Fall is Here
Old Faithful


September 19 , 1999

Tonight's entry was originally going to be about Zoe's latest fixation: brides. I was also going to include a funny catering anecdote from our wedding, but...I'm not.

I don't know what he's writing about for sure but, I'm going to guess that Chuck and I are writing about the events that transpired here this afternoon. Let's just wait and see.

Summer seems to be officially over here in So. Cal. Well, it's not that we actually had a summer this year, but whatever it is that we had seems to be gone. Blame in on the El Nino, La Nina, Hurricane Floyd, global warming, Y2K, or whatever. I'm not complaining.

I don't like hot weather. We seemed to get away with only two hot weeks this year. One in July and on in September. Yeah!

Well, Beth, what does that have to do with this weekend?

Well, I'll tell you.

I love to garden. I have half a degree in landscape contracting. I know about dirt, plants, watering, what have you.

Usually I'm late in getting all my fall flowers, bulbs, etc. in the ground because September, the best time to put stuff out in the garden, is usually brutally hot and I hate hot weather and I especially hate digging in hot weather. Well, the weather this September has been absolutely delightful.

Last Thursday the weather gods really seemed to be smiling. It was overcast and cool all day and I was home from work. What's a girl to do? Well, start getting her beds ready for fall planting.

Beth, we still don't know what this had to do with this weekend.

Patience, I'm getting to it.

OK, so we have this brick raised bed that goes around the front of our house in a U shape. All three sides are filled with azaleas.


Since last summer I've been thinking and thinking about those beds and what I was going to do with them. I decided I would work on them one at a time. The one in the most need of help is the one right under our front windows.

For several hours Thursday afternoon I dug up azaleas. I got all but the last two out of the ground. I trimmed them back all the way so all that was left, pretty much, were two stumps. I couldn't get them out so I asked Chuck for help.

Well, this afternoon, ax in hand, Chuck is going to get those pesky stumps out of the ground.

Don't say it. I know. "What were you thinking?"

Things were going smoothly. He got all of one of them out and 99% of the second one but I figured I could work around that.

Oh, and did I mention that there's a water line, leading into the house, with a hose hookup right where this azalea is?

Well, even if I didn't tell you, Chuck knew.

There he was chopping away carefully. His work was done. He got more out than I thought. And, no blood had been shed. I would consider this a huge success.

But wait. We have a 3 yr. old. Don't just leave that ax laying around. Bury the head in the dirt. Good thinking.

Well, all I can say right now is that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Chuck put the ax in the ground. Right smack in the middle of the main water line that feeds the house.

Can you say Old Faithful?

Gracious wife that I am, after Chuck turned the water off, I offered to go to the hardware store. Great. I take a sample of the size and type pipe I think it is, and toddle off to Home Base.

Have I mentioned that I hate Home Base.

An hour later I come home with three possible fixes. Well, two actually: some tape to cover the hole with--miracle plumber's tape, guaranteed to fix any leaky pipe; and two galvanized steel clamps, one half inch and one three quarter inch, because the pipe may be a little bigger.

Well, the pipe turns out to be one inch.

Chuck tries the tape and the clamp. No dice. He tries again. Still no go. Three's going to be the charm.

Then I come in and start calling plumbers. Well, since you know that every single plumbing emergency happens on Sunday nights, plumbers charge at least twice their regular rate to come out then.

Three estimates later Chuck decides to try again. Oh. So close. Maybe if I go to OSH and get the one inch clamp deal our problem will be solved. At least temporarily.

We have a closer look at the pipe and all the fittings. Wait a minute, they're copper. You can't use a galvanized thingie to fix copper piping.

Now, I know at Home Base they had a thing to fix copper pipes but since I hate that place so much I was going to OSH this time.

Well, they don't have the copper pipe repair kits at OSH.

I end up buying this stuff worked sort of like the same concept as two part epoxy, with a mesh thing.

Chuck swore it wouldn't work as he put epoxy-saturated mesh things on top of the hole in the pipe. Then in a stroke of genius he put the galvanized clamp thing over the epoxy.

We crossed our fingers. We crossed our toes. We crossed our eyes. Twenty minutes later we went to check. IT WORKED!!!!

I know I have to call a plumber. I will have the spigot relocated. Just not at 4:30 on a Sunday afternoon.

Oh, and maybe I'll get the ice maker hooked up while he's here.

Until next time. . .


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