Bob’s Version: Day 54 Homestead

Homestead Day 54 Tuesday 11/14/2017

Got out my nice warm bed at 7:30. This is the earliest I’ve been able to hit the floor since arriving. I think I am beginning to get back into my old sleep pattern. I am much relieved. I drink coffee out of a 16 oz. Tervis Tumbler cup and I usually gulp down 3, sometimes 4, of these filled with coffee every morning. After my heart surgery in 2001 the doctor told me to lay off the amphetamines and coffee. Kidding about the amphetamines but not about the coffee. I really didn’t drink much coffee when he told me to stop. Only after I wasn’t supposed to drink coffee on doctor’s orders did I become a coffee addict. Well, not an addict because I only drink it in the AM. By ignoring the doctor, i found a life long friend, smooth, dark strong coffee. Not the brown water like restaurants serve and not the bitter crap you get at Starbucks. Starbucks regular coffee tastes burnt. I guess they are going for dark and forgot the smooth part. Most Starbucks customers have so much crap put in their coffee that they can’t tell the difference. What the hell is a half caf macchiato anyway? Properly coffeed, I began my day.

During the night my daughter came to my bedroom door and announced that there was a leak in one of the water lines in the kitchen. I told her to turn off the water to the house and went back to sleep. I awoke this morning thinking that this damned plumbing is, obviously, not going to leave me alone. Worse than that the commode downstairs doesn’t drain when flushed. The washer drain backed up, as well. I was aware that some dumbo had put a clean out on the drain line backward. So I assumed that the thing was clogged. I had been planning to replace it for a couple of weeks and already had the parts on hand. I crawled on the frozen ground to the culprit sawed it off with my RYOBI reciprocating saw. Had a tough time getting through this 3 ” pipe. Once I had cut it away I found it to be solidly filled with ice. I went ahead and installed the proper 90 and crawled back out. Even though it was frozen solid, I made the repair. I don’t have any ideas how I’m going to unfreeze a 3″ plastic line. In the good ol’ days with cast iron pipe you just took a blowtorch to them. Not now the pipe melts long before the ice does. The leaking line was a PEX ring improperly crimped. It must have slipped when I was aligning it to crimp. I cut the line and crimped a brass plug into it as I didn’t have the parts to repair it. No drips, no runs and only one error.

Since the washer wouldn’t drain and the commode wouldn’t flush I took the cap off the properly installed clean out and ran a piece of 1 1/2 PVC pipe to the commode from the washer drain. This flushed the commode and allowed us to do laundry until….. the washer broke. All of a sudden it would not fill up properly. We had to resort to filling a bucket in the bath tub and pouring into the washer to finish the last load we could complete. We have 5-6 loads still piled up in the bathroom. And as luck would have it the dryer started making a noise or noises that sounded like an insane rock and roll drummer. As cursory inspection turned up no problem but I’ll still be forced to take it apart to find the source of this annoying noise. “When it rains it pours” except, in the case of the sanitary piping, it doesn’t.

The balance of the day was spent digging through the destruction pile for wood to burn in the stove. The last of the destruction is now retrieved so that can cut it to sizes that fit in the stove. I cut up enough today to get us through tomorrow night. We are planning a trip to the Kenai Home Depot and to the largest Walmart I have ever seen tomorrow.

After another day of frustration, aggravation and x-rated but stifled utterances, I was happy to sit down to dinner. Summer baked several small potatoes in the wood stove along with a tasty meatloaf. A good dinner and a double shot of vodka rocks and I’m now in a better mood.


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