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.