The weather today is beautiful. Warm, breezy, more than one could hope for in mid-November. But tonight, there will be rain. And rain always means the potential for water in our basement.
We are learning to be proactive. (Sometimes being an adult stinks.)
Mike mentioned he needed to blow the leaves out of the basement stairwell (because they clog the french drain, causing water to end up in our basement.) But he had a wicked 24-hour virus yesterday, so I told him I would take care of it today.
“I can do it.”
“You will?” (sounding a little more surprised than I thought was appropriate.)
After he left, I headed out to the shed in my white t-shirt and skirt I had already donned for the day because this wasn’t really yard work, it was just a quick leaf removal. Kind of like vacuuming. Easy peasy.
After I kvetched over getting to the leaf blower that was hung by someone very tall over the mower that I couldn’t reach over, and finally got it down, I realized by the cobwebs on it that I had in fact struggled to get the old, non-working, why-do-we-still-have-this leaf blower.
I turned to see the new-this-one-works leaf blower right behind me on the floor. In pieces. It’s supposed to be in pieces, I assume, but I do not possess leaf blower assembly without directions abilities. Besides, it was kind of dirty, and I was wearing a white shirt. Hmpf.
Plan B – the wet/dry vac was handy so I grabbed that, found an extension cord and began sucking up the leaves that way. About the time I thought I might just be able to scoop a bunch up faster with my hands, I saw the biggest (hopefully dead) spider I have ever seen and decided a slow suck of leaves with the machine was better than coming anywhere close to touching such a beast.
Then it was time to empty the dry vac and I couldn’t get the stupid lid off which just frustrated me to no end. I finally got it to come off, emptied the bucket (eww) (thinking a self-cleaning wet/dry vac would be the invention of the year), and headed back for the second half. About this time, I looked around to make sure no one was watching me, because graceful I wasn’t.
I began to think that maybe a dry vac wasn’t really designed for the bulk of leaves, but leaves are light and fluffy. It’s a wet/dry vac. It can handle water. What’s a few leaves?
I was almost finished when I lost suction again. I emptied it again and put it back together, but still had no suction.
I had already run across the brother spider to the first spider and was pretty sure at least one of them was still stuck in the hose part of the vacuum. I imagined him fighting the air flow and crawling his way back out to get his revenge and eat my face off for sucking him up a hose.
So I found a stick and shoved it in the hose to try to unclog it. I forced a clog into the middle of the hose. Um, great. So then I found a longer stick and shoved it in the hose.
At this point I checked again to be sure no one was videoing this disaster because I’m sure I looked like a grade A idiot.
The longer stick was about a foot too short. So I used the shorter one to keep shoving the longer one through to the other end.
Aaannnnd got the long stick stuck in the middle of the hose.
Of course I did.
Now I’m flailing the hose around like a snake trying to get the clog, the stick, anything but the spiders out of the hose.
I used the small stick from the other end to shove the large stick back out. Unplugged everything and put it back in the garage. I grabbed the rest of the leaves with my hands, spiders or not, and finished my easy little project. Heh.
The stairs look good. Hope the basement stays dry. Lesson for the day: Don’t use a wet/dry vac to suck up leaves unless you have a super long stick that can clean out the clog and/or have your husband assemble the leaf blower before he leaves for work.