My HGTV/Mike Holmes Season. Plus Eyeballs.

Mike Holmes make it right
Mike Holmes

And yes, believe it or not, there’s wine involved!

I’ve been binge-watching a bunch of old Mike Holmes videos on YouTube recently. I’ve always liked Mike’s shows, but now they hold a special importance. An ongoing theme throughout many of his shows was the fact that water can destroy anything. He often illustrated how, given enough time, water and snow – which is glam water in my opinion – can cause even the most solid of homes to collapse. Scary thought. But I live in Vegas. What could possibly happen?

The Flood. Noah Not Involved.

It began during the last week of July. I woke up, stretched, did the morning things, and then trudged to the kitchen for my breakfast, vitamins, and coffee. And before I even walked into the kitchen, I noticed an immediate problem.

My home is single story and is mostly split into two parts: the common areas (kitchen, living room, dining room, and “family” room), and the bedroom area of three bedrooms and two baths. The issue was in the common areas.

flood damage
Inspecting buckled wood floors and flooded tile

I walked into the family room area and noticed a lot of dampness on my WOOD FLOORS. I stepped into the kitchen and walked into a lake. Suddenly, I was wide awake. And tried hard not to start sobbing.

The night before there had been a little water seeping under the dishwasher, which, frankly, didn’t worry me much. I have the bad habit of cleaning my dishes before running through the dishwasher, and I thought I’d left a little dish detergent on some of the dishes and that was the overflow.

Oh how wrong I was.

I walked into water that covered my feet. There was water everywhere. In the kitchen and in all of the common rooms. Not only flooding from a leak somewhere under my dishwasher but also (apparently) from the water line to the fridge.

Kill me now. Eff my life. Etc.

But I live in Vegas. What could possibly happen?

I called my Home Warranty company who dispatched Blue Diamond Plumbing, In. They came pretty quickly (as much as I can remember because I was stressed beyond recognition) and the plumber, whose name was similar to Talon, got right to work. It meant cutting holes in the wall to repair pipes, cutting holes in the kitchen ceiling to run new water lines to the fridge, and more.

Much wailing and gnashing of teeth were involved.

I called my insurance company and panicked over the phone. And apparently, unlike in the olden days, I had to find my own contractors.

Yelp to the rescue!

Water suckers. Probably not the official name, but whatever

One thing I’ve discovered in the years of using Yelp as a source of finding good vendors is just because a business is five-star doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best for you. For instance, some businesses are true B2B (business-to-business) entities, while others are more consumer-focused. In this case, I decided upon Insurance Restoration Services who were quick to respond and brought a bunch of water suckers to help with the disaster.

Oh! And despite the age of the house, there was no asbestos! Another Mike Holmes gem.

It took over two weeks to dry out the floors enough to assess the damage and as you may guess, the news wasn’t good. Despite the best efforts, mold was starting to take hold under the floor installation. That, along with the warping and buckling of the wood, meant there would be no salvaging of my beautiful floors. More wailing. More gnashing.

My HGTV Summer

And then the real pain began.

My beautiful hand-scraped hickory wood floor had to go. Period. All of it. While the living room was the least affected by the water, there was enough damage that meant along with the flooring in the family and dining rooms, it couldn’t be saved. Which meant another contractor. This time, I decided to go with LV Home Service. Any regrets? Not even an iota.

My Hickory partially gone!

Masha went through the house to do the estimate and reassured me that everything would turn out okay. We scheduled the day for the work to start – I don’t remember the exact day other than it was in August – and Moe and the guys showed up to work. Along with a “Units” (actually a Pods competitor) in the driveway. I stored a lot of my delicate items in the hallway, including my 1920s-era Aunt Jemima cookie jar, overpriced wine glasses, and other collectibles.

Fortunately, there’s a door between the disaster area and the bedrooms, and I stayed in the bedroom area a lot! I also spent time watching the work, taking mental notes, and having all kinds of emotional fluctuations. I had to hide when they ground down the old glue, and when they were replacing the floor with the new, dark-stained maple engineered hardwood.

My Inner Joanna Gaines – Change Orders!

The kitchen was my downfall. Financially, I mean.

Chip with Joanna, the change order queen!

The insurance company did what insurance companies are supposed to do. Pay to have everything brought back to its original condition. Except I had some unfortunate ideas. *Unfortunate* in this case means expensive. Let me explain.

The “boxes” or cabinets were completely destroyed in the flood. The wood was warped and the cabinets were pulling away from the granite. The insurance company would pay for the replacement of the boxes which had to use the old doors. I said I’d rather have the doors replaced with new ones. As it turned out, “new” doors on 40+ year-old cabinets would mean a custom order. For about the same amount, I could have new cabinets altogether. So I opted to pay the difference (insert crying emoji here) and get new cabinets. They were way better quality than I expected, and I was happily surprised. My kitchen is now a chef’s kiss dream. For a small kitchen, that is!

Oh Yeah. Eyeballs.

When you’re old, crap happens. One of the many things that could happen is cataracts. My eye doctor said to me after my last exam, “We need to talk.” My first surgery was in September, and my second was in November. Wow. Who knew 20/20 vision was so very cool! I still need readers for books, the iPad, and the computers, but that’s a small price to pay to be able to see stuff far away!

Unfortunately, the healing period was longer than I expected considering the speed and relative efficiency of the surgery. I was willing to go above and beyond to make sure that my eyes healed quickly, however. For the longest time, I couldn’t lift, bend over, shampoo, and had to use a bunch of different drops to ensure healing. Believe me, none of it was a problem and completely worth it for great eyesight.

Back to the House

From the end of July to the beginning of November, the process continued. There were interruptions due to insurance/contractor communication issues, but otherwise, everything went pretty smoothly. I had to be patient and accept the fact that what little of my social life remained kind of withered away during this period.

The End! Well, Sort of…

The work was done and all of the furniture and miscellaneous stuff was brought back into the house. Because I had to wait through another healing period, I couldn’t get right to work to put stuff away. Most of it’s done, but there’s still a ways to go. Besides, it’s against my nature to do things the way they used to be done.

The only wine disaster out of this is still pending. During the drying period, one of my coolers got unplugged. I didn’t notice for a while and was absolutely gutted when I did. I was going to dispose of the wine ($$$$s of dollars worth) but decided to wait and maybe have an “It Might be Crap” tasting sometime in the New Year when everything is done. I’ve tasted three of the bottles, and only one was questionable. So there’s hope.

Meanwhile, here’s what’s beauteous so far!


Vegas Wineaux
Vegas Wineaux
Life now, especially after leaving the day job, is even crazier! I hope that you continue to follow and enjoy the wine and Vegas news!

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Vegas Wineaux
Life now, especially after leaving the day job, is even crazier! I hope that you continue to follow and enjoy the wine and Vegas news!

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