The Way Things Are






2005-12-19, 3:17 p.m.


From my mom to me and my sibs:

“[Dad] just called - said the doctor's appt. went great. The staples and catheter are out, and he's very happy. Also, with the lab work and what the doctor saw at surgery they've put his cure at 90% chance, which is as high as they ever give at this point, I think. Anyhow, they will do follow up blood work in January to make sure the PSA has gone down - if so no further treatment will be necessary. And he's good to go to Laura’s house for Christmas Saturday!!”

What I have learned from my mom is that the prostate does two things: it gets it up, and it regulates urinary flow, i.e. the prostate is what makes the menfolks not wet their pantses. Apparently, dad can only get it up ever again by using Viagra or somesuch, and he is going to have to relearn how to be continent by using muscles, something akin to Kegels, rather than that pesky, cancer-ridden gland. Begone, gland!

I told my mom this is everything I never wanted to know but somehow felt compelled to ask anyway.

From me to Peaches, who is at home recovering from having her gall bladder removed on Friday:

“Here's a fun story:

We're having lots of plumbing fun at home. Living in the country is fun! Well water is fun! Thank goodness it started this weekend and not Christmas Eve, and thank goodness it's getting fixed today. I turned on the water Friday night to take a nice hot bath, and surprise! No cold water. Plenty of hot, no cold. That would be a mighty hot bath. And only in our bathroom. Yay! Merry Christmas!

I called our plumber Donny on Saturday, and he said it sounds like sediment, and that our soft water system sounds like it isn't doing its job. The sediment that goes into the hot water is settling in the bottom of the water heaters, but the cold water is getting plugged up in the plumbing fixture valves. We figured out that the problem was only in our bathroom, the toilet was still flushing, but we could only run hot water in the shower, tub and sink. Donny said he'd come out today and clean out the cold water valves, and that we need to get Culligan out to check the water softener.

So cut to today. There's definitely lots of sediment in our valves. Donny is trying to figure out how it's getting through, because this is worse than a water softener problem, and he asks DW, have you ever changed that filter at the well? DW asks, What filter?

Turns out there is a big-ass sediment filter that filters the crap out of our well water (like rocks, mud, hobbits and fish) before it gets to the water softener. Donny and DW wrestled it off, and found about 5" of crap backed up in that filter. Donny said it might have never, ever been changed, from the beginning of time. He's a little sheepish that he never checked it when we moved in, and he's out there now installing some kind of valve to make changing the filter a little easier. DW is on his way back into town to
buy a new filter. I should be able to bathe in my own bathroom this evening.

I told DW that I want the water to come into the house, and then when we're done with it, I want the water to leave the house in an orderly fashion. Is that too much to ask? I'm learning so much - valves, filters, etc. And you know one of my phobias is deep, skinny holes of water, so the well freaks me out. Just walking up the hill, into the pump house, and seeing the pump housing in there and knowing that it covers the opening to a deep, dark hole of water makes my anxiety number spike. And I am going to learn how to close the shiny new valve and change the filter.

On a good note, Best Buy is on their way out to our house right now to deliver our new, big, freaking 42" plasma flat screen wall-hanging TV. DW's dream TV. I hope he gets back with that filter in time to sign for the TV, or the plumber will have to do it. Mondays are fun!”

This is all I have today, my friends. It’s all very busy and happening, yet none of it is very interesting or even remotely funny. The only thing that I find funny is that my heart is pounding just having written about the pump housing and the well. I’m not afraid of heights, or more specifically, falling off of heights. I’m afraid of falling into the earth and drowning.

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