The Cool House: accidents
Showing posts with label accidents. Show all posts
Showing posts with label accidents. Show all posts

Friday, January 16, 2009

What's that funky smell?

For a little while now, well more than a little while - more like weeks in fact, I've noticed this weird smell when I've come into the house. Now smells, I've discovered, are like the annoying pinging noise your car makes that ONLY YOU can hear. You take the car to the garage, you drive your beloved around in it. Can they hear it? No way, it's a figment of your imagination. You are a crazy person right up until the moment when the wheel comes off or a cable snaps and then they're all "Didn't you notice it before? Weren't there any warning signs? Hmm, like that whirring, pinging, humming noise I kept mentioning, you mean?
Anyway, there was a definite smell. I thought at first it was rot. But we treated the rot back in, oh October, and I couldn't see any more elsewhere. That didn't stop me from obsessing about it, though. I started in the basement with a flashlight and poked and prodded every beam, joist and random piece of wood I could find. Then I moved onto the house proper. I touched every piece of siding I could, every door and window (even though most were replaced with new units in 2005) and then I got crazy: I started sniffing all the wood. ALL. THE. WOOD. Even if it meant, and it did, crawling along the floor inhaling the aroma of baseboards. Crazy. And fruitless.
But just as I was going to call in a professional with a moisture meter I made a discovery. The small was worse just outside the door to the garage. And it was much worse when the heating was blowing hard. I bent down to look at the air vent and woah! I had discovered the origin of the pong.

Several months ago I was taking the cat litter tray to the garage when I tripped and spilt tons of kitty gritty. Obviously I vacuumed it up, I'm not that much of a slob, but I'd failed to see that quite a bit had landed in the air vent. Eeeuw and phew. We unscrewed the grill, cleaned it, took all the dirt that had accumulated with the cat litter and voila! No more odd odor. I may be the worst housekeeper ever but at least I'm not crazy and we don't have rot.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Guy's Revenge

There have been a few comments - not on the blog - to the effect that The Guy is treated quite badly at The Cool House. His supporters say he's always gardening, or up a ladder or even banished to the roof but he never gets to do any of the cool stuff like mix cocktails or choose the music. Poor Guy. Well, fans of The Guy, today he got his revenge.
We were filling the carpenter bee holes when he had to adjust the 16' ladder, which he accidently let slip onto my head.
There's a reason you aren't supposed to walk beneath a ladder. Or stand under it for that matter. Posting will be resumed when my head stops hurting.

Friday, June 06, 2008

So glad to be alive

We got hit by a truck last weekend.
OK, breathe. We're still here; the car, however, is totaled. We were lucky to have side impact bags and a car with enough steel to stop the hook on the front of the truck coming through the driver's door. If it had been my Jeep or the "caprice" I don't think I'd be writing this. We were actually dragged by the wingnuts on the front wheel of the truck. The impact buckled the frame and smashed the glass and cracked the windshield. We were doing maybe 5mph. We are very lucky.
There are no photos because I really didn't think of it until afterwards. A long time afterwards, after the police report had been taken, the EMS had left and the car had been towed.
I've never understood the benefit of those automatic emergency service phones in cars before but the second the airbag went off a voice was asking if we were alright and they phoned the Police and alerted a tow truck. They stayed on the line to speak to the Police and I didn't realise they were still on the line until half an hour or so later when they interrupted us to give us the ETA of the tow truck.
By the way, the accident happened right outside the drive, and the sound of the impact had neighbors running. Guess who arrived first? An attorney, an insurance agent and an off-duty police officer. The perfect trifecta.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Baby Gates

Note to self:
Sadie fell down the stairs last week. Not the back stairs that I slid down but the front ones that end in the slippery parquet. She tumbled down the stairs, slid the length of the foyer and was stopped by the den carpet inches from the glass table.

I needed to keep Sadie on one level for a few days and as she is my shadow we had to dig out the baby gates we bought when we first laid the bamboo floors. They may be ugly and awkward for us to negotiate but they do the job of keeping the dogs on the ground floor.

Surprisingly enough it is Polly who has suffered more with the re-introduction of boundaries. It really hampers her herding instinct when she can't reach those who need herding (usually kittens) and she's taken to spending even more time in the yard, occasionally tapping on the door so someone can answer her call and reassure her that we haven't left her.

Luckily there were no permanent injuries from my over-zealous cleaning jag but just to remind me that it's all my fault, the dogs reproach me by looking at me like this.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Reaching for deoderant after showering this morning I managed to knock an almost full bottle of Bug Off! insect repellent out of the medicine cabinet.

downstairs bathroom
The reason it was almost full is that it is pretty powerful stuff, best used sparingly. As it was a glass bottle and the floor is tiled the bottle didn't bounce. Immediately the bathroom became a Finnish sauna, with herbal smells of rosemary and citronella. Really strong smells. I had the urge to run out into the snow and beat myself with birch twigs. Luckily there were none handy so I used the towel to mop up the mess and then threw it into the washing machine. Bosch machines may get things clean but they couldn't get the smell out of that towel, and now everything else that was in there smells of rosemary, too.
It's not a bad scent but it's more medicinal than I would choose for the holidays. I'm just wondering how long it will be before it starts to fade.

Monday, May 28, 2007

What could possibly go wrong?

White Rhododendron
Originally uploaded by modernemama
I asked myself at the start of this long weekend. These were the outside chores we had to complete:
1) Get moss off patios and paths
2) Control Carpenter Bees
3) Weed borders
4) Bring out and wash garden furniture
5) Wash windows
And after the purchase of the new washer/dryer we added
6) Paint the laundry room
Not an impossibly long or complicated list, is it?
By the end of yesterday afternoon we were congratulating ourselves, numbers 1-4 had been done and we 'd planted the rest of the pots with flowers and herbs and even added some annuals along the brick path.
We were so ahead of things Steven thought he'd nip to the Mall for a couple of items, get back, wash the windows at the back of the house (he'd already done the others) and then see to the laundry. But before he went he decided to skim the pool.
He'd dressed for the Mall so he was smart, even wearing his new brown loafers. And he was just about finished when...
I didn't see what happened because I'd turned round to talk to the dog but I heard the splash. He'd lost his footing and fallen into the shallow end of the pool, catching his knee on the side on the way in. He emerged dripping, blood pouring from a scraped knuckle but impressively he was still wearing his glasses. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me so you'll have to imagine the scene, but apart from a sore knee, a couple of scrapes and the skinned knuckle he's fine. But he won't be tackling the laundry this week.

Addendum: I almost forgot the irony of the situation. One of the things Steve did yesterday that wasn't even on the list, was to re-lay the brick path where the roots had pushed up a couple of bricks. He did an excellent job, and all to prevent us from tripping and damaging ourselves!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Another house related injury

polly, sadie and jefke
Originally uploaded by modernemama.
These three innocent animals are not the reason for the sprained foot. Rather it was a combination of clumsiness, I reached for the toy to the left of Polly and tripped, a 70s design flaw: the raised step into the den, which I failed to clear when reaching for the dog toy, and procrastination: we didn't take the platform out when we thought about it on New Year's Day.
Whatever possessed the original owner to divide the den by a four inch high platform, laid on the diagonal no less, I cannot fathom. A couple of days after we moved in Steven tripped over it carrying a full espresso, this was the evening after we had had the carpets steam cleaned so they were white at that point....
Since then the big dog Sadie has tripped up it and the little dog Polly has fallen off it while asleep. I feel I have to yell "mind the step" to guests and workmen who are new to the house. In short it's not only an eyesore, it's dysfunctional too. And as soon as I can bend the foot again I'm getting down there and taking the platform out.
PS The name of the toy I was reaching for? We affectionately call it Bear Corpse.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Worse news

Just when I was congratulating myself on two bathrooms completed and one sure to be done before Memorial Day, I got some bad news form my handyman. He fell and blew out his knee at the weekend. It's too soon to know what the extent of the damage is and what the treatment would be, typically he seemed less concerned about the obvious pain he was in and more about letting down his clients. He was only joking the other day about this house needing a full-time handyman.
I'm really thankful he got here on Friday and put up the hardware. Everything else is non-urgent and can wait until after summer if necessary. He did say that if it wasn't too bad he could perhaps hobble over one day next week and do the things he wouldn't have to kneel down for. That's great service but I'd rather he was 100% fit before he tackled anymore projects, but he's the sort of guy who loves to be busy.