DIY DIVA
DIY diva

How I Know My House “Loves” Me (there’s a newt involved…)

February 15, 2013 | 26 Comments | Uncategorized
DIY diva

In this case, the word “love” is open to creative interpretation. Like “takes pleasure in my pain” or “hates my guts.”

You know that for the last week my life has been almost singularly focused on getting ready for the donkeys (which are coming home today, by the way) and when I’m singularly focused on something outside of the house, it’s possible I don’t pay enough attention to the inside of the house.

And this is how the house shows its displeasure:

Yeah. That happened.

Good news: Three hours with a pump, and the basement is clear of water.

Better news: I called my HVAC/Plumbing guy at 7:30 AM Thursday, and by 4:30 PM I had a new well tank installed and the water working.

Perplexing news: I can’t find the newt. Which is actually probably a salamander, but if he continues to live in my basement I’m going to name him Newt! instead, which is probably what I’ll yell every time I see him. (Alternative name: Holy Shit!)

Just one of the many adventures of living in an old farm house…

DIY diva

    Comments

  • Mark


    What a mess. Hopefully you hadn’t stored anything valuable down there. (I know, it’s a dark, damp basement: Who would?) But it happens. The scary thing is how much higher would the flood waters have risen if you didn’t trip a breaker and have to go down there. (or perhaps the two were related?) If it helps any, I had a very similar thing happen to me just 2 months after finally completing the conversion of my basement from cool, dark storage to (semi-)bright, warm living space. The feed hose on my chemical pump ruptured, letting water and chemicals continuously pump onto the floor instead of into the holding tank. Luckily I noticed it within what must have been no more than a day.

    So after vacuuming up the water I spent a couple of weeks cutting out huge sections of soaked padding and dragging it outside so it could dry. I also ran a few of the biggest fans I could find to dry everything out. Thankfully this happened during the summer. All that was left to do was call back the carpet guys who had installed it two months prior and have them re-install and re-stretch the half of the flooring I had to pull up. I ended up needing to get someone out to power-clean the carpet too because the water left a stain, but at the end of the day everything went back to normal. Life has a way of doing that. Of course waiting for the water heater to go keeps me up at night…

  • Cheryl


    Better get Katy from the Turtle House to come over to find and identify your little friend!

    • Katy @ Turtle House


      She texted me the picture, haha! It’s a blue-spotted salamander, Ambystoma laterale. ;-)

  • Micha


    Oh rats! That blows … It’s the well tank’s fault though, not the house’s …she probably tried to tell him it was a bad idea :o)

    After a flooded basement thanks to a dead pool pump at the hotel I was assistant manager at the time, I’ve steered clear of any contraption that holds lots of water inside the house *shudder* We installed a tankless water heater at the Little Old House – no 120+ gallon tanks with teeny water pans for me, thank you very much.

    • Dave


      The problem is when you’re on a well you have to have a well tank or your well pump would run continuously and quickly burn out. There’s really no way of getting around it, as far as I know.

  • Micha


    I’m also proud of me because I actually managed to read/watch and pay attention past the “donkeys (which are coming home today, by the way” part of your post today!

    Yay for donkey business! And boy asses on your blog ;)

  • Tina


    You have such a great outlook – really. I like that at the start of your videos, you usually laugh a little. :) Even in the worse situation, you still find humor and that is truly a gift. You are probably right about it being a salamander and he/she has probably been living in a dark, damp area of your basement all along. My friend got married in a very old church and had her reception in the basement, we had to round up, catch and release outside about a dozen salamanders before it was fit for a reception. :)

  • Ama


    Ah, the flooded basement, it brings back memories of the PTSD variety. Our sump blew on New Year’s Eve when it was -30 and both myself and my boyfriend had the flu. I have tried to block what happened over the next three days as much as possible but it ended with us buying three pumps. A new heavy duty sump, a back-up sump and a submersible one for emergencies that more than paid for itself over the next couple of years.

    Did you notice a change in your water pressure when you replaced the well pressure tank? When ours blew (see need for submersible pump above) and was replaced our water pressure nearly doubled. If I had known what the difference a new pressure tank would make to the morning shower it would have been the first thing replaced in that old house.

    Donkey business day! Can’t wait to see the pictures of the new additions.

  • hjc


    Thank you for reminding me of the positives of not having a basement (or a real foundation?!) in our 1912 home. And YAY! Donkey Day!

  • Sarah


    hahaha! That video is hilarious! I’m glad you were able to get it all cleaned up pretty quickly though :)

  • Carla


    Loved it. Don’t let the cat near the salamander or no more Newt. Can’t wait for the donkeys to show themselves!

  • Amy


    The house is jealous of the donkey prepwork! It wanted more attention!

  • Marci


    We had a pet newt for several years! And his name was Newt! Unfortunately, Newt was a curious dude and jumped out of his bowl when we were on vacation. We like to think he left to find his own adventure, with a little backpack on and nothin’ to lose. (In reality we both know he’s probably dried up in the vents at our old condo.)

    Long time lurker, first time commenter. Sooooooo wanting a miniature donkey now……

  • Sarah In Illinois


    Ewwww. Ewwwww. Ewwwwww! I am not a fan of salamanders, newts, snakes, etc. EWWWWW! Yeah, the water in the basement sucks but I would take that over the creepy crawly critter for sure!

  • Linzy


    Oh my god, I’m sorry but I cracked up so hard. That newtymander sighting was too much. I love those little dudes, almost as much as your reaction.

  • Kelly


    You get the best pets!!! First the donkeys and now a “Newt!”. Lucky….

    Can’t wait to see the donkey boys in their fabulously clean barn!

  • Katie


    Hilarious. Particularly the last few seconds. Thanks for sharing. :-)

  • Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl


    So now you have Newt Gingrich living in your basement. LOL! That’s hilarious. What next Kit…what next?!

  • Leslie


    Wow, never a dull moment over there!

  • june


    I thought the peacock was great, but this is fun too. My parent’s old brick farmhouse used to get all sorts of visiter’s: our favorite was finding snake skins (usually garter snakes). After the screams, then the search, which didn’t guarantee a find We would settle down and think “it will eat the spiders and the mice”. We used to have some of each. I hated the spiders worst: the snake kept to the basement, one at a time, the spiders would be on all floors.

  • Jaye @ Just Tryin' to Make Cents of it All


    Oh that’s hilarious!!! Had it been a snake you would have heard way more expletives coming out of my mouth than what where coming out of yours! Plus, the camera and flashlight probably would have been dropped in the water. Lizards, salamanders – okay. Snakes are what nightmares are made of!

    Can’t wait to see the donkeys!!

  • Guerrina


    Love the video! Laughed so hard…would’ve said the same things! Glad to hear the water issues were cleared quickly. Now waiting for the donkeys!

  • Jackson


    This reminds me of the four years I spent on the outskirts of Phoenix East Valley. It would get so hot in the summers, tiny lizards and snakes would seek coolness and shade in our basement. Once my Auntie Ercel was preparing Saturday night supper. She was stirring some pot, turned around, and a tiny snake was poised on the counter beside her sink, just staring at her. She’s very religious, so the satanic overtones didn’t escape her. After that, she checked surfaces and beds before lying down every night. A West African friend, ironically, told her the serpents were good luck, a symbol of life and longevity. Go figure.

  • David


    Crap. Video’s gone. Ruined my day, except donkey pics are up next.

  • Justynn @ Creative Life Antics


    This post is old, but I’m a huge fan. I’m practially your neighbor living in Plymouth, but I also found the same salamander living in my sump-pump when I first bought my place.

    Take care!
    Justynn

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