Monday morning at about 9:30am I got an email from my mom saying that she was not going to Illinois to pick up my dad because there was 3" of standing water in the basement. I called her right away and she said that due to excessive rains in Duluth, water and mud had blanketed the entire basement. She had been bailing water out of the window wells since 7am that morning. Uncle Todd said he'd bring Dad back, but in the meantime it was Mom vs. Nature in what seemed to be a losing battle. After a few emails to my co-workers, I left work at about 10:30 to head to Duluth to help Mom out.
By the time I got there, the water had gone down. Mom thinks the City might have unclogged something after she talked to me because the water in the window wells had gone down considerably when before she had been bailing just to keep it from filling more. But still, the basement was a mess. In Tim's old room downstairs, the window well had filled so full of water and mud that it pushed the window opened and washed down the wall. Something must have malfunctioned to have left that much destruction.
Mom started the clean up by laying things out to dry on the kitchen and dining room tables. We then started scooping up the mud and ran the shop vac. After that we tried mopping up as best we could. My lead-foot uncle Todd made it to Duluth in record time and he and Dad spent the rest of the evening ripping up the carpet in the family room and getting the water out of the workshop.
What's even worse about having water and mud in your basement is having water and Duluth mud in your basement. It's not just dirt and mud. It's clay. The house sits on a bed of granite and a layer of clay with tiny little streams running under ground to the Lake. We couldn't dump any of the water we soaked up into the sink. For every gallon of water there was an inch of the silt on the bottom of the bucket so we'd have to bring each bucket up to the back yard and scoop out the clay.
By early afternoon Tuesday, most of the clay was mopped up and we were busy moving shelves and furniture around so we could get every last inch of the floor. I left in time to make it home before rush hour got too bad, and when I checked in with my folks last night they were ripping up the 40+ year old linoleum and they're looking now at water proof sealant paints for the floors.
It's really frustrating to see the house that way, when we did everything we could to ensure something on this scale would never happen. But with the 6 weeks of rain and fully saturated ground, the systems were all overloaded and I think the water had no where else to go.
Rob was astonished to see a black squirrel in our yard the other day, saying he hadn't seen one before. I haven't seen one since living at my parents' house where every year we'd have at least one running around- one year there were two. I recently saw our little black squirrel scurry along the fence. It's a nice change of pace from all the bunnies who eat my flowers.
Today was very productive for me. Not only did I rake leaves this morning (a couple of older gentlemen drove by in some sort of hobby car and called out "you missed one!"), but I also fired up our hedge trimmer and tried as best I could to round the bushes in our front yard. While not perfect, at the very least it looks like we care a little bit. I'll have to practice more next year. Then I pulled up a few weeds that had made themselves comfortable in our landscaping areas. A junebug threatened to climb up my arm and into my shirt, and a grasshopper took a giant leap off of my elbow. There are also boxelder bugs all over the front of our house, and I'm pretty sure their one wish is to get tangled in my hair for the chance to see me do my crazy there's-a-bug-on-me! dance. I'll have to call Rob's mom over to get rid of them since that seems to be a very satisfying pastime of hers. I hear that she went on a bug-killing spree yesterday.
I also baked a cheesecake for Rob. He worked most of the day and has just left for a trip to Home Depot to get some fertilizer for the yard.
This morning I looked out into the backyard and noticed one small daylily peeking its yellow head through the green leaves. It's blooming a little late for the season, and I decided to cut it so the bunnies won't get it. It's sitting pretty in a little vase on our kitchen table.
In other news, we saw Scott and Caly Friday night. They were with some friends of theirs, and we met them at the Muddy Pig with Matt. Caly left earlier than the rest of us because she had just bought a new fully-weighted 88-key keyboard and she was dying to try it out.
Saturday we bought a new coffee maker. It is to replace the Mr. Coffee we had which had decided to explode on us twice last week. (By explode I mean leak water everywhere). In its place is a Cuisinart something-or-other. So far so good.
We ran a few more errands and came home tired and hot. I had a dinner with the girls planned for that evening. We all met in Hudson at the Twisted Grille. I ordered a BBQ Brisket and it was YUMMY.
Today my plans are to tidy up the house a bit, and maybe rake the leaves with our new rake! Rob is making sure I remember that I volunteered to rake, so when it becomes a job I no longer want to do, he's going to remind me of this again. Don't you just want to make a big pile of leaves and jump in it?
The weather's been changing. Some of the leaves in our neighborhood are turning yellow and red, and the geese are flying over our house with alarming proximity.
We've been busy lately.
A couple of weeks ago we had a party at Aaron's on a Saturday night. The party went late and had everything from a bonfire and women twirling burning batons to a few impromptu piano performances. The next day we had a birthday celebration for Cal at Rob's parent's house. We threw some burgers on the grill and had a tasty apple bake dessert.
We had a mid-week house guest last week. Chad was up for a job interview and he got the job!
I've been getting regular emails from my dad who is in Princeton, IL helping his brother Todd do some work on his house to get ready for my cousin Meridith's wedding in June. It's been hard work, long days and lots of stuff to do.
This past weekend I had a girls night with Tamrah and Naomi. Nothing went the way we had originally planned but we still had fun and have a few new stories to tell. On Sunday I was at Pete's to watch the game with a couple of his buddies. Good for Favre. Bad for the Vikings.
It seems that wherever I have lived, I have always had a Neighborhood Singing Guy. To refresh, on Jefferson Street in Duluth, I was woken up at 5am by some guy walking down the street singing at the top of his lungs something that was inspired by whatever was coming out of his portable CD player. In St. Paul we had a guy who would sing along with his iPod on his way home from work, and even a woman once doing the same. Now in Eagan, Rob witnessed another Neighborhood Singing Guy. This time he was younger, and a "metal-head" as Rob called him, walking by our house. I do hope we see more of him.
If you've seen the pictures that Rob recently posted, you'll see his office has been through a major transormation. In addition to the new paint colors, he's also purchased cabinets from Ikea which he just finished installing last night. His office looks amazing! And, he did most of it himself which I am very proud of. My parents were here earlier this week and Dad helped him hang the cabinets, but Rob did the rest. He's got four hanging cabinets with a frosty glass front, and cabinets and drawers below with a large countertop. There are a few details yet to finish, but Rob feels pretty good that he's got his office in efficient working order.
Rob's cousin Justin got married on Saturday in Eau Claire. They held the ceremony in one of the Lutheran churches in town. Justin's sisters Erin and Lindsey were bridesmaids, with Lindsey singing a solo, and his brother Aric took the honor of best man. It was a very pretty ceremony, and the pastor's message was all about love being a committment. It was a good reminder of our own beliefs of marriage.
The reception hall at the Ramada Inn was decorated with white table clothes and white lights, which created a lovely glow. Dinner was delicious, and whenever glasses were tapped to invite a kiss, the bride and groom would pick out a couple from the guests and made them kiss first. However, it did not discourage people from clinking glasses, and even Wally and Cheryl were picked to kiss in front of everyone.
The dance was so much fun. Kids burned off their sugar highs, couples slow-danced, and even some of the aunts got down to AC/DC and Def Leppard. Beaucoup de fun. I also had the opportunity to have a little girl talk with Molly and Aric's wife Kate. Rob and I were going to head back home that night, but opted to get a hotel room instead. I'm glad we did because partied with the family until well after midnight.