It’s Always Something

Always. Just when the dust settles, and I start looking forward a week or two of quiet, something goes haywire. Today, it’s only a minor snarl- Sarah’s on the road and asked me to switch posting slots with her; she should be back this afternoon.

But that’s only a tiny hiccup in the silliness of my life. Last week, the shower started draining very slowly. Veeeeerrrry slooooowly. We know what’s wrong with it- the trap is ancient, and wearing out- and with any luck, it’ll be operational again by the end of the week, but it’s annoying in the meantime. If I wanted a bath, I’d have one, instead of letting the water collect up to my ankles in the few minutes it takes me to shower. And because of the way the house is laid out, the workmen will have to cut a hole in my bedroom wall to replace the broken part. There’s been much moving of furniture today.

And if that wasn’t wacky enough, the water heater died on Friday. Right at the start of a holiday weekend. It’s ten years old, so it was on borrowed time- curse you, planned obsolescence!- but for heaven’s sake. And because of supply chain issues, it’ll be a little while before we get a new one, even though the landlord has promised to order it tomorrow.

In the meantime, we’re taking very short, shivery showers, and I’m heating water on the stove for washing dishes. Fun times. I suspect I’ll become a regular at the local laundromat over the next few weeks, and there might be a gym membership in the cards as well, just so I can have access to hot showers.

I’m so spoiled. But I’ve lived without running water before- and electricity, and had only wood for heat, though not all at the same time- and it’s not fun. I like signs of civilization, especially in our current neighborhood. At my childhood home, I could walk a hundred feet to the pond with a towel and a bar of soap when I need to get cleaned up (I usually wore a bathing suit; otherwise, people driving over the hill had a split-second window where they might have seen more than they bargained for). Can’t do that in our little suburban neighborhood. On the other hand, I don’t have to worry about the well running dry; we’re on the city water line.

Pros and cons of everything. I still prefer living in the countryside- there’s more wackiness, and God and Mother Nature poke at you more often, but it’s easier to roll with the punches when you’re not living on top of your neighbors.

So that’s what I’m dealing with. How’s your day going?

11 comments

  1. If the well runs dry, you can wait a couple of hours and have at least some water, but when the city water stops running, there’s nothing you can do about it.

    Just remember the water heater is a big tank full of water, and there’s nothing wrong with the few gallons in the toilet tanks either. Set up a rain barrel.

  2. a). I’d take your current troubles as opposed to Dear Daughter’s anxiety issues turning into full-blown all night long panic attacks/night terrors so she’s afraid to sleep. It’s been a rough week with ER visits and getting things addressed. We’ll see what happens.

    b) Always store some water! In addition to the hot water heater (when you replace yours, get the BIGGEST ONE THAT WILL FIT THE SPACE for just such emergencies), store water. One gallon jugs of grocery store water last a long time, if kept in the regulation manner: cool, dry, well-ventilated, and in the dark. Water is heavy so use heavy-duty shelves and keep it on the bottom of your shelving unit. I’ve got year-old gallon jugs and never had a leak. I might have to boil the water, but I know it starts out clean.

    c) Get a water filter like a Big Berky.

    d) If you have any warning at all, fill up your bathtub (for flushing purposes) and all your water storage jugs so you’ve got some wiggle room.

    1. In the summer, you can also have flats of water from the grocery store in your car. Then they get used=> cycled through, and you have water if needed.

      …and now I’m going to go calculate if that is cheaper than the gallons or not….

      K, my store’s flat of water is a bit over three gallons (16.9oz a bottle) and it sells for between $2 and $3 depending on sales; the same sort of water in a gallon jug is between 88c and $1.15.

      So it would actually be cheaper for me to buy flats of water…..

  3. For hot water– coffee pot makes about enough for a tub of dishes taken down to a non-painful level.

    With the drain, you might look at one of the obnoxious three foot long yellow chunks of plastic with hooks in them, that’s for removing hair clogs. No, it’s probably not the problem, but it can get enough hair and gunk out to make it drain enough you’re not soaking your toes.

    1. Those things are wonderful. Despite what the packaging says, you can wash them clean and reuse them. Use them on sinks as well as bathtubs.
      After you’re done, run the hottest water you can down the newly cleaned drain to force out anything clinging to the pipe.
      For maximum impact, clean out the bathtub drain with the toothy barb, then close the drain and fill the tub with the hottest water you’ve got: several inches at a minimum. Then let it drain out all at once.

      1. Our first rental, we found out that the pipe had RUSTED THROUGH by using one of those.

        ….was actually a good thing, was doing the whole invisible leak thing and slowly dry-rotting the kitchen area. But startling!

  4. Let’s see. Three inches of rain in two hours, so the usual places that flood flooded. And some less usual places, making part of my morning errand mildly interesting (I caught the tail end of the high water. That was plenty, thank you.) Got a Wu Flu shot – didn’t want it, but family pressure. Realized that I have to add a story to N. Familiar to fill a huge time gap and set up the next story set. And gave snails flying lessons (out of garden, into street.) That’s enough excitement for today, thanks.

  5. I’ve given up on planning. June had two tasks: Buy house in Rapid City and sell house in Denver. EVERY SINGLE step of both plans failed (and emergency surgery got thrown in). Plan A to plan B to plan C, etc… just got exhausting. I stopped making plans and just handled everything ad hoc as it came up.

  6. After the storm, follows a bit of sunshine: the shower has been fixed and the water heater replaced.

    I have no idea how they got a new water heater so fast; I was expecting it to take a couple of weeks. Kudos to the landlord and HVAC guys.

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