Mercy gracious, what a weekend that was!

It started out simple enough -- visited the folks at my grandmother's house. My brother and his girlfriend had just left for the weekend to enjoy the hospitality of my sister's house in the mountains, so my grandmother was watching my niece -- in other words, my brother's adorable rat terrier, whom I love with all my heart.

My folks went home on Saturday morning, and I had a few chores to run -- getting the car's oil changed, buying some new clothes, etc. My grandmother is almost 95 years old, and she does very, very well for her age. But we get a bit nervous about leaving Hyla around her too much. She's a small dog, but she's active and excitable. If grandma needs to take her to the backyard in the night, what if Hyla gets in front of her at the wrong time and trips her? So I'd already decided to sleep on one of grandma's spare beds over the weekend to take care of Hyla's pressing pee-and-poop needs.

After getting to grandma's house after 10 o'clock (I had to stay home to watch the last ever "Justice League Unlimited" cartoon at 9:30), I got settled in at the guest bedroom and let Hyla sleep on the bed next to me. Sure enough, she was good as gold and didn't give me a bit of trouble all night.

I ate breakfast with grandma in the morning, then went out to run some more errands. My brother's girlfriend has a cat who I needed to check on. Harley had plenty of water and plenty of food, but I topped both off, just to make sure. I sat around a few minutes petting him and when he got bored with me, I took my leave to go do my laundry.

I spent a few hours playing "City of Heroes" and finally quit to go make myself a sandwich before I made my final preparations to go back to my grandmother's house. I'd need to pack up my suit and tie, among other things. But before I made a sandwich, I decided I had time to get some dishes washed. The sink faucet has always been a bit stiff, but I needed to get water into the basin on the other side of the sink, so I start to give it a good hard pull over...

...and the entire hydrant comes off in my hand.

And a jet of boiling hot water starts blasting into the ceiling and spraying water everywhere.

There ain't nothing like getting a faceful of hot water that won't shut off to throw you into panic mode. I run, grab the phone book, call the apartment complex, and holler for help. Then I grab a mop and start bailing water out the front door just as fast as I can.

By the time the maintenance guy gets the water shut off ten minutes later, the water has bored a hole through the ceiling, and the carpet in the living room is starting to get soaked. We grab a wet-dry vac and start cleaning up the water, and it takes several hours. One of the maintenance guys starts working on drying out the carpet while the other installs a new sink hydrant.

By the time they're done, the floor is mostly dried up, the carpet is damp but drying, my cell phone is ruined (I charge it in the kitchen because it's a handy spot -- it's nowhere near the sink, but water was pouring everywhere), the microwave is shot (but it belongs to the apartment, so it's not my problem), and there's standing water in the bottom of the oven. They set up a loud air-blower to help dry out the carpet. I send an e-mail to my boss telling what happened and warning that I won't be able to come in on Monday. Then I go to bed.

I got up this morning, went to check on how the carpet was doing, and discovered that most of the ceiling in the kitchen had collapsed overnight. Thanks to the noise from the air blower, I slept right through it.

After heading off to check with the apartment manager about my list of possible other damages to the apartment, I took the cell phone to the dealer to get a new one. Turned out that was not necessary. The salesman turned on my phone, and it worked perfectly. He said this happens sometimes, but I should expect phone performance to start to decline over the next few months. He said 'til then, there's no need for me to get a new phone. So as far as I can tell, none of my personal possessions sustained any serious damage at all. Not too bad for a few hours of raging chaos and panic...

My grandmother managed with Hyla just fine -- as I suspected, she was good as gold with grandma and slept straight through the night.

Nothing like a busy weekend to make you wish you had another weekend to recover...

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