I know I usually come off as calm and reasonable on this blog, but in reality I often tend toward crabbiness and irritability (just ask my husband). Because I have the entire week free, I decided it was time to take steps to remedy the one thing about our house that has been driving me the craziest: our shower.
Here's the basic scenario: irritable Jane is in the bathroom fixing her hair. Shower: "Drip, drip, drip, drip..."
Jane is in the bathroom feeding the cat. Shower: "Drip, drip, drip, drip..."
Jane is sitting in the living room, six feet from the bathroom door. Shower: "Drip, drip, drip, drip..."
Our house was built in the 1950s and I would guess that our one full bath was remodeled sometime in the early '80s. The plumbing in the shower has been getting progressively worse over the past several years, but I kept holding out hope that the Money Fairy would stop by and provide the wherewithal for us to do a bathroom remodel. Ha ha ha!
Aside from steadily dripping a couple of gallons of water per day, some valve or other in the shower knob allowed hot water to squirt around the handle when the shower was turned on. Also, the drain was so slow that you'd end up wading in ankle-deep water through most of every shower. We'd been putting up with some of these problems for YEARS (although the drain thing has only been happening for the past several months).
I arranged for a plumber to come by yesterday morning. He looked at our shower situation and immediately began throwing out estimates that made me blanch. I was suddenly VERY glad that we'd kept our holiday shopping in check. We agreed on a price and he set about enlarging the already gigantic hole in the lath and plaster wall of our closet to reach the necessary portion of the plumbing. I wandered off and took down the Christmas tree while he worked.
Since I was already spending a fortune, the plumber didn't charge me any extra to clear the shower drain and install a new shower head that I've had kicking around since we had our water softener put in.
As soon as I charged the whole mess to my credit card and showed the plumber out, I took the best shower I've had in years. The water pressure was amazing, despite the fact that the new shower head was supposedly the water-saving kind. The drain worked perfectly - no more splashing around in a puddle of my own shampoo residue.
Having a properly functioning shower has made me think of other things about our house that I've been putting up with for far too long. There's the breaker leading to our stove that trips any time I turn on more than two burners or the oven and a burner. There's the living room light switch that throws off scary sparks, which means we haven't turned on the overhead light for a couple of years. Heck, we've been buying bags of ice the entire ten years we've lived here because we've never managed to get the ice maker in our freezer to work.
Well, one thing at a time. For now I'll enjoy the delightfully rejuvenated shower until I pay down my credit card a bit. Maybe I'll look into hiring an electrician after that...