The Sewer Rat Series Part 2 – Sister Sludge

We left off yesterday with the discovery of a fountain bubbling “black gold” underneath the sink in my laundry room.

Even though water comes up the whole and spreads the entire length of the basement, it does not get deep because of the waterproofing Joe and I had done in 2001. As part of the work, they poured pourous concrete around the perimeter of the basement.  So when water comes up it spreads and goes back down once it hits the concrete.  It only accumulates in the basement’s center where it is regular concrete. There is no chance for water to get deep. (My neighbors got 12 inches in their basement.)

What Goes Around Comes Around

The official word from the sewer company is 5 inches of rain fell that Monday night. No storm sewer system can hold that much at one time. People got flooded that have never gotten flooded before. City Hall even got it. As one neighbor said

“Hopefully it was sewage so they get a taste of their own medicine.”

Sister Sludge

The fountain stopped by the morning of 5/13 and most of the water drained away, leaving behind sludge and lots of it.

I see a gray broken heart and a gray mushroom among the sludge.
I see a gray broken heart and a gray mushroom among the sludge.

I called off work and started hauling things out to the curb but there was not much as most items are in plastic tubs.

When it came to the mopping and sludge clean up, I called filed an insurance claim Wednesday morning as I just could not do it.   It seemed no matter whether I used the squeegee or mop or broom, I got nowhere.

Once the claim was filed, I called the company recommended to me by my insurance company and they put me on a waiting list 3 – 4 days long just to make an appointment to have the cleaning done. Then the company called me and said they were bringing in a Pennsylvania company to help with the backlog.

On Friday 5/16 the company showed up and started mopping, spraying a disinfectant and mold inhibitor, and left 3 dehumidifiers and 6 fans.  As I write this post it is late Sunday afternoon and the equipment is still running. The company will be back Monday morning (5/19) to pick up the equipment as the humidity level in the basement and the dampness of the concrete to be in normal range by then.

The equipment left makes a lot of noise so sleeping has been an adventure.  Last night I was able to sleep through most of the night. Rommie seems to have no problem sleeping at all.

“Wanna Go Bye-Byes?”

With all this equipment running, I take Rommie with me everywhere as I do not want her home alone should the fans and dehumidifiers crap out and start a fire.  The company checked the house’s electrical circuit before hooking them up but you never know.

Rommie loves it every time I ask her if she is ready to go bye-byes. We tootled around town running errands, including me getting a free bottle of O.P.I nail polish at Ulta.  I was all over that coupon when it hit my email Saturday morning. I got “Live, Love Carnival” a orangish, peachy, citrus color from their “Brazil” collection, a perfect antidote to the brownish sludge in my life.

Then as a treat for Rommie we went to Petco for a bag of her favorite liver-snaps.  While there we saw her golden “cousins” as Golden Retrievers In Need (G.R.I.N.) was there. She had fun sniffing everyone and being petted by all the volunteers.

So despite all the sludge in our house, we managed to have some fun time this past weekend.

Coming tomorrow – Sewer Rats Part 3 – Back to Normal


On The Road With Rommie & Michele

Good Tuesday morning!

It’s Rommie and I’ve taken over the computer once again so I can tell you about an adventure Mom and I had on Sunday.

Family Reunion

Sunday it was just Mom and me along with 120+ people and 80+ of my cousins at the second-annual Golden Retriever’s In Need (G.R.I.N.) Bark in the Park.  We gathered together at a park for a walk, lunch and other canine activities. Below is a picture of the park’s entrance.


I got to see Auntie Jane, Michelle, Ann and a lot of other people.  Plus I met Aunt Nancy and Uncle Ron this year.  They were very nice and watched me while Mom went and got her lunch.

“And We’re Walking”

There was a guy who spoke about the importance of Memorial Day. Mom along with the rest of the people recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the “Star-Spangled Banner.” I did not pay much attention to what they were doing as I was there to walk! Mom had a hard time keeping me still during the brief program.

After the program everyone set out on a 1, 2, or 3 mile walk.  I on the other hand decided to lie on the grass in the cool shade.


I had done my walking during the program..  Mom did eventually get me up to walk. Here is a picture Mom took along the walking path.


For some reason Mom was fascinated by these twisted branches and vines.

Mom did not win anyone of the baskets filled with goodies that were raffled off (nothing unusual about that).

I also had to put my paw in some type of white goop so Mom has my paw-print to frame.

“Nasty, Nasty, O You Nasty Boy!”

One of my cousins and I started sniffing noses and then something happened and he and I exchanged some nasty words. So nasty I showed my teeth to him. Mom about passed out because she can not recall a time when I snarled at anyone. According to the nice people that own him, my cousin has some aggression issues. After lunch they walked him around the outside of the park. His Mom said he is a work in progress.

Another Butt-Sniffing Good Time

Mom and I enjoyed our time at the park and seeing our fellow G.R.I.N. buddies.  Don’t worry, while I did a lot of butt-sniffing again this year, Mom did not sniff any.

Love, Hugs, and Sloppy Wet Kisses to all,



P.S.  Mom tried to get more pictures but I kept her too busy.

Coming Saturday – “A Gooseberry Weekend”


Michele’s In The News Again, Continuing to “Storm The Bastille”

As some of you know, I belong to Golden Retrievers In Need. (a.k.a. G.R.I.N.)  The September/October issue of our newsletter was published last Friday.  Here is the article about me that went out to our members.

This is my second wave of “Storming The Bastille.” (my 2012 mantra)

The first wave was the CBC Magazine article.

Meet G.R.I.N. Member, Positive Thinker Michele Kearns

By Susan Spisak

We recognize other members when we run into them at the G.R.I.N. events such as the annual picnic, The Golden Gala, or
maybe at a fundraising table at a local pet store. But how well do we know these people without their dogs? Meet member Michele
Kearns, a gal who knows the power of prayer and positive thinking.

Michele is a sales rep for Tastefully Simple, and would gladly host a party for members. She’s also a celebrity these days; Cleveland Business Connects Magazine writer, Pamela J. Willits, featured her in the September 2012 article, Wellness Inside/Out | Widow Finds Hope And Joy In Blogging (Here’s the link: http://www.cbcmagazine.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=500&Itemid=82). 

It outlines Michele’s struggle with the 2008 death of her husband, Joe, and how she deals with her own grief by helping others through her inspirational blog, JoyReturns.com. It’s been so well received she’s even won several awards: the Very Inspiring Blogger, the WordPress Versatile Blogger, and the Hope Unites Globally.

Michele’s blogging mission as stated on her website is to:

“Change people’s perception of widows. Support & encourage other widows. Accomplish by: Being proof joy returns & educate people by sharing my adventures.”

Hand in hand with this is her encouraging newsletter, Joyful Jems, which is available by subscription on her blog. She also has a sister site, http://ogleohio.com/, where she posts pictures of the great state of Ohio that she knows is out there, the one seen through her eyes.

According to Michele, Golden Rommie’s been instrumental in her healing.

“I told her Daddy was not coming home…I told her we would be okay, I didn’t know how, but we would be okay. She laid down next to me with her head between her paws and let out this huge sigh. Instantly my heart broke into a gazillion more pieces. It is as if she understood every word I said… Rommie’s attitude became ‘Dad might be gone but I still have Mom…So while Rommie is not a G.R.I.N. dog, she is a rescue dog as she rescued me. Having her gave me a reason to get out of bed.”