Sunday, November 20, 2011

Water spicket

Bare with me here for a minute while I set this up.  Home improvement projects seem to be popular right now.  OK by popular I mean me and EmptyNester have home improvement projects going on right now, the rest of you rockbottom dwellers may need to jump on this wagon before you get left out of all the fun :)  

Well my home improvement project has been two fold.  The first phase was replacing the windows in our sun room.  I will spare you the details, but suffice to say we paid somebody to replace them.  The second phase was painting the outside of our house.  It is mostly brick so the project was not as combersome as it could have been.  We decided for the second phase to keep it inhouse (do it yourself).

I blocked off a Saturday to commit a full day to painting the outside of the house.  We had to put a coat of primer on the fresh siding around the new windows and a coat of new paint on the front door and eves (after my wife had spent Friday morning stripping the paint from the front door).  My father-in-law joined in on the fun as well and contributed a coat of paint around the eves and flashing around the entire house.  When we wrapped up the painting at the end of the day we basically had a coat of paint or primer on everything except the front post and the garage.  

Because we did not finish the project in a day and a half as planned.  We extended the plan into the following week.  The new plan was for my wife to continue to paint what she could reach throughout the week and I would once again paint all day the following Saturday to wrap it all up.  Well mother nature had other plans.  It rained Monday - Wednesday with Thursday not such a good day for painting.  

My wife pulled the paint supplies back out on Friday as I left for work.  When I got home for lunch she had put a second coat on the front door.  Her plans for after lunch were to paint the window seals on the front porch we had forgotten all about.  So she asked me to get the A-frame ladder out for her.  As I returned inside I told her to be careful using the ladder.  She mumbled something about only having to get on the second step.  I returned to work.

My cellphone rings about 10 minutes before quitting time.  "Home" is displayed on my cell phone screen.  
Me: Hey what's up?
My wife: There has been an accident.
Me: What!  What happened?! 

The signal cracks up.  I think the company I work for has installed cell phone blockers in my building.  Surely it cannot be AT&T's wonderful service.  I got up and left my office to see if the reception would get any better. 

Me: Are you OK?
My wife: Yes I am fine.  There has been an accident.
Me: OK I heard that part, what is going on?
There are voices in the background
My wife: I broke the water spicket.

Dramatic pause.  At first I was thinking, as you probably were, that she had fallen off the ladder and hurt herself.  With the voices in the background I was thinking maybe the ambulance staff was helping her into the ambulance or the neighbors were helping her into their vehicle to transport her to the ER.  When she mentioned the water spicket, I thought the spicket is not on the front of the house it is on the side of the house with the driveway.  Why was she painting over there?  The only thing to paint over there are the eves.  She was not supposed to be painting the eves.  

Me: Wait...did you say water spicket?    
My wife: Yes I was leaving to get some more paint because I had ran out.  I was backing out of the driveway making sure I was being very careful because Will (2 year old that lives next door) and Dixie (Jack Russell terrier lives across the street) were out playing.  Anyway I heard a noise and the van started getting sprayed with water, like somebody was squirtting us with a fire hose.  I do not know how it happened but when I ran over the hose it pulled the spicket off the wall.  Mindy said Tanner's dad is on his way over and he is a plumber.  Can I have him fix it?
Me: Yes.
My wife: OK bye. 
She hung up.

So I, and now you, are left to imagine what is going on at my house because in her state of mind staying on the phone to provide me more information of the accident was apparently not a priority.

Pulling onto my street I see more people out and about than normal.  There is a truck parked in my driveway and a gentleman chiseling away at a brick on the side of my house.  My wife is standing in the driveway supervising the plumber.  My kids are next door playing with Will and Dixie.  I get out of my truck and start a conversation with my wife.

Me to my wife:  OK I am glad you are not hurt.
My wife:  What are you talking about?
Me: It is not a good idea to start a conversation with your spouse with 'There has been an accident.'  It tends to produce an adrenaline rush in the spouse hearing that statement.
My wife:  Sorry but there had been an accident.
Me:  But I thought you had fallen off the ladder and somehow hurt yourself and broken the spicket.
My wife: But I was not even painting near the spicket why would you think that?
Me: Sooo...what happened?
My wife:  (Read this faster as you go cause she got faster as she talked) Well I had run out of paint and knew we would need some for tomorrow.  I thought I would run to the paint store before they closed and pick up another gallon.  Instead of putting everything up, because the store is so close, I left everything out and told the kids to get in the van.  The hose was across the driveway.  As I was backing up, careful to watch out for all the kids and dogs out playing because you know how cautious I am, I heard a noise and suddenly the van is being sprayed with water.  I looked over and it appeared it was coming out of the wall of the house.  I pulled the van up some and noticed the spicket did not look right.  I got out of the van and tried to put the spicket back in the position it was supposed to be in, because it was bent sideways.  That seemed to just finish it off.  Water was going everywhere.  I ran to the street to try to turn of the water.  I have never seen what is under the lid.  But I got the lid off and saw the valve, but I could not turn it off.  I could not budge it.  I called over to Toby (neighbor across the street).  He must have just thought I was saying hello cause he just put his hand up.  I screamed back over him "I need your help!"  He seemed to look past me this time to see the water coming out of the house.  He came jogging over realizing what I was trying to do.  He was unable to shut off the valve.  He ran back to his house and brought a tool over and was able to shut off the water.  I told him what happened.  He said he could fix it.  I asked him if he could fix it before Kipp gets home?  But I must have interrupted him, because he said he could fix it if it was his house.  He would not want to do ours in case something went wrong.  So he went to get me a number of a plumber he knows.  I then walked over to check on the girls.  Mindy wanted to know what happened.  I told her.  She tells me Tanners dad is on his way over to pick him up for the weekend and matter of fact he is in the neighbor now, maybe he could do it, because he was a plumber.  Cool right? When he pulled up I asked him if he would do it.  He said he would do it for $100.  I told him he was hired.  This is when I called you and asked if we should hire a plumber.  Cause the way I saw it, having no water for more than a few hours, trying to find a plumber on a Friday afternoon, much less how much would it cost for weekend pay after hours, I thought asking Tanner's dad to do it seemed like a great option.  Now tell me, would you have wanted to hear all that on the phone or what I said when I called?
Me: First of all - good job.  Secondly - Why did you even call me? :)
My wife Wonder Woman: Because it made me feel better to have you say you would hire a plumber.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Is yours like this?

I guess it goes without saying that mothers always think the best of their children no matter how we turn out or how old we get.  My grandmother thinks the world of her son.  My Dad's mom thought he could do no wrong.  Ask my aunts if you don't believe me.  Not sayin these fellas aren't good fellas but in the eyes of their mothers they are pretty high up on the tower of ivory.

Why am I thinking about this?  Well my aforementioned grandmother was recently in the hospital.  She had a few injuries that needed tending too after an unexpected fall.  I took an extended lunch break to make a visit to see her in hospital.  On my way into her room I of course had past a nursing station or two.  

Do you ever get the feeling that if you make eye contact with the nurses they may ask you "Where the heck do you think you are going? or "Sir, you aren't allowed back here."  I always walk with my head up and eyes forward like I know where I am going.  If I get lost, which can happen in an instant in a hospital, I start patting my pockets acting like I forgot something and turn around. 

I finally got to the room number mom had given me.  I reach the number on the door.  You guessed it, it was right by the nursing station.  

As I am facing the door, with no name sticker to identify who is supposed to be in the room, knowing the nurses are giving me the evil eye for not asking them for a patient name this thought crosses my mind - a janitor's closet.  What if I am about to walk into a janitors closet right in front of the nursing station?  No.  What I am thinking?  My mom would not do that to me, she would not embarrass me in front a group of nurses.

To make things even more awkward, I suddenly remember how my preacher man father tells stories of his more adventurous hospital visits.  "You never know what you are going to walk into when you enter a hospital room...even after you knock and somebody says come in!"  

Not really wanting to experience a sponge bath or a potty break nor the shame of knocking on the janitors closet another thought hit me.  If it was a closet, I could make a comment about the "23-19 code violation of not having a fiberglass door on a janitor's closet".  (remember act you are supposed to be there - throw in some code violation jargon and people will leave you alone)  

I finally knocked.  

Am I the only one that gets the hebee-jeebees at a hospital?  Really? 

I decided not to enter unless I recognized the voice or the door was opened from the inside.  I knocked on the door and waited for a response from my mom or grandmother.  I heard mom say, "Come in".  

Safely inside the room, I was able to shake off the feeling I was being watched.  But once in the room I noticed something odd.  There was no hospital bed.  Even stranger there was no Nanna.  I must have had a strange look on my face.  "She just left to get an MRI.  I tried to call you but I guess you did not get the call." mom quickly informed me.  

After our hello's and an update on Nanna's status, she could not seem to wait to tell me all about how exciting it has been during their day and half stay at the hospital. "It's like a soap opera up here on the 2nd floor." 

For example, the gurney men transporting Nanna to and from Xray, Imaging, and other places seemed to be quite the Don Juan Quixote's.  According to mom, Nanna seemed to think they were trying to get fresh with her a time or two during her gurney trips. "They were being so friendly and talkative."  Mom said the nutritionist seemed to be showing her some special attention.  Although I later found out they had failed to bring them dinner the night before.  Yeah you might get some special treatment from the staff if they failed to bring you a meal in a hospital.  I told mom "you should not worry about all that, maybe they just don't get too many folks on the 2nd floor that can carry on conversation.  Maybe these folks are just excited to have people to talk too?"  She snapped "I don't think so son."   

I told her, "Well I can't see any harm in folks wanting to carry on a conversation.  Plus with all the people that come in and out of these rooms all day and all night I do not think you two have anything to worry about.  Even so, you are right across from the nursing station.  At least it gives you two some entertainment while you are in here."

Mom went on as if I was the one talking non-sense.  She explained some more about a few apparent love affairs she had picked up on amongst the staff.  Most of it seemed pretty normal to me, especially when you get men and women together in the same place for extended periods of time - they tend to talk to each other.  

As my time started wearing short, I told mom to tell Nanna I was sorry I missed her but hopefully she would be out soon and next time I saw her she would home.  Mom walked me out of the room into the hall and told me she loved me, thanked me for stopping by, sorry you missed Nanna, she would tell Nanna I stopped by, Nanna would be sorry she missed me, Nanna would be glad you stopped by, you better call her later...You get the idea, she was being a mom.  I finally stepped in and gave her a hug and told I had to get going.  

As I got about four steps down the hall from her I hear her say this in a bold booming voice, just a guess here but most likely directed at the nursing station, "That's my youngest son.  Isn't he good looking?" 

Pull the needle across the record.  ~~screeeech~~

I did not even turn around.  I just kept my head up and kept walking a little quicker than I had arrived.  In case you haven't been following along, guess who seems to be generating all the soap opera story lines?! 

As if that was not quite embarrassing enough, when I called mom later that evening to check on Nanna she tells me all about what happened after I left.  "When you left I told those nurses at the station you were my son.  One of them walked up and asked me if you were married.  I told her you were; happily married."  The lady then said, "Ms. Bedford it's just too bad he's married.  I could make that man real happy."  Mom started laughing she thought that was soo funny.

Deciding to turn the tide on my mom, I said as serious as I could muster in a low voice "Really?  Which one was she, is she still working, is she still there?  Maybe I might need to come back up there cause remember I didn't get to see Nanna."  

Starting to laugh now I said, "I might need to give that nurse a big hug for taking care of you two!"  Realizing I was pulling her leg, she laughed, "You will not.  Son don't talk like that."

Gotta love our moms.  No matter what we do or how old we get...