Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Pootiful Weekend

I helped Laird snake the drain yesterday.

"Why," you say, "Was it clogged?"

Well, not really. It's just that he is making what was a cinder block room with a toilet into an actual bathroom. With a shower. And towel racks! And tile! It is downstairs, formally known as the basement, now "the ground floor," with two bedrooms and what will be a family room. The end with the bedrooms has normal-sized windows, so it really is a half-basement with a walk-out door, like many, many houses here in West-by-golly-Virginia.

First thing he did was clear out the tool room, put in shelves and peg board and lighting and power strips... oh yeah. NOW it is a tool room. (This was many weeks ago.) He says he will do the same in the laundry room, but that is last on the list. Then he re-did the floors in the two bedrooms. You see, he finished those rooms top to bottom by working every weekend for about a year (he says it wasn't that long) and then a malfunctioning storm drain and lots and lots and lots of rain last July 4th inspired our insurance company to send an awesome demolition team to take away everything that couldn't be cleaned up, which included the amazing dri-core founded floors of the two bedrooms. Ouch. We got through all that, and the bedrooms are beautiful again. PLUS, there is a half-finished french drain going around the house now just to give us an extra measure of protection from wetness. Half-finished because it has been too wet or too cold or both for the last month to finish it. But it WILL be finished. Yes, it will.

Anyway, he was getting ready to make the new bathroom on Friday, and he can't do anything halfway, so he decided to fix ALL that is wrong with the upstairs bathroom, too. So, we've been without water and toities for much of the weekend. It's okay, Sheetz is just down the hill. And every time I wanted to complain about having to get in the car in order to go use a bathroom (planning, people, this takes planning!), I remembered the article I read last week that said about 64 percent of people in a certain country I love have no access to a toilet. None. Not one. Sets things in a certain perspective, dontcha think?

My brave and tenacious husband had a hard time carrying out his plan to rebuild and re-seat the old toilet in the upstairs bathroom (last night we heard many groans and other sounds of frustration coming from there) so now we have a beautiful new white low-flow comfy porcelain throne. I could not convince him to order the $500 flushing squat-style toilet, no matter how much I talked about the health benefits!

Don't you think our new kids would feel more at home if they could choose between this and the Western-style toilet? Yeah, me too. But, I have been out-voted by my hubby and my 14-yr-old. Who knew she would side with her step-dad?!

But really, this story is about ME! As I said, I helped him snake the drain yesterday. He rented the heavy duty, 65-ft-long snake, and I held the hose so that the snake would get cleaned off while he was pulling it back out. It was a tight space, so I was squatting and leaning against a wall while I did this. Not leaning my back against a wall, no, that would have been way too easy. No, I was leaning my head and knees against the wall, while squatting, and trying to be as flat as possible since immediately at my back was this loud, cachunking machine creating a good bit of torque and producing some wild action in the long metal snake. We did the 65-feet twice, once with the star and once with the scrapper, and the yuck got sprayed on me a bit (don't worry, I was wearing safety goggles!). Then moved to the other drain and did a bit of that one. (Yuck, kitchen goop.) At one point, the snake almost strangled Laird with his own shirt, but we got through it all without injury. He said I am the bravest wife in the world.

That squatting action really does a body good, I'll tell you!

What was really cool was that during this toil, Laird went on and on about what an awesome invention this snake is, how well it transfers torque over a heckuva long distance. I mean, just that high-tensile flex metal thing that the machine pushes down in the pipe, that in itself is a huge technological feat. Do you understand now why I would follow this man anywhere?

By the way, any of you who are planning to travel to Ethiopia or elsewhere in Africa, here are some good directions on how to use a squat toilet.

And here is an extra bonus special something-really-Beautiful.... My brother's newest painting. My sister-in-law went to Ghana for three weeks to work as a nurse. She worked really hard and had a blast. This painting is from one of the pictures she brought home. My brother has amazing eyes and heart. We would love to take him to Ethiopia with us.

I am so grateful for my creative and compassionate family.


Aimee said...

Hey Barbara! Glad to have your blog. I will be sending good vibes on January 16. It's been along road for you guys.

Becky said...

that creative and compassionate family is who made me who I am!