This must be the year for plumbing difficulties.
Over the last year or so, we noticed that sometimes in the basement we would see a small puddle of water in the corner by the stairs. Sometimes it was foul-smelling. We figured that the cats were peeing in the corner. It seemed to appear when we didn't let Solomon outside. We figured he was mad at us.
But this winter, JK^2 started to notice that the pipes in that area were wet. And the puddle was getting larger. We flushed the toilet a few times and sure enough, the water was running down onto the floor. This was not cat urine. (So I guess our cats are better behaved than we thought). There's a cracked pipe. And guess where the pipe runs! Well, right through a piece of wall that we just had redone last spring. You know, with the nice blue board and plaster. (For those of you who know our house, it's the piece of wall right next to the stained glass window - the wall that was all opened up for about 5 years due to the frozen pipe incident).
We are having the plumber in this morning to give us an estimate but everyone's pretty sure they're going to have to open the wall back up to replace the pipe. (Oh, and by the way, the plumber just came back and said he couldn't give us an estimate because it's in the wall and he has no idea how much it's going to cost. Great!)
It is so depressing. We finally got the downstairs to look nice, and now we're going to have a big hole there again until we can get it fixed. (As I write this, I'm listening to him drill into our beautiful wall. It makes me cringe). Also, the toilet will have to be turned off during the work, and that will be interesting. Due to the baby sitting on my bladder, I generally have to go every hour or so.
Sometimes we look at people who bought expensive houses or who are expecting to buy an expensive house, and we say, wow, we got a great deal and we have a manageable mortgage - a good thing in uncertain economic times. But as JK^2 commented the other day, we also purchased a $300,000 house. We just only paid half of it with our mortgage. The other half comes sporadically and unexpectedly as things break in our house. Ugh.