Seriously. I know he (my daughter's boyfriend) must have thought I was crazy. I was standing in the mudroom in full temper tantrum yelling at the vacuum cleaner and swinging the hose around my head as fast as I could swing it and telling it in no uncertain terms what I was going to do to it if it didn't unclog itself right this minute!
The vacuum cleaner hose didn't seem to care what I thought of it and promptly wrapped itself around my leg with a painful SNAP as it hit me on the knee at approximately sixty mph. I promptly burst into tears.
I'm sure he didn't know what to say, the poor guy, or what to do to help this poor mentally deranged mother get a grip on herself before she committed vacuum cleaner murder. Or Eureka-cide as I like to call it.
Usually I am pretty good about keeping my temper in check when there is company in the house...mostly. Today I got up early because the family was coming over for Easter and the house needed cleaning first. I woke up the kids and set them to work cleaning up the mess they and their friends had made in the living room. The living room didn't smell so good. The cat box, (I know, I know, why the living room you ask? Because the cat has decided that's where she wants it, and I am not going to argue with her on that issue. I tried and found out real quick that she means business about her business. So the box goes in the living room.) The cat box needed cleaning. I got a walmart bag to empty it into and quickly did the job. Everything was done, I was thinking, as I walked from the living room through the dining room, and into the kitchen. Even the house smelled better...I was interrupted by an urgent "MOM!" and as I looked behind me I was horrified to realize that the trusty walmart bag had a large hole in it. And there was dirty cat litter all the way from the living room to the kitchen. All.over.the.carpet. I quickly got out my vacuum cleaner and broom and set to work. First I swept up all the litter. Then I vacuumed up all the litter in the living room. I just had one little bit to suck up, so I reached down to unhook the hose from the vacuum...and all.that.cat litter...came back up out of my vacuum and sprayed all over the room. Dirty cat litter. Clean room. Company coming...You can see where this is going...Dragging the vacuum behind me by the hose at an angry trot I got to a place where there was no carpet so I could figure out the problem...kitty litter leaking behind me all the way...What an unbelievable mess.
And it gets worse before it finally gets better...The next few minutes find me in full "shaken vacuum cleaner" mode as I shook it as hard as I could and yelling at it as loud as my voice would go. But I finally got all it all out. I never did figure out what caused all that litter to collect in the bottom of the hose. I just calmly collected my vacuum, put it all back together, apologized to my daughter's boyfriend, who was kind enough to not hold it against me. I cleaned it all up, the family came over. We had a great time.
Fast forward several hours. Late afternoon. I'm standing outside. One of the girls comes out and says "The upstairs toilet is overflowing (again!) and is running down the hall into Matt's room." At a full run I'm on it.
As I gallop up the stairs I can see that my son already has a handle on the situation. Having dealt with this problem multiple times he knows exactly what to do. This particular toilet seems to overflow about every six months, usually when we are having company. (last time my husband's eighty four year old grandma flushed the toilet and it overflowed and scared the poor woman half out of her mind!) When it overflows it runs out the bathroom door and down the hall and into my son's room. One time we didn't catch it fast enough and it ran all the way to the edge of the floor, under the baseboards and down the walls into the dining room below coming out through the window casings. Did I mention that I have been meaning to get around to getting rid of this old rocking and rolling toilet? I even have the replacement out in the garage. Have had for a year, just waiting for the right time to put it in. I decided, as I stood in a puddle of water with every single towel in my house employed in the cleaning thereof that now was that time. No matter that it was almost dark, no matter that it was Easter Eve and I definitely had other things planned. It must be now. I had had enough of that toilet.
So. After cleaning up the huge mess and carting down and entire basket of wet towels to the laundry I went out to get the new toilet. The box was heavy and I wasn't in a lifting mood, so I opened the box and took out all the pieces, one by one, and brought them up to the house. Now to understand what I am going to say next there must be an explanation. I have three bathrooms. The tiny downstairs powder room had been the site of a horrible sewer explosion in the past, due to a city problem which had been subsequently fixed by the city. But. I had installed a toilet in there that I called a "superflusher" before the problem was fixed, so that I would never have to deal with an overflowing toilet in there again.
Now that the problem was fixed I no longer needed the "superflusher" in there. It was obviously needed upstairs and that was the reason I had put off fixing the toilet situation so long. I didn't want to spend an entire afternoon slogging away on the floor with wax rings and flanges and sewer smells, so I put it off. and off. and off.
My plan was to put the new toilet in the downstairs powder room and move the "superflusher" to the upstairs bathroom. The "superflusher was a one piece toilet. It had been easy to install, had been up and running in less than fifteen minutes. I didn't expect anything different from the new toilet. I mean, yeah, I would have to install the tank on top of the seat, but how hard could that be, right? I got the "superflusher" off with no trouble. Got the old wax ring off, (ewwww) Got the base on the floor. And then the trouble started. Those silly flange screws just wouldn't stay in place. And those silly little nuts they give you don't fit the silly little flange screws very well. They keep getting stuck.
Keeping in mind that my daughter's bf is still here, I am determined to keep my temper. I bite my lip a little bit and maybe a few words might escape under my breath but I am able with a whispered prayer or two to keep it in check.
But I am sweating by this time. Down on the floor with my face next to the bowl, I can't see the screw for attaching to the tank because the bowl is only a few inches from the wall. I can feel it but I can't get it in there. Finally, finally...but the tank is too loose, and I think I might have done something wrong so I take it all off again. Taking out those nuts is a little nightmare in itself. They don't come off any easier than they went on. But with a little help from a power screwdriver with a socket on the end I finally succeed...only to realize that I had it right the first time.
So I decide to move on the the other toilet. Matt and I haul the SF up the stairs and set it aside. We get the rock and roller off and I see that the ring is almost non existent. I get off what remains, clean up under and around where the toilet was and set the SF down on the flange screws. And it's done in less than fifteen minutes just like before, except for one heartstopping moment when I realize it's leaking, and quickly find the leak (bolts on the inside of the tank loosened during moving) and it's fixed.
And I have mostly kept my temper.
Back to the powder room.
I am determined to finish the job and have a working toilet tonight. I realize maybe I just need some seasoned nuts. I find some in my bucket o'screws, and they are just the thing. They go on easily, no trouble. I tighten the flange screws, connect the water, watch it fill up, adjust the ball valve. And relax. I'm sitting on the bowl, backwards, watching the water fill up. "All done" I say, and look up at Ashley and smile. She looks back at me and very matter of factly says "Where's the seat?" I look down at the bowl I am sitting on and realize there is indeed, no seat. And as my mind goes back over the last couple of hours, the unpacking, and bringing it up to the house, I realize, there IS no seat. I go out to the garage, I double check the box. Nada. Nothing. Oh well. I will be making a call to Lowes on Mon. And I will be holding my temper. That's a promise.
Now, hours later, laying in bed on Easter morning, I think about the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for me. He thinks I was worth it. Even in the midst of a foolish wild eyed, hair raising tantrum he thinks I am worth saving. He reaches down, picks me up, dusts me off, and shows me a better way. And loves me. Thank you, Jesus for all your love.