June 4, 2016 in Lymphoma by Reta Reed

BIG POST!! Nothing earth-shattering… just a LOT of content, since I haven’t updated in so long.

This must be the year the house goes to shit.

BOTH HVAC units have been completely replaced. Only the ductwork is unchanged. In that process, the city has to come out and inspect. Well, the overflow pans had backflow, so it didn’t pass inspection. The AC guys came back out, rerouted the overflow drains so they could be lower than the AC units. The city was to come back out to reinspect but the inspector said they were short-handed, that they are familiar with Reliant’s work and he was confident that he could just pass it without reinspecting. I made sure he knew it didn’t pass the first time and this was to be a reinspection. He was still okay with passing it sight unseen.

Next the roof shingles were replaced. The roofer had to access the attic because one of his guys broke a standpipe and once he pulled the attic ladder down, he smelled gas. Knowing that the AC was recently replaced, he suggested I call my AC guys. I called and they came out that evening. The house reeked of natural gas by that point. The AC guys were very apologetic and said that one of the gas lines was not as tight as it could have been and they tightened it down, checked for leaks and said everything was good.

That was on a Wednesday. By Saturday (Memorial Day weekend), the house still reeked of gas so I called Atmos, not sure if it just takes forever for that smell to dissipate or if we still had a leak somewhere. The Atmos guy came out and did a pressure test and said there is a leak but he couldn’t find it. So he shut off the gas. (Luckily I had already cooked dinner.) He said I needed to call my plumber to find the gas leak. On a Saturday. Memorial Day weekend.

Have you taken a cold shower? They SUCK!

I called my usual plumber and left a message. Then I looked for an emergency plumber. Though I could get a plumber out, he wouldn’t be able to do anything with it because he would need a permit from the city. Of course city offices were closed for the Memorial Day weekend so nothing could be done until Tuesday. (The worst part of a cold shower is cold water down your back!) Finally the plumber came out, found the leak (a roof nail punctured the gas flex line running along the underside of the roof), did the repairs, and $1100 later (thank you, boyfriend)… we still had no gas. (COLD SHOWERS SUCK!)

The inspector came out Wednesday and okayed the repair, with the caveat that we ground the main gas pipe. (This was a mercifully easy thing to do.) He was to let Atmos know electronically that it was okay to turn on the gas. I was told by the plumber that since this is an electronic process, Atmos should know within an hour or so. I fully expected Atmos to automagically show up and turn on the gas. Late Wednesday, no Atmos. No gas. No hot shower. I called first thing Thursday morning and was told that the homeowner is supposed to call Atmos to set up a time to turn on the gas. >:\       Though the Atmos lady I talked to said it would normally be the next day (Friday), she would override that and get someone out the same day. By early afternoon we were taking HOT showers again.

The back fence was replaced on Memorial Day. It is absolutely georgeous!! It’s nothing fancy. Just upright. All one color. And in one long, straight line.

The kids have wrapped up their 2015-2016 school year. Travis did not pass his second attempt at the STAAR Reading test. He understands what this means and is accepting. He really is a resilient kid. I am confident he will do fine, probably better, getting a chance to catch up. Kristen has been… Kristen. Let’s recap this school year:

  • October 2015, shortly after getting her license, goes to a friend’s birthday party but winds up at another kids house with boys and alcohol and no parents. After progressive revelations about this, lying, and sneaking out in the middle of the night with a friend WHILE GROUNDED, her final sentence: grounded for three months.
  • April 2016 – was past curfew getting home. When she finally answered my call, she was upset because she was stuck in traffic and low on gas. When I asked where she had encountered so much traffic, she said she had been at a party in a not-so-great part of town and was stuck in night-time road construction traffic. I talked her through getting to a gas station. When she got home her friends called her to see where she was. They were still at the party and stuck there because a friend lost her car keys. Her car was holding some of their work uniforms hostage. They were messed up. Some had been drinking and eating special brownies to excess. The boyfriend, Kristen and I drove to the party and brought home two of the kids to crash in the living room. Only one stop on the way home for one of the girls to puke. Kristen and her boyfriend had broken up fairly recently, so I took it easy on her; final sentence: grounded for one week.
  • Late April 2016 – was caught skipping class with three of her friends. They were in her car in the school parking lot, the idiots! I got a call from the assistant principal. I no longer felt sorry for her, so her final sentence was grounded for two weeks.

Even with all this, I still say Kristen’s a good kid. I know it could be worse!

I started a little project while the boyfriend was gone for three weeks. (See what happens when I get bored?) I have long hated the giant plant ledge in the living room. So, I seized the opportunity to hack away at it. This is the original monstrosity:

Hideous plant ledge

Hideous plant ledge with random crap on it.

 I just hate the way the plant ledge butts into the fireplace wall.

2016-05-07 18.02.56

This is the goal. Crappy photoshop skills but you get the idea.

The idea is to get rid of the plant ledge abutting the fireplace wall, put the stone on that I’ve had for over a year, and build a closet on top of the remaining archway which would be accessible from the landing. Can you see it? Don’tcha love it? It’ll be so much better right?


This is the current state.

I’m fortunate to have a wonderful guy helping me. (Or I’m helping him?) He’s one of Jeff’s buddies from the guard. He just shakes his head at me and my projects. He’s a sweet guy, but I know he’ll be glad when I’m gone on vacation!

Alex, Travis and I participated in an American Cancer Society Relay for Life event last month. I was on a team with some folks from work. We walked, and walked, and walked, and walked… I think I counted 25 laps around the track. It was an interesting experience. I didn’t even cry much. I’d like to do it each year, if possible.


Sno-cones in hand, the kids were ready to walk!


Still smiling toward the end of the night!

My computer’s power supply got zapped in one of the storms we’ve had over the past couple of months. Being the wife of an IT guy, I was often exposed to computer guts all over the floor and paid attention to what was going on, so I was able to buy a power supply, install it and get my computer back up and running.

We celebrated Jeff’s 48th birthday this year with a strawberry cake. I did the writing with cookie icing – not meant for cakes. Just a few hours after taking this photo, the heart and flower became mere blobs and the writing started to blur together. Jeff would have loved it anyway!


Maybe I need to learn to make more manly cakes?


This morning I went to open the microwave door and half the handle broke. I’m laughing on the inside.