I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist
who can take projects start to finish in a variety of styles.

Good designs sell – mine sell out!

Friday, August 20, 2010

"Atmosphere"

Home repair is wrecking my delicate ecosystem. The plumbing disaster last month inspired me to get Adam the Plumber to replace the drain pipe from the kitchen sink. That wasn't part of my flood, but now I have plumbing paranoia. He also took out the dishwasher because I never use it, and if you don't use a dishwasher, it goes bad. They waste a lot of water and energy anyway.

Adam told me to put Drain-o down the pipe to clear out any residual gunk in the connecting pipes. I read the directions and obediently flushed with hot water. I forgot about the furnace guy turning up the water heater to the temperature of the sun. Factoids: faucets these days have plastic inside. Plastic melts at the temperature of the sun. The cheapest new faucet is $80. AAAAAaaaaaagggghh!!!!

Adam is a sweet guy, but not a little one. The opening for my corner sink is 8" wide. He said he'd have to find someone very skinny to access the faucet pipes. I don't have money for 2 plumbers, so I decided to fix it myself. Since the dishwasher is out, I dismantled the cupboard for better access. That worked great for all but one of the connections which was completely rusted together. Late into the night I attacked the faucet with a hack saw. You know, if they put chintzy plastic parts in the faucet, why is the rest solid brass? That's about as easy to saw apart as taking a leg off the Eiffel Tower. After much sweat and swearing, it's off and the $80 replacement is on. It's shiny and pretty and my greatest accomplishment to date.

There's a creepy atmosphere of absolute silence around it. I didn't realize how accustomed I'd gotten to the perpetual drip of the old faucet, and that gets back to the destruction of my delicate ecosystem. Bugs went there for the water, spiders spun webs to catch the bugs. I leave a light on over the sink in the evenings which attracts other bugs, so the carnivorous ecosystem was pretty much continuous -- but no more. The eerie silence of the non-dripping faucet must've scared the spiders away too. Nothing lives there any more. No mold, no moths, no spiders. I'm just not sure I can adjust to this.

The linoleum got replaced in the kitchen and down the stairs to the basement this week. It's a story in itself to explain why I had the most expensive company do it instead of begging favors from my almost-brother-in-law, but it was actually cheaper for me because the insurance company is insane. I kind of dread explaining to my sister and her boyfriend, but he really needs to learn to schmooz some claims adjusters.

Guilt aside, the new floor looks nice, but it made the kitchen cabinets look awful, especially the hole in the cupboards where the dishwasher had been. I spent 2 days trying to make them look better with liberal doses of wood putty, paint, and scouring powder.

Are you tired yet from reading about all of this? My knees are screaming at me for crawling around on the floor while doing plumbing contortions, and there's still a lot of stuff that needs put away. That doesn't even count in the fact that the wood floors need refinished, and that means everything in the house has to be shifted from room to room to clear off the floor.

... examining my biceps... I am woman, hear me roar!!!

Oh yeah, I used to do work for a feng shui instructor, so I know the kitchen is the love center of my house according to that tradition. Just something I've been thinking about while I wonder about my absent spiders.

The spider tin was created for Firefly Fandango. It may be a stretch for "atmosphere", but I figured it was time for an update about my disaster relief. I like the word for the week, so may attempt a second post if I can stop trying to get the house in order -- but then, the house is my atmosphere.

20 comments:

  1. Hey Linda... sorry about the continued plumbing woes. But congrats on the faucet installation! That is quite an accomplishment! As I was reading the story, I kept waiting for the spider part... Like it jumped out of a drain or pipe or something :o). Glad he was just a part of your creative imagination. He is adorable by the way! Gotta love that lunch box!!

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  2. Thanks Jack! I guess I thought about the spiders a lot more than I wrote about them. I chased them around in the basement too.

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  3. Linda sorry about your plumbing prob. I have had a few plumbing problems too, cheer up things get better

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  4. Thanks James. I hope your plumbing problems are under control too.

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  5. I'd miss my spiders too, if they were as cute as this one! If you want more bugs, I can send you some from California! ;o)

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  6. Thanks Michele, but I think I'm starting to accept life without the spiders!

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  7. And you always said you don't do cute!! Nice job.

    Can't wait to see how everything looks. Annie and I are waiting for the unveil :)

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  8. My heart goes out to you & your house woes-- we've had some repairs underway too & it's frightening how much time & energy they consume. Three cheers for your faucet triumph!

    I think I'd be perfectly happy to have fewer critters lurking around the kitchen, however-- I like spiders much more in theory than in practice. Though maybe if they had such sweet innocent smiles as yours, I'd feel differently!

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  9. Thanks! I guess I can do cute once in a while. Ok, I'll do whatever style someone pays me enough to do!

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  10. Hey that some great image for a happy time lunch pail. It's good to cute sometimes - not too much though, we don't want to go all soggy :)

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  11. Hello! I really like how your illustration looks on the lunch pail! Very fun!

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  12. Ahahahahaaa... Sorry Linda, not that I'm laughing at your agony, but the way you wrote about it just made me laugh! Humor and irony are great buddies, no?

    Hey, maybe you should take advantage of this talent and use the money to buy all the $80 faucets you want. :D :D :D

    PS: I LOVE your cute, squiggly spider! :))

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  13. The spider is adorable on the lunchbox! Congratulations on doing some of your own repairs. Very brave to tackle plumbing!

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  14. Wow! What a job! Home repair is a slippery slope isn't it? But it is nice to have it done, and it's perfect for atmosphere!

    Sorry about the disappearance of the spiders-- I'd rather have them on my lunchbox! ;)

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  15. Thanks everybody! I really appreciate it. I'm feeling rather battered by all of this. I don't know if it's brave or stupid to tackle plumbing, but I'm happy that it's working. Maybe I'm done being "soggy"?

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  16. what a cute & friendly spider! I love spiders & have been known to scoop them up on a piece of paper & gently place them outside. Your spider lunch box is great.

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  17. Just finding your blog, and I love your art! You seem to be quite the plumber too. :-)

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  18. Heisann!

    Living in a house with a graden many kinds of animals and bugs will visit the home. After a while you don't "see" them anymore walking in and out!
    I have been waiting for a plummer the whole summer...
    while I continuously was carrying water to the greenhouse in a can!
    Best fixing things ourselves ;:OD)

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  19. Thanks! I've been known to carry spiders outside too. Good luck getting your plumber Vilt. Water gets heavy when you have to carry it around, but I bet your plants appreciate it.

    Thanks for the follow Lisa!

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  20. I only have one thing to say Linda...
    Silly willy dokay dilly,
    Dandy Delight-ful fun,
    Silly, sweet and oh so neat...
    Little spider you're the one...

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