The Horror Of Being Trapped In The Basement – It came from below

When I, Cathy and others started CES, my feeling  was that since I was going to be working from home I should spend part of that day improving the house. I figured after the rate hike fight in 2007 that I wanted no part of but got sucked into anyway, that it would take 2 years, maybe 3 to get CES up and running. So Cathy and I sat down and talked about what we wanted to do with the house. She wanted:

a Cistern

a Solar Space on the South side of the house

a solar water heater

I wanted:

a refurbished attic

to  tear out the ceiling in the bedroom

We both agreed that the basement was the place to start. We were getting a little water in the basement when it rained really hard. We knew that we needed to do something about that. We have a nice sump hole and a sump pump, but our thoughts were that maybe we just needed a bigger sump pump. There also was a question of electricity reliability. In three years we had at least 2 long outages…one lasting 8 days. Of course it usually rained real hard during those periods so we would end up draining our sump hole by hand. (Yes that is right Doug and Cathy with five gallon buckets. We dumped them in the downstairs toilet) We both agreed that the color had to change first. That was the hardest task actually because the entire floor was a hideous green.

So I moved all of the furniture down to one end of the basement and painted the basement steps a nice light blue/gray. Then I painted half of the main floor the same nice blue gray. I moved all of the furniture to the other end of room and painted the rest of the floor a nice blue gray. When I was done I said, What color do you want to paint the plant room honey and she said, LipStick Red. I was aghast. She said that is the color that plants love.

Yup that Lipstick Red. The one that women have been using to seduce men (not that men need much seducing) since the time of the Pharohs and before. I was incredulous. So I went to the Menards

walked up to the paint counter and said I want to paint my plant room. The guy behind the counter said, oh you want a gallon or two of Lipstick Red. I just about died. I said you better make it 2. So I painted that room red. When it started raining the first day we were kinda worried. We had had the drainage system that runs from our back porch to the street blownout with high pressure water some months earlier, but the next rain had brought just a trickle of water.

Which you can kinda see in the picture above. We were getting huge puddles on our back porch and were fairly certain that the water in the basement was from the lack o’ drainage in that area. By the 4th day of rain the sump pump was running night and day.

by the 8th day of rain Iowa looked like this:

We had serious water running through the kitchen (Cathy’s craft area) in the basement, our sump pump died and we lost power. This solved all of our problems in short order. We immediately bought half  again as large a sump pump and a generator. Doug dug up the drainage system, found the broken tile and repaired it. The water damaged the flooring in the kitchen so we tore it out and installed nice blue “foamy” rubber flooring that Cathy had always wanted. And we removed the old nasty PHILGAS stove so she would have more craft space. There is a rainbow at the end of every storm.


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