Thursday, March 29, 2007

Paying the piper...I mean Plumber

We live in a 30 year old semi-detached home in our little town. It is a pretty little house, 4 bedrooms, 1 1/2 bathrooms, finished basement, large dining room/sitting room/my new office space type of deal, beautiful front yard with a driveway large enough to hold 3-4 cars and a great side and backyard.

There are two things that stink about my house....

1) the neighbors- it wasn't always like this, they just moved in a few years ago

2) the plumbing!

Not so very long ago, about a month ago or so... I went into our dining room to discover water all over the floor. I thought our little princess had a a bladder overflow (three times over there was so much water) and as I was standing there pondering how hard I could kick her little ass I felt a drip on my head. Look up, and what to my wondering eyes did appear, but another drop of water directly from the ceiling overhead! (Sorry Princess)

I ran upstairs (okay, i didn't run but i moved quicker than usual) to see what was leaking? It appeared as though it was something to do with the toilet. I cursed a lot and called Handy Hubby....he cursed alot and shut the water off. For three days we went without a toilet upstairs until I could stand it no more and insisted that rather that shut the water off, we determine what was the real cause of the problem and determine if a plumber was required. Handy Husband finally determined after many minutes of deliverance that it was the valve tap that was leaking and that needed to be changed. His answer to that....leave the water off until he had time to actually fix it. My answer to that...put a container under the dripping tap and inform the Girls that everyone must check the container when they went to use the facilities to ensure no overflow. At least this way we would have use of the toilet on the second floor.

About two weeks later, after a couple (just a couple) of hints and gentle reminders, Handy Hubby decided to go to the source of the concern and really take a look.

"No problem" he claimed "a quick pick up at Home Depot and it will be fixed in no time" and off he went.

I immediately started calling around for plumbers.

Did you know that the minimum charge for a plumber to come to your house on the weekend is $250. plus parts and labour! I did not realize how expensive they had become. It was hard to get a real estimate on what the damage would be as I really didn't know that there would be a problem. I didn't want to tell them that I was just anticipating disaster! Anyway, with a general idea of what this might cost me, I did what any cheap, broke person would do. I hung up without making any arrangements. I mean really, I didn't want to have someone come out when I wasn't sure that Handy Hubby would screw this up too!

So, long story short, after Handy Hubby tried to fix it he realized that he couldn't do it and this time we couldn't even just put a container under the tap to contain the drip...this time we really had to turn the water off.

So we turned off the water and resorted to tripping down the stairs in our sleep to relieve our midnight needs and I began checking around with friends for the name of a reliable CHEAP plumber!

Turns out, I play pool with two plumbers and one of them used to date my oldest daughter in grade school....I figured, he was once family, he would do us a favour....for cheap right?

Not so!

He referred me to his buddy (the other pool playing plumber) and he agreed to call me when he had a minute to come over to the house and do it.

Being of sound and reasonable mind, I figured that would be within the next day or two.

Again not so!

One full week later, (yes I waited a full week, I'm CHEAP, I'm sure I said that earlier!) I finally called a friend and asked for his number. When I called him he responded that he needed to get a torch or something from his shop, but he would be over the next night to fix the problem.

He fixed the problem alright. It took him less than half an hour and when I asked him how much he reached out his hand for my weekly paycheck! Honestly! I should have just called a plumber out of the yellow pages for a regular non-emergency call! I wouldn't have had to risk falling down the stairs in my sleepiness when having to take a pee for a full week!

Lesson Learned? I dunno, next time I'm in the market for a house....get the plumbing checked?
Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Suspended and not in mid-air

So the 16 year old Wonder-Brat is up to no good again!

Oh, but I do love her so! She is hilarious and makes me laugh!!!

Last week the phone rang and it was the VP of her school calling to inform her that due to the situation that transpired earlier in the day....her presence was required in his office at 8:15 the following morning. The side of the conversation that we would have heard had we been home:

I understand
That's not really how it happened!
Okay, do I have to tell my Mom?

Well, she told me, but it was prefaced with some long drawn out story about how she really didn't swear out loud at her cooking instructor! She really only swore under her breath when she was far away from him!

She did tell me the whole wasn't pretty but it was fricking hilarious!

I can't go into too much detail here as I really can't intrude on her privacy too much since her Grandparents read this blog.....and well, I promised her that if I blogged about it....well I would proceed with caution so as not to influence their opinion of her as the FAVORITE GRANDCHILD! LOL!!!

After I caught my breath from laughing so hard, I doled out the following warning...IF you get suspended for 3 days (that's the max punishment for having a potty mouth with a teacher that doesn't like you anyway) You will be a VERY sorry teenager....this is a great lead into summer don't ya think!!!

Fast morning 8:35

Phone rings....

Mama Dukes?
Who else answers my phone Brat? So, what's the verdict? Are you suspended?
Yeah, for tomorrow only....
Okay, well tomorrow you will be working for me! We'll talk more when you get home! Bye

So Wonder Brat cleaned my laundry room! She did everyone's laundry (washed, dried, folded and put baskets by their door) She did it with a smile on her face and a hop in her step she told me! Just because I was so understanding about the situation and didn't ground her for the rest of her 16th year!

Ah, what can you say? Take the good with the bad! The kid scored an honour's student certificate last semester and she's passing math this semester with marks in the high 70-90's. Mama Dukes word's of advice....inside voice when using the potty mouth around people of authority and keep up the good marks in school and alot may be forgiven!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Sometime soon I'm gonna have to face it....the taxman cometh!

For us, here in Canada, it is soon the time where I have to send the rest of the hard earned dollar to the taxman!

So in the spirit of the season here's a little lightness for the season....

Top 10 Things Overheard In The Tax Department's Call Centre

10. No sir, the government does not want you to pay your taxes in pennies.

9. I have a hard time believing that a man whose deductions include the purchase of a private jet made only $10,000 last year so for the last time... DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER SOURCE OF INCOME!!!

8. Just remember Revenue Canada's motto: Screw us now and we'll screw you later!!

7. How cute... a tax form done in crayon.

6. No sir, you do your taxes every year and renew your driver's license every 4 years, not the other way around.

5. I'm sorry, I'm not sure I follow your "Give me an extension and I'll give you an extension later at my place" argument.

4. Just because you talk to your plants ma'am, you cannot list them as your dependents.

3. I take it that because you have decided to do origami with your tax form that you don't plan on paying your taxes this year.

2. Don't worry sir, getting audited is a great way to meet new and interesting people.

1. Sorry sir. The fact that you use your front seat for business and your back seat for entertainment does not mean your car is 100% deductible.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

In all my excitement.....

I guess I forgot that not everyone plays pool!

An eight off the break is when you sink the eight ball on the very first shot of the game, when you are breaking the balls. As long as the white cue ball doesn't go down then...

In our league that is considered a WIN

Sorry for the confusion!
Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Last night's events (tell you that in a minute) got me thinking about the excitement of FIRSTS. You know the first smile, the first tooth, the first solid poop, the first step....firsts.

Some first things are exciting for those witnessing them, like those I previously mentioned and my all time favorite " the first real giggle"! There is nothing more heart lifting then hearing your child give a full belly laugh for the first time. It just makes you want to laugh along with them and you usually do!

Some are first things that are only exciting to those experiencing them. The first time someone asks you on a date, the first date itself, the first kiss etc....

There are some firsts that both the person experiencing and those around them are totally excited about....a first day at school, a child's first birthday, a wedding or even this


Yuppers, last night I got my very first 8 off the break in 13 years of playing pool and frankly I'm still super excited about it!!!
Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Dog Day Afternoon?

So there is a lot of joking at work between us that have the option of working at home. One of the things we often tease about is "how nice it is to work form home with our dogs lying at our feet", "our spouses catering to us hand and foot etc"

I just wanted everyone to know for the record that my dog spends no time at my feet. In our house she is the "Princess" and her Royal Blankie and Pillow are in their rightful place right beside the laptop on my new workspace at home!

To our little girl, this is no joke....She occasionally grunts and expects to have her belly rubbed and if you try and ignore you she places herself conveniently over the keyboard.

So for some it truly is a good life....when your masseuse works at home and is at your beck and call!
Friday, March 16, 2007

Are we out of coffee?

I'm supposed to be working at home this afternoon....

Why is it that when I work at home Hubby doesn't sleep. Any other time he totally sleeps until at least 7pm, leaving me to work, come home, clean up after whatever mess he made in the morning, prepare, cook and serve dinner! But today, because I am trying to get some shit ass work done...he's in the kitchen banging shit around!

"Oh Shit, are we out of coffee? Fuck, you gotta be kidding me!"

I tried to ignore him....but he wouldn't stop throwing a tantrum until I acknowledged his sorry ass!

"Dear, we have coffee, did you need me to come out to the kitchen and find it for you?

I didn't get up, I think he heard the sarcasm! He found the coffee. I debated making the rest of my life miserable or just laughing at him, trying to get him out of his foul mood.....

So Sweetie, did you find the coffee? You're just needing some lovin' aren't ya!! Okay, well let me finish what I'm working on and I'll take a little break.

Seems to have worked, he finished his coffee, showered and got the hell out of my hair! He's gone to the Sportsman show to drool over all the things we can't afford and he won't terrorize me or the kids again tonight!

So here's hoping your dumbass can find the coffee, his socks or underwear or whatever it is he's missing that's right in front of him!

Have a great weekend!
Sunday, March 11, 2007

All Aboard

Everyone I know is jumping on the bandwagon. The free long distance phone through your cable company bandwagon. Even my parents have gotten on!

I really thought that I would never do this but then I got the phone bill and somebody from our local cable company called and offered me the installation on this new thing all free and stuff.

I caved....all the reasons that I thought I would remain loyal to Bell just seemed to be out the window. Messaging, caller ID, call blocking...all offered by the services of the cable company.

Instead of being very excited...I'm kind of nervous. Not only did the above happen but on the same night....just two hours later....WE LOST POWER! for two and a half hours! Which means we lost CABLE for two and a half hours! Which means had we already been changed over we would have lost out phone for two and a half hours. Granted everyone of us has cellular service but you know what I mean...I know I'm just being silly probably. I know the savings that I'm gonna get from changing over will be huge and hubby can call his Mom in Renfrew, his buddies in California, his buddies in Vegas and all for nothing! That makes me a happy camper!

I can call my Mom in Florida, my cousin in Vancouver, my girlfriend in northern Ontario.

The bandwagon seems like a pretty good deal for now...I hope it's a smooth ride!
Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Counting my Blessings

And there are many!

I recently celebrated a birthday. It wasn't a special birthday. It was a run of the mill normal birthday, but, I recently decided that when you get to be my age every day should be celebrated! Hell, why wait till you get to my age (which is 44 btw), do it now Friends....celebrate everyday!

Kiss your loved ones everyday! Tell them just how much you love them!

There are far too many unknown events that happen in a day to risk not making that small little gesture.

We've been getting some fierce weather around here lately. Alot of snow and cold and winds that are causing whiteouts that make driving very dangerous. Just yesterday there was a pile up of more than 75 cars on one of our highways! You know that means at very least 75 people were at risk as drivers....what about passengers...who knows how many people that adds to the mix!

Another thing that comes with winter is ice and apparently ice flying off one of the world's tallest structures in sheets the size of a dining room table and one inch think onto the highway below on passing cars is also considered a hazard!

In the meantime one of our main artery highways....closed!

Another reason to tell your loved ones that you really do LOVE them everyday is cause they spoil you on your birthday!

Let me tell you I'm living proof of this! I got SO spoiled on Monday. My girls decided that despite having the office in the basement....this was just not conducive to good work space for their Mom....they convinced me that it would be better to leave that as a work center for scrapbooking and Brianne's computer access . So, in a joint decision to make Mom comfy in what used to be our dining room, now just a reading room...they bought me a beautiful desk for my birthday! They cleaned the entire house! They made me dinner... complete with cake!

My girls are AWESOME!!!!

So remember folks count your blessings every day! It's worth it in the end!