Pipe, Wire & the American Way
For most of our bathroom project's long and varied life, Darwin has been opposed to hiring a plumber. We have copper pipe, but he studied the plumbers while they fixed a leak this summer, and he is convinced he can do the switcheroo (tub and toilet will need to change places) himself.
I'm convinced of that, too, but what I'm a little less certain about is how long it will take him to do it. Today marks 17 months since my first post about bathroom demolition. As I've said ad nauseum, I'm ready for this to be done. My goal is Valentine's Day this year - just one month away - and if it's possible for someone to spontaneously combust, missing that deadline and dragging this project on for more months and years might just be cause enough for my head to catch on fire.
Enter Miss Millie. The house training thing is not going so well. We read all the comments about crate training, we started Tivo'ing The Dog Whisperer, and I researched house training online. But nothing I've read seems to address what you do if you have to leave your pet alone for at least 9 hours at a time on some days. I thought we could have our neighbor's child walk Millie during the day, but then we met, and our hyper girl was a bit much for her.
The one suggestion that seems feasible for the times we ARE home is to keep Millie with us at all times inside the house, so we can catch her in the act if she starts to poop on the floor (she rarely pees in the house). This morning Darwin had just brought her inside from a walk when he caught her getting ready to poop on the dining room carpet. He said, "No, no, no!" and that girl scurried away to the back door! He took her out, and she pooped outside.
Hmmm, she apparently knows where she's supposed to go, but she doesn't seem that interested in doing it when she's out there. I'll wait for AGES for her to poop, and she won't do it. She's too involved in sniffing out and digging up earthworms, diving after birds, or trying to drag me toward the neighbors' yard (and yellow lab).
Also, she has tons of energy and just really adores being outside. She'll sit at the window and whine, or even go to the door and whine, and I'll think she needs to do her business. So I take her out, and nope - she just wants to run and sniff.
It's pretty obvious to us that Millie needs a fence. When we'll be gone for long hours, we can leave her outside, where she'll have grass on which to poop, a little house in which to rest, and best of all - room to run, run, run. Having a fence will also be handy when we have kids one day to keep them from dashing off into traffic.
So we formulated a plan to build our own fence in the side yard made of roll wire and round posts to match the existing old, incomplete fence. The cool thing about this type of fence compared to chain link is it looks more old-fashioned - like a farm fence - and it blends into the background better than either chain link or a tall wood fence.
The fence will begin at the back corner of the house, connect with the old fence running parallel to the house, and then come back in to meet the front edge of the porch. It will encompass a roughly 500-square-foot area that includes four shade trees and lots of grass:
This weekend we measured and calculated, and Darwin bought two 100-foot rolls of wire and 18 treated posts. We'll be taking down an unnecessary and inconvenient bit of fence from the other side of the house and using its gate. We'll also be repairing some of the old fence. The total project will only cost about $230.
So what does this have to do with the bathroom? Millie's fence is a pretty urgent project, and, like everything, it will take up precious weekend time. Darwin will be working on it some this week, but it will still take up at least a full Saturday, probably a Saturday and Sunday. That sets our bathroom work back yet another week.
When Darwin flitted off to go hunting Saturday afternoon (and we had a belated Christmas gathering on Sunday), and we got exactly NOTHING done on the bathroom, I snapped.
I called Darwin and said, "Look, I'm calling a plumber to get an estimate." And for the first time, he didn't argue with me. He quite perkily said, "And then we'd only have to paint and drywall!" It's not quite that simple, but still - the plumbing is our last major project.
So the plumber will be coming one day this week. Of course, now Darwin is again saying how it's not a difficult project and he could do it and that sure is a lot of money. All before we've even heard the estimate.
I am usually the first to say, "eeek, can't we do that ourselves?" And I know I just posted about saving money. But some things are just worth it. Our time is worth something, too. And having something complete would do wonders for us both. I doubt hiring a plumber is something we would regret while we soaked in a delicioiusly hot bath or brushed our teeth at our new sink, or you know, did other things on our toilet.
So for now I'm voting pro-plumber, if the price is at all reasonable.
And I'm excited about the fence. I can't wait to chase Millie around inside it.
New pictures of Millie!