juan valdez & my house conspire to keep me caffeinated.

I stopped drinking coffee the day after my 40th birthday.
Woohoo! Look at me -- caffeine-free! Finally. After 3 years. Here I am. Back. On. The. Wagon.

Ditching the luscious black gold is the first step in my half-assed, full-on-cockamamie plan to recapture my hot and sexy 2006 self. When I was a healthy 118lbs. When I was energetic, happy and never sick (like I am right at this moment, crap). When I felt satisfied after only a 3/4 full bowl of food, NOT 2 full bowls. When I felt like I had more control over the crap in my life -- DAMN YOU, KIPPLE!!!
And when my reaction to stress was a hula workout or a cup of soothing hot green tea, NOT a big slice of cake with a large double-cream coffee chaser.

Like on November 3, when Mini and I found ourselves with a basement full of smoke, and my nerves all a-buzz from the fear that my billion-year-old furnace would go tits-up and blow-up, taking us, our belongings, and mementos with it. (Yes, I live in Die Hard world.)
The event was traumatic enough for me to almost not notice the super-cute firefighters... almost. I KNOW!!!

Thankfully, it was just an ancient car-battery charger (not the furnace) that shorted, singed my basement floor, and created a helluva lot of smoke -- but no flames. That was all.
Still, it was definitely a three Vietnamese Coffees (Starbucks VIA Italian Roast with condensed milk) type of day.

But that was pre-birthday.

Since I actually quit, I had been doing really well. No cravings. Only two days of real soul-crushing headaches. No desperate need to sell my kids organs husband's crap house for coffee money. No sneaking off for secret rendezvous with my secret lover Tim Horton. I felt good -- I was 4-days caffeine-free -- I was totally rockin' it. Yay me!!!

Then, like clockwork, the shit decided to hit the ever-lovin' fan.

I was hanging at my dear Glonor's bridal shower, eating insanely tasty Filipino food, schmoozing with my mother's old church friends, blissfully unaware that, back home, my husband's minor chore of unclogging the slow-draining bathtub had escalated to a torrent of water through the bathroom floor down into the powder room one floor below!

See the cracks in the ceiling?! (Click to enlarge, if you want.) Yeah, water. Through that.

Mayhem had apparently ensued. On the main floor , Mini -- who was the first to spot the downpour -- was screaming up the stairs "Daddy! Daddy! It's leaking! Leaking!" Lam was chasing after his little sister, because he thought she said that she was leaking, and tried to keep her away from the carpets.

And Roomie was frantically trying to call my cell phone, which I never heard because Glo had 100+ people at her shower. Glo also has loud friends.

In a desperate bid to find out where the leak was starting from, and unable to get any input from me, Roomie literally took matters into his own hands by grabbing our trusty hammer and smashing holes into the wall on the other side of the tub.

Good news: Roomie found the source of the leak.
Bad news: Our stairwell looks like that picture right there.
OMG: A Moisture/Mould Inspector said we had to hire someone to completely gut the whole bathroom and ceiling of the powder room below to take care of any mould problem.

Pre-birthday Nenette would've said, "Screw this! I'm going to Starbucks!", also hit Tim Horton's, and spent the rest of the night downing choccolaccinos at Baked Expectations.

Instead, post-birthday Nenette made herself a cup of green tea, hugged her family, and daydreamed about the super-awesome bathroom she's going to have after all the dust settled.

So, nice try, Senor Valdez. You can keep your 100% Columbian coffee. My green tea and I -- oh, and my soon-to-be heated bathroom floors -- are stronger than whatever unholy bargain you made with my house.


  1. Yet again, another great post!! I love your blog so much! It makes me smile every time (even when your talking about your leaky bathroom :))

  2. A hammer? Your highly educated cerebral college-prof husband had a problem with leaking pipes behind a wall and the best tool he could think of for the job was... a hammer?

    I guess it could have been worse. I have an old file of quotes from the electrical engineering department, and this one is attributed to your husband:

    Whatever is not nailed down is mine. What I can pry loose is not nailed down.

    I know it doesn't matter too much that he used a hammer, the appropriate tool can be used to cut out pieces that can be replaced, but still... a hammer? He didn't have the meat tenderizer or the blow torch handy? :-)

    So what was the cause of the leak?
    In my experience, drains don't break down as much as the supply pipes do --- had it been weakened by too much corrosive gunk? Or had some soldering actually come undone?

    Good luck with the redoing of the bathroom and the bathroom ceiling. Now's your opportunity to install those fixtures you always wanted!

    P.S. you made me laugh so hard my cola spurted out my eyes with your "tasty Filipino food" comment. As you well know, I've been asking people for tasty Filipino recipes for years with no luck. Either they don't exist or they are to be kept secret from the white guys. Which would also explain why there are Chinese restaurants, Thai restaurants, Indonesian restaurants, Malaysian restaurants, I've even eaten at a Tibetan restaurant, but no Filipino restaurants. Here's what google returns for "Filipino restaurant winnipeg":
    Your search for a restaurant serving Filipino cuisine yielded no results. Please broaden your search criteria

  3. but the kids didn't do this? the kids didn't just happen to turn on the water full blast and flood your house?...just saying...

  4. great post Ateh N!

    you have all the fun!

  5. What about caffeinated water or caffeine gum? Are those verboten, too?

  6. Heated floors? Awesome, I wanna come over!
    Well done with the green tea- you're a rock. :)

  7. Well - congrats for staying off the caffeine.
    If I've had that kind of week, I'd be hitting the sauce :)
    Like a whole bottle of wine or something like that... heh

  8. Good luck with the health kick - but Winter is usually the hardest time to do this sort of thing, isn't it? Cold outside, snow/rain/ice falling...

    But good luck!

  9. Good lord - I think *I* need a coffee after reading that. I'd be horrified . . .

  10. We had something *kind of* similar which resulted in a hole in our stairway wall. There was a big puddle of water on the bathroom floor after showers, so we assumed pipes. Turned out (after said hole revealed *nothing*) the problem was a cracked & crappy tub/shower liner. Duct tape (temporarily) fixed it, but I have spent every day since then saying to myself "there's *probably* not mould behind there".

    I will look on the bright side and sit here being envious of your new bathroom :-)