Gashes, Mold, Raw Sewage, and Apparent Brain/Mouth Disconnect…An Update on the Status of Shelley


brain-mouth disconnect

These two things, apparently, aren’t connected in Shelley’s head.

Soooo…a few of you want an update on moi, huh?

Are you sure? Are you really, really, really sure?

Cause things haven’t been pretty.

Let me start with Sadie.

About a month ago, I came home from work and walked in the carport door as usual. My sweet little angel puppy…who usually runs to greet me every afternoon and jumps up and wags her tail…came hobbling in on three legs with blood covering a wounded front left leg.

“Sadie, what have you done!?” My mind started racing, thinking my nervous ninny dog (who has recently taken to the habit of gnawing at her herself) had gnawed her leg into ground beef. I knelt down to look at her leg but she wouldn’t let me near the wound. So, I headed to the bedroom to find where the injury took place.

I entered my room and saw blood on the floor and on the top quilt (which I leave on the bed just for her…to keep my nice bedding clean). I walked around the bed and there was a huge blood stain. Sadie, meanwhile, was limping around behind me…despite me trying to get her to lay down and stay still.

I walked back to the dining room and, on the way there, saw the culprit…a broken pane of glass on my front door. Blood was spattered up the back of the door and the glass had fur stuck to it.

Sadie has a habit of jumping at the door whenever she hears a noise outside…apparently on this day…she jumped too hard. I went outside to the front porch to find that she had shot glass all the way across the carport.

It was a mess…but all I wanted to do was get a good look at my poor puppy’s leg. I went back to the bedroom and Sadie jumped on the bed to lay down. I got my camera and layed down beside her…thinking I could take pictures from far away and zoom in on the injury. It was pretty gross…she had torn away the skin and exposed the tendon in her leg. (The picture below is pretty graphic…so steady yourselves to look.)

sadie’s leg

Well…to make a long story short….I saw that the injury was clean and wasn’t bleeding anymore. I called my vet at home and he advised that I wait until the morning to bring her in…which I did. He gave her 12 stitches on the big gash and five more on the little one. Plus, I had to give her antibiotics for about a week.

But I don’t want anyone to worry…our sweet Sadie has healed nicely. You can’t even see the scars…I wish I could say the same for the front door, which is still taped up with a manilla envelope covering the break.

I will be getting the door fixed this week though. I called Lonnie, my repairman. Lonnie and I have gotten pretty close in the last two months…as he’s had to come to my house a couple of times for another little problem…mold.

Just after I put my house on the market I found a wicked mold problem in my kitchen cabinets. It covered four cabinets and affected the casing above the cabinets. It all stemmed from a combination of one VERY hot Mississippi summer, a leaking air-conditioner, and me keeping the temperature of my house in the 60s when I went to bed every night.

It looked a little like this…



Yummy, huh?

Lonnie and his roof guy came over twice and tried to fix the problem…but to no avail. It was hard to determine what exactly was causing the moisture build up.

Ends up, I had my dad come up for a weekend and do some repairs around the house. He worked his magic…and told me to quit trying to chill meat in my house at night.

After having to throw away a blender, a George Foreman grill, a rotisserie, and about $50 worth of food…I got the mold cleaned up. Insurance actually covered the cost of repairs, which was good because, since my dad did a lot of the work, I was able to use the insurance money on fixing other things around the house (like the leaky toilet in my guest bath and lighting) to make things nicer in my effort to sell this albatross.

About the selling of my house…it’s going very… very….. very…… very……… slowly.

In the almost four months I’ve had it on the market, I’ve only had three people come look at it. The housing market in Jackson is flooded right now. Almost every street in almost neighborhood, it seems, has at least one house for sale.

I know God is teaching me patience…and I’m trying my best to learn.

But I have to admit…patience and perseverance have been really tough to muster this week especially since I spent all day yesterday…cleaning up raw sewage…inside my home.

Sunday night I walked into my master bath to get ready for bed and saw…um, how can I say this delicately…piles of watery doo-doo…all over the floor.

My first thought was Sadie had gotten sick…but then I realized what had happened…my toilet had backed-up and overflowed. I squished through the bathroom to look in the tub…let’s just say it was quite a sight to behold.

I left that bathroom and walked to the front bathroom…there was sewage in the tub and toilet in there, too…though thankfully not on the floor (thanks to Dad fixing the wax seal in that toilet on his visit).

I had a lot of cleaning to do…but I couldn’t even flush the toilets or use the tubs because if I did…more sewage would enter the house. All I could do for the night was ring out my bath mats…wash my hands…leave my shoes by the bathroom door…put in an e-request to Roto-Rooter for an 8 a.m. service call…and go to bed.

It was a long night and I dreamed that roaches filled my house and were feeding on anything covered in feces…which meant, in the the dream, that there was a roach on every inch of my home.

I woke the next morning exhausted and with a tension headache…I could barely pivot my head on my neck…but I got up and took a deep breath…I knew it would be a long day.

The first things I did was to call Roto-Rooter to see when they would be able to come and then I called my credit union to get money to pay for the plumbing and clean up.

Roto-Rooter came about 9:30 a.m. and pumped out the line so that I could flush toilets, clean, and do laundry. They also told me that I couldn’t wait any longer and that I would have to get the main line from my house to the city sewer lines replaced…which would cost $3,300 plus tax (this is for a “trenchless” line repair…so the yard won’t be torn up…something I feel I need to do because I’m trying to sell the house and don’t want to ruin it’s curb appeal).

Since I hadn’t heard from the credit union, I had to use the last of the insurance money from the mold (which I was saving to pay for fixing the broken front door) to pay the plumber.

I didn’t want to start cleaning because I knew I would have to go the credit union when they called with the money…and I needed to buy cleaning supplies…including a steamer for the carpet (as it had gotten sewage water in it).

I waited patiently…practicing a crocheted hat pattern I’m going to use to make presents for my nieces this Christmas (here’s the one I finished earlier in the weekend…pre-poop).




Finally the credit union called and said I had a check for $400 waiting for me. I drove there (not having showered since Saturday), got the check, deposited it ($200 I’ll use to fix my front door), went to Wal-Mart to buy cleaning supplies and a carpet cleaner, then came home, ate a little lunch (before digging into the nasty work), and began cleaning around 1:30 p.m.

I cleaned for three hours straight…just one bathroom.

Wearing a mask so I could stomach the smell, I had to get on my knees with a scrub brush and SCRUB the floor twice…then mop it. I had to SCRUB the tub and toilet…then wipe everything down with Lysol.

It was stinky and nasty and I swear I will leave my house and never come back before I EVER do that again.

But it’s done…and I got more money from the credit union today to cover the cost of the replacing the main line. Roto-Rooter is scheduled for Thursday to make the repairs.

And…after all that…despite being able to take care of my dog…have my house crumble around me and me not crumble with it…having to get on my hands and knees to scrub poop off my floors…you’d think I could say without reservation that I’m a confident woman who can overcome any obstacle…right?


Ultimately, I’m still a dork who has a problem censoring her big mouth.

I went to work today without make-up, as I was wiped out from yesterday’s activities. I had to go to the credit union at lunch to get the final check for the sewage line replacement. The credit union is located in an agency I used to work at…an agency where the last guy I had a crush on works (I mean a real guy…not Taylor Hicks).

Anyway, I thought I’d rush in and out without being seen…but, of course, despite being in a building of 300 people…who should be-bop into the lobby while I’m on my way to the credit union…THE guy…Ray (think…John Belushi in “Animal House”…adorable teddy bear of a guy).

He comes up and gives me a hug and starts to chit chat.

And I, Shelley Powers…the woman who can face a mountain of crapola head on with a bucket in one hand and a scrub brush in the other…the woman who didn’t throw up when her dog’s leg resembled the butcher’s counter at the Kroger…the woman who has faced flooded bathrooms and flooded housing markets…I became a simpering little girl…and all it took was a smile from a cute boy.

And without taking time to check my mouth for the same problem as my plumbing…I spouted out one of those things women think…but know better than to say aloud.

“Ray, if I’d known I would be seeing you, I would have put on some lipstick.”

What a moron.

Luckily…I pick good guys to crush on…because Ray…without missing a beat (and being the lovable bear that he is) smiled and said, “And, Shelley, if I had known I would be seeing you…I would have put on lipstick.”

And then I laughed…which felt good…because it’s been a long three months.



28 Responses to “Gashes, Mold, Raw Sewage, and Apparent Brain/Mouth Disconnect…An Update on the Status of Shelley”

  1. jenfera Says:

    Geez, Shelley, that’s a lot of… crap you had to go through. That stinks!

    But I think what you said to Ray was cute, and I bet he did too.

    It was nice “hear your voice” again! Take care, and best of luck with the house.

  2. Shelley Says:

    Thanks, jenfera. 🙂

    It’s good seeing you, too.

  3. ivoryhut Says:

    Aww …. Shelley, if I were anywhere near you, I would have helped you in an instant. Well, maybe not in an instant. I would have smelled it first, gagged, then helped you.

    But since I’m all the way here in the east coast, can I give you a big old hug instead?

    Glad to hear Sadie’s fine. I have to say, my knees went week seeing her injuries. Thank goodness for fur to cover up scars! Who needs Mederma? In the meantime, please do not walk outside barefoot. I had horrible visions of you stepping on shattered glass.

    Gosh, I’ve missed your writing.

  4. shrewspeaks Says:

    Awe Sweetie…that is some three months.

  5. ruhappytoseeme Says:

    wow talk about the poop hitting the fan (LOL) aww the poor doggy, glad that turned out ok, and everything else is worked out, now I will keep you in my thoughts to sell that house fast 🙂 hugs have missed everyone here.
    Im going to see Taylor friday, please if anyone has the powers please make it not rain! (calling for rain and 40s at night, its at night sighs)
    have a good week all

  6. kittywompuss Says:

    Dang, Shelley…..May I just say I am soooooooooo glad you did not call me? ~LOL~
    I’m so glad Sadie is all bettah!

  7. Squeebee Says:

    Aw Shel….so sorry to hear about all the crappy stuff going on in your corner of the world. But you are handling it all with your characteristic humor and grace….kudos to you, girl!

  8. double d Says:

    Well, you HAVE been busy, dear girl. Remember though, there is always someone worse off. Knowing your tenacity, I’m sure you will rebound nicely.

  9. suzi-q Says:

    Glad your fantastic Mac was above the din, the durn, the dump, the stuff on the floor of your house. Funny true story, girl in class writes a power point about the element silver, one question to answer was who first discovered it and put it on the periodic table……. her answer on the slide had written on it ………………….. Lone Ranger and his horse! I asked the reference as the girl didn’t believe it either and she said Wikipedia…… unbelievable but true!!!! Imagine what this girl would have done if she had tried to face the problems you faced Shell and looked up solutions on Wikipedia! Am proud of you, kiddo!

  10. Shelley Says:

    GREAT NEWS!!!!
    I just got a call from Roto-Rooter and the problem isn’t as bad as expected…only $1800 instead of $3,300!!!!!!!!!

  11. jenfera Says:

    That is great news!! Hooray for Shelley!

    Hey, I was thinking of the old Monkbot crowd today when I realized that The Office season premiere is on tonight! I’ll be putting on my long sleeve tee and snacking on some watermelon.

  12. deejay Says:

    bless your heart. and I mean that the nice way, not the snarky way.

  13. Claire Says:

    Aww, Shells….what an eventful time!! Poorly pup, poo-ey pipes, patience, perseverance, and – er – mold, I salute thee!!

  14. KimLoree Says:

    You can now advertise your house as 100% blood, mold, and poop free.
    Or not….

  15. shrewspeaks Says:

    I never thought I would ever say this…Yeah for Roto-Rooter!

  16. Holeigh Says:

    Shell! It’s so great to hear from you (and everyone else!), despite all the issues you’ve had to deal with lately. I’m glad things seem to be working out, with Sadie and the plumbing, and I have to agree: what you said to Ray was cute! He seems rather flirty, why hasn’t this relationship gone somewhere? He seems to realize how awesome you are, what with his hugs and all. 🙂

  17. Dr. Bob Says:


    I am so glad that Sadie is doing well. She is a trouper.

    I remember with great vivid unpleasantness when our septic tank backed up into the house. You are a braver woman than I. I fled, retching. I think that was the nail in the coffin of that house, to be honest. We moved soon after. I could not shake my fear of the septic tank after that.

    You have all of my admiration! I see that fixing your oven is not even the beginning of your handiness.

    I think that your response to Ray actually struck the right tone — slightly flirtatious, rueful … A guy (especially if he is decent) has to have some evidence that you are interested, before they make a move. Do you want a move made? He seems cute and funny with a nice quirky mind.

    Sooooo happy to see you and all of the monkbots!!

  18. rowan Says:

    Hellooo Shelley! All that to deal with, and you stilll manage to produce that totally amazing headwear. Am admiring it desperately. Lime may not be my colour, but it is just so cute. It makes a statement, and is just so girly and winsome and well…I am coveting it madly across the miles.

    You suit the dinky wee chapeau very well. I wish I had a hat face. When I was at school, my friend and I would get the train south to Inverness (we were pretty remote) and go try on posh hats in Marks and Spencer’s. She looked like a model, and I looked designed to skeer off winged marauders from cornfields. I guess hat-wearing is an art, and I am ‘artless, as well as ‘atless. Sigh. The cold weather is encroaching, as well. As we say in my city, with a significant gloomy shake of the head, “The nights are fair drahwin’ in.” So…I need a hat. They are so much groovier than just putting yer hood up. Saying that, I saw a hair gel tv ad for the young and trendy, which made me chuckle. Designed to create a spiky look, it was advertised as “hoodie resistant”. Hee hee.

    Shelley, you have had so many difficult things to cope with, poor lassie. Am joining thr throng of Monkbots wishing you well, praying for you and raising their clenched fists aloft with glee to see ye back. Hang in there!

  19. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Hello to my sweet, insightful, supportive, strong and amazing friend.

    I’m so sorry for the troubles you’ve been through. It would be a nice thing, I’m sure, for me to say something along the lines of: “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger”. But I’m really not sure that’s true. I think sometimes hard things tear out tiny pieces of our psyche and soul to leave us a little weaker, a little more afraid of this world. So, no, I can’t leave you with a trite little saying and hope it makes a difference to you…

    Instead I will tell you this: I love you. Your family loves you. Sadie loves you. Most importantly, you are a highly cherished child of the Creator. He loves you more than we, as feeble humans, will ever comprehend. His purposes are perfect, and whether we will know in this life what purpose He had for you in these last few months…there will come a day when it’s all clear…and all good.

    I will pray for the paths He has set forth for you, to straighten and become less bumpy. I will pray for your strength and perseverance. I will pray that God blesses you in an awesome way, with a buyer for your house, and the perfect new home.

    And, I will thank Him for the wonderful friend you have been to me. In that instance, we can see that God’s plan for us to meet was perfect, perfect, perfect.

  20. Shelley Says:

    Bama…that is one of the most wonderful things I’ve ever read on the Internet.

    Thank you.

  21. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Awww…well, leave it to me to write one of the most wonderful things ever…


    No, seriously, I know you put a funny/positive spin on everything you write, which is a wonderful thing…but I didn’t want to respond lightly to your situation. You have been through H-E-Double Hockey Sticks!

    Luv U!

  22. rowan Says:

    Bama, that is indeed a thought-provoking post. God-given friends are a blessing and comfort indeed.

    All Monkbot sisters undergoing trying times are in my thoughts and prayers.

    I still want one of those cool crocheted hats…and Ray sounds fab and funny and on your wavelength.

    Hopin’ that things look up for you soon, Shellz.

  23. bamaborntxbred Says:

    I want one of those cool hats too! You are a multi-talented lady for sure.

    Rowan- I heart you.

  24. Jan Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear how rough the last few months have been for you. Sometimes life is great and sometimes you live through these times to help you know what great is.

    Seeing that gash on Sadie’s leg makes me sick inside. I’m so happy that she is all better. I actually thought she had lost a leg for a second there.

    To look on the bright side, at least you were able to recover from the mold. I know someone who couldn’t recover from the mold and ended up losing her house.

    The poo situation is a nightmare that I never want to face.

    I will pray for you to sell your house and for your life to change in a positive way. That hat is a start. Really cute.

    I miss you and all of the people here.

  25. justwatchin Says:

    Wow…what a surprise to find life here….Shelley…holy crap?

    I am in awe…I would’ve bundled the dog and been off to the vet before even having the presence of mind to figure out what happened, examine the injury, and …take pictures of it. Glad the pup is okay (German Shep?)

    I’m so glad all that’s behind you…you are amazing the way you tackle the obstacles….have I mentioned I love the way you write?

    I think your lipstick response was about as honest a one as possible, light on words, but right to the point.

    best to ya…always a pleasure to stop by here.

  26. Karen Says:

    Shelley, you are an amazing human being. You describe something that would be one, no three of my worst nightmares — and even that you make funny. I laughed and cried with you. Nice crochet job, and beautiful picture.

  27. Quossum Says:

    Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to chew through the restraints, does it?


  28. A Monk-bot visit and a Monk-bot appearance… « Katie’s Beer Says:

    […] hiatus and is sorely missed by many. She checks in today with an account of her past few weeks in Gashes, Mold, Raw Sewage, and Apparent Brain/Mouth Disconnect…An Update on the Status of Shelley. Shelley is a talented writer, both of stories and songs, as well as a gifted singer. She’s […]

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