Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Reading Slump

I know, it's been a very quiet month here. No, I haven't abandoned All Booked Up, I'm still loving this blog, even after as many years as I've been posting to it. However, I just haven't been reading much of anything since before Christmas.

Not through lack of interest though. I'm picking up books and intending to read them, but I'm just not getting very far with any of them.

So far, the list includes the following books:
  1. Elementary - edited by Mercedes Lackey
  2. There and Back Again: The Origins of The Hobbit - Mark Atherton
  3. Eleanor of Aquitaine - Alison Weir
  4. Indexing Names - edited by Noeline Bridge
  5. The Lady In Medieval England 1000-1500 - Peter Coss
  6. Growing Up In Medieval London: The Experience of Childhood in History - Barbara Hanawalt
I think the main issue is stress-related. We moved in October from a condo to a house. Almost right away, we discovered a few issues, the biggest one being water in the basement. First thought was that it was the hot water tank. Instead, it turned out to be water coming in from outside. That problem has been ongoing ever since. Every time we've thought we had it figured out and fixed, a couple of weeks later it came back (turned out that part of the problem was that the sink and shower drain pipe had gotten separated just outside the basement.

Now though, it turns out to be a groundwater/perimeter drainage issue. This morning we got up to discover that the water issue was worse than ever - halfway across the room. Out came the shop vac, which worked wonders. First time we'd had to use it for water - where it excelled. One emergency call to the person we'd called earlier in the week and he's coming with the heavy machinery first thing in the morning. Thank goodness!

Back to the water issue - painted cinderblock foundation wall. For the most part, the water's been oozing in - a few drips here and there only, so manageable with towels, from the grout-lines. Today, it was visibly dripping down, in a couple of places, with enough water pooling that we were using the shop vac every 10 to 20 minutes or less.

Frantic searching online ensued for something we could use to seal the grout-lines that would be easy clean-up (both today and in terms of removal tomorrow or soon after) and that could be applied to a wet surface. Hydraulic cement was a maybe, but we weren't too certain because of the paint, but more because of the need to gouge out the holes and cracks in order to fill them. Couldn't find much - at least not that was available in stores nearby. So, brainstorming.

Ended up trying chewing gum. I had to chew five or six pieces in short order to have enough to cover the worst spot, and I don't even really like gum. The occasional piece now and again, but not like I was chewing them today. We were lucky to even have that much around. Guess what...

It worked. The water leak has been slowed to an absolute trickle. Enough that we can leave it and go to bed.

The great water leak saga isn't the only thing causing stress though. The other large part of things is that I'm both trying to find a job and get my new indexing business, Quill and Ink Indexing Services off the ground. Mostly I've been focusing on the latter, working on the website (which still has a couple of bugs), cold-calling and e-mailing publishers and creating my business cards.
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