Monday, May 15, 2006

Plumbing woes -- and I mean WOES

I’ve now realized that I take drains for granted. I just expect them to drain. No worries, no woes. I’m learning to appreciate a good drain now. After spending two weekends with plumbers in the house, I’m really ready to have it done.

Last Saturday I was cleaning the bathroom toilet and it just wouldn’t flush. (Thank heaven’s there was really nothing in there except clean water or this story would be much more colorful. Perhaps that a disappointment to you though.) As every good woman of independent thought and means, I got out the plunger and plunged. I didn’t work. I called in the DH. He plunged. After we had both plunged to no avail, we realized that water was seeping out from under the toilet every time we did anything. That’s a bad thing, if you were wondering.

Patrick has a plumber friend who happened to be at a party nearby with his plumbing truck. He came over and snaked, replaced the honeycomb seal, and put the toilet back in place. All was well – for a week.

On Friday, the woes came back even better than before. The toilet still flushed, but nothing else seemed to drain. The DH took a shower and I did laundry, and it was a bad combination. I’d noticed the sink in the bathroom not really draining, but that’s fairly common, so I didn’t think much of it. Then the DH took a shower and it didn’t drain at all. And my laundry bubbles started showing up in all the wrong places. We knew it was real drainage woes when that happened.

We called the plumber friend again and he recommended someone to call. For a measly $200, we got the big drain (from the outside) snaked with the really big (think anaconda) snake and now we know why plumbers get paid well. It was gross – not just a little gross, but make-you-want-to-hurl gross. He pulled up things people just shouldn’t have to see. No more details will be given, but I think you can use your imagination and get close enough.

When he was done the shower drained, the toilet flushed, and the washer drained. It was a beautiful thing. Now, two days later, the toilet flushes weird, the shower drains slow, and I’m worried that I get to see a plumber every Saturday for the rest of my life.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

What a Wreck...

I meant to post on this earlier, but time just got away from me. Wednesday was kind of a bad day. I started from home right around 5:00 and SR520 was already super backed up. In a moment, I adjusted routes and headed for I-405. I seldom go that way, but it looked like I might get home faster and I needed to get gussied up for the opera that the DH and I had tickets for that night. 15 minutes can make all the difference there, you know.

As I was heading North, minding my business and feeling quite bored with the stop-and-go traffic, I stopped in one of those slow-downs, but the car behind me forgot to. The car rammed into me, pushing me into the car in front of me. The impact was enough to throw my glasses off my face and open covers and empty the two console cubbies of lipstick, dental floss, and sunglasses. It even knocked the phone book from under the seat.

The three of us made our way to the side of the road and traded vital information. I was quite shaken up and the man in the car in front of me was quite concerned. I thought I was coping quite well, but maybe not. It’s hard to keep the perspective in such a situation. I was grateful to the front driver as he drew a diagram of the accident, took down license numbers and car models, and collected our insurance information and phone numbers. We all had everything we needed.

I checked the damage to my car and saw that the bumpers, front and rear, were damaged. I didn’t discover the rest of the damage until I got home, but it’s mostly cosmetic. Except that the trunk won’t close now. It’s my Joad car now, I guess – at least for a little while.

Because it was rush hour and there were not injuries, we didn’t call the police. Don’t worry. My insurance agent said it was fine. They wouldn’t come out anyway. That’s who I called first, then found out that I should work with the instigator’s insurance agency unless they gave me grief.

So far it’s been quite a bother, but not much more than that. I called the instigator’s insurance company right after the accident and they’ve called me back every day with updates. It looks like it won’t be much of a problem to get taken care of, but it will take some time and a loaner car for me.

After getting home and getting a grip, I was really grateful that I wasn’t hurt and that the airbag didn’t deploy. Considering that it was on the freeway, it could have been much worse and I feel pretty good about having only the inconvenience. Of course, I could do without that too, but it’s minor in comparison to what could have happened.