Friday, March 16, 2007

The Mud, the Flock and the Snow

Yesterday, we were contending with mud and perpetually changing tire ruts at the end of our drive. This is the Civic Association's credo for road maintenance ~ If you ignore it, it will go away. In the meantime, we've been getting deliveries from all sorts of venders. FedEx, UPS and assorted others have braved our sodden sod to deliver blueprints, vanity tops and kitchen appliances (to be featured in another post when they're actually installed, please). But not all are deterred by the sloppy circumstances . . .

Chickens adore the mud, probably more than the pigs, because it means easier scratching. I hope easier scratching means more eggs. It seems the hens went back on strike and refuse to lay. I'm down to two green eggs and I'm refusing to buy another dozen. I know one of us will crack first. Sad to say, it'll probably be me. I adore eggs for breakfast.

Obiwan and I enjoyed a few quiet, muddy moments (if there is such a thing having 8 roosters) with one of the flocks . . .

Today, the mud is gone; replaced by this . . .

And that leaves only one thing to do . . .
Here, Obiwan and I are spinning more of the Green Fiber. (Don't tell, but I've been secretly knitting a throw at night in bed to save my sanity.) Actually, I'm doing a bit of spinning 'twixt and 'tween moving stuff and helping to install carpet ~ photos of that to come soon. I'm also ignoring the laundry.

Nothing spells contentment like a cat on your lap ~ even while spinning.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Misadventures in Plumbing

My creativity has taken a bizarre twist since this past August. More often than not, my brushes and paints have been traded for hammer and nails (mostly fetching than actually using them, in all honesty). My spindle and fiber have been replaced by insulation and drywall screws. Instead of meandering through my yarn stash and choosing the correct needles for a project, I'm wandering the aisles of Home Depot searching for plumbing supplies. However, in all this, I am aware of my limitations. There are reasons to hire professional plumbers. After a solid three days of plumbing issues in a new construction, I've discovered a few.

Most obvious, professional plumbers generally know what they're doing. Pipes, solder,torches and wrenches are what they do all day. In fact, that's what your paying for; their abilities to do a job once and correctly. If one is not a professional plumber, one must admit to being powerless to water. Water goes around and through a great many things; most notably, the many soldered joints one has spent all morning torching together (at a fair expense to the wood framing in the surrounding areas) resulting in a poorly placed sprinkler system rather than the intended shower. A professional plumber usually knows, give or take a T or an elbow, exactly how much copper is needed. Those not in the profession should buy double the quantity of copper with triple the solder. There will be much figuring and re-configuring consuming all available copper, requiring yet another trip to Home Depot. (At present, we have fairly intimate info on employees there. For instance, Rich in plumbing is getting married in May.) Bread is only good for sandwiches. A dentist (aka non-professional plumber) recommended the use of bread to soak up water inside a copper pipe to facilitate joining. Theoretically, the bread would then be flushed out once the water was run through a leak-free system. Experience has yielded something else: the bread clogs the shower valves and sink faucets throughout the house. Some Old Plumbers' Tricks need to be re-evaluated.

A term of endearment I sometimes have for men is Those That Have Outdoor Plumbing. It obviously refers to the fact that men tote their "pipes" on the outside. Outdoor plumbing is suspect. It requires special care and maintenance, freezing in winter and possibly leaking in spring. As a result, Those That Have Outdoor Plumbing think differently. The Indoor Plumbing types thrill to turning on the faucet and seeing the water appear like magic. They don't care to be burdened with the dogmatic structures of pipes and joins. They tend to be sensible, leaving these aspects of plumbing to professional plumbers. Those That Have Outdoor Plumbing, however . . . Well, enough said.

Trust me. Hire a plumber when necessary. It saves time and sanity.