Monday, February 4, 2013

To Peace, Love, Writing and Flushing Toilets

This morning, I watched two Youtube videos - How To Correctly Use a Plunger and How to Unclog Your Toilet.  Yes, the life of a full time writer is glamorous and awesome! I could lie and tell you that I wore pearls and heels to unclog that pesky toilet because it was that easy, but I didn't and it wasn't.  I wore polka-dot sweat pants, my son's wrestling T-shirt from Brussels, socks and determination. The guys on the two videos wore socks and no shoes, so maybe that was the key. I was determined to fix that toilet. How hard could it be?

Two years ago, I decided to write full time and I knew it would be a challenge, but I was up for it. I was tired of the DC area traffic, the ridiculously high rent I was paying, and working for peanuts as a Spanish language Family Support Worker with 25 beautiful family clients to care for. What we pay people in the Social Services fields is a CRIME, but that's another blog. The files we kept on the first born children of immigrants of many countries were hard enough to keep updated and accurate, but I also had to make home visits once a week which meant I was always in some type of traffic. My stress levels were through the roof most days. I was pretty unhappy. I knew I would miss my clients and their beautiful children who I loved, but I also knew that I was too old to run around and the stress of maintaining 25 to 27 files was making me crazy and grouchy. I moved.

My move to Wild and Wonderful West Virginia proved to be a wild and wonderful choice. I was firm in my decision to move and wasn't swayed by family and friends who thought I'd gone off the deep end.  I don't regret my decision one bit and now, I write and read every day and paint when the spirit moves me. I've grown in West Virginia and I've gotten tougher. I continue to learn to navigate life as a single woman, a first-time, single-income home owner and boy, do I learn lots about home repairs as I go along.

As for my only toilet, it still ain't working.  I reattached the chain to the doohicky and watched the water go down as I lifted the chain. Nothing.  The bulb thingie that floats in the tank is doing what it's supposed to do and the rubber hoozit that lifts up to empty the water is doing its job and then, closes. Around and around we go and all that's happening is that the toilet paper is shredded and my kitten Pierre is getting a real kick out of watching the whirlpool in the strange white throne.

It was time to employ the plunger. I'd purchased two types of plungers when I bought this old house - the old fashioned kind and a new fangled model with a round thingamajig that comes out of the original doohicky. As I watched the video again (because the first time I used the old version of the plunger, nothing happened) I realized that it's all in the wrist.  Ah hah! I have to hold it just so and push down repeatedly on the wooden handle, splashing water onto my socks flushes!

Now, I do wish I could sit down to write this whole afternoon and not unclog a toilet, but some things just can't wait and others must wait. I need this toilet to work. It's my only toilet and I don't want to pay a plumber for something I can maybe do myself. So, here we are. I love my writing life.  It's far from perfect and not as idyllic as some of my friends think it is, but I will admit it's pretty damn good most days, though...especially when my toilet works :)

It's all about perspective, I suppose. Do I sometimes wish I had a handy man around or a landlord I could call, you bet I do! But, I wouldn't trade my life and writing full time for nothing. Off I go, plunger in hand.  Wish me luck!

To peace, love and flushing toilets!



  1. Good luck with the toilet, Ellie. I hope you were able to get it working properly. Hugs - Jasmine

  2. Ruh roh, so your life's in the crapper, huh? Sorry, I couldn't resist! You're like me - every time something goes wrong, I'm online trying to figure out how to fix it. You could probably write a "how-to" book on the joys of being single and owning your own home - WITH PICTURES! I'm sure it would be hilarious.

    1. I left myself wide open for that one, Linda! Yes, that book is in the works, how did you know ;) I've got photos of the ol' house and my various online dating site profiles over the years to boot! Yeah, it's def a comedy!! Be well!

  3. Hi Jasmine, All the toilet parts are in place and it still doesn't flush :) I've taken off the top and when I want to flush, I lift the dookicky and voila! That is just a temporary fix, of course :) Hugs to you!