The dry sauna and the wind tunnel

I just took my first fall in two-and-a-half weeks, after the jubilation of finally finding my specialist yesterday.

Maybe I didn’t sleep last night. Maybe I did too much at the gym. Maybe I was stressed after reading the report of the insurance adjuster that my home has more than $10,000 in damage from what I call, “the toilet explosion.”

I tripped. I think I might have misjudged the length of my steps when I tried to step over the industrial fan in my bathroom. I went in to wash the drain cleaner down the drain that I had prepped after my shower.

I fell into the cute submarine toiletry holder I let the teenager when she was a little girl. The smashing plastic sent me over the edge of the tub and I hit my head and my left elbow on the ceramic tile wall on the far side of the tub.

I was trying to protect my left ring finger, the one in the cast. I’m less than three weeks away from getting this cast off. I hope for good. Nine weeks with my finger in plaster.

My head hurts. My elbow hurts. But I think I’m okay.

If you look at the photo, I was crossing over the air mover in the foreground and my ass ended up in the box with all the soap and shampoo.

Since temperatures here have been in the 90s, the impact of that equipment in my small bathroom has made it very dry and very hot, probably 110 degrees. The towel rods melted.

I called it my dry sauna. I would sit there and wrap my cast before you bathed and took a cold shower in the hot room. I loved it.

And downstairs— the fans and dehumidifiers are on 24-hours-a-day. You know when you are in a tunnel? The roar of the exhaust fans? That’s my living space.

But today we got the news— the water did $10,000 in damage. It looks like the floor, subfloor and wall in the bathroom need to be ripped out. And we need some plumbing.

There’s a wall downstairs that will need work, and there will be painting. And a new ceiling.

And my hardwood floors will need repair and the entire floor downstairs will need to be refinished.

I think the insurance company is going a little overboard. But we’ll see what ServePro rips out when they start demolition next week.

But maybe… just maybe… we can move some of these fans tomorrow. No more falls.

Two Loves Connected in Ellicott City

The backstory

My memories of Ellicott City, MD, are vague but happy. I somehow missed the severity of the 2016 and 2018 floods, perhaps due to marital issues.

My college roommate hailed from Ellicott City, and after living in Texas and North Carolina, returned to the Baltimore suburbs. A town neighboring Ellicott.

My college roommate, we’ll call her N to respect her privacy, was part of the same college social circle as my husband and I. Long before my husband and I dated, we did things like pile into N’s black Honda Accord, the car on which I learned to drive a manual transmission while blasting Alanis Morrissette’s Jagged Little Pill, to swarm into N’s parents’ split level house and spend the weekend at the Maryland Renaissance Faire.

I can’t even tell you for sure what I did in Ellicott City. I know N always took me proudly down Main Street for a walk. I remember a shop with crazy hats, lively colors and the memory of a velvety texture.

When my daughter was 2, yes the teenager, I drove the three hours alone to meet N and my high school best friend who drove three hours up from Virginia. And we took lots of photos on Main Street in Ellicott City. I recall antique stores on that trip.

And I locked my keys in the trunk of the car at a rest stop two hours away from home at dusk.

I also know of another trip where N took me for coffee and dessert at what I believe was a French restaurant one night. Where I taste pear tart tartine for the first time.

I have very key memories of Ellicott City.

Gordon Ramsay

Now, if you’ve been around this blog for a while, you probably know I have a strong admiration for Gordon Ramsay. I also have some rather strong unladylike feelings for Chef.

I can’t help it— I like tall, athletic men with exotic accents and bad attitudes. And I’m a Taurus so food is really important to me.

So when I saw that Gordon filmed an episode of his latest TV show in Ellicott City a few months ago, I did what any fan girl would do: I squealed and texted all my friends. Okay, maybe not all of them. My almost ex-husband and N. I haven’t reached out to N in months but this was important.

The episode aired May 13 and is available on Hulu now.

N said she hadn’t seen it, but most of Ellicott City is still boarded up. She’s heard that the locals feel like Gordon came across as single-handedly taking credit for rebuilding the town.

(They had catastrophic 1,000 year floods two years apart—2016 and 2018.)

Gordon worked with four local businesses and made some cosmetic improvements. And then Covid hit.

I watched the double episode and didn’t feel like Gordon was being an egotistical maniac. He was kinder and more in the background than he usually is.

The story of the episode really focused on the trauma and the struggles and the personalities of the business owners and the community at large.

If anything, it seemed to honor the spirit of the town and the grit of the businesses.

I hope N gets to watch it.

I’d like to hear her opinion.

In the meantime, we need to amend the constitution so Gordon can run for President. He always seems to have his act together. Maybe Arnold Schwarzenegger can be his running mate.