As The Pizza Cooks – Episode 11

This has been a more interesting week than I wanted.  On Wednesday they shutdown the electricity to my house to replace the neighborhood transformer.  When the power came back on I found that one of my central heater’s thermostats had failed so we couldn’t get heat in the kitchen or living room.  The good news there is we have a gas fireplace in the kitchen and the heater for the bedrooms was still working.

Yes, our house has two heaters, two A/C units.  It’s a big house, don’t judge.

The HVAC tech showed up on Friday to install a new thermostat. They could have come out on Thursday, but I had a number of doctor’s appointments that day and wouldn’t be home.  The tech brought us a nice thermostat that is easy to read — very important for those of us with old eyes.  He also did an inspection of the furnace.  I had mixed feelings about this as there is always a danger of the tech finding another problem, which of course he did.  It was only a gas leak, but he seemed set on fixing it and charging me another hour’s time for it.  I could have skipped the expense, but I wouldn’t want to have this conversation with Heather: “Okay, so the house burnt down, but I did save $125 on the furnace repair bill.”

I have been making some changes to my writing habits.  I’ve started a “Writing Ideas” file where I’m tracking all the things I’m going to post on the blog.  Last week was first in a series on words and this week I had intended to start on my, “As The Music Plays” series.  I have a play list of music that I play while I write and I thought it would be interesting to share what songs I listen to and why.

That was going to start today … but … well, before I tell that story, Heather and I were looking at the classes offered by our local quilt shop and found a class where you make an optical illusion quilt.  This one is a labyrinth pattern.  It looks really cool so we both signed up for it.  We had a nice afternoon outing Saturday afternoon to buy all the fabric we’ll need.  There’s nothing like spending time on a creative project.  I know it seems like an easy thing, to go buy a few yards of fabric, but we did spend a good amount of time comparing colors, contrast, patterns, etc while deciding on what our final quilt will look like.  Likely we over spent on fabric, but it was good entertainment.

So Saturday night, after watching a good TV show and reflecting on what a nice day it’s been, Heather went to the kitchen to rinse her tea cup.  She discovered that the water pressure to the house was only about half of normal.  We’ve been having bad weather here and some flooding warnings have been issued, so she texted our neighbor to see if they were having the same problem.  I just assumed this was an area wide issue with some failure in the water system.  Turns out it was just us and it was raining, dark and cold.

So, I put a raincoat on, got a big flashlight and went out on an inspection run to check the water main.  Didn’t take long for me to step into a large puddle and see a broken irrigation pipe pumping out lots of water.  Great, 9:00 pm, dark, rainy, and a major pipe burst.  You just can’t ask for more fun than that.  As I was wondering what to do Heather was having a text exchange with our neighbor (he’s a power company lineman so knows about this kind of emergency stuff) and they suggested calling the water company.

So I did and they said for $50, they’s send out a tech to turn off the water at the meter.  Which they did around 9:45 pm in the rain, dark and cold.  On the phone the emergency operator suggested that we should fill a bath tub, buckets, etc so we’d have water on hand to flush toilets until I could get a plumber out to fix the problem.

So I did call a plumber but … yeah that didn’t work out.  I was able to trace the problem back to a leaking irrigation valve which turns out to be three feet underground.  The plumber company charges $220 per hour for emergency service and I wasn’t going to pay that to have someone spend four to six hours digging a hole.  The other option was to cap the end of the irrigation valve, which he said he’d do, but they’d charge for two hours and wouldn’t guarantee that the fix would hold.

Well, this was Sunday morning and I figured that I knew enough plumbing to cap a broken irrigation pipe and none of my work is guarantied, but I charge a lot less so I went to the big box store for parts.  It took awhile but I managed to dig out the broken line and put on an improvised compression fittings to cap the end.  Feeling brave, I turned the water back on and so far it’s holding.

None of these adventures really helped me write my essay on music so instead I just wrote this.  Now, I think it’s time for a cup of tea and hope that my plumbing patch holds.

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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35 Responses to As The Pizza Cooks – Episode 11

  1. It sounds like you need something stronger than tea! 🙂 Yikes! But glad it’s fixed so far, and the quilt sounds intriguing. I hope you post photos once it’s finished.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yikes, that’s far too much “excitement”. It’s funny how appliances and other home systems seem to have a suicide pact: If one dies, they all succumb. Here’s hoping your coming week is much less eventful… and less expensive.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Perhaps you should have called this post “As money flies out of my wallet.” Yikes. We had our current home built 23 years ago and every time we turn around now, something goes that makes a big dent in our wallets. The joys of home ownership.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Franknbean says:

    Glad you shared a great day shopping material with the wife.
    Luck on you getting the water guy out on a winter night call.
    Good on you fixing the irrigation pipe cap yourself on Sunday.
    So what kind of pizza did you cook? Was there pizza. That’s what I’m confused about. :- )

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dave says:

    I cringe at the thought of water problems, as we’ve had more than our share over our years of home ownership (seriously, our cross to bear). You are a braver man than I to tackle anything more than a blocked sink trap. Before you talked about your water woes, I was going to comment how your post included a nice message about the value of a spontaneous agenda. We had one of these on Sunday as we dealt with the adjustment to the spring-forward time change. We had a late breakfast, watched two movies and… well, that’s about all we did that day. We certainly woke up that day with more productive intentions. It was a really nice day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How are things going by now?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jfwknifton says:

    $220 per hour……..nearly as much as an emergency French teacher!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. SusanR says:

    Isn’t home ownership fun!?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a weekend! No fun at all.. Well, except for shopping for the quilt stuff, I’m sure that was fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. David Foyle says:

    Egads! Always a joy to have broken water pipes, let alone on a weekend in the Winter.

    Glad your house are on the mend! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Milena Alien says:

    It’s always 5 o’clock somewhere, I am off to drink my tea as well

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Quite the adventure week 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Debra says:

    You’re not kidding when you say you had an “interesting” week. Much more to it than anyone would want in a month, let alone a week. The current harsh weather complicates everything. I hope this week you can focus on your wonderful new quilting project as well as your writing. You likely have a very interesting writing topic list!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Boy, oh boy! You are getting all of your crud in at once, aren’t you? We have had a couple of times like that. “When it rains, it pours” (and sometimes you even break an irrigation pipe!) I am sorry you guys are going through all that but glad you got a handle on it. It isn’t fun, for sure. If you want to look on the good side, it happened in your yard and not in your house. Just trying to be optimistic here. I hope the worst is behind you. I am looking forward to seeing the quilt(s) come to life as well as read more word and music posts. Have a good week. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Things are looking stable today. There will be things to do when the weather is better, but for now I get to stay in a nice warm house. We do the quilt class the end of this week, so I’m hoping to post something next week.


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