Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Raccoons, a Black Bear, and a Leaky Pipe

Yesterday turned out to be very interesting:  a black bear in the yard and a pipe leaking in the basement.  Rosie started barking at 4:45 yesterday morning, trying to open the French doors, and ripping a small hole in a window screen.  I woke up as soon as she left the bed, and followed her downstairs.  Luckily, at that point in time, we were being visited by an adult and three juvenile raccoons.  I made certain that all the French doors were locked (they have lever-type door handles and Rosie can easily open them), and then I ended up closing all the windows to save the screening.  Rosie spent two hours barking hysterically at the raccoons, who had a blast parading right under the windows and sitting on the edge of the deck, as though they were taunting her.  Once they left, I took her for her morning walk, fed her breakfast, and watched her collapse into a very deep sleep.
  The deep sleep was good, because then I received a call from her owner (who's vacationing in NYC) saying they had just received an e-mail from a neighbor warning about a black bear wandering the neighborhood.  Yesterday was also the day that the lawn crew comes and mows the back yard, so both gates were wide open.  While Rosie was out cold, the adult male black bear came visiting - had a drink from the koi pond, but didn't eat any of the carp, sat on the cover of the hot tub, and investigated the lawn furniture.  Then he just ambled out the gate and over to one of the neighbors' yards.  I'd guess he was a young adult - he was big, but not huge, and there was no scarring on his muzzle.
  The house keeper arrived yesterday afternoon, and announced she was scrubbing the tile floor in the TV room - so I grabbed the lap top and Rosie and we retired to the living room.  About 30 minutes later, I heard Modesta calling me - so I followed her voice down into the basement.   There was water all over the concrete floor in the water heater room, and it had flooded down the steps into the lower storage area.  I called the owners immediately and got directions on where the water main valve was and closed it.  Then I had to find the leak - a stretch of a bout a foot of piping that water was dripping from.  I told them where the pipe was located and it turns out that's where they had a leak 4 months ago.  The plumbing company is due here today, sometime between 1 and 3 this afternoon.
   So Modesta and I got to "dry" the basement...  I have a tip for you: if you are removing standing water from a concrete/cement surface, one of the best things you can use is a plastic flat-bottomed dust pan.  You can run the base along the floor and scoop up large amounts of water.  Modesta and I were able to gather more than 20 gallons of water from the floor, using this manner.  Then we ended up using old fashioned mops.  There is still a little bit of water on the floor, but it is gradually evaporating.  Thank goodness that Modesta thought she heard water running when it shouldn't be - she investigated and saved all the stuff stored in the basement.  - Me, I check the up stairs and the ground floor, the yard, garage, and take care of the dog...  I haven't been downstairs in the basement in years.  Now I feel I need to check the basement every day....

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