Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Life On The Farm 07/28/09: Time to call a professional

Over the years, home ownership has revealed itself to be a never-ending battle against the natural order of things to wear, buckle, rust, stain, crack, twist, leak, jam, catch fire, refuse to catch fire, mold, sink into the ground, break, disintegrate and tear away in high winds.

(We added a fireplace when the half-moon windows started letting the cold in; they still need to be replaced.)

I rely on Dan to tend to the minor household repairs. He's Mr. Fixit and I'm The Decider; I'll readily admit that not skilled in any sort of handy way, but if you need to choose a paint color or design a porch, I'm your gal. Mostly, I remind my husband there are things that need tending to.

Dan is a dairy farmer, so his skillset includes: welding, carpentry, plumbing and electrical work.

After weeks of hearing that the farm's problems come first, I was through with waiting for a resolution to two very pressing plumbing problems.

It had got to the point where there was only one toilet and one sink working on opposite sides of the house. My domestic stress level was nearing "kitchen renovation" proportions.

(Remember when I had no kitchen for 3 months?)

It has been a year and a half since I last had to do the washing up and prep cooking at the bar sink and I have no intention of being that inconvenienced, again. I remembered a phrase that I heard twenty-odd years ago: "GALMIN" (Get A Little Man IN). It kept rolling around like a noisy marble in my head, and it was time to apply it to the situation.

Two weeks ago, I noticed water droplets and plaster falling from the ceiling in the game room; the drain upstairs had been repaired once before, so it didn't take much deduction to figure out that the water to the upstairs bathroom had to be turned off.

(That ain't right.)

Then, the drain under the sink in the kitchen that connects to the bathroom sink and the dishwasher began pouring water on to the floor. It had been dripping for months into a Mason jar, and I was surprised that it got worse because there was an electrical tape cocoon around the pipes. So, no washing dishes or hands on the north side of the house.

(That ain't right, either.)

Dan found a plumber to come in last Friday afternoon, who quickly got everything back to normal. I implored Dan to watch him at work, a suggestion for which I received "the finger", but plain fact of the matter is, we both could learn from this experience. Duct tape, spackle, paint, and dry towels are only temporary, impermanent solutions.

While the plumber was here, he started up the uber-efficient corn-burning outdoor furnace.

No more wood burning for us, though the other farm residences will continue to do so for a little while longer.

(See the corn kernels at around 9:00? It smells like an old popcorn popper.)
It's our responsibility to keep our household going; we replace, repair, restore, and upgrade. If we don't, it all slides into chaos, and much quicker than we think.