Archive for the ‘Not On My Agenda’ Category

I wanted a shower head like my sister, Miss Priss, has in her basement bathroom. Being the odd relative, I am never allowed to stay on the main floor. I don’t mind being hidden away in the basement because I really like that shower head. It’s one of those fancy jobs with a hose wand that can be lifted out of the bracket.

Having suffered yet another birthday in late November, I was able to justify the purchase as a birthday present to myself. I further justified a new drain thingie and a new tub spigot because everything was 25 years old. Other than rust and an appalling lack of water efficiency, all of these parts worked fine. Except the drain but my plumber friend who came out to install all of these parts solved the drain problem to my everlasting joy.

Five days into playing with my new hose wand, I heard an ominous C-R-A-C-K. This was followed by water spewing from the area of the fitting where the new shower head attached to the shower arm. I won’t go into any details here because I had soap all over my body and the language wasn’t pretty. Suffice it to say that I wondered why I had messed with perfectly good parts. After I mopped and corralled the water, I got up on the edge of the tub to inspect my new Aqua Source shower head. It had split across the middle of the PLASTIC fitting. Made in China. Why is everything plastic and made in China?

shower head-5963

Can you believe this?


I took the offending shower head with hose wand back to Lowes for a refund. Returning to the plumbing department, I was tempted to sit in the aisle as I opened all their boxes of shower heads trying to find one that did not have plastic fittings. I decided against drawing that kind of attention to myself. Ultimately, I chose a Moen without the hose wand just in case the weight of the wand caused the fitting to crack. The Moen looked and felt like the fitting might be metal but I wasn’t a hundred percent sure. It’s a cinch the packaging never says a thing about fittings. It apparently does not occur to the manufacturers that it just might matter to us.

I did not want to ask my plumber friend to drive all the way from the beach just to install a shower head, so I decided that maybe I could install the thing. The instructions were very straightforward:

  • Remove existing shower head (I had already done this in order to return the cracked piece of crap to Lowes).
  • Hand tighten shower head to shower arm but do not over-tighten.

Additionally, it said thread tape was not recommended and thread tape has always been a source of major stress to me. Hand tightening sounded like it was within the realm of my skill set. No tools or genius involved.

However, just thinking about the installation caused me endless anxiety. It locked up my shoulders bad enough that I had to scurry off to my chiropractor. It took THREE days to work up the nerve to attempt the installation. Pathetic.

The hardest part of the installation was removing all that thread tape. I had to pick at it with an Xacto knife. The best part? The fitting didn’t leak after hand tightening. The worst part? It didn’t extend far enough from the shower wall. I had to shower inside my soap caddy. I tried to adjust it but it wouldn’t budge so I called on Poppie the next day. It took two hands but he fixed it. What a disgusting amount of drama just to get rid of rust and conserve a little water.

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Remember those childhood days when you screeched at some recalcitrant relative, “I’m telling Mom!”? After Momma passed to Glory, it was necessary for me to choose another Mom-like figure for such threats. I chose our family’s iron-fist-in-a-velvet-glove, Miss Priss (my sister).

I was in Poppie’s kitchen the other night trying to prepare a cake mix on the same counter as his toaster oven. At my request, he had earlier put two baking potatoes in the toaster oven.

I guess he forgot to poke holes in the potato skin. Or maybe I forgot to tell him to poke holes. All of a sudden, one of the baked potatoes exploded.

Embed from Getty Images

I was so startled, I screamed. Poppie, on the other hand, never budged from his recliner to find out what happened to me. At first, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Poppie doesn’t hear so good even with two hearing aids. I thought he might not have heard the explosion but by golly, he MUST have heard me screaming bloody murder. I could have been standing there in the boogie man’s stranglehold with a knife at my throat. Does Poppie bother to check? Noooooooo.

I rightly accused him of this shortcoming.

“You screamed,” he explained. “So I knew you were all right.”

My mouth agape, I put my hands on my hips. “What has to happen to get your attention? The potato firing out of the toaster oven like a guided missile? Do I have to create an earthquake by falling to the floor before you think something might be amiss?”

This went back and forth for several minutes before I became so exasperated I hollered, “I’m telling my sister!” I guarantee you, that shuts him up every time.

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Arm & Hammer Laundry detergent-2110

Notice anything a little off with this bottle of Arm & Hammer laundry detergent? Okay, how about a whole lot off? Can’t find it? Let me help you out. It’s the pour spout. It’s turned in the wrong direction. I can’t hold the bottle of detergent by the handle and pour. I tried turning the spout but I can’t get it off of the knobs on the yellow bottle so I’m stuck with it. This was NOT ON MY AGENDA.


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You’ve seen those tiny warnings on prescription bottles: “may cause drowsiness, “do not operate machinery.” I never particularly thought of them as common sense warnings for life — “if drowsy, do not operate machinery.”  Sigh. Momma always claimed I never had a lick of common sense and she’s probably shakin’ her head all the way up there in Heaven.

It started with two days of unseasonably warm weather in the 80’s. I got out there to do a little weeding in the vegetable garden as best I could with my crippled-up back. It took me two days to weed one and half rows, 28 feet in length, because every time I bent over, I couldn’t get back up. On one of those days, I ran some errands afterwards. I know I shouldn’t do things like this, but sometimes I do it anyway.

Around 4:00, I began to cook dinner for Poppie. Mind you, my fatigued muscles had not been restored by any sort of prolonged prone position or a nap. Not a good idea when you have chronic pain from an injury. So what does Ms. Fumble Fingers do? She dropped the manual, hand-crank can opener on the floor.

This is Exhibit A

This is Exhibit A

The handles might be fake stainless steel, for all I know, but the business end has some serious heft. I picked it up and set it on the counter to check later in case the fall warped the blade mechanism.

At dinner, I told Poppie I was so tired I felt a nap-before-bed coming on. I went home, looked at the messy kitchen and that can opener. I picked up the can opener to check the blade and it immediately plummeted to the floor, blade down. It landed on my left foot and almost cut off my pinkie toe.

I hope I don’t offend you with my ugly foot but I offer this photo as proof of my wounds.

This is Exhibit B

This is Exhibit B

I solicited sympathy by email and my sister, Miss Priss, who knows that things happen to me, had this to offer: “How big is your can opener that the blade would be LARGE enough to cut off your toe? That must be some kind of can opener!” Clearly, sympathy will NOT be forthcoming from the family so it would be helpful to me if some of you would also admit to doing stoopit stuff.

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Best of Intentions

I had four days of work come up for the week of December 31st and intended to use New Year’s Day to get my blog ready for the New Year and post something humorous. Alas, my mother, who has been ill for two years, passed into God’s Kingdom New Year’s Eve at 7 p.m. and I just haven’t been in a frame of mind to blog. Give me a few days for my sense of humor to return.


Thanks to all who sent me public and private messages of condolence here at the Southern Rural Route.

Momma’s memorial was held on January 9, 2013, at 11:00 at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. My sister gave a wonderful, humorous eulogy and Rev. Dr. Timothy Roberts was equally upbeat.

Evie and her employer sent me two Meyer Lemon trees for Momma’s Memorial Citrus Grove.

Meyer Lemon Trees-1338

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