Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Oh, Adulthood

Well, hi! It's been a while. There aren't too many home updates these days... at least none of the exciting variety. We've encountered some suuuuuper fun maintenance issues which have made me feel old and boring. And yes, I know I'm not actually old. But sometimes I feel that way when I spend a lot of money at the dentist rather than at Anthropologie, like I used to.  If you'd like to catch up on what we've been doing, here's a little essay for you.

Sometimes (actually, most of the time), it's hard for me to believe I'm an "adult." I have to put it in quotations because that word just sounds so... formal. And legitimate. I've been an "adult" for enough years now for it to be completely official, and yet I still find myself in disbelief.

You know how when you were young you were positive that you knew everything? I don't know if you felt that way, but I definitely did. I remember being deeply insulted as a child when adults would explain that my perspective would change as I got older, or that I just didn't know enough yet to understand something. To me, that was the ultimate affront, because I ALREADY KNEW EVERYTHING. All the things. And now, over the past few years, I've had this weird shift where actually, I'm pretty sure I know nothing. There is just so, so much to learn. So much growth and understanding that has yet to happen.

Do you read Momastery? Because if you don't, you should. Glennon is the single funniest person I've ever known (and by known, I mean found on the internet). When she posted this to Instagram, I was like, YES! THIS!!! It spoke directly to my soul. Glennon, by the way, is a forty-something-year-old, so I feel much better (and simultaneously worse) that this feeling continues to occur as you age.

One time, the tenants in our rent house called me to say that they smelled gas, and that they were worried there was a leak. So I thought to myself, "Emergency!! What do I do!?"

First instinct: call dad. No answer. Then I realized he was out of the country on a business trip and it was 2am his time.

Second instinct: call mom. Also no answer, and I realized that she, too, was out of town on a business trip, and must be in meetings.

[[Aside: is there anything more unsettling than both of your parents being out of town at the same time?]]

So, that left me parent-less, and in my quest to find an "adultier adult," I called a colleague who suggested I call the gas company. As it turns out, they have an emergency line (1-800-959-LEAK) and they came out to check it out. Luckily, the tenants had just been smelling the gasoline in their lawnmower and there was no leak, no emergency. Whew!

The reason I started writing this post is because I feel like recently we're spending an awful lot of time and effort and money on adult-y things, which feels so, so weird. And sometimes lame.

I've lived my whole life with perfect eyesight. Lucky me. Then, when I became a realtor, it started going downhill. I have no idea how much can be attributed to getting older and how much is from staring at a computer screen a good bit during the day, but it got to the point where I couldn't read street signs... so I went to the eye doctor, aka the scariest place on earth. Before that, I'd probably gone twice in my entire life. We'd have screenings at school when I was younger, but as far as going in and having someone dilate my eyes and stare back into the depths of my optic nerve... yeah, twice. I feel nauseous just thinking about it.

The verdict: time to get glasses.

Weird. I eventually got contacts as well, which I wear probably half of the time. Glasses bother me, contacts bother me. Bah.

Then, John had a sad trip to the dentist. Neither of us ever needed braces, so I guess we figured that we were set for life in the dental department. Wrong-o. John's upper teeth are perfect, and John's lower teeth are also perfect. Unfortunately, how the top teeth and bottom teeth line up isn't perfect, and it's wearing down his enamel pretty significantly. So, he had to get invisalign, or what we lovingly refer to as his "dentures." Pretty much everyone has said they didn't/don't even notice because you really can't see them (hence the "invisa" in "invisalign"). That was the good news. The bad news was... they cost HOW MUCH?! Yeah. Avoid.

One day, I went into the bank, and then I came out to find someone had hit my car and peaced out without leaving a note. Karma, y'all. So that was another fun way to spend a nice chunk of change. Luckily my deductible isn't outrageous, and my coverage includes a rental, but my golly the hassle of all of it was the real pain in the neck.

John and I were downstairs one night and I started to hear the faint noise of... drip... drip... drip. Then it registered, and I felt complete panic. I ran upstairs, and sure enough, water was dripping from the ceiling. I climbed up into the attic and couldn't figure out what was wrong. When this happens in someone's home, it's because the drain line is clogged and water is leaking out, but I was convinced that couldn't be the issue because I religiously climb up into our attic every 30 days to put anti-fungal stuff in there to make sure it doesn't clog, and because when there is a clog, usually the pan under the unit fills up with water, but ours was almost completely dry rather than overflowing. So, I figured it could be some other issue with the HVAC, or possibly the water heater which is also up there.

Again, first instinct: call dad. Unfortunately, he was in Mexico on a business trip and couldn't come over, but he did answer the phone. I had already done all the things he told me to do (go in the attic and see if the issue was obvious, turn off the water in case it was the water heater, turn off the power in case it was the HVAC), except trying to blow the line to see if it was in fact clogged. I tried blowing it out and that didn't seem to be the issue.

So, John and I resigned ourselves to a hot night. Luckily, it wasn't too bad because the house had already cooled down from when the AC was on, and the next day was uncharacteristically cool. The HVAC guy came the next day and decided it was, indeed, a clog. How on earth could there be a clog if I had spent so much time up there de-clogging like a model homeowner?!?! Turns out that when our HVAC was installed (prior to us owning our home), they installed the access point to the drain line incorrectly.

You'll see the access point on the left side of this picture is pretty far down the drain line, when actually it should be up by the unit, where it is now (the sweet HVAC man didn't charge me for moving it--thank you thank you thank you). The treatments I'd been doing were effectively cleaning everything to the left of the access point, but not to the right of it. We ended up with a clog in the p-trap, which backed the unit up and it started over flowing with condensate, which soaked our ceiling because there isn't a pan under the left side of the unit where the water was coming out. ::insert sobbing and a few choice words here::

We have a small stain on the ceiling which is actually less noticeable in reality than it is in this picture. I may eventually try and color match the ceiling to paint over it, but it's not a big deal because you honestly can't really see it in person. The reasons it's so long and skinny is because that's where two piece of drywall come together, so the water trickled through the little valley it created in the attic.

Moral of the story: if you're not already cleaning your drain line monthly, start. You can buy anti-fungal tabs online, or you can use vinegar. They used to recommend bleach, but not anymore. Second moral of the story: go over to your drain line (like really, right now, get up and walk over) and check to make sure it's right next to the unit rather than inches or feet down the drain line like ours was. If it right by the unit, call someone to come move it!! Otherwise, your cleaning is ineffective and you will suffer like we did.

So, the next day, I was taking a shower feeling grateful for a functioning AC unit when the water stopped draining. No no no no!!!!! Any guesses on what I did first? Called dad. I asked if there was any chance that blowing the line just moved the clog farther down and it was now affecting the master bath, and he said that no, it wasn't that because where the two connect, the pipe is much wider (like 6 inches in diameter), so the 1 inch-wide HVAC clog wouldn't be clogging that big of a pipe. I started having visions of all of our plumbing being ripped out and flooring and drywall being replaced, but my dad said to just go buy a plunger and fill the tub with some water and then plunge the drain.

Wham bam, worked like a charm. Crisis averted.

A few days later, John and I were watching TV and I heard a weird grinding noise. Turns out our washer is eating itself alive, and almost no one will work on it because it's a Samsung, and apparently appliance repairmen and repairwomen avoid Samsung like the plague. If only we'd known that when we bought it... because we actually bought the top reviewed units! We found a Samsung specialist, and we're currently waiting on our parts to come in. He actually has no idea what's wrong with it so he's decided to replace pretty much everything. Thankfully, we're still under the extended warranty with Lowe's, so they're eating the cost. WHEW!!

All of these appliance issues + the hit and run were within about two weeks of each other, so it's felt a little relentless and I'm just waiting to see what breaks once the washer is fixed, ha!

On the flip side to all of these messes: gratitude. So much gratitude for the house we live in, the fact that we have AC to begin with, that we can put our clothes in a machine and come back an hour later to a pile of clean laundry. Feeling pretty dang thankful that I can see street signs with my glasses and that John's teeth will still be in good shape when we're old and wrinkly. This post by Glennon about "perspectacles" (perspective + spectacles) rocks my world. Yes, I have a healthy appreciation for pretty things and have worked hard to make our home a space that feels good to us, but running water is a luxury that I try and remind myself to not take for granted.

I started a Gratitude Journal a few weeks ago. Each morning, I write down three things I'm grateful for. Pretty cool way to start the day--it forces you to put on your perspectacles and acknowledge all that we so often overlook.

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