If you are going to commit to renovating an old house, you need to be prepared for all kinds of surprises; most of them unpleasant. It is not a straight-forward process by any stretch of the imagination. Especially a really old house that has not had the best of care. Water damage, bugs, carcasses of small animals, ancient cloth covered wiring, primitive plumbing, stinky smells, uneven floors and ceilings. Their are so many twists and turns it will make your head spin. Not to mention the money. Make your budget, then multiply by three and you might be close to accurate. Why do we do it? Some days I honestly don't know.
The plumbing issue has been the flavor of the month around here for way longer than a single month. Miles of old pipe has been thrown in the dumpster to be replaced with some new-fangled stuff called PEX. The logistics of installing this stuff has fallen to Jerry. It involves inching himself into a very small crawlspace under the bathroom floor. For once I can say, "Thank goodness, I shop in the chubby department! I could never fit in that space!" Being claustrophobic, sometimes just seeing him under there can bring me to the brink of hysteria. But I am brave. I stand on the outside beside his little entrance hole, all the tools spread out before me like a surgeon's right hand nurse, listening for his muffled commands; "wrench!, plumber's putty! need more light!" Yep, I am on it. I also have my cell phone at the ready in case of unforeseen disaster that might involve 911. I mean, you never know, a spider might crawl out and land on me, or a rat scamper across my feet. Like I said, you never know.
Which brings me to the you-know-what mentioned in the title. The postage stamp sized bathroom we are working on has been completely gutted except for the commode. There is only a subfloor and studs.Not even a door. The saddest throne room you have ever seen.I am sure there are outhouses with more luxurious accommodations.At least they have doors. When I need to use the facilities I make Jerry go outside and wait. For those that know me, it is hard to imagine, but I do have some dignity. I sealed the toilet paper in a black garbage bag, because I was afraid a rodent might find all that fluffy white paper irresistible as nesting material or a bug might get on it and I did not want that coming in contact with my person, no siree. So a large black garbage bag hangs from a nail on the wall. I am thinking I should take a picture of my toilet paper holder and post it to Pinterest under the title "Redneck Bathroom Ideas."
We left the toilet for obvious reasons. It's a little under five miles to our current house and that five miles can be a mighty long drive if you have ignored nature's call just a moment too long. People in their fifties shouldn't do that. So the throne stayed.
We were working one day when nature called me with a particularly vicious tone.Apparently she didn't like the greasy hamburger I had eaten an hour or so before. Jerry had just exited what I am now calling the "H--- Hole" where he had been working on the underbelly of our horrid little throne and was thankfully in the garage. The floor in the bathroom has several holes where we have cut off old pipe at ground level in anticipation of replacing them with new stuff. One of these is right beside the commode. We usually have a long iron pipe stuck in this hole but had removed it while we were working. Neither of us thought anything of this. We should have. After giving nature her due, I flushed. Shock and awe! Things that should never see the light of day, much less the bathroom ceiling, shot six feet in the air and back down (mostly). I will never have to go to Yosemite. I have seen the geyser of geysers. Let me just tell you, I can move pretty dang quick when I need to. And come out fully clothed, thank you very much.
I ran outside in search of my plumber saying prayer after prayer that he was safely above floor. I gave him the facts and he launched into a speech that was every color of the rainbow. It ended with something like, "If I had a match, this place would be gone!" To add insult to injury as we stood there trying to figure out the problem we hear, "Plop, plop, plop." Yeah, Jerry's little workspace being annointed with the remains of the day. "Well, I guess I won't be working under there anytime soon!",
was said in such disgust, that I slinked off to let him stew.
We did figure out the problem, and thankfully, it can be "easily" fixed. It involves more plumbing, moving the commode and re-routing it to the new septic system, passing under the kitchen and across the yard. Like I said, "easily".