We've had heavy rains three nights in a row. Which is good for the drought, but not so nice if you're out driving in it. Last night we got caught in the middle of one of the worst electrical storms I've ever seen. We had gone out to Cary and were headed back to Pittsboro on route 64. The rain was so heavy that at times we literally could not see the road at all. Plus we were on an unfamiliar country road, which made it that much more fun. The heavy lightning was actually a blessing because it was a little easier to see the road when the sky was lit up.
It was so bad that we missed the turn onto Russell Chapel Road and accidentally drove into a ditch next to the road, because we couldn't see where the road was. Luckily it was a really shallow ditch, so we didn't have any trouble getting out of it once we figured out where the road was. I say "we" but really I mean Georg, who maintained amazing composure driving through that maelstrom. If I had been driving, we would have pulled over and waited it out on the side of the road!
Remember that little brown toad I mentioned the other day? Yesterday morning I spotted him again. He had gotten into the swimming pool and couldn't get out. I watched him swim around the edge for a few minutes, looking in vain for a place to climb out. But three of the cats had gathered around me and one of them, Darla, spotted him too. She would have scooped him right out of the water, but I shooed her away.
I wanted to rescue him but when I walked away to get the pool skimmer, Darla made a beeline for him every time. I had to stand right by him to keep her away. So I ended up slowly walking the entire length of the pool, guarding over the toad, until finally Georg came outside to ask what in the heck I was doing.
Georg scared away the cats (not because there's anything scary about Georg! Just because he hasn't been spending quiet time sitting outside reading, letting them get used to him.) long enough for me to get the pool skimmer, scoop out Mr. Toad and deposit him in some nearby brush. I hope he wasn't in the chlorine long enough to make him sick. I don't think the water is all that heavily chlorinated (it has some water bugs in it) so he's probably fine.
Unfortunately, now Darla is mad at me. And I was really making headway with her; before the Mr. Toad incident she let me pet her back once or twice. Oh well, Mr. Toad would have made her sick anyway. She should thank me for chasing her away from him!
I had another altercation with the plumber. He called yesterday afternoon and left a message on my office phone, letting me know that since I had not paid the invoice he was not going to be coming out on Monday to finish the job. So could I please call him to straighten it out.
My first thought was "invoice? what invoice?" I called him right back, and with suitable apologies told him that I hadn't been looking for an invoice and of course I would pay him immediately. I also neglected to point out that I had asked him at the outset if I needed to pay a deposit, and that would have been a good time to tell me that I would need to pay for the first stage of work before he would do the second.
(Today I dug out the contract and sure enough, it says "80% payment after rough in, balance after fixtures installed" right on it. So I guess I can't get all indignent about him not informing me of the payment terms. Still, he could have mentioned it beforehand. A simple "I just mailed the invoice for the rough in" phone call would have been nice.)
Afterwards I called the contractor, who had already talked to the plumber. Apparently the plumber had just assumed that I was stiffing him and the contractor assured him that he thought I intended to pay him, so why didn't he call me. Of course this is all from the contractor's point of view, it might not have really happened exactly like that. But still, it sounds like I was lucky to have the contractor to sort it out. The contractor did say that this is the best plumber he's ever worked with. I guess I can put up with him being a little persnickity, if he's that good.
In any case, it's all sorted out now. I dropped the check off at his office today (which is luckily very near my house) so he'll be there Monday as planned. We also talked about him putting in a "hand shower" which is mounted on the wall, so we'll have a regular shower head and the hand shower too. I had asked him if he could put in a shower head with a hose, which is what we had before. Because it's a lot easier to bathe the dogs that way. And he suggested the separate hand shower instead.
He also mentioned that bathing the dogs in the tub is probably the cause of our drainage problems. I'm sure he's right. He suggested putting a little Draino down the drain every couple of months as a preventative measure. Which is a good idea, but I think we'll use Nair (you know, the hair removal lotion) instead. We tried it on a hair clog last month and it worked really well! The only problem with Nair is it's really slow on standing water, because it's a lotion and doesn't sink down the drain like Draino.
Anyway, they're almost done! Today someone is there finishing the sheet rock. On Monday the plumber will put in the toilet and faucets, and we'll be able to sleep there Monday night! Yay!! !!!
They'll have to come back Tuesday to paint the walls, so I can't spring the dogs until Tuesday night alas. But still, it will be so wonderful to be back in my own house. Everything dusty and covered with plastic, furniture shoved out of the way, I don't care. I can hardly wait!