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Posted on Sep 9, 2011 in Dear Diary, Fail | 47 comments


Oh hey, remember when I thought that getting soaked, getting lost, and having a panic attack meant I had reached my quota of misery for the week?


Oh how I wish I had been right.

Yup, you’re looking at the glorious puddles of our totally flooded basement. I think I may have used up all of my womp womps this week so I’ll just let that fact settle in sound effect-less. Well, maybe just one for good measure:

Le Sigh.

Our sump pump broke, and the entire basement was covered in at least 1/2 an inch of water! Oh, and in case you couldn’t tell, we have a finished basement. Where Ben lives. And has lots of expensive camera and music equipment. Luckily nothing of value seemed to have been affected, thank goodness, but I was really worried for a while there!

Harry was worried, too.

Daxter, not so much. (Wet dog!)

Clearly the torrential rains that are now on their THIRD full day here in our nation’s capital have affected our fair little Falls Church home more than I thought.


Rain, rain, go away… seriously, you’ve already ruined my life twice this week… (I think these new lyrics are VERY catchy.)


The worst part of it (other than the, you know, actual flooding part) is that I was so determined to make up for the horrors of the previous day! Everyone told me that today would be better, so I really tried, you know? Despite my previous protestation, I allowed myself to succumb to the lure of a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks…


And I even went and got my nails did!


Hands AND feet. Of course, it ended up being the biggest waste of money ever, considering I spent the next few hours like this:


HA! As if. It was a little more like this:


With a whooooole lotta this:


And plenty of this:


Good times. Also, the fastest ruining of a manicure ever. (#whitegirlproblems)

Guff. It was a long night, to say the least. At least I can say I got my workout in, haha! Too bad the carpet is definitely still wet, and the whole basement is still grody, and, er, we have no idea what we’re doing. Today brings more cleaning, drying, and sanitizing, plus I have to speak with the emergency flood clean-up guys to see if the carpet is even worth salvaging or if we should just gut it. Then we figure out where to go from there. Oh the joys of being a homeowner.

So in the meantime, you’ll find my suddenly not-so-freshly pedicured toes like this:


With me in my footies (don’t judge!), trying to keep it together.

Disgruntled in Jammies.

“Try” being the operative word.


At least with a week this bad, the only way it can go is up?


Have you ever dealt with natural disaster-induced home damage? I know my homegirl Cassie was ravaged by a TORNADO (scary!), and we’ve already shared our local earthquake and hurricane stories… what is happening, DC? Armageddon much!?

If it doesn’t stop raining soon I may never get out of my jim-jams. Consider yourself warned.


  1. Oof! Glad you were able to save Ben’s equipment! Our basement flooded 3 times in 2 years, but not from a natural disaster. Our sewer line backed up (luckily with CLEAN water!) and flooded half of our basement, which is finished, but full of junk at this point. Then the water heater broke and flooded more than half of the basement. And then less than a year later, our sewer line backed up AGAIN! Eight grand later and we have a brand spankin’ new sewer line! Oy. Hope you dry out quickly…and this damned rain stops! I’m starting to grow mold!

    • GUFF. 8 GRAND?! I die.

      Hopefully it won’t come to that… but whether we pay for carpet cleaning or gut the carpets and remove them, it’s going to end up being pricy!

      • If you gut the carpets, the look of concrete is awesome, and you can just buy some big-ole cheap rugs to help keep the noise down from Ben’s musical musings. Also, rugs are easily replaced!

      • Oh, Gretchen, I’m so sorry for all that you and your family have been through. We retired to Florida from Oak Hill, VA (near the Fair Oaks Mall) in 2000. I taught school in Ashburn and my husband worked at the Pentagon. In the 24 years we lived there, I don’t ever remember weather like now. Yikes!

        I’m a WW girl and have lost 46 pounds and am on maintenance. Working on a blog but I’m not a techy so it will be awhile until I’m up and running. May I borrow your brother? Think he would like a trip to Florida? We don’t have flooding here. Only tornados and hurricanes. No worries.

        Keep your chin up and know that I am LOVING LOVING LOVING your blog.


  2. I have never had to deal with anything like that. πŸ™ I’m so sorry for your damage! You’re right…things can only get better!

  3. Alright, I know I should be all “I’m sorry” about this post, but I can’t because I am too incredibly distracted by how ridiculously adorable you are. I want to take you home and put you on my shelf so I can play with you whenever I want.

    • Done, as long as your shelf isn’t flooded. πŸ™‚

  4. I feel really bad for you guys and your soaked basement- especially Ben since he lives down there! yuck. Is it all dirty gross water? Can you rent one of those steam cleaner things from Home Depot and dry it that way? Sorry- not sure i’m very helpful since i’ve never had to deal with something like that. The weekend has to be better right?!

    • The water itself didn’t look that bad, but everything I’ve read still says it’s full of nasty so we have to sanitize and disinfect and whatnot. We’re looking into all our options regarding the carpet. Fun times.

  5. Fans are your friends! Note that whenever a hotel, school, or other large establishment gets their floor wet they put those massive floor fans everywhere. I suggest doing the same with any fan you can get hold of. It should help a bit! A rented steam cleaner would likely be a good idea first though if you think the water down there was dirty… which it probably is because it’s from the outside.

    Anecdotal evidence: I put all my wet running clothes and shoes (wet from rain, not sweat, I swear!) in front of my box fan when I’m done with them for the day and they dry out right quick!

    • Yeah, we’ve had two huge fans (1 industrial) aimed at the carpet all night. It’s a little better but definitely still moist. Things I’ve read say that dehumidifiers are the way to go but we unfortunately don’t have one o’ those… anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

      • I have two! Feel free to borrow πŸ™‚ As long as you’ve got them on high and empty the water buckets every day it should help.

        And can I just say that being a homeowner at 23 rocks? How awesome! I’m still a renter (womp womp).

      • Ooooooh, an industrial fan! Fancy! I bet dehumidifiers would be great, since technically those fans are just blowing the water into the air… Even if you can borrow, maybe it’s time to invest?

        I am also still a renter. And am… older… than Gretchen. Stupid student loans, and also indecisiveness.

        • Gaz, you’re in good company. I’m older too but student loans, raising a kid, helping out family…life’s just easier renting right now.

      • I have one… although Alberta, Canada to DC is a little far! BTW that is one of our favourite movies in our house πŸ˜›

  6. Aw, Gretchen, you poor thing.

    Then again, it’s a gift for the rest of us who get to see you rock the footie PJs. If only EVERYONE was so lucky to see that!

    This one awful time, we had a flood in my basement and found a tiny pet of mine that’d been missing for weeks… only it was dead, and floating. Talk about flood damage…. and maybe long lasting mental damage that is still with me today.

    Here’s hoping your flood knows zero fatalities, and only cozy jim jams!

    • Oh. My. Gosh. I would have freaked out! I am still scarred by the time my friend essentially squashed my hamster when I brought it over to her house to play, and I had to watch it die. I was 7. Perhaps that explains so much…

  7. Aw Gretch! So sry about the basement disaster! : ( If you need an extra hand with anything this weekend, let me know : )

    But, you look absolutely adorable in those pjs! Sushi pjs?!?! I want them. Those or if they have peanut butter ones too! I loved the interview with Ryan and Ellen…….so funny…….

  8. Oh noes! What a crap week, eh? But today is Friday (made a little more annoying by Rebecca Black – ugh – that song gets in my head on Fridays!), and things can only go up. I’m certain. What a disaster… I wish you luck getting it all sorted.
    We rent our house, but still have to deal with an unbelievable amount of home-improvement crap (otherwise it won’t get done)… so I can only imagine.

    I thought I was the only one who still said jim-jams…?!?! Love it. And the jammies. Sushi! I would love to lounge around in them – but definitely couldn’t actually sleep in them. I can’t sleep in much… (tmi? ha).

    How was the PSL? I haven’t caved… yet…
    I say I’m going to wait until it is ACTUALLY autumn on the 23rd. But… we’ll see…


    • Haha! I said the exact same thing about waiting until the 23rd but… you know… life happens. πŸ™‚

      And yeah, I have to admit that though I do sleep in regular jim-jams, I can’t really sleep in the footies. Love to lounge and stay warm in them, though! (And slide all over the house, hahaha.

  9. FOOTIES!!!! I’m so sorry for your lame and crappy situation. Your footies did, however, just make my morning. I have a onesie, but it has no feet. Sending you positive energy for a MUCH better day today!

  10. At least you got a wonderful photo shoot out of the whole thing!

    Seriously though, that sucks. I am sorry you’re dealing with that.

  11. I am so sorry!!! Ugh that sucks so bad! πŸ™ I wish there was something I could do to help!

    Right before I moved here we had a freak flood in Little Rock that killed my car. I ended up having to buy a new (ahem, used) one! These natural disasters must end!

  12. I am super jealous of your footie pajamas!!! I bought a pair a few years ago (and thought they were the right size) — I bent over and the crotch split!

    Sorry to hear about your basement — that stinks! Thankfully that has never happened to us. My parents’ house has flooded a tiny bit, but it only happened in the laundry room so we just had to help the water get down the drain.

    • So it started raining again last night, and I got so. freaking. angry. GRETCHEN SMASH!

      Luckily things had dried out a little by the time I left the house this morning but I mean seriously. COME ON!

  13. I would have no idea how to deal with that!

  14. SO glad you could Save Ben equipment. He does such good work with it.

    And footie PJ’s solve everything.

  15. TOTALLY feel your basement flooding pain…my parent’s basement flooded but theirs flooded roughly 5 feet high or so. However, the basement is not finished but there is still a lot of stuff down there most of which was OFF the ground because the basement floods frequently. It didn’t matter though. The water shoves things off the perches my mom created and swirls it in this bizarrely humorous current that flows round and round. Le sigh…
    p.s. those are 100% the best PJs I have ever seen!

  16. Gretchen, you own your house?!? That is so badass! Way to be a grown up! Hah. In all seriousness though, I’m really sorry about the basement AND the panic attack, it sounds like you had a rough week πŸ™ Make sure to take good care of yourself this weekend and take it easy. A little R&R fixes almost everything! Happy Friday!!

    • Hahaha, well, I “own” my house. It’s 1/3 mine, and 2/3rds my brother’s. But it’s kind of cool to know that my “rent” money is going towards an investment, fo’ sho’! Other than the fact that we have to fix things like floods ourselves, hahaha.

  17. PROOF POSITIVE that I’m not a “Techy”. I put my response in the wrong session. Sorry. :o(

    Oh, Gretchen, I’m so sorry for all that you and your family have been through. We retired to Florida from Oak Hill, VA (near the Fair Oaks Mall) in 2000. I taught school in Ashburn and my husband worked at the Pentagon. In the 24 years we lived there, I don’t ever remember weather like now. Yikes!

    I’m a WW girl and have lost 46 pounds and am on maintenance. Working on a blog but I’m not a techy so it will be awhile until I’m up and running. May I borrow your brother? Think he would like a trip to Florida? We don’t have flooding here. Only tornados and hurricanes. No worries.

    Keep your chin up and know that I am LOVING LOVING LOVING your blog.


    • Hahaha, I can talk to Ben about it… it might be just the excuse I need to FINALLY get to Harry Potter World! πŸ˜‰

      Thanks so much, Cheri! Congrats on your weight loss as well! πŸ˜€

  18. I’m so sorry about the house flooding situation. My boss just had something similar happen but it was during the earthquake – a pipe burst and flooded the heck out of his finished basement. They were on vacation in Europe though, so there wasn’t saving anything. It’s been such a headache for his family. I hope everything dries out for you and you don’t end up with any mold. That stuff is dangerous and hard to get rid of!

  19. I would stay in those pajamas 24/7 rain or shine! Amazing.

    Sorry about the flood – hope your weekend is better than your week! πŸ™‚

  20. Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear that you guys got flooded too. Yikes! Man – mother nature really needs to give East Coasters a break. This is re-donkulous!

    By the way, I love your pajamas! I totally want one. Lol!

  21. Your footed jammies are WAY TOO cute! Do you hand Ben the camera to take photos of you, or do you use a tripod!? All are focused perfectly, and timers don’t usually allow for that! Sorry about the flooding. Just think, bad stuff comes in Threes… you SHOULD be done… I say should, I am not a psychic, and cannot be held responsible if things continue to go awry!

  22. OH NO!!! I hope today ends the week of “bad” and your weekend ahead is a great one. LOVE the footie jammies!!!

  23. My parents’ basement flooded once when I was a teenager. It was so bad and so deep that we had to tear apart the floor to put in a new one, or face rot and mold problems in the future. And this was in the time when my dad, his brothers, and I did renovations ourselves. What an ordeal! So I completely feel your pain. I made those exact faces for at least a week.

    Aside from that, would bed bugs count as a natural disaster for a home? Damage is definitely induced to a degree.

  24. I had a flood last year. It was AWFUL. Fortunately my basement wasn’t finished but it was about a foot and a half of water. It covered almost everything we had stored there. It was a pain to clean up!!

    Good luck to you guys!!!

  25. Haha, I was cracking up at your pictures! I know, not the most appropriate time but you’re too funny πŸ˜› Thursday afternoon through Friday was awful! The school buses didn’t even make it to the schools until 7-10PM, and some never made it- school was cancelled Friday… Thankfully, our basement didn’t flood, sorry to hear about yours :/ P.S. I’m totes like right down the street from you! My fiance used to live in FC but recently moved!

    • Are you really? That’s awesome! We should TOTES hang out soon please! πŸ˜€

      • HA you’re totes making fun of me but I’ll take it ;P Yes, we def should!

  26. I have never experience anything like that before. Sorry to hear about your basement. Btw, your footies is too cute. πŸ™‚

  27. Ugh, I’m sorry. I can completely sympathize… we spent Thursday night doing the exact same thing in one of our rental homes. Luckily no one’s living in it right now, but we had JUST laid new carpet, less than 2 weeks ago. Le sigh. I did buy the last box fan at Walmart. Muah hah hah.

  28. booo that stinks. I just bought my first house a few months ago, no big problems yet. But my parents had to redo there basement TWICE because of backups.


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