Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Plumbing repair for newbies

Monday night my parents decided to put some things in the basement. My dad's the oblivious type, so it turns out I was fortunate my mom went down there to help him. She's the attentive type. She noticed some water on the floor near our well pump, and discovered a pinhole leak in the copper pipe.

We went to Home Depot for supplies, and when she tried to cut away the broken section of pipe, the cutter we bought was doing a horrible job. We drove all the way back to Home Depot to exchange it for the more expensive pipe cutter, plus additional supplies since we revised the repair strategy. The new pipe cutter did a slightly better job, but it turned out the pipe was in poor shape and that's probably why the first cutter seemed so bad. Even the new cutter couldn't make a clean enough cut. So instead of repairing the pipe, it needed to be replaced. It took till 1 AM, but we replaced it ourselves. And turned the water back on. And saw that it was leaking from a different spot now. We called a plumber and made an appointment for the next day and then we went to bed.

When the plumber arrived around 2:00 the next afternoon, I watched him cut things and glue things and solder things and then he said that that glue had to dry before we could turn the water on again. So at 6:30 we turned on the water and it was leaking from another NEW spot! The plumber's phone was turned off, so we left a message and proceeded to try to fix the new leak by ourselves. We got it patched well enough that we could take showers (finally!) and wash a load of laundry.

In the middle of all of this, I found that we have an infestation of flying ants in the walls, our attic vents are suffering from unwanted condensation, and my husband didn't know that the dog gets ONE scoop of dog food for dinner and not TWO. That last thing was a really REALLY little thing, I know, but it was the straw that broke the camel's back. After I fixed the dog food error, I stood in the middle of the dining room and dropped my head and cried. From exhaustion, frustration, hunger, helplessness, and all kinds of unhappy feelings. Of course my husband was eager to make me feel better, so he comforted me and talked with me until I was smiling again. I laughed when he said "I don't know how to fix things around the house, but now I see why other guys do. Look what they have to deal with if they can't fix something! A crying wife is no fun!"

The plumber finally called back a couple of hours later and promised to come by first thing the next morning to replace it, agreeing that's "what [he] should have done yesterday." This morning he arrived right on time and he fixed it for good. I hope.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Drive safely, everybody

I was stuck in traffic for two hours on Friday night -- the day we had the sleet storm in the Northeast -- because of a crash on the highway. The news reported that it was a van carrying 12 migrant workers that spun out of control on the icy road, slid across the grass median into oncoming traffic, and was hit by a box truck. The van's driver and two others were killed. Eight others went to the hospital. I was shaken up just for having driven past it.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

100K Honda Civic

My 1998 Honda Civic hit 100,000 miles this morning! Hooray! It happened on my way to work, in front of a farm market on Route 322.

But if my meeting hadn't been canceled last night it would have happened on my way to or from the meeting, which is what I really wanted because that's a route I travel 3 times a week with my mom. It would have been a good spot close to my house, where I could point to it all the time with my friends and family in the car and announce the significance of that spot. But alas, it wasn't so.

I was kinda disappointed to be alone for this event, so I called my mom when I was a half-mile away from the big moment, and she celebrated with me. I was also a little bummed that it happened along a road that I'm usually traveling alone. I did watch for some other landmark that I could use as a frequently-traveled celebration spot, and I can use the Route 322 overpass whenever I'm on the highway and celebrate the 99999 mark, at least.

Life is all about attitude, after all -- when disappointed, look for a good part that can be celebrated. And hey, my car did make it to 100,000 miles! Let's drink to that!