My house is falling apart around me. I need to pull everything out to scrub, build and paint. But home improvements mean money. And time. Both of which I simply do not have.
But today, I have a great need to tell you about my toilets. I have two in the house, and neither work correctly. The children’s toilet? Constantly dripping when the water is turned on. An empty Cool Whip container has become a permanent fixture under the shut off valve. Water constantly leaks under the flooring, and it is only a matter of time before someone takes a flying crap, literally – right through the floor.
The main bathroom? You have to hold the handle down for it to flush. You hold it and hold it and hold it. I’ve gotten pretty good though. I can get up, put my foot on the handle and hold it down while washing my hands at the same time. Pee, hike, flush –hold it down, hold it down, hold it down, wash wash wash, foot back down to the floor. Process complete.
I’m not sure if it was the hike, the hold or the leak – but something inside me broke yesterday. And led me to the hardware store. A long toilet talk later, I was in line with a new flexible supply tube and a toilet repairing kit.
When I got home, I was told I would not be able to repair the toilets. It can’t be done. (watch me) So I grabbed every tool I could find, along with my camping lantern and surgical mask. Doesn’t every plumber wear a mask? Well, this one does a day after her son was vomiting his guts out. Newly disinfected bathroom or not! If you had seen my son dry heaving throughout the night, you would understand.
So there I am, straddling the toilet which is pushed right up against the wall. I twist, I pull, I shimmy. But I cannot get the old supply tube unscrewed. Tools. I need better tools. So I walk to my friend’s house down the street. And get a BIG TOOL.
When I come back, a picture has been drawn for me to represent how my hard work will result in utter failure. NO LIE. I was shown a drawing of the pipes, with arrows, and was told I would fail. (watch me)
Fast forward. Mishaps, redos, grunts and prayers. I knew I was getting close. And then I accidentally popped off the top of the fill valve. Dang. So I manipulate it, turn it and push it. Turn on the water ever so slightly, nope! Adjust again. Water on. Darn! But then I thought I had it. I slowly (EVER so slowly) turned on the water and watched as the water easily flowed correctly in to the tank. I open the valve all the way and take a closer look.
And that was when she blew. And blew BIG. The fill valve literally flew up like a rocket, hit the ceiling and came crashing down. Water followed, shooting up like a pressure washer, practically taking paint off the ceiling. As soon as I shut off the water, a quiet filled the bathroom. I quickly looked behind me to be sure no one saw. Phew. I was safe. (and wet) (soaking wet)
Two hours later, I…. Katherine Murray…. had fixed TWO TOILETS. Two toilets that had been misbehaving for months. My middle son came to me and said, “You are the Man of the House, Mom.” My oldest called me a rock star. And my nine year old daughter belted out, “YOU don’t need no stinkin’ man!”
Me? I danced. I crowed. I got an old forgotten beer out of the fridge. And then I looked in the mirror. All the flipping, turning , water spraying and hanging practically upside-down over the toilet bowl made my hair big. I mean B-I-G. Furthermore, I still had my mask on. And I had my beer. So of course, I asked my daughter to take my picture.