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Things that happen in or around the home

A (messy) parenting lesson learned…

Our daughter Kylie has, on three occasions now, gone to bed perfectly happy and fine, only to wake up vomiting in the middle of the night. By the morning, though, she'd be fine again, and acting like nothing much had happened.

I figured it was something in her food that was triggering the events, but the first two times it happened, there was too much overlap in the meals to figure anything out--she basically ate the identical dinner. When the third incident happened this week, however, I was able to note only two overlaps with the prior meals: on all three occasions, she'd eaten some small cherry tomatoes and some banana with her dinner.

After I related this story to my friend Kirk, he wrote back "yea, tomatoes and bananas don't go together. Acid and starch = boom!" Perhaps this is common knowledge, but I hadn't ever heard this before. I've certainly seen it in action often enough now, however, to believe it. So as much as she likes both, Kylie's days of combining the two are now over!

As an aside, sorry it's been so quiet around here lately. We moved a couple weeks back, and between packing, moving, and unpacking (not even close to done yet), I just haven't had much time to write.

Uncommon cents

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This past week, I had the "opportunity" to pay two service contractors--a plumber and a leak detection service--to help with the water leak at our home.

Neither of these services are cheap, but I enjoyed (if that's the right word) paying for one more than the other. Why? Because one of them seemed to recognize the silliness of billing to the penny, while the other did not. The leak detection service charged a whole-dollar amount, $250. Expensive, yes, but it would've taken me days of digging and poking to find the well-hidden leaking valve.

The plumber, on the other hand, billed us $645.50 for the repair of the leaky valve. Again, quite expensive, but there's no way that's a project I would have tackled myself! But really, $0.50 on a $645 bill? That last $0.50 is less than one-tenth of one percent of the total amount charged! Rather than making me feel like the company was accurately billing me for their services, I was left with the opposite feeling: "Geez, it's already $645 and they have to nickel and dime me for another $0.50?!"
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How to run up a huge water bill

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For the last few months, I've suspected that we've had a pretty bad water leak at our home. There was never any sign of water damage, but our water bills were much higher than usual, starting around July. However, it it took the December water bill, which was the first without any lawn watering activity on it, to verify that our usage seemed way out of whack--over 1,500 gallons a day per month, based on the last bill. Yikes! Typical usage for a family such as ours should probably be down in the 300 to 500 gallon range, if not lower.

So last week, I had a number of service folks at the house. First a plumber, who repaired a couple of slightly leaky toilets. However, he told me they wouldn't account for the amount of water we were seeing flowing into the home when there was no water-using device in use. So he suspected there was a problem in the line between the street and the house. But he couldn't find the shut-off valve at the house that every home here must have, and neither could I--I know I've never seen it.
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