Holding water.

I’m not really sure where or when I got the notion that plumbers were generally happy people, but somewhere along the way I picked it up. I find myself testing it out on every plumber I meet, and our plumber here in the Hudson Valley seems to fit the bill. The first thing I noticed about Randy when he rolled up at our dilapidated house was that he had the most magnificent rat tail I had ever seen. But quickly following my initial impression, I learned that he was also an avid horseman. He invited us to an upcoming cattle drive. He also was pretty talkative, full of family anecdotes, and generally fun to have around. Unfortunately, having him around means we’ve got substantial problems. The photo above is probably misleading, because its Sam, not Randy. This is Sam, optimistically embarking on a plumbing project of his own, and trying to conjure a kitchen sink for us that has knobs on it, instead of a ghetto old hose. And he did a damn fine job. See below.

kitchen sink with KNOBS!



All of this was fitting pretty comfortably within my preconceived notion about the zen art of plumbing. But when we embarked on the mission of trying to deliver hot water to the 2nd floor bathtub through some sorry 80 year-old pipes, things changed. Quickly.




Yesterday began with more tinkering- hooking up the hot water heater in the basement, and so-on.

Randy asked me if i was taking this photo to prove his whereabouts to the federal government..



I was not ever expecting this sink to work, so I saw this as an early sign that things were really going to be a snap.







And here is my mom gleefully peeling wallpaper in the vicinity of active plumbing.





But before too long, we realized we had a myriad of holes in our pipes. This was discovered, of course, not through sheer speculation, but by the appearance of a number of waterfalls coming through the kitchen ceiling.













Although my photo-documentation may seem to show things ending on a sour note, I did get a hot bath last night. My first in a week! And my mom took one this morning. Unfortunately, when she drained her bathwater, it ended up on our kitchen floor.

And thus, the cycle continued again today. And at times, it was not very zen. It did, however, culminate with me shoving my arm down a sewage pipe, and snaking out some pretty disgusting stuff. Eventually, the pipe cleared, the water drained, the methane gas dispersed, and we all had pizza. Who knows what’s in store for us tomorrow. Probably more of the same. Believe it or not, but we’re still basking in the small victories.

Oh. We also have a new ratter. Sam already introduced her, but here are some photos of her doing her morning training. Its fairly rigorous.

we're acquainting her with her smallest enemies first.

she also needs to be prepared for undercover work in the batcave.

looking innocent and totally uninterested is a technique i find surprisingly underrated and useful..

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