Mercury is Still in Retrograde, right? Report card from the doctor and a toilet explosion

Today is a big day.

It is the final day of my short-term disability leave.

I set my alarm for 4:45 a.m. thinking it would be good practice for returning to work tomorrow.

By some strange circumstance, I woke naturally at 4:15 a.m., the same time I normally get up for work. I cuddled with Louise briefly and got out of bed before 4:30 a.m. I had the lovely vision of writing more of my upcoming novel.

But I heard water.

And it was more than a drip.

So I checked the bathroom, sloshing through several inches of water. I threw down some towels and organized some buckets and bowls.

But when I went downstairs, I saw several heavy drips pouring through the ceiling. And tiles started falling like hail.

I went back upstairs and turned off the water to the toilet. And I called the insurance company.

All before coffee, all before 5 a.m.

I went to my family doctor and he not only released me from my short-term disability leave but told me I’d made good use of my time— going to the gym three times a week and working with a personal trainer, visiting my therapist, resuming my SSRI in an attempt to lower my blood pressure, ease my emotions and hopefully that will help my balance. I went to the dentist, bought new floss and renewed my prescription for fluoride toothpaste. And I rested. I updated my vitamin regimen, added Flonase to my allergy regime, and bought a weekly pill dispenser to keep them all straight.

And that’s when I told him I had also done my follow up bloodwork. That made him, in his words, a happy medical provider.

From there, I went to Apex Training for my session with Andrew. We did a great mix of strength and core and challenging my posture and my mobility in ways that made me feel amazing. I left covered in sweat.

And the plumber came before I had a chance to shower.

We now have a new toilet— the old one was probably 60 years old. And pink. The teenager is upset I didn’t keep the old one. She thinks it would make a great planter next to the rose bush.

And she hates the new toilet.

Which, interestingly, the plumber does, too.

First Experience in Home Improvement vs. Home Repair

My husband and I moved into this house in late January 2003. As with any older house, there is an endless list of things that need to be done— from bathroom sinks that flood the house to ceramic walls that fail to sewer lines that crack and hot water heaters that fail. And back decks that threaten to collapse.

Home ownership is not for the feint of heart.

But this is the first time in almost 20 years I am undertaking a home improvement project versus a home repair. And it’s a small one, but it’s still a roller coaster.

I’ve been through two small mom-and-pop appliance stores. Times have changed. I used to go to a family-owned appliance store (Schaffer’s Appliance in Easton) where I could walk in the door (like Norm from Cheers) and they didn’t know my name but they knew my Maytags.

I could walk in and say, “I need the stove to match my refrigerator” and they usually knew off the top of their heads what model I had. If not, they had a small box— like a recipe box from back in the day— where an index card listed my name, contact info and all my appliances.

I miss those days.

When my original Maytag Performa washer (circa 2000) died about four or five years ago, Schaffer’s had sold the business to another small shop. But now that shop has closed.

When my original refrigerator (alsoMaytag circa 2000) died two years ago, the replacement came from Best Buy and the experience was decent but I hate the fridge. When Schaffer’s delivered a fridge, they delivered it cold. They ran it at the shop to make sure it was good to go.

So now I’m building a laundry room.

I ordered a Samsung washer dryer combo from Lowe’s, based on various reviews I read online. At first, I had some issues ordering as I did it online and I’m not sure I got all the connectors/plugs.

Last night I received a call from Lowe’s asking if I really meant to order a washer and a dryer. I got nervous I accidentally ordered two pair. The person on the other end assured me I only ordered one pair.

The very nice person called back stating that they didn’t have my dryer, in any color, but they could deliver the washer. I told him I had a washer so I didn’t need two washers. I needed a dryer.

This confused him.

I’m building a new laundry room, I explained, so the combo has to be stackable. The old dryer has been dead for three years, but the washer is fine. It’s just not stackable and it’s not coming up from the basement.

So we canceled my order and he said I could come into the store and special order something but that Samsung could take months.

This made me grouchy, but such is life.

He called back at 8 p.m. and said he mentioned my plight to his manager and she found that model of washer/dryer that someone had recently canceled and I could have it.

So appliance delivery on again.

But out of three handymen with electrical experience I contacted only one even contacted me. My neighbor offered to help, but with the time frame, I have about ten days to figure this out.