Friday, August 27, 2010

Anybody Got a Bucket??

Plumbing:  The bane of my existence for the last couple of years.

Having seen the recent   Magpie prompts, all I could think of lately is all of the plumbing problems currently plaguing this old house.  To that end, I was prepared to post a diatribe on the subject, but no one really wants to hear about that.

Suffice it to say we are down to one working sink - the kitchen sink - which only had a leaky drain pipe - was temporarily and easily fixed with duct tape (thank you, Red Green).  The fixture, however, has now failed and needs replacement.  I've got the parts for both the drain and the tap, but not the gumption.

Damn, I'm so good at my "profession".

Of course, the irony here is that our business involves water which, in turn, involves some plumbing.

To add insult to injury, it's almost been a year since I did my four-day stint in the hospital for an internal plumbing problem.  Lately - well, for the last couple of weeks anyway - I'm suspecting my bowels are planning a surprise anniversary 'blast'.  I've been hearing rumours and rumblings, so I'm not prepared to be smacking my forehead on the underside of the sink in a mad dash attempt to reach the "facility" while I'm installing a faucet.

Besides the leaky plumbing, my skin has also sprung a leak.  Well, sort of.  It's been so hot and humid that I break into a sweat merely by walking to the fax machine just twenty feet from where I sit.  It is so sticky here that you could use me as a  Post-it note bulletin board.

Now our dishwasher has decided to go on strike.  The lights come on, "but there's nobody home" which means, of course, I have to hand wash all the dishes in the sink with the leaky drain and the faucet that leaks into the bucket under said sink.

Normally I wouldn't complain about getting 'sweaty' while I do all these repairs as we have a pool and I could always go for a dip to cool off.  But, noooooooo ... karma has shit on that too.  The pool sprung a leak some time ago and it has been empty ever since.  Well, it's not so much empty since recent torrential rains (we really don't get much of any other kind here) has thwarted our attempt to locate the leak.


So, I'm off to find ... my rubber boots.  And a bucket.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Wild World of Sports

Some time ago I posted a story about my young cousin's early tryout in baseballHere is another instalment of Kevin's exploits to become a major player in the world of sports.  Like the first, this is a true story.


To this day, and for as many years as I have aged, Granny still lives in the same split-level house that my sister and I grew up in.  Mom, my sister and I occupied the lower portion of the house, complete with a basement kitchen, and my grandparents lived on the upper level.  The upper living room was reserved for company, so the family gathered to the lower room to watch television and such.

The lower living room has many stories to tell - if only walls could talk!  The first diaper I ever changed was in this room (it happened to be Kevin's) and my supervisors at the time,  all of whom were women, neglected to warn me about the 'fountain of youth'.  Suffice it to say, it was my hazing into the realm of child rearing:  an "in-urination", so to speak.

Like most grandparents, ours had the ungodly task anticipated glee of maintaining potty training whilst the parents were off at work.   Granny was the brainchild of potty training.  She would scold us if we pooped in our pants so, to that end, we weren't allowed to wear any pants or diapers and a potty was set aside for us to use as and when needed.  If we were really stubborn, she would make us sit on it until we "made".

Flashing forward, Kevin is now a toddler in toilet training.  Kevin was a bit of a spoiled kid since his mother wasn't as determined to get him trained at an early age as Granny was.  "I'll be damned if I have to change diapers all day.  I've got better things to do with my time" - this was her litany and gospel.

It was shortly after Christmas.   Granny was on day three of her weekly babysitting duties and toilet training drama.  Kevin was particularly difficult on this day and thought it was now a game - he ran around the house naked from the waist down trying to escape Granny's grasp.   When she finally caught him, she promptly scolded him and sat him down on the potty, threatening an ass slapping should he move.

While Kevin sat pouting, Granny went back to her chores.  From the upstairs kitchen, Granny could keep an eye on Kevin while she went about her business.  He had been sitting there for awhile when the phone rang.  It was my sister calling long distance from the west coast.  My sister and Granny could talk for hours.  So, about twenty minutes into the call, Granny realized she hadn't checked on Kevin and asked my sister to hold while she looked in on him.

Now, many parents should know that kids will get bored very easily, and Kevin was no exception.  I guess he heard Granny chatting away and decided to do anything but sit on the potty and went to play with some of his toys.

The following is what my sister heard over the phone:

"Oh, Kevin!  What the hell are you doing?  No!  Stop that right now!  Oh, Jesus Christ!"  Granny scrambled back to the phone, told my sister that she had to go because, "There is shit all over the place, it's on the floor, in the carpet, all over the walls!  I'm going to kill that little bastard!"  Granny was almost in tears.  In the background, my sister could hear Kevin yelling, "Hockey, hockey!"

Kevin got a toddler-size hockey stick for Christmas that year.  "The bugger shit on the floor and used it for a puck.  It's everywhere", Granny said.  Cackling wildly, my sister said, "I'll call you later."