. One day we made up a child for each of them – this child that we “made up” probably does really exist just not with that name….we needed to provide this child with toys – now they were exactly 1 year younger so they would REALLY love the kids old toys right about now. Knowing that they were donating their toys to “made up kid” inspired them – because the toys were going to be loved. And they were. Probably by twenty different kids.

  4. Barbie with a T 4

    Da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da- I’m sorry the theme song from “I Love Lucy” keeps rolling through my mind as I read your description of this day from hell. Your description of the incidents was to me, humorous, even though I know you were not in a humorous mood. I can sympathize with you on this one, because I have had days just like this one ever since the hurricane, and my latest battle is with gnats and flies in the house that are impossible to get rid of. I go around with a fly swatter all day long, and the windows get so messed up with dead insects that I have to do a daily window cleaning job, which is taking up most of my precious time, which I could be spending on cleaning something else up. But everyday is a learning lession. Did you know that gnats do not fly at gnight? Flies can fly without a head. I could start a whole new deck of cards for the trivia game with everything that I have learned about insects.

  5. Evelyn 5

    I was laughing:) I hope you do not mind, it was only a little laugh really:)))) I think it was because I could relate to your woes. THings like that happen to everyone somehow, someway. Lessons to be learned in all the interactions, it seems. It too shall pass and you will smile, smile, smile and smile again:) Love your posts:)

  6. Wow, when it rains….well, you know. Hope all issues are resolved soon.
    My kids won’t let me get rid of any of their “crap” either, I wait until they are at school to clean things out. They never have a clue! It works for me, but now that you’ve counted every soldier with him, um, well, good luck!
    Great photo. Hang in there.

  7. Ugh. What a day! Did the sky fall too?

  8. I’m so sorry for the crappy day! Pool pumps stink and so do central air units. Since we don’t have either of those at this house I have different problems this morning, it’s 25 outsite and we don’t have any heat! It’s 58 in the house. Not too bad but concrete man but change hats real quick and get to work!

  9. marcy 9

    wow Cathy that does sound somewhat sucky. My 9 yr old has that same problem with her room, only its not army men, its dolls, and they are everywhere… and yet she asks for mor for her bday… hope everything works out with the pool and such. TRY to have a better day today:)

  10. That is definitely a nightmare day, Cathy ! Augggggh – the aggro !

    It sounds like an new pool pump, some air-conditioning, a promptly re-engineered and graded road, and throwing out a thousand or so soldiers while boy is away somewhere having a father-son lunch with wild boar is on the list… A mountain of tasks you (and the neighbor hopefully) will make into a molehill :)

    If all you did was swear and jump up and down, you were being very mature. I might have thwon a wrench in the murky water and cried as well :)

  11. katie 11

    Ugh, I hate days like that. This whole week has felt like that to me. All I want is for the results from my cardiologist and I feel like because I can’t get them, I can’t get anything done properly.

  12. I’m sorry you had such a bad day! I hope everything gets worked out quickly.

    I have to say that I would have given up very quickly on the pool and the air conditioner. I don’t have a mechanical mind. I did take the washer apart and almost get it back together right recently though. Did you catch that almost? I fixed the problem(mostly–nasty mildewing lint stuck between the drum and liner) but then failed to get the metal housing lined up properly in putting it together and couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. Dh cussed and swore about how much easier it is to put something back together when you’re the one who took it apart and remember where things go. I remembered where most everything went, so we were able to figure it out together. Then he apologized and said he was impressed with how far I got since my brain simply does not work that way:o)

    The toys? I could have handled that no problem. I can be a very mean mommy when I need to. Here are a few ideas.
    1) Give him a Rubbermaid tub (size up to you) and tell him he can only keep what will fit in that tub with the lid on.
    2) Explain that he needs to make room for any future toys that he may be getting for holidays or birthdays.
    3) Offer to pay him (penny? nickel? dime?) for each toy he’ll get rid of.

  13. jancd 13

    Ah, the perils of the pool. We have been through everything you described with your pool. It is not fun and definitely brings our the cussing in anyone. And it always seems so simple for the pool man to fix–until we get his bill…..Have you tried praying? That may be your last hope!!

  14. Leah Q 14

    Wow – now that’s one heck of a day…I hope you were able to have a glass or two – or even a bottle at this point at the end of the day to relax and know you will have many good days and many way better days this this one!….

    I have known personally and frankly quite recently had days like yours (it has lasted about three weeks) and couldn’t simply understand why so much wrong was going on…the car broke down not once, but twice, laptop was spilled upon with oj, then keys melted while trying to dry it with hair drier – yes, the keys on the keyboard actually melted…, then spilled even more water on it, sprained an ankle, dog got loose onto the city streets, shelves in armoire that hold china fell – the list goes on and on, but I will not bore you or your readers…

    I checked my feng shui, what had I done recently that wasn’t ‘kosher’, went around with a sage stick to bless my hosue, etc. – one thing that got me through it all, was the laughter at how preposterous the situation was and the disbelief that so much could happen in such a short amount of time.

    But most importantly the thing that really helped me put everything into perspective, was that I wasn’t living in a country where as a woman, I wasn’t allowed to walk the city streets by myself, not wear what I want, couldn’t vote, couldn’t drive, etc…. the list can go on – but you get my drift…

    we are all so lucky really and should be even more grateful for all that we have already including a broken pump for the pool – since it could be really very much a worse scenario…

    I send good blessings your way and fast! May the pump be easily fixed, may your son see how giving some of his toys to needy children will come back tenfold for possibly new toys from Santa, and may your vineyard neighbors quickly repair your portion of the road so that they too can easily and safely traverse the road.

  15. Becky 15

    My son is attached to all his little broken toys also. I clean when he’s not home. tee hee
    I drained my pool for the winter!!
    Well, atleast you could fix something!!
    Breathe, Cathy, breathe!!!

  16. That’s terrible. I hope you feel better today! And if the neighbor doesn’t fix your road tell him I’ll go over there with my paint ball gun! He doesn’t want to mess with the Dark Duck!

  17. Bunny 17

    Spending 3 hours in your son’s room trying to persuade him to …just let it go … was bad enough. Been there done that, but then to have everything else happen too. I think I would have needed lots of snickerdoodles to make that right.

  18. Oh Kathy–I’m SO sorry!! What a complete nightmare of a day!

    I broke our pool pump once–broke it all by myself. And I had to CRY on the phone w/ the pool guy so he would come right over. Humiliating experience…

    I did a major clean-out of all the boys rooms a couple weeks ago–had 20 or more of those black garbage bags full of stuff to give/throw away. The secret is to do it alone–if the kids are up there they want to keep every little thing.

    Good luck w/ everything–I hope today is better!!!!

  19. GAH! What a crappy day. I hope everything tunrs out well. Fingers crossed on the pool.

  20. I hate days like that. It’s like the saying goes…when it rains, it pours. Which always sucks. I hope everything gets fixed and you have a better day today.

  21. Things can only get better! Today is a new day!

  22. Harmony 22

    Youza…that does sound pretty craptastic! Sorry to hear your day wasn’t working out for you…I mean besides the a/c you totally kicked that things butt..good job!!!

  23. Fran 23

    Bless your heart!

    I think the hotel idea was a good one. A very good one.


  24. Alisa 24

    I’m sorry it was such a rough day. You tried more things to fix it than I even would know how to do! Good job on the a/c. I would go insane if the a/c broke around here.

  25. Teri 25

    awwww, I feel so bad for you Cathy! Do you still have that paper bag from the other day? I think you may still need it! You sound like you need a hug. Go find an A+ friend and have some wine!

    Appropriate mask! Hope your day gets better! I have never met you personally but yet I feel for you! I’ve had bad days like this before… I just want to hide under the covers… well, I guess your mask was your cover today!

  26. ELRA 26

    Oh Cathy,
    I couldn’t imagine if all of this happen to me, first think I probably panic (it’s my hobby, according to my husband) So sorry that you have such a rough day, I hope it will get better soon! Good luck with the road as well. Gosh, I am sure it’s not going to be cheap to repair it. Do you think they’ll pay the cost?

  27. ntsc 27

    Pools are pretty dreadful things, my heater had a pretty bad leak when they turned the pool on this spring, then when they came to replace it the cleaner motor had stopped working.

    Don’t have to worry about the boy’s room, as he is 34 and hasn’t lived here in 11 years

  28. I would already be at the hotel. By the pool. Gah. Our salt generator broke at the end of the summer, and we had to shock ours, too. It really is a hole in the ground into which you just pour the contents of your wallet.

    By the way, I always cleaned out the playroom while they were in school. I threw away a black Hefty Bag of broken party favors and McDonald’s toys every month.

  29. Tammy 29

    Awe Cathy! Sorry you had such a trying day. I hope today is smoother.

  30. KathyB. 30

    I see the pool and the vinyard road as fixable, your sons room and his attachment to his things…ummmmmmmmm……my sons had to grow up , move out, then , and THEN, I went through things and after discovering I was sentimental about their things now, I boxed them up and left the things for them and / or their wives to decide how to dispose of.

    And by the way, our oldest son’s 4 daughters now fight over the right to have stuff our son kept ( that I would have thrown away ).

    Hopefully the rest of the week goes much better !

  31. Bless your heart! I’m going to stop feeling so bad about the toilet that won’t work because our 2-year-old flushed a puzzle piece down the thing and the plumbers still can’t get to us.

  32. Carol 32

    Oh why oh why is it that a day that starts out with so much promise goes downhill so quickly? You really had it bad that’s for sure-but GOOD FOR YOU that you fixed the AC! I would have needed more than snickerdoodles…now if they had a snickerdoodle vodka maybe…….:(
    Here’s hoping there are no more of those nightmare days on the horizon!

  33. Liz C. 33

    Welcome to my world, lol. Since we live in a 75 year old house, something is always breaking… on a bi-weekly basis (at least). The sinks are constantly getting stopped up & spewing black crap everywhere. Thank God for Roto-Rooter. We have a water well to water the yards and the garden, but it’s pump is constantly breaking. The sprinkler system is on another pump which breaks fairly often as well. If it’s not that, it’s the water heaters or the washer or the dryer or something out in the guest house. Or a sprinkler head gets broken by the guy who mows the yard, leaving us with Old Geyser out in our front yard, lol. Or else it’s one of the 2 air conditioners or one of the two heaters, lol. What I would give to live someplace where there are no problems. Does a place like that exist?

  34. pam 34

    Sorry about your day, it always seems like when it rains, it pours! I love your sons comment though, about going to a hotel. I feel the same way sometimes!

  35. Raina 35

    Owwww awful day, I sure hope it gets better!!

  36. What a horrible day! I sure hope it improves!

  37. dlyn 37

    Wow Cathy – sorry the day was such a drag. Hope the pool pump isn’t as bad as it might be and ditto on the road.

  38. I’m sorry the pump is broken. That’s homeownership :) I can say that I am UBER impressed about all of your attempts and fixing the air. I would have had to call my inlaws! And i have a little advice about your sons room. Clear it our while he’s away. And be sure you donate the bags of loot before he gets home.

  39. Amber 39

    I had the vacation from hell once, one day I may post about it. And your day is why I am now on dial up, outsourcing from hell.
    Sorry sweetie, these days happen. But I am so impressed with all the things you know how to do. “Prime the pump”? Huh? The property damage…very unacceptable. Your son…bless his heart.
    Remember, ‘And this too shall pass.’

  40. Some days it doesn’t pay to get out of bed. I just hope you don’t find a soldier in the pool pump.

  41. Shirley 41

    I hope things have improved since you posted. As I was reading, I was hoping to see that you had indeed figured out the pool issue. Bummer. I really identified with the neighbor problem. We own property in the mtns 2 hours from our home and have had neighbor issues for the entire time. Once my DH told the neighbors, feel free to use any of this firewood if you get in a bind. You guessed it … not a stick was left when we returned in the spring. Other times we’ve had neighbors 4-wheel on our property, set up camp, steal things, etc. It gets aggravating and at times, costly. Because we don’t live there, it’s like you said … they sort of believe/treat it like its their own. I really sympathize! Wish you the best on resolving everything.

    The littlest hooligan looks great in the swamp mask. Bet he LOVES wearing it!

  42. Holy crap! You really did have the day from hell! I feel for you. I’ve had days like that too. Why is it that the bad luck gods just can’t seem to spread it around a little better?

  43. Leslie 43

    You always crack me up..your Joe the Plumber comment was golden!!!

  44. Louise 44

    Oh, days like this sure to stink! If it helps, I’ll send my hubby over to help with the 6 year old’s room. He is a master at cleaning up and cleaning out, with enough counseling skills to talk anyone out of most anything. You will need to dig into the trash when no one is looking to rescue a few items just for your own sanity, but all in all it will be worth it. As for the mechanical problems, sorry, but your skills are way beyond ours. Hang in there …

  45. shonda 45

    Ohh……life with children, good times. Thank God you are cussing, too.

  46. giz 46

    Although the 4682 number is probably just “slightly” exaggerated, I’m wondering who bought ALL those toys…hmmmmmm?

  47. Erin 47

    What an Alexander day! I’m so sorry!

  48. Well, at least you have water. We haven’t had water since Saturday afternoon because our small water company had a fire at their pump facility (what irony!) and had to stop pumping the water to the sub division. On top of that, I have a cold that made me lose my voice. All I want is a hot bath.

  49. Rachel 49

    holy crap darlin’.
    that’s all I have. Holy Crap.
    I’m hoping for either miraculous cleaning or a cheap hot plumber, either one.

  50. Tammy 50

    Oh my gosh what a terrible day!
    We had a pool problem last week…our daughter stayed here while we were out of town, and she tried to turn on the spa and the tank spewed out a bunch of water causing a flood on our patio. We didn’t know about it until the following day when the pool guy said..ummm looks like you had a problem over the weekend. Uh yeah…a problem that cost about a grand.
    The pool is just a big money sucking cement pond.

  51. Melissa 51

    Jeebus, Cathy. Not good. I have no idea what you were talking about with the pool, but I know it ain’t right. :( And yes, they need to hire a geotechnical engineer to fix your road. That part I DO get cause I work with GE’s and professional geologists. That was a stupid thing they did.

    *Applause for fixing the AC*

    Hope the week holds some better fortune.

  52. I’m sorry that all happened to you at once.

    It certainly puts my brother’s mushroom-poacher problem in perspective.

  53. So sorry about the pump! I was waiting for the punch line, like “then I unplugged it and plugged it back in. . .”

    Guess not.

    The property damage would have made me really mad. Ugh. Hope it all gets cleared up soon.

  54. tipper 54

    Bless your heart.

  55. You know, it’s days like these that you just go back to bed. Throw some cereal at the kids, and crawl under the covers.

    With the 6 year old hooligan, it’s easier when you understand that pack-rat-itis is a disease and get him help because it just gets worse the older you get. Admitting there’s a problem is the first step, right? Hi, my name is Mary Beth and I save EVERYTHING! And I totally understand that all his toys have names and backstories because I still have the leg from my first Raggedy Ann doll – it’s all that’s left but I’m not giving it up!

  56. . . . so I stop in to say a quick “Hi” to my friend over at NP (after all I’ve been away for a few days entertaining guests without a camera at the ready to photograph all the scrupmtious food I served), and I find her distraught and embattled. Now I can’t just wander around drooling over her food photos, stealing all of her recipes, hiding my face from her ghoulish decorations (where do you find such things, my dear?) — No, I simply must stop and say *BUMMER!* in her behalf, and then utter a few prayers for restorative calm and joy in the face of so much . . . ummmmmm . . . “Stuff.”

    Cheer up, girlfriend. I’ve got a pot of tea waiting if you ever get that pump working and feel the need for a cooler Indian Summer experience just up the mountain from you.

    I admit I thanked the Lord that my hubby handles the pool issues. And then I recalled that yesterday he fixed/replaced a blown bag on our rover-cleaner machiney-thing. The green slime seemed to sprout instantly! Scrub-a-dub-dub, isn’t it great to live the Good Life here in the Golden State? ; )

  57. Mrs. L 57

    Glad to see that the jumping up and down in full adult tantrum mode doesn’t work for someone else besides me. Sounds like a yucky day. Hopefully the pump will be an easy fix and the neighbors will have that road taken care of in a jiffy. If not, sick the kid in the scary mask on em.

  58. Egghead 58

    Oh man that sounds like us right now. Our pool is heated by a solar panel and when we went to drain it it also drained the pool. We double checked valves and every other thing we can think of but the dumb thing keeps flowing. ARRRGH. So for now the water is circulating through the solar panels still until we can get someone to fix this. I just hope it doesn’t freeze.

  59. Laura 59

    Ugh sounds like day from h*ll. Of course all I can focus on though is that it is 90 degrees where you are! Holy moly! My feet are very cold…

    Our septic system blew 2 years ago and it has left me extremely sympathetic to all water problems….

  60. Wow, talk about the day from hell, my comment security code for this nightmare day-post was 666.. creepy.

    You survived this terrible day? Can I just praise you for your tenacity in the face of an avalanche? The pool disaster with hungry kids whining at me would’ve been enough to put me back to bed!

  61. Lore 61

    So sorry to hear about your terrible day! I’m glad there’s another post since this happened because that means you’re a little more calm. Hope it work out soon!

  62. Sarah 62

    Sheesh. My blood pressure went up just reading about the pool issue! Sorry to hear about all of that; hope the following day was much better!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.

You can click here to Subscribe without commenting