I didn’t expect this to be the sort of day I’d look back upon & wonder how I got through it, I really thought things would be pretty good. It was a very long day yesterday & was made even longer by the chaos emanating from home, calls, picture messages etc. Chrissea had text-ed to let me know she & Sami wouldn’t be back up last night & 18 had picture messaged a first look at her second lip piercing, in the words of M.A. one of my favorite co-workers: “Does she not want to ever have a job?” 18 then text-ed to let me know they’d finished off the kerosene, that the heater was ‘full’ but there was no more. I was ok about that because I thought the heater was full & I’d be able to warm up in the morning before going out the door to get more!
When I arrived home I found the heater already out of kerosene. So I knew I wasn’t going to get much done in the morning. 11 was asleep on the couch, which I knew didn’t bode well, I essentially went right to bed & knew no more until 11 woke me up to say she was still sick & laid down with me for a few minutes, she was feeling miserable & coughing up a storm, I got out the good cough medicine (the stuff with the pain killers in it, that the doctor gave me to give her over the summer when she was in pain from the enlarged lymph nodes) She took a dose, reluctantly, but she did it & went up to her own bed & slept for about 5 hours straight, I visited with 8 for a few minutes before the bus came, 18 came down & visited until her ride came & then I went back to sleep.
I know I’ve been burning the candle at both ends lately (getting to bed closer to 2 or 3 instead of 1 am most nights just lately) but I’m embarrassed to say how late I slept, when I got up & saw to my horror just how late it was I got dressed immediately & went to get 11 up, it’s nice to be able to go upstairs, because she didn’t hear me at all when I called to her from the bottom of the stairs!
She opted to go with me to the store for kerosene & to get warm in the car, but we dallied, I got back into bed & drank my breakfast stuff while talking to her & called legal aid, I didn’t get through at first & so cut the legs on a pair of jeans I recently bought for 11, (the school has rules now about the bagginess of the legs of the jeans & she can’t wear them if they bag up more than just a little- I hate it because she & 8 grow so quickly & if I make the cut & they have a growth spurt I’ve wasted these jeans. (yes, I can hear my grandmother telling me to hem them up & then I could just let them down as the kids grow taller, but they’re flared legs, hemming would make them look very funny in my opinion)
I tried the legal aid people a second time & got them on the phone, they said that the age at which a child can make their own decision on which parent they want to stay with is 14 & the custody order would still supersede that unless I was amenable to a change, they said with the custody order in hand if the ex refused to relinquish the kids at the end of a visit I could go right to the police, either here or in NC & they would take the kids back for me. The woman I spoke to was a paralegal & said she had to double check the answers to some of my other questions & that she’d call me back, she also said if she hadn’t called my by tomorrow afternoon to call her back, which I could only do during break. (& my break is 145 tomorrow which is, I doubt, what she meant by afternoon)
My look for the 80’s, ah & I thought is was fat back then!
We went off to town in the car, me playing more of my random 80’s & 90’s music Cd’s the ex gave me, I didn’t even know he liked Frankie Goes to Hollywood! There are many, varied types of these Cd’s in this collection of his, ‘Heart of Metal,’ ‘Road Songs,’ ‘Best of the 80’s’ & so on, Many of them, I can tell what songs he bought them for but some of them, as I play them for this, the first time all I can think is ‘WTF were you thinking here dude?’ Oh well, it widens my own collection & I’m hearing more than a few of these for the first time in 12-15 years so it’s all good.
We took the long way to town, just for something to do because though it was cold today, it was sunny & bright, we stopped at the bank & encountered only one open lane at the drive through, which did give me time to write the check, even with all that time to wait (5 cars ahead of me when we joined the line) I still forgot to sign the back of the check, the teller, who is always there, despairs of me. After getting a look at my usual place to buy kerosene (it was, at this point after noon & too busy to go to,) we drove back over to the other place which is cheaper than the near-to-my- house store for kerosene (we’re talking 30 cents a gallon cheaper, it makes a difference, I got milk, 11 a water & the all important Sobe lean & we headed home, congratulating ourselves with a quick in & out trip to town.
Partway back home I got to thinking about the water filter again & thought maybe there really was a missing gasket, so I stopped at the hardware store which sells the filter brand that the house has (there are 3 hardware stores in the county, but only this one has this type of filter) the guy behind the counter seemed to remember me from my past two visits (in the last 2 weeks!) & confirmed that there is supposed to be an ‘o-ring’ between the filter jar & the top piece (which is exactly where the water was spraying out from) I confirmed which of the filter models was in my basement & he found me the correct o-ring.
I bounced home in a fit of excitement ‘I can do this myself’ I thought, ‘I don’t need the plumber, I don’t have to wait for the back child support to come through, I will have a shower tonight & I won’t have to go down to the basement to turn the water off afterwards either! I can do this easy peasy & it won’t cost me any more than the $3.99 I just paid for this 0-ring!”
We arrived home & 11 brought the o-ring, the milk & the drinks in to the house & I lugged the kerosene in & got the heater filled & literally had the book of matches in my hand to light the heater when the phone rang. It was 18, moaning that she now has what 11 & 8 have had & could I come get her? Augh! I just made the 20+ mile round trip to town! I told her she had crummy timing & didn’t light the heater & 11 & I got back in the car & went to get 18. She was outside waiting when we got there & introduced me to yet another of her friends. (to me it seems like she has hundreds, though I admit to having been socially inept & having only 6 or 7 friends at her age, after all, due to homeschooling I didn’t know anyone & even in the groups I was in & at work, most people were already in cliques etc & didn’t want me to join them)
When we arrived home (Again) I finally lit the heater & took laundry out to hang on the clothesline, along with the o-ring, I went straight to the basement to install my lovely new o-ring & wonder of wonders, I couldn’t get the filter jar off. If you recall, the first person I had try to do so didn’t want to try too hard because he was worried about breaking the pipes leading to & away from the filter, I knew I wasn’t strong enough to do it & so gave up for the moment expecting that 18’s BF would be home at 4:15 or so & could do it for me.
I hung the laundry on the line, cleaned up the kitchen a little (as best I could without water that is) & started scanning pictures & doing the stuff I needed to do on the computer. I never got to visit a single other person’s blog today, just checking email & doing routine maintenance over at The Fretting Zoo was more than enough, because as I discovered to my horror soon after sitting down at the computer desk, the mouse’s left click button was broken, it worked, but after every third or fourth click it would fall off & I’d have to reinstall it! I think one of the speakers on top of the monitor fell off & landed on the button.
I immediately knew I would require another mouse, that’s not something I could wait on. Though I wasn’t about to go right out because I had to pick up 8 at school at 4pm after remediation, I went alone to do that & then we checked the p.o. box & came back home, Chrissea & Sami showed up & we all visited & I got another 15 minutes on the computer & 18’s BF came home & I dragged him right out to the basement, he tried to finesse the filter jar off, tried to coax it & nudge it, it wasn’t happening & then the worst happened, the outflow pipe snapped.
I was actually sort of relieved when it happened, I decided we’d bypass the filter & just run a straight pipe where the filter was, (this sort of thing isn’t hard to do- I already had the glue after all & I’ve done plenty of this sort of thing both in the trailer & here- when 11 broke the hot water pipe under the sink in the bathroom for instance) I set the BF to sawing through the other side of the filter’s joining pipe, checked the pipe & saw it was 3/4 inch & with mr 8 along for the ride, I set out to go back to the hardware store where I’d purchased the o-ring to get some pipe.
I encountered an even more helpful person this time who sold me a 12 inch piece of 3/4 inch pipe & 2 joiners for it. 8 made the acquaintance of the hardware store cat who looks like our cat Scarlett but has green eyes instead of yellow. I was still feeling like this would work out, not having a filter isn’t good but if it worked long enough for me to get that bonus money that is supposed to be coming from child support enforcement out of the ex’s tax refund, then I could have the plumber fix my patch job & install the water filter under the sink where he says most normal people’s filters are located to make it easier to change regularly – my under sink pipes could use some work anyway because the drain parts haven’t been right since I changed the faucets. So no big deal at all.
We arrived home to find the BF in the basement still sawing at the pipe with my hacksaw (the blade on the hacksaw was installed by the ex, I think, before 8 was even born) With 8 & I supporting the filter & The other part of the pipe he was able to cut through it finally, then we set about putting the new pipe in, immediately it became apparent that I hadn’t looked at the pipe as carefully as I thought I had, oh the outgoing side was 3/4 inch, but the part coming from the well pump was one inch pipe. I was thoroughly frustrated at that point & It was 5 past 5 so the hardware store was already closed, I sent the BF & 18 to the Village Mart because they have a fairly good emergency plumbing department.
While they were gone I got the 3/4 inch end all put together & glued, it wasn’t great because there was about 1/4 inch of 3/4 pipe sticking out of the next joiner, I glued the joiner I’d purchased in place & then measured & cut the piece of pipe so all I needed to do was put in the piece the BF & 18 were sent to get. They came back with something which was 1 inch on both ends, but had screw threads in one end which the BF thought we might be able to use, we filled the excess with glue & used yet more plumbers tape to make it sturdier & then left it.
The glue can said 2 hours minimum to dry before putting any pressure on the joins so Chrissea & I set out for C’Burg to get a mouse & pick up a 1 inch to 3/4 inch pipe joiner just in case the thing we did didn’t work. We got gas, went to Lowes & say my former MIL who surprised me by saying that she felt the ex has changed, I told her about my discussion with legal aid & she was fairly positive about the whole thing. We got the pipe joiner, a new hacksaw blade, light bulbs & some more tub caulk because my tub is a mess & all the caulking is tearing away from the tub & the wall.
Then over to Best buy where I got a fairly cool mouse for $20, (At least it’s an optical, no ball, I hate those & I already have to deal with one 43 hours a week at work) 18 & the BF had given me $2 for a dollar menu burger for each of them (no one but 11, Sami & Chrissea liked the pasta bake which in between all this plumbing nightmare I was coaching 11 on how to make tonight for dinner) I got myself a burger from the dollar menu & my 5th or 6th diet coke of the day (I may never sleep again)
We drove home & decided between us, 18 & the BF that the time had come to try the water pipes. The BF went down to turn the water on & came back to say it was leaking worse than the filter had been. While we were discussing whether we could run it long enough for me to get a shower & the dishes to be done 18 started yelling that there was a weird noise coming from the basement, the BF & I ran outside, I only looked through the basement window, the BF went in, water was spewing out of the outflow pipe, it had blown out the whole patch job we did.
See that white thing in the top center of the pic? That’s my lovely hot water heater from November- Fat lot of good it’s doing me right now!
Now there’s about 5 inches of water on the low end of my basement floor again (this makes 3 times now for those keeping score at home) I am fed up, completely beaten by the plumbing & will be taking a sponge bath with a facecloth which I’ve soaked with water from my spare water jugs & microwaved to warm it (Yech) Home-ownership is very nice, no one can tell you you can’t have 4 cars in your yard, a huge dog, 4 cats & 7 people living at your house (that’s what we currently have, among other things) but on the other hand, there’s no landlord to call upon in this situation.
Many Kudos to my mother who is wiring me (hopefully) enough money to get the plumber out here either tomorrow or Friday at the latest (I think 18 will flip out & kill someone if she doesn’t get a real shower before Friday- maybe I’d better have her ask a friend to let her use theirs) Things could always be worse, though I’m not too sure I can think of how just now…. Maybe if the whole house was submerged, not just the basement? Yeah, I guess it could be worse.