Stephanie and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day(s)

After spending a very pleasant week in Mason City, Iowa at the USDF Region 4 Championships, I came home on Monday night and was greeted by a desperate, frustrated Johnny, two guys from a water damage restoration company, and three city utility employees.

A root ball had blocked the city’s sewer pipe, so sewer water was flowing out of our toilets and bathtub; it had been happening nearly all day before our sewer cleanout line could be located. Once it was located and the cap released, water drained into our yard instead of into our house (a vast improvement).

Our partially remodeled bathroom’s tile and brand new cabinets are expected to be fine, but about half of the other things in the house are a loss: the master bedroom carpet, one of the spare bedroom carpets, the hallway bathroom, the hallway hardwood flooring, some of our furniture. The walls will have to be opened and our insulation replaced and the studs dried out with dehumidifiers and fans. We went through something similar a couple of years ago when a pipe burst, but the sewage component makes this a bit more of a mess. Our homeowner’s insurance won’t cover the event, as the problem occurred with a city structure, so we’ll have to negotiate with the city for reparations for the damage. For now, Johnny and I are living large at the local La Quinta, the dogs are having the time of their lives at the barn, and the cats are living at home outside (they can’t stand the noise of the fans).

You might say, “But Stephanie, don’t you have a nice, new house to move into?” Well, sort of. We’ve been attempting to close on it for three weeks, but a problem with the deed has prevented us from doing so. The people we’re purchasing it from sold a chunk of pasture to my barn owner a few years ago, but the county never actually redrew the boundaries for either property or, apparently, recorded the transaction. Even now, we’re not sure if we’ll be able to close on Friday or if we’ll have to wait until Monday.

And I’d just paid off my vet bill… :'(

Despite staying up far too late on Monday night, I dragged myself out of bed to take Gina to her vet appointment yesterday morning. Gina was full of piss and vinegar in the cool morning weather; she galloped around the pasture, bucking and squealing at me and nipping at Moe. She was scheduled to her 3-month ultrasound and a pneumabort vaccination. The vet inserted the ultrasound wand and looked. And looked. And looked. And finally told me what I’d already realized- “Looks like she’s re-absorbed the pregnancy.” She said it was fairly uncommon for embryonic death to occur post-heartbeat check, and assured me that we’d done everything by the book and that if I re-bred Gina in the spring, it probably wouldn’t happen again. (Most early embryonic death occurs between implantation at ~16 days and heartbeat establishment at ~45 days, and mares who chronically have trouble staying pregnant lose the embryo in that window.)

My breeding contract guarantees a live foal, and is good for 3 years, so re-breeding next year is definitely an option. My vet advised doing a uterine culture in the spring just to be sure Gina is clean, leaving the Caslick in, and proceeding as usual. It should be a moderately less expensive endeavor next year, as I won’t have two uterine cultures and treatments to pay for.

It isn’t all bad, though! Now that Gina’s not pregnant, there’s no hurry to get Candy ready for hunting by January. I can enjoy a full season of hunting on my best mare, and I can continue to work on improving my First Level scores through the winter and next year. Gina’s lesson kids can have just about a full show season on her next year. My budget is a bit more flexible now that I won’t have another mouth to feed in the spring. And let’s face it- that foal was probably going to be a gray gelding anyway!

Author: Stephanie

Equestrian, amateur cook, people person.

30 thoughts on “Stephanie and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day(s)”

  1. That is rough about your house. Home ownership can be not fun. Sorry about the foal as well. You have a good attitude and plan though, and maybe this means you will get super foal in a couple of years and be blissfully maintenance free for a while on your new place? Hope you close soon!

    1. Home ownership has been decidedly on the “not fun” side way more often than it’s been on the “fun” side! Six years of home ownership and I think I’d still rather live in an apartment most days. Or a tent. I am definitely hoping for fewer problems in the new place!

  2. Oh my 🙁 I had an apartment flood from the washer in the unit above me and wanted to kill someone. I can’t even fathom a sewage backup! I guess on the plus side you can market the house as remodeled!

  3. Home ownership seems like SUCH a good idea… until you are living the dream. That’s just … well… ok I can’t help myself… shitty. *snicker*

    1. The only advantage I see is that I can fill my house with as many animals as I want; I only had 2 cats in my apartment! (Questionable on whether this is a good or bad thing, haha!)

  4. OMG how horrible. We had sewer backup just like that at a hospital I worked at, and that was bad enough, can’t imagine my house. Hope you close on your new place fast!

    1. Thanks! I hope they’re easy to deal with too…I have written them so many strongly worded letters about other issues that I’m sure I’m on some kind of crazy resident list.

    1. I’m basically an optimist, so I have a hard time staying gloomy for long. 🙂 I’m more annoyed than anything else! (Especially at Gina, who OF COURSE reabsorbed the dumb embryo!)

  5. Ugh, I’m so sorry. That is indeed a no good, very bad, several days. I’m glad you’re able to keep such a positive outlook about things. Hopefully next year will be Gina’s year to be a mom. They say these things happen for a reason, so I’m gonna assume that must be true.
    My fingers are crossed things work out quickly with the new place and you can get settled. What a mess!

  6. Shit on shit on shit. 🙁 I’m bummed for you about Gina, but you have a truly remarkable attitude about it. I am drinking a beer for you. And the sewage problem is just… ick. I really, REALLY hope the city ponies up for that (PUN INTENDED, CITY!)

  7. Aw I’m sorry that really sucks on all counts. What a bummer about the reabsorbed pregnancy too. Hopefully next year will be easier and more straight forward!

  8. damn. that is a bout of bad luck. I love that you find the positives in it though, with being abel to ride her this winter. the house thing though….that is why I do NOT want to own a home for a while yet. Whats the point of homeowners insurance if it doesn’t cover stuff like that?!

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