Systems Down

First the lights went out and then there was water under the sink, soaking into the rug and running over the hardwood floor. Sound traumatic? Not really, and the five year old handled it all just fine, with a little help.
In her little kitchenette there is a removable oven pan that pretends to be a dry sink. Well she decided that all the stuffed animals needed REAL water for her tea party. Most of the water ended up in the "sink" but then she tried to remove the pan so that she could pour the water down the bathroom drain. Didn't work out so well.
The water spilled onto the floor and into all the pots and pans stored underneath. It reminded me of the kitchen sink a few months ago. Together we cleaned it up and hung the towels and rug out to dry. Since there weren't any busted pipes, it really was an easy fix.
But speaking of easy fixes, last night when I went to put the dog in her crate down in the basement, the landing light was burnt out - or so I thought. After changing the bulb, it still didn't work. So I gingerly crept down the darkened stairs only to find that the basement light didn't work either. Now all this was odd because the washer was running and it's all on the same circuit. I plugged a fluorescent light into the washer outlet and proceeded to examine all the wiring.
I didn't see anything obvious. No exposed wires or splices. But by testing items along the circuit I believed the culprit was a ground fault outlet that I had installed for the old water softener, which the new one doesn't need. But at eleven pm I really didn't feel like moving boxes and digging out all the electrical tools. And it would be light by the morning when I came down to let the dog back out anyway, so I left the circuit half dead.
Somehow, this afternoon when I came home from work, the lights were working again! I would love to say it was my great electrical prowess and superior knowledge, but honestly I think it was just the home improvement elves.