THE SECOND STORY | April 14th, 2011

The ultimate home pee-wee golf hole.

Blog photo: Blooming beauties!

Blog post: The photo on the right is what a golf ball looks like after working its way down a long hole.  A 100 foot drain hole.

This will forever be a reminder to me to have  the drains cleared every year!  Oh that’s right, I already have that done every year!

So what happened?  The plumber and I aren’t sure.  All I know is nearly a month ago an exterior backyard drain that is supposed to run out near the front sidewalk, started backing up into the nearest low spot.  And that turned out to be the drain in a light well (a carved out portion of the foundation that allows an egress window to open up from a bedroom).  Then the base of the light well proceeded to fill up and the water found it’s way under the window seal and into the room.

All this happened about 10pm while I was trying to figure out why, in the midst of so many storms, the curb in front of out house was dry.  It’s never dry.  Never.  That’s because we pump fresh water (we sit on an aquifer) out to the street, along with exterior run off water caught by the french drain system.  And that pumping takes place even in the summer.  Here it was early spring, the heavens were crying big tears, and there was no water at the front curb? Ut-oh.

After I shoved some furniture away from the window while simultaneously mopping up the water with about 15 beach and bath towels, I called the plumber and the carpet rescuer.  Adolfo from Clean it Carpet Cleaning (my fave), told me to keep dry towels on the carpet and get some fans shoving air over the area.  He’d be there at 9:30am.

The plumber, Ethan’s Service Plumbing , (he knows the systems in and around this house very well and he’s another fave),  picked up my email at 3:15am because he couldn’t sleep.  He said he’d be over at 8am.

It turns out that not only did two of the three pumps in the sump fail (they were quite crusty) but a drain was clogged.  After about 2 hours of wrestling with 100 feet of snaking line, attacking drains from the front and back yards with no luck, as we stood out front Ethan removed a vertical plastic drain cap on the low retaining wall where the subject drain is supposed to flow.  And guess what was there….the golf ball.

Appearances indicate that it had been in the drain for a while….like years?  With all the water we were shoving down the back yard drain, and the snaking of the drain from the front, it finally worked its way free. Now why/how did the ball get into the drain?  We have a small putting green and somewhere along the way that drain grate, several feet from the green, must have been disturbed and the ball began its journey.

The only thing missing was having the one who hit it, or ooched it, or kicked it, or whatever, buy the traditional round of (soft) drinks (alcohol-free house), for Ethan, Adolfo, and me.  What’s best is overall: pumps replaced, working perfectly, and carpet and furniture salvaged and dried.  And I went away for a few days grateful that it was discovered and resolved before I left.  And I know the house sitters felt the same way! 

I put a new listing on the market 265 Centre Court.  It will be open this Sunday 2-4pm.  Please check out the website…it is a really lovely townhome-style condo that I sold to the owner a long, long time ago.

My listing at 305 Court St  got a price drop to 549K, down from the original 600K.  Motivated seller!  Duet style! 4 bedrooms 2.5 baths!  No HOA fees!  Super east end location!

Open Homes  this weekend

Unsold inventory this week  194, 182 last report
Pending sales this week  95, 92 last report

Broker Tour  19 with 5 repeats

Highest and lowest priced NEW listings this week

New  19

BOM (back on market) 1

Repositioned properties (price changes) 13

Pending 14

Sold  5

Expired  3

Withdrawn/canceled  5

ALAMEDA REAL ESTATE AWARDS THIS WEEK…this is only my perspective!
Winner Even if it weren’t my listing, I’d give it the award!

Get me a facelift

Got me a makeover! Tie Both are Woodstock co-op units and these often need freshening up! 

Creative re-use! (never been awarded before!) This is a duplex, side by side units, divided by two single car garages.  About 18 months ago the current owner bought it and merged the two units together via the garages, yet retained the flexibility of reverting it back to the duplex. 



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I arrived in Alameda in 1973, as a new bride...with husband Carl Schumacher, both of us from Newport Beach. He was embarking on his career as a Naval Architect (i.e. yacht designer) under Gary Mull. Please see the 'ABOUT ME' page in this website! to see how it has all turned out! I'm so blessed!


  1. This would not have been Kramer’s ball. Beneath the embedded dirt I can make out ‘Tour 1000’ whatever that is. Speaking of Kramer, we saw Seinfeld tonight at the earlier of 2 sold out shows at the Paramount. Very good but the opening act was terrific and I can’t find his name via some searches. ForE

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