A Typical or Atypical Pastor's Wife-whichever one you come to believe

Welcome to the barnyard. Watch your step! The things written here are raw and unedited. Just my thoughts thrown on a page as they flow from my heart.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tales from the Toilet

If you're wondering what happened to the steady stream of verbiage on my blog, well, truth is, I wrote a bunch of stuff in a period of two days and scheduled it all to appear on certain dates.
Unfortunately, while blog posts were appearing every two days, I was not using that time to write more and as you can see, my pre-programmed posts ran out!

So what is occupying my time? I am busy in the bathroom--my sons's bathroom! The toilet was not filling up very fast at all and things were getting rather disgusting because they would still use it and forget to fill up the tank and flush it. So I finally bit the bullet and went in there and flushed everything and then took the guts out of the toilet and replaced them. I was rather proud of myself because I've never done that before.

The last time the toilet needed the guts repaired, I had my brother do it. It was his Christmas present to me. He walked in Christmas morning, we opened gifts, I fed him and then I informed him that he had bought me another gift that he wasn't aware of and I handed him new toilet guts to put in the toilet. Being the kind natured thing that he is, he laughed and did it. Of course everything was wonderful and perfect when he finished----not so with my repair job.

Since my repairs, I have two leaks under the toilet, one that is my fault, sort of and one that isn't. I don't think this toilet has been repaired because it took vice grips to get it apart! I think I must have damaged the plastic washers that you connect under the tank, so now I have to head to Lowe's to replace them. There is also a water leak coming from the water turn off valve that comes through the wall, probably from me banging on the line trying to get the vice grips on at the right angle to turn the washer.

I once tried to change the turn off valves at our old house. My husband was away on a business trip. My four children all had the flu, and I had them lined up on sleeping bags in the living room, each with his or her own pillow and puke bucket. This particular bathroom was right off the foyer in the front of the house, so if it were working, it would be very handy for them and me--bucket emptier extraordinaire-- to get to. So I went to Lowes and they gave me what I needed and told me how easy it was to do this repair.

The first thing I discovered was that I did not know where the main water shut off valve was in the house. (Hey, I had three kids in diapers plus another one, the only water shut offs I was interested in were Pampers!) What was troubling was I discovered that I didn't know about this as I was removing the valve handle, which shot off the wall like a bullet in front of a dam break of cold water. The valve handle barely missed my head, but the water caught me full force in the chest. I frantically tried to put the handle back on and keep breathing, but the force and temperature of the water was too much for me to handle, so I sat there getting the coldest shower of my life, watching the water run into the foyer and literally out the front door like a waterfall. Down the steps it went and meandered down the sidewalk into the grass. Some of the water was shooting so high that it was escaping through the window in the front of the house like a rain storm in reverse. Instead of rain coming in, it was going out!

Just at that moment, wouldn't you know it, the postman came to the door. There I was, dripping wet from head to toe, face flushed and red from the cold water. I smiled, opened the door, took the mail from him and said, "as you can see, we're having a little bit of a problem here today". He grinned, turned and left. I guess mailmen have seen about everything in their day.

I eventually managed to find the main water valve and turned it off which presented a whole new problem. I was home alone, with four sick kids, and no water, and no money. Well, I grabbed the emergency credit card (I figured this qualified as an emergency. I also figured that I had a choice between the emergency credit card or the local emergency room where I would have been transferred to the psychiatric unit. At least my kids would have had medical attention-with water!). I packed the kids in the van with their buckets and went off to Lowe's. I got there at 9:05 pm. They close at 9pm. As I stood in front of the locked doors, the gravity of the situation hit me, propelled even further by the fact that I was home alone with four kids, my husband was halfway acrossed the country and unreachable (this was before cell phones),and I had not slept in two days, and I burst into tears. I leaned against those locked doors and I cried, long quaffing sobs as I slowly fell to my knees with my head and hands against the doors.

Well some young guy happened to walk past and saw me. Instead of doing what any sane person would have done and call the police, he opened the doors and let me in. After calming me down, I explained to him what was going on and he took me back to the plumbing section and got me what I needed and sent me on my way. Crisis over!

Okay, back to present day.

What's most frightening is that my toilet has now come to life!! Every two minutes, it exhales a long deep sigh. That will really freak my boys in the middle of the night! And there is a constant trickle, trickle sound which stops if you put pressure on the top of the flap, and a rhythmical drip, drip in the bucket under the water turn off valve near the floor. (I'm timing it to see how often we will have to empty the bucket before we have another river running through the basement.) At least I won't have to make explantions to the postman!

So when my toilet is fixed, I will return. At the rate it's going, it could be a while. Thank God for photo cell phones! I took a photo of everything I think I need to replace and I'm off to Lowe's to get the parts.

And no, I'm not going to try to fix the water shut off valve myself, although I do know where the main water shut off valve is in my new house! (I'm making progress!).

For Pastor's appreciation day, the church is remodeling our bathroom, so on Saturday, Mr. Fix-it, from our church, is coming to install a fan. What he doesn't know is that the church bought me a present that he doesn't know about yet!

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