Last week we started our spring break out at the cabin. Friday morning I loaded up the kids and hauled them all up there to get a head start. We closed it up for the winter so there were a few things we needed to do to get everything operational, but it was supposed to be a nice weekend so I figured the novelty of the cabin and being outside would keep the kids busy while I worked on getting everything ready for the summer. There were a couple of loopholes in this plan:
You know you’ve had a great weekend at the cabin when…
1. The weather forecast is 70 and sunny and the ACTUAL weather is 50 and windy (what’s 20 degrees in MN?)
2. Your furnace went out
3. In an attempt to keep your young in’s from freezing you make a fire in the wood burning stove
4. You find out you don’t know how to make a fire in a wood burning stove and fill the house with smoke setting off the fire alarms forcing the kids out into the cold AND wind.
5. Read the directions on how to use the wood burning stove (there really is a section titled “how to make a fire” for city girls like me) figure out how to use the damper and finally create a sustainable source of heat just in time before the plumber arrives
6. Plumber arrives to turn on the water (did at least one of the kids need to use the potty before the plumber arrived even though we stopped in town on our way…of course)
7. Try to convince a 3-year-old she can “hold it” for another hour until the plumber is done…fail
8. Make use of the camping toilet
9. Find out the water softener got damaged during the winterizing process.
10. Call water softener guy…try to explain the problem…feel like a big bafoon explaining in “mom” terms what the problem is…”the valve thing on the big black canister thing where you screw on the tube from the big box that has the salt in it, broke off and now it is leaking water.”
11. He says he can’t come out until Mon. and the water should stop dripping as soon as it settles a bit (Note: the valve does not settle, it continues to drip)
12. Jimmy-rig a funnel from the sand box taped with masking tape to the black canister funneling into a mop bucket…wooohoo it works!
13. Finally relax a bit knowing we have running water, heat and DVD player! Throw a movie in for the kids.
14. Decide to get all the towels washed I used from the dripping water softener.
15. Work on the lawn a bit
16. Come back to find the washer has deposited its entire rinse cycle all over the FLOOR! and I only have a couple of towels to clean it up because the towels are IN THE WASH!
17. Call the washer guy…but get a receptionist with a heavy accent probably working from India…try to explain the problem, they can’t come until Tuesday
18. Question whether we should just pack everything up and head home
19. Stare defeat in the face and go into town for pizza
20. Return determined to turn the weekend around
21. Set the kids up with a craft
22. 3-year-old comes out of bathroom…”Mom! The toilet is sooooo tall!”
23. Realize this means the water is up to the rim of the toilet ready to overflow
25. Figure out 3-year-old spun the whole roll of toilet paper directly into the toilet and flushed…not good for a toilet, not good for a septic system, not good for a mom on the brink!
26. Find the hot dog tongs, use those to retrieve as much toilet paper as possible (make mental note to sanitize tongs before next BBQ), wait for water to recede
27. Find the throw pillow that has the Serenity Prayer cross-stitched on it and read it…repeatedly
28. After everyone is in bed for the night finally lay down and go to sleep hoping for a better (drier) day tomorrow
29. 10 minutes later eyes pop open remembering the bucket under the water softener that I forgot to empty…get up…empty the darn bucket…c’mon!
There’s more, but really, you wouldn’t believe it so I’ll stop there. We ended up staying until Tuesday to get the washer fixed (in car terms it was totaled) and the weather did eventually improve. The girls actually put swimsuits on and splashed in the water (that didn’t last long, it was still really cold). We had smores, the guys went into town to the Auto Show and we watched a few good movies. When it was time to leave, Cassie, Callie, Johnny and Lexi actually pleaded with me to stay, so I must have done something right!
So at 4:00 on Tuesday I loaded all the kids up and all the “stuff” and told everyone to use the potty before we left. With a sense of relief from my “dark cloud” extended weekend I went to usher the last kid into the van and lock up.
“Mom! The toilet is so tall and the floor is all wet!” Yep, it totally overflowed, all over the whole floor. I grabbed our last two towels but that wasn’t enough to stop Niagara Falls. I considered using my bath robe?…My husband’s sweatshirts?…then I found the perfect solution. I bet that darn Serenity Prayer Pillow would make a good sponge…