Rain-R-Shine PVC Cement

After my last cement post I got requests to write about mortar, and grout but in writing as in life, you don’t always get to choose. Sometimes the subject chooses you.

 This morning, getting ready for the day, I turned on the bathroom faucet and nothing came out. This always is cause for alarm because we have a complicated water system with a deep well and a submersible pump way down there somewhere. A leak anywhere in the house or outside the house causes the system to shut down to save the pump. The leak has to be found and fixed or we have no water, and our renter in the next house has no water because we are on the same system.

For years I have had the rule that the woman of the house does not take care of the water system. The husband is a physicist, which is like a science expert and the water system needs an expert because it is a chemistry nightmare. I stay away from it. But I needed water so I started hunting for the leak.

The culprit leak, white sand and mud bubbling up from the depths.

I found it out in the yard. There was a big puddle for a clue. Oh funny, it was right where the cement truck had made a big rut while backing up.

I knew this was going to be my next project.  I do kind of understand the pipes, valves and spigots that are all over the place and I am the person in our family most likely to survive digging and bending over a hole without serious back injury. I have never subscribed to the “learn one new thing every day” mantra because I prefer doing things I know how to do already, but an occasional new thing keeps life interesting. Doing this new thing would save me money – that’s what it’s all about.  This girl can fix a broken pipe.

Oh yes, it works even when the parts are wet.

I found the broken pipe down at the bottom of the hole that I dug. A trip to the hardware store and a couple of conversations with the plumbing guys made the job sound pretty easy.  The plan was to saw out the broken part of the pipe and attach couplings and an adjustable repair thingy. The new parts had to be glued on and the primer and glue were the special ingredients to this recipe.

I’m happy to say it went well when we turned on the water to test it. I feel pretty confident about PVC gluing now and can hardly wait until the next irrigation leak. I’m not an expert plumber yet but I did good on this project (I’m also quite experienced with toilets, but that’s another story or two, or three.).

My fuzzy photo of finished pipe repair. I got a little messy with the blue glue. Wanted to make sure there was enough of it.

Mirror, mirror…

Disclaimer: don’t think I’m suggesting that anyone do this at home. I’m not. 

I’ve been learning some new things as a result of my latest remodeling project.  Some of these things about mirrors you might want to know someday so here goes…

Our house was built by a contractor who also did a lot remodeling jobs for other people, and of course he salvaged a lot of useful things. Things like mirrors. Shortly after we moved in he offered us some mirrors that he thought were way too good to throw away and we took them.  Back then we were still in the stage of life when we took anything that didn’t have a price tag on it.  For years now I have had a 4′ x 6′ heavy (HEAVY) piece of reflective glass leaning against the wall in my rec room. I only mind it when I have to clean behind it because it can hardly be moved.  I also have a triple mirror medicine cabinet attached to the wall in the master bedroom because that was the only wall big enough to hold it.  It’s wider than our king size bed and at least four feet tall.

The master bath is our present project and from it we removed a 4′ x 7′ mirror which has been leaning against the wall in the hall.  Getting a bit overwhelmed with large mirrors, I began to investigate what might be done with them.  The answer is, not much.  They are heavy, as I mentioned, and actually dangerous.  They aren’t made from safety glass so if they break the pieces are sharp and unpredictable.  You don’t just throw them in your pick up truck either.  They require a special method of transport.  I thought maybe I could use half of one mirror in the remodeled bath but the glass and mirror company would charge me $100 to come to my home and cut it.

A couple days ago I got tired of looking at the monstrosity in the hall and began to think about where I could put it, out of my way, until another day.  Because I don’t like to be talked out of my plans to move heavy, awkward furnishings, I don’t usually tell anyone I’m going to do it. I think about the plan at night when I should be sleeping or during random times in the day, until I know what I’m going to do, and then, I wait until the perfect time to carry out the plan.

The perfect time was last Tuesday after the remodeling handyman left.  I could have asked him to help but I’m thinking there will be lots of years when I have to ask people for help and I don’t want to start too soon and wear them out.  I had decided to put the mirror in the rec room since there was already one odd, huge mirror there anyway. They could kind of balance each other. I cleared the path of furniture and rugs and slid some of those handy, plastic furniture sliders under the edges of the mirror – let’s just give him a name. Waldo, I think.

Waldo and I successfully slid down the hall and into the rec room.  This was the first place there was room to put him flat on the floor.  Why do this, you ask?  Wally had been sitting on his long side in the hall and I needed him to stand up in order to fit in the spot I had chosen for him.  We do not have cathedral ceilings anywhere in our house, which means that in order to stand him up without hitting the ceiling, I had to lay him down first and then raise him up on his short side.  Those of you who have moved big bookcases or other tall things will know exactly what I’m talking about.  It’s an art.

You might be expecting this story to end in a display of cracked glass and a bloody trip to the ER, but no.  I planned well, and would have had no trouble at all if it had not been for the ceiling fan which I forgot to figure into the equation.  I was shaking from the exertion but quite satisfied with the end result, Waldo, leaning against the wall behind a dresser.  I’m just sayin’, I needed a mirror there anyway, right?

Waldo the mirror, after his trip down the hall.
Waldo the mirror, after his trip down the hall.

No not now, not ever, never…

…is a home owner ever FINISHED working on his/her home.  As much as we love living in our home in the oneacrewoods we know there will come a day when we will sell, move and downsize. It’s on my mind these days and just this morning it was also on the husband’s mind.  He came to me asking about a list that we should make of all the needed repairs.  The list is in my head – no problem there.  The problem lies in finding the available manpower.

Several years ago when the husband and I were talking about our future goals and bucket lists I mentioned how cool it would be to build a house of our own, with all our ideas for energy saving, all our favorite features, the perfect abode.  He said he was looking forward to working possibly for another decade and wanted to come home each night and avoid stress, rest, watch TV, read. No house building.  No, period.  This is just a clue as to how interested he is in tackling any project involving crowbars, hammers and other such weapons of war.

That leaves me.  I was reading my niece’s home renovation blog, http://www.missmeadowlawn.blogspot.com, and remembering how all my DIY projects had nearly ruined important parts of my body. One’s own labor is easiest on cash flow but there are definitely other costs. And of course, in making a decision on where manpower should come from you have to factor in the fun of it all.  Definitely, hire someone.

This is only a partial list, I’m sure. Josh, you know who you are, you need to come over and give us a house inspection so we can get all the rest of the crucial things on it.

ugliest door ever, that never got painted with the rest of the room.
ugliest door ever, that never got painted with the rest of the room.


backsplash area that never got tiled when kitchen was redone...
backsplash area that never got tiled when kitchen was redone…
something has eaten this for lunch...
something has eaten this for lunch…

Oh, and the master bedroom still has only a temporary, painted, concrete floor because we want to renovate the master bath first.  That is the logical order of doing things if you don’t want to mess up a nice, new cork floor.  We decided that four or five years ago when we tore out the aged bedroom carpet.  Waiting, waiting…

It really is a wonderful thing to own your own home and work on it yourself but I’m just sayin’ don’t think you’ll be finished with it anytime soon.