A Mistake?

How could this random collection of thumps, whacks, scrapes, be best described? A flock of demented woodpeckers? An army platoon marching out-of-step? Movie stunt training school? A group of clumsy clog dancers? A basement under a bowling alley?

Staying home today may have been a mistake. A group of roofers are working on my house. With the cacophony, It’s difficult to concentrate on anything. The last time roofers worked for me was at a different location–and, I worked during the day.

Satellite television just went out–as I expected. Daytime TV was a wasteland anyway. My dog barked as the strangers descended on our home at seven this morning. He’s calmed down since. Someone could come crashing through what’s left of my roof at any moment.  I may be insane before this is over.

A Happy Ending

How many times has the phrase, “good help is hard to find,” been used? Giving credit to my spouse. She searched “home advisor” sites for local repair persons.

I think she was cautious of me climbing stepladders over the six foot privacy fence in the backyard. There are many trees, briars on the back side of the fence.

The first post, I replaced, took me longer than it should. Two people answered the inquiry. “Shawn,” came to the front door last Saturday. The price, he quoted, was reasonable.

He finished the last post today. I couldn’t have asked for better. His work quality was superior–especially to mine. His deserved a little extra in his paycheck. Good help was nice to find.

Honesty–Too Much To Expect?

In the shaded part of the backyard, I discovered several rotted fence posts after a late-winter storm. To my disappointment, a section of privacy fence leaned askew.

There were a total of six posts, that needed replaced. I replaced one of them yesterday. Chopping roots, extracting stripped and rusted screw heads proved all I could handle.

Then, there was the remainder of the rotted post encased in solid concrete. It was all I could do, applying leverage with a fulcrum, to extract it.

My wife took pity on me. She called several local home repair websites. One contractor came out this morning–his price was reasonable. He, then left to do another job, in a nearby city.

In his defense, he’d made a previous commitment. He promised to return this coming Saturday morning to complete the job. I hope he keeps his promise. Because, I want the job completed, and there have been two more contractors, wanting the job.

Kissed By An Anvil

The little doohickey at the bottom of my toilet tank, sadly reached the end of its planned obsolescent life.

Water trickled in perpetuity from under the rim between flushes. That wasn’t supposed to happen.

An inspection, revealed the flush valve, was also on the critical list. It appeared to be drooling from the top, when flushed.

High ho, high ho, off to the big-box home improvement store. What would I encounter there?

More needlessly complex parts, when all I wanted was the same as what came off–only newer and operational?

“For a mere 79.95. the next-generation, Flap-O-Matic, smart flapper, with digital readouts, water usage monitoring, and notification to your smart phone, in the unlikely event that anything would go wrong.  Guaranteed for two years.”

No thanks, I’ll take this one for 15.99, that looks just like the old
one.”  Everything replaced at home–the KISS method worked once more.

Another One of Those Days

The day started as usual. When I returned from walking the dogs at seven this morning, the doors to the sunroom were closed.

A bad sign; the thermostat near the A/C read nearly 80 degrees. Our patched-together HVAC unit bit the dust. After mowing and trimming the lawn, we holed up in the sunroom–which had its own HVAC system.

Technicians worked till around 3:30 in the afternoon.  All turned out well in the end–although a few dollars poorer. Chalked up as another chapter in the joys of home ownership.

It Wasn’t Being Disrespectful

Yesterday, was Memorial Day–a day for most folks to go to the beach, have a picnic, take the day off; enjoy life in general.

Not so, in my case. I did repairs on my barn’s fascia boards. At my age, I don’t do heights and climbing ladders, as well as I used to.

Help, was solicited from a friend, planned a few weeks ago. He came with help, the job completed promptly and competently.

It’s on me to do caulking and painting–which I can handle. Too tired to do any barbecuing, my spouse and I went for take-out, last evening.

Sleep came easy.  One problem gone, on to the next challenge.

Waiting For the Plumber (Or a Reasonable Facsimile)

The kitchen faucet has become problematic.  Just when things were going so well it is leaking, or more accurately, seeping around the faucet handle.

If it were up to me, I would only have, bare-bones, basic faucet fixtures in the house.  The reason being, I’m inept when it comes to plumbing repairs.

I once broke off a water pipe in the wall.  The worst part, I was trying to impress my new bride, in our “new” home, with my resourcefulness.  My father-in-law bailed me out of my predicament.

My wife and I learned a lesson from the experience.  Guidelines were established.  If plumbing work was needed, only professionals would be called.  If I insisted on doing the work myself, my wife would temporarily relocate to the next county, for the duration–at least until I called a real plumber to clean up the mess.



Stats are in the toilet.  I’m not worried.  Then why am I mentioning it?  Because it’s my own fault.  I’ve been at this blogging business for over three years now and know it will get better.

The latest thing this morning–the water’s been cut off.  It’s in the neighborhood, not just here.  A construction project up the street is the likely culprit.  “Hamfistedness” can happen anywhere, anytime.  A wrong move by an excavator operator, and shazam–the water main spewed everywhere.

I don’t like being out of water.  That’s when I want to do things that require water–even though they weren’t important before.

I know all about “hamfistedness” my personal list goes on and on.  An extra turn of a pipe wrench, an extra thump with the heel of my hand, and things go awry.

It happens when lest expected.  Excuse me, while I go order a replacement part for my refrigerator’s ice maker bin.  “Hamfistedness” struck once again.


The Blastmaster 200 had been a friend for decades.  Practically the same to install, repair, and use–what I liked about it wasn’t listed on the box in bold typeface; Blastmaster 200–Idiot-Proof, Indestructible!

In its place, was the New, Improved Blastmaster 250!–with water usage monitor, and leak detection technology.

The Perky 1000, a new player in the flush valve game, was on the shelf above.  It was brightly colored–not basic black, sleek with rounded corners.  it also had enhanced capabilities.  I got the feeling, my Blastmaster 200, was forced to change with the times.

Was this change necessary?  There’s not much to a toilet tank.  Water flows in and water flows out–regulated by the valve and flapper.  Over the span of time, parts wear out.

Blastmaster 250 installation was the same–except for the strange appendage below the float.  And the second chain–attached to the flush lever.  I never liked strange appendages.  Imagine how frightening it would be to wake up with two new auxiliary arms.

The manufacturer muddied the waters with unclear instructions as to how the appendage worked.  Through trial-and-error the answer came clear.  it seemed unnecessarily complicated.

Maybe it was time to switch to the more modern Perky 1000?  It was only a dollar more.

I may wax nostalgic over the trickling water feature previously found in my toilet tank.  But, then again, I think not!



How was it possible–two days later, everything was exactly the same as before?  Due to termite damage discovered in March, the front wall between the door and window had to be rebuilt.

The paint color and wall texture were matched perfectly.  All the mess was cleaned up and hauled away.  The clock was back on the wall.  Furniture returned to original resting places.

It’s rare (for me, anyway) to have contractors that are competent, efficient, reliable, and true to their word.  When they promised possible completion in one day, I said–“Yeah right,”  “I’d believe it when I saw it.”  Matching difficult paint colors added an additional day.

Complaints about paying annual termite inspection fees, suddenly, didn’t seem so bad.  Everything was covered by contract.  I was happy.  My two dogs were happy to be in favorite chairs by the front window.  Looking out the window is their entertainment.

With one project completed, there’s still one more to go in the master bathroom.  At last, some breathing room. And it’s the nicest day we’ve had in a couple of weeks.

An update:  The elusive bathroom tile, already paid for, supposedly in stock, is somewhere on a stranded truck.   According to the tile store owner, the driver quit on the return trip, and just walked away.  The store owner promised to go himself, and retrieve my tile last night.  Was he just covering his rear?  Will I have to get a refund and get tile somewhere else?  My contractor will be here at nine this morning.  Will there be, or will there not be tile?  That is the question.