“If I had my life to live over again, I’d be a plumber.”

Another cold, grey day dawned this morning. I trudged through snow on the deck and filled the feeders. The branches from the big tree have dropped some snow so they no longer rest on the deck. The palm tree will need replacing, but I’ll wait for warm weather, could be July as we have more snow coming today.

When I came downstairs, I could hear a drop and another drop, a series of drops. I found the spot. It wasn’t all that difficult to find. The ceiling has water marks so something in the upstairs bathroom leaked during the night and is still leaking. My plumber wasn’t there, but I did leave a message. The last time something like this happened he had to open the ceiling to get at the pipes. I figure he’ll do the same thing only it will be a bigger hole. Problems like this make me feel helpless as I can do nothing except move stuff from under the leak and put down rags. I get the same helpless feeling with electrical problems. A stain on a shirt? I’m a whiz. A mark on a table? I can make it magically disappear, but a leak, a drip, sends me reeling. I just noticed the spots together look a bit like a shark. It’s probably symbolic.

My house has a fairly new furnace and hot water burner, a six-year-old roof, double paned windows, siding on the front and new shingles on the other three sides. I know some of you call them shakes, but they aren’t. They’re shingles. I told someone that, and he asked if I didn’t mean shakes. I thought they were the same, but they’re not. I looked up the difference and found shingles are milled more precisely than shakes which tend to be irregular and don’t lay as flat when installed. This creates gaps which can be penetrated by wind-blown snow or rain. When I say shingles and someone tries to correct me and asks if I don’t mean shakes. I’ll tell them no. My house has shingles. So there!

I believe the plumbing problem has had an effect on my mood and not for the better.

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22 Comments on ““If I had my life to live over again, I’d be a plumber.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    I hate when things like that happens! I would most likely not notice anything until it would be too klate since all my pipes lay beneath the floor downstairs. I would most likely notice it when I fell through the rotten floor though 🙂

    I had to check both shingles and shakes and I started with Google translate and shigles seems to be a nasty disease too 🙂 So I checked the rest of the net and got a good explanation.I’m not sure what I would call what I have on my cottage though 🙂

    Still warm here but there was a light snow fall on my way home but none of it stayed on the ground, so far that is because it feels like the night will be cold.

    I hope the plumber comes soon!

    Have a great day despite the dripping water!

    • katry Says:

      Hi Christer,
      It was the dripping I heard then I looked up at the ceiling, the wet ceiling with the water stains.

      On the Cape we always call them shingles as they are evenly shaped and flat. Most houses here have painted or vinyl fronts and shingles around the other three sides. They weather and end up almost black.

      It is slippery as sleet has replaced the snow. Either way it’s ugly.

      Thanks! You too!

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I’m almost glad I only have one bathroom and 1920’s plumbing. All the pipes come up through the floors and there is no water supply to the upstairs. If something leaks, no walls or ceilings have to be ripped open to get at it.
    The other day I spotted a fair amount of water on the bathroom floor between one side of the toilet base and the wall. I figured the toilet was leaking around the wax ring or something. Cleaned up the water and flushed the toilet a few times to see what happened. Nothing. No water since then. No stains on the ceiling that might indicate a roof leak. It was clear water, too, so not Rocky and not me. Not that it was in a place where either of us would have been able to. 🙂

    It’s snowing very hard here right now. I got my appointment and errands done just as it was starting to gather strength. Now I am home, curled up on the couch with Rocky and a warm laptop. 🙂
    Hope you are home before it gets bad and I hope the plumber comes soon. May it be a quick and relatively easy fix.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      This is the second time pipes from upstairs have leaked. The last one was in the downstairs half-bathroom. t was the ceiling again which give away the leak. This one is really leaking as the water stain is huge and getting bigger. No plumber until tomorrow afternoon.

      We now have sleet which will become icy tonight. I went slowly to and from Hyannis and into the house. The front steps need deicer as a precaution.

      I am home and back into dry, comfy clothes. I did have to stop to get dog food, but it didn’t take long. Not many people on the roads.

      I have plastic and rags under the leak. I am hoping for the best!

      • Caryn Says:


      • katry Says:

        Now I’m thinking the overhang. The drops are many and often; there were none last night when it was cold. I called Skip, no answer. I’m thinking I’ll go out with a ladder and hope for the best.

  3. Birgit Says:

    Think positive, it’s not SNOW 😉 Good luck!
    I hope you don’t have to post “Wade in the Water” or “Here comes the Flood” when you return home. Great songs, but inappropriate indoors.

    • katry Says:

      It is still leaking and no Walter, the plumber, until tomorrow afternoon. That whole part of the ceiling will have to be replaced which means calling the insurance company plus getting an estimate to repair the damage.

      I hope I don’t need those songs!

  4. MT C Says:

    Oh yes. THE mood. Noticeable, but barely discernible to be on the decline.

    “Cheer up things could be worse” he warned. So she cheered up and lo and behold things got worse.


  5. flyboybob Says:

    The joys of home ownership 🙁
    When I was in the eighth grade in the New York Public School system you had to decide if you wanted to attend your neighboorhood academic high school or attend a vocational high school. We thought that the only kids who went to the vocational high school were kids we called ‘rocky’ in those days. The kids who wore motorcycle jackets, had slicked back hair, made zip guns in shop class and were working on graduating to Attica State prison. Little did we realize that those kids grew up to become our plumbers, electricians and auto technicians. They were earning six figure equivalent wages by today’s standards within a couple of years of leaving high school.

    Unfortunately, the US education system was sold a bill of goods concerning a college education by the government and the leaders of State and private Universities who depended on keeping the myth alive to assure a steady stream of money. Think about how many philosophy or history majors are flipping hamburgers at McDonalds. I told my son to attend the local community college for the first two years and get a certificate or two year degree in how to do something that people need that can’t be exported to India. Then, if he wanted to go to a four year college he could and have a profession that can always earn him a living when that philosophy degree proves to be worthless.

    What are the three things that a plumber has to know?
    1. Excreatment runs down hill
    2. Don’t bite your fingernails
    3. The pay check comes on Friday

    A master plumber has to know a heck of a lot more. When your toilet is backed up you can’t be helped by a call center in India. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      There were no tech schools when I was in high school. You chose your track: college, business or general. The general track didn’t teach enough to give anyone the skills for entry into a skilled profession. Now the tech schools have a waiting list and teach all sorts of skills like marine mechanic, plumbing, landscaping and on and on.

      They didn’t push college on us. I was the only one in my family who went though I had a cousin who went later and a couple of kids of my other cousins also went. The rest went right to work after high school in a variety of jobs, including at Burger King where he is now manager though that’s about it for his ceiling.

      The only philosophy majors I knew were guys in the seminary who were going to be priests. A couple of my friends took a general major and both became social workers.

      My plumber is a great guy, an old guy, who once stopped my toilet from running by using a rock. He always apologizes when he gives me the bill.

  6. Hedley Says:

    oh my…..Birgit ? Kat ? im6?
    here is the live stream of the new Beck….

    • katry Says:

      Such a teaser!

    • Birgit Says:

      Hedley, thanks for the Beck npr link. Just listening…
      Some time ago, you recommended 2 Beck albums. Fortunately both were available on YouTube. I had to stop listening to Odelay, because I couldn’t bear the drum machine. I liked the other one better (can’t remember the name), but I missed energy. The best choice for me so far was a live recording, Newport Folk Festival 2013.
      After 30 min of the new record: listening yes, buying no. His music flies along, but it doesn’t really reach me.

      Some days ago, a Zappa at Meadowbrook Music Festival 1984 recording turned up on sugarmegs. It was fun to listen to. Have you seen the concert?

      • Hedley Says:

        Birgit, no, I didn’t see it Meadowbrook is in our community but we didn’t go to Zappa. It’s a very nice little music shell on the campus of Oakland University and next to Meadowbrook Hall. Last year we saw OAR at the facility

  7. sprite Says:

    Huh. I’ve never heard the term “shake” applied to house siding.

    • katry Says:

      Lots of people call them shakes. I have even been corrected in a nice way by people. They are irregular and not as finely made as shingles.

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