The five service pups I've raised...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Satisfaction of a job done ...well BY ME

Have you ever accomplished something that gave you a huge feeling of accomplishment?
When my friend Linda made me a cool window valence for my bedroom and she and her father hung it up, I was delighted when I got home and saw it for the first time.

I thought “Man! How amazing to hand-make that!”

And, my friend Belinda does reupholstering. Seeing furniture she has transformed, blows me away. How satisfying that must be, I always thought.

Well I now know from a recent experience, that the more foreign something is, it is then that much more satisfying, to take on and accomplish. Allow me to share:

My experience was a dripping bath tub faucet. For months this faucet leaked no matter how tightly I tried to turn off the handles after a shower. And the dripping would drive me crazy. I put a container under the faucet to catch the water. Then I could see how much was really being wasted (although I did use it to water the house plants.) Something needed to be done.

Geesh this would be a great time and oh so handy to have a man around (i.e. a boyfriend, husband, roommate or father – Dad’s still on his trip).

The internet! That was it! As it has the answers to everything, right? Recipes, driving directions, health advice – and “how to” for doing just about anything that needs being done (how do you think the crazies get instructions for making bombs for crying out loud?)
So, I googled “fixing faucets” and immediately I had all kinds of troubleshooting ideas. Heck there was even a “live help” site where you can decide what you will pay for a contractor to help you through a repair job live from his computer to yours. But I figured I’d use that only as a back-up, if I got stuck- but first I would try to fix my leaky faucet myself.

Well the first night didn’t go so well. As I needed to take the faucet stem off to take with me to Home Depot to see what size replacement was needed. Except I could not get the old part off – the stem needing removed was receded behind the tile wall. I was so frustrated, trying to do this with what tools I had; I got frustrated, started feeling sorry for myself for not having a guy in my life that was available to help me with it. Well after a brief fussy fit and a bit of crying, I finally gave up for the night realizing the repair would have to wait. I turned the water back on for my morning shower the next day and went to bed.

I went back to Home Depot the following day and got a helpful sales associate. I showed him the digital pictures I took on my camera showing him how the stem was receded and I could not reach it. I had also measured it with my tape measure so I would not have to make yet another trip. He promptly showed me the proper tools I would need – a faucet seat wrench and a valve socket wrench and he selected the correct size stem that would probably work, based on my measuring efforts. Ah, now I was in business as I was learning how critical the proper tools are…

So my second day went much better. Using the new wrenches I purchased, I removed the old faucet stems and handles and replaced them with the new ones I bought. I dug out the old plumbers putty around the stem valves and replaced it with new putty I bought. The new faucet handles are shiny and they operate so easily. With a few quick turns they easily turn on and off lightly without any heavy cranking needed. So for around $50, some internet research, a few trips to Home Depot I had fixed the problem.! Gosh what a feeling that was! A repair some plumber probably would have charged me $200 or more to do.

But the biggest rush for me from this experience? Why the amazing sense of satisfaction from doing this job, this completely foreign project, ALL by myself!

Kerry wandered in the bathroom staring at me sitting on the side of my tub turning the faucet on and off, quite smug with myself, doing a little seated victory dance. She wagged her tail finding my behavior odd I’m sure. “Hey!” I said, “Remember the first time you figured out how to open my kitchen cupboard to get to the trash can FULL of wonderful smelling stuff and how YOU felt?” Well that’s how I feel! And it feels GOOD! Yes it does.

<--The After shots -->


ann said...

You go girl!!!

California Girl said...

Good for you! Yesterday morning, GMA had a segment on home improvement mistakes you don't want to make or something like that. It was hilarious but some of it was painful to see (like the guy in ER w/ a 10 penny nail driven into his wrist! Nice job.

CalBuckeye said...

yes CalFGirl I did see mention on yahoo and GMA about DIY repairs and mistakes to avoid...glad I remembered to turn OFF my water before I started!