The Week I Wish Wasn't - Life ... It's Why We Cook. Blog at - 291596

Life ... It's Why We Cook.

The Week I Wish Wasn't 
Dec. 8, 2012 6:38 pm 
Updated: Dec. 11, 2012 4:15 am
It's an old house and with the ownership of it comes the problems than an old house has in store for it's occupants. This little bit of heaven sits in a very rural community of approximately 200 other homes of which there are less than fifty homes that were built after WWII. Architecturally, time stands at a near standstill here. It might be called a bedroom community but that implies that there might be some sort of action here.

The silence of this oasis on a prairie is broken occasionally by aircraft landing in Battle Creek and quite frequently by The Canadian National Rail Road whose horns announce their intention of crushing anything that enters their rights of way. During after school hours, young men flaunt their excessive testosterone by squealing their tires (that mommy and daddy bought) and speeding through the town in an effort to draw the attention of the young ladies on the sidewalks. A few residents have small livestock and several have productive vegetable gardens.

This house found out that we are planning a total kitchen makeover and must have figured the makeover includes plumbing. It has known for many years that I hate plumbing very deeply. I hate it so much that just the inkling of a problem makes me very irritated or even angry. (I know, I should take it in stride and just get it done. At least, that's what my wife says.) Well, last sunday, a pipe under the kitchen sink blew out. It was a copper one that had been threatening to blow but I was hoping it would last until the makeover so that somebody else could do the plumbing. I know that this house has a penchant to break just to make me spend money on it so I should never have tried to get by with a weak pipe. Had to try.

As things go in this castle, that single blown pipe under the sink led to a total tear out of the plumbing at the south end of the house, about 40 lineal feet of cold water pipe and all the connections, a few of which had minor dripping problems. (Yeah, I had been trying to ignore them, too.)

As I began that dreaded undertaking, I remembered how I envied Magnolia blossom's and her mister's neat array of perfect plumbing when we stopped there on our way to The Midwest Roundup. Maybe, I was even covetous. And, DANG!, I wished that their plumbing was a reality in this house.

Well, that little errand of hell has been completed and life is returning to normal as the memory of it fades. I still get the freaky sweats and cold chills, though. It is not as perfect as MB's but it is functional, complete and satisfies the all of the codes governing that horrible endeavor.

At 67 years of age, I draw great satisfaction in that I'll likely be dead before it needs doing again. To be even more sure, I'm including that thought in my evening prayers.
Dec. 8, 2012 8:01 pm
I would think your work should last a good 30 years, so you might not have to redo it. And, really, at 97 you should have someone else tackle it. I had to replace the toilet, the pipe that leads from the toilet (sewage) and the flooring in my mother's old house. What a job! I am no plumber, and I doubt what I did satisfied any codes, but the house was destroy a couple years ago by a tornado. Thankfully, years after she had sold it.
Dec. 8, 2012 9:30 pm
Good on ya Mike, put hair on your chest!
Dec. 9, 2012 7:37 am
Just look at it this didn't happen while the house was unoccupied. Years ago our son had a terrible flood when he went away for the weekend and his washing machine hose burst. His neighbor turned off the water at the curb when he saw water flowing out under the garage and front door. It took months to get the house restored (and he immediately sold it) BTW I hope your plumbing doesn't give out in 30 years cuz you may have to tackle it again :) Take care my friend. We want you around for a very long time:)
Dec. 9, 2012 2:45 pm
Ah Mike,i know where your coming from.A few years ago we had a leak in the bathroom,behind the shower,made a lot of work for my husband,but we got a new bathroom out of it.Good thing he's a carpenter.Hopefully all your plumbing problems are no more.
Dec. 9, 2012 4:43 pm
If, at 97, the plumbing does go bad, I'll have to consider whether to get it repaired or burn the place down, Doc!
Dec. 9, 2012 6:41 pm
Mike, while we aren't having plumbing issues we are going thru the same thing somewhat with the tree vs house incident we had back in September. Jon is doing all the repairs except for the new roof. He is currently tackling re-wiring of the entire house and burying the outside lines. It's a heck of a mess but we've had that same discussion of how it should all last 30 years and we won't care about repairs at that time. :)
Dec. 10, 2012 12:20 am
Don't want any more hair on my chest, Randy! Durned plumbing makes me age faster!
Dec. 10, 2012 12:23 am
I am lucky that it wasn't worse, mauigirl, but wallowing in self pity is one of the things I do best!
Dec. 10, 2012 12:25 am
We had one of those behind the shower leaks too, manella! The leak didn't cause any damage but getting to it was a terrible mess.
Dec. 10, 2012 12:32 am
Its great that Jon is getting so much practice, Mother Ann! I'll borrow him in a few months for the kitchen redo! ... I have to do a complete re-wire before the kitchen redo. However, I really like doing the electrical!
Dec. 10, 2012 9:21 am
LOL, plumbing problems, not only a woman's issue anymore.
Dec. 10, 2012 9:56 am
I think he is enjoying the electrical, too. Our new siding should be here this week and if the weather stays like it is he's going to start the siding job.
Dec. 10, 2012 9:57 am
Oh, I forgot to say he could be ready to help you in a few months if the weather holds off and he can get our stuff all done. I refuse to let him help anyone else with house re-do's until ours is completely fixed! ;)
Dec. 10, 2012 12:22 pm
Oh heavens! How a house can know these things. I'm always grateful for boring days when nothing goes wrong!
Dec. 10, 2012 5:17 pm
Siding is on the agenda, too. We are in the beginnings of art tacky. How many beers per hour will Jon require?
Dec. 10, 2012 5:19 pm
I'd like one of those 'nothing gone wrong', Cat. It's become more like I'm getting very good at ignoring unwanted issues.
Dec. 10, 2012 8:06 pm
My dear Mike, I had to read a portion of your blog to my DH so he could have a feel good moment regarding our household plumbing, LOL! (Love your new "name" BTW.) Sorry you had to go through that when you're getting read for the kitchen redo. When does the big event begin?
Dec. 11, 2012 4:15 am
The plans are being finalized right now and then, we'll have 9-10 months to think about them before tear out. Our plan is to be in Maui when the tear out and basic reconstruction happen. (Still not sure about Maui, though.)
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Mike Harvey, daPITA

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Battle Creek, Michigan, USA

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About Me
At age 16, I began cooking when my mother was injured in an accident that kept her off her feet for five weeks. At first, my repertoire was fried hot dogs with pork and beans, boiled hot dogs with macaroni and cheese or pizza from a box. After a couple weeks of this, my younger brother was the first to protest and demand variety and my dad was quick to support him. That was my first cooking challenge, learning to plan a meal. About that time, mom returned from the hospital and from her bed, began teaching me things like roast beef, fried chicken, stews and all the sides and trimmings. In 1967, I married and my wife designated herself as the cook and this continued until 1999. It was then that I (voluntarily) began cooking again. At some point, I realized that I was having fun and began searching for recipes that were more challenging and interesting. I found AR and used it's recipes for a long time before registering and later becoming an active member.
My favorite things to cook
Soups. How can I go wrong? They are a great way to use up leftovers and those veggies that are approaching the end of their usefulness. They are always an original recipe. Roasts and steaks are favored, also. Getting the right "doneness" and choosing appropriate sides for a tastey and attractive meal is a continuing and always evolving menu.
My favorite family cooking traditions
If creating impulsive menus and recipes is a tradition then, (I guess) we have a tradition. A new tradition is developing. I have a fruitcake recipe that, I believe, is near perfection. I make it just before Thanksgiving so it is aged enough for the Christmas/ New Year holidays.
My cooking triumphs
Without a doubt, my own recipe for a Reuben Sandwich. It has been a demanded item for many years and I shared it in my AR blog.
My cooking tragedies
Too many. I have been able to throw them out and have something new before my wife gets home. Most of the time, anyway.
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