the big turn off

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to bring you up to date on some things around our house and garden. You may remember me from such posts as “The Haunted Toaster”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. I was looking at something. Probably a squirrel.
That’s Dasylirion berlandieri in the pot, if you wanted to know. It will have to come inside if it ever gets cold.

I might as well get right to the title of today’s post. I think this is an object lesson for everyone.
A few weeks ago, maybe even more weeks ago than that, the faucet started dripping.
Now if you know your faucets, you will know that this is by no means an inexpensive faucet. It’s a commercial one, with handles that can be turned on and off using wrists, if necessary. The guy I live with says it’s part of the batterie de cuisine here.
At first it was just dripping a little. Then suddenly it started dripping a bit faster.
The guy I live with put a gallon plastic milk jug under the faucet, with a big funnel stuck in it to catch the dripping water. He thought that was pretty genius-y.
I wondered if the faucet was ever going to get fixed, because I could hear the dripping at night. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Like that.

He explained that yes he knew how to fix the faucet. You unscrew the faucet handle, then spend a bit of time trying to get the handle off, then you remove the handle hub (the thing right below the handle), and pull out the cartridge.
He even had a replacement cartridge. More than one, actually. There are “hot” and “cold” cartridges. The one pictured above is a “cold”.

He held his arm under the dripping water, wrist upward, and said it was cold water.
But then he did some additional thinking, which he said was always a good idea, and ordered new handle hub kits, because the last time he replaced the cartridge he had a very difficult time replacing the handle hub.

But he still put this off. He’s not really the sort of person to do that, because he hates having things weighing on his mind like that, but what if the turn off valves under the sink didn’t work, or started to leak, and what if a plumber had to be called, or what if he had to go into the crawlspace to shut off the water and what if the yellowjackets in the crawlspace weren’t really gone but just waiting for him to crawl over to the main shutoff valve?

Well, last week he reached under the sink to test the shutoff valve for the cold water pipe, and everything was fine.
So yesterday, he shut off the cold water, spent about half an hour removing the faucet handle and hub, pulling out the cartridge, which of course didn’t just come out when he pulled on it with a pair of heavy-duty pliers, replaced the cold water cartridge, put everything back the way it was, and turned on the cold water.

The faucet still dripped.

You may be able to imagine what sort of language I heard.

Then he explained that the water coming from the hot side was only hot when it was coming from the hot water heater. It cools off just sitting in the pipe.
Fortunately he also had a hot water cartridge, and also fortunately, the shutoff below the sink worked (he installed it years ago). There were a lot of deposits on everything because we have what they call “hard” water. Having a wire brush helped.

So everything is fine. For now.

Aside from that (whew, huh), let’s talk about some things more related to actual gardening, or at least the outdoors.

The goldfinches are back.
The guy I live with moved one of the steel feeder stands and put up the other “thistle” feeder, and so now the goldfinches have two feeder choices.
You can see them here, on the other feeder.
All those dry warm-season grasses, which are mostly native ones, are kind of echoed by the yellow grass in the field, which isn’t native, and is a cool-season grass, but hasn’t had any water for months, so it looks like that.

This is what the soil in the “way back” garden looks like. Bone-dry.
Lilium candidum looks pretty good right now. There are only two bulbs left; the guy I live with isn’t really certain what happened to the others, but I’d bet he sliced through them with a trowel, because he does that all the time.
He went into the shade garden just to check on things, and when he moved some of the leaves, this is what he saw.
Lots of snowdrops. There are zillions of them in this little garden. The soil here isn’t dry. Mostly Galanthus elwesii ‘Theresa Stone’ and offspring (crossed with regular G. elwesii), but also some G. plicatus, G. rizehensis, G. nivalis, and G. gracilis. A lot. You can see them in the header for the blog.

Well, that’s all I have for today. I thought the faucet story was pretty funny, but that’s because, as the guy I live with said, I didn’t have to do the work.
I’ll leave you with a picture of me wearing my fancy new lighted collar. The guy I live with got it for me so that people would be able to see me at night, on my walks. Or maybe he just got it because he thought it might be cool.

Until next time, then.


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22 Responses to the big turn off

  1. Elaine says:

    I like your new collar Mani. You look very festive. I sympathize with your owner as we too have hard water and regularly have to soak everything in vinegar to dissolve the deposits. We are experiencing a weird Chinook tonight with temperatures climbing to 16C by morning. Ground isn’t even frozen yet. Things will be budding out soon at this rate.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. I only wear it on my evening walk, of course.
      The guy I live with said they raised the pH of our water a little so there’s going to be some differences. He says the water doesn’t taste the same, which is too bad, since we had great-tasting water.
      I hear that back in the last century there used to be chinooks here every winter, but we haven’t had any for years and years, which is very bizarre. The guy I live with said he and his wife used to listen to the house shake at night, with the wind, and in the morning, most of the snow was gone.

  2. Paddy Tobin says:

    There you go, lighting up the world! Tell your man that we also live in a hard water area but have a treatment system which removes all the lime and stops that liming up of kettles etc. And, also tell him that it is good to see the snowdrops making an appearance. Galanthus ‘Barnes’ and ‘Faringdon Double’ are in flower in the garden here. Last evening I gave a talk on snowdrops via Zoom! Imagine that – in contact with people in the States, Canada, New Zealand and Europe all from my kitchen table!

    Good to have that drip gone!

    • paridevita says:

      We don’t have too much trouble with excess liming, except with things like faucets. The drip was pretty annoying.
      There was a ‘Barnes’ here. The guy I live with wondered why it wasn’t flowering one year, went over to look, and discovered the bulb lying on the ground, with no roots.
      You should have heard the language.
      I think ‘Faringdon Double’ went to his friend’s garden, along with a bunch of other named snowdrops.
      The guy I live with also did some informal tests to see if snowdrops grow roots even though it’s dry (they do), but flowering is another matter. (He gave rooted bulbs of ‘Helen Tomlinson’ and ‘Brigadier Mathias’ to the Botanic Gardens early last month. There’s Galanthus reginae-olgae ‘Cambridge’ flowering here in a plunged pot in the Snowdrop Frame. Late because it’s been so dry.)

  3. ceci says:

    Faucet drips are the worst – we have one that comes and goes, and we catch the drips in a pitcher to take out to the garden, birdbaths, etc. BUT the noise gets tiresome. And then it stops, no explanation other than that the water pressure has eased? Someday we will perhaps get a plumber to look at a bunch of issues in this old house, but not just now.

    Great collar! Our little dog is afraid of the dark so no need for a light up collar for her, but maybe for us?


    • paridevita says:

      The drip was driving both of us crazy. The way things go around here, a “simple, five-minute job” turns into a day-long struggle.
      I guess it mostly depends on how the faucet is constructed, as to why it might drip.
      My night-time collar came from Chewy. The guy I live with could have gotten other colors, but I can see blue.
      I bet all the other dogs in the neighborhood would be jealous if they saw me wearing it.

  4. tonytomeo says:

    Oh, I saw that coming, or at least the possibility for it. I mean, I know that hot water cools in the pipe between the water heater and the faucet if the leak is slow. Oh my.

  5. WEE give yore Guy ***apawss apawss*** fore fixin THE tapss…BellaSita said shee wuud just holler fore our Custoadean. mew mew mew….
    An yore Snowdropss are so precious!
    An Mani yore nite time collar iss FURRY kewl…efurryone inn yore nayboarhood will want a glowy collar two….
    **nose bumpss** BellaDharma an {{hugss}} BellaSita Mum

    • paridevita says:

      I’m sure everyone in the neighborhood is jealous of my new night-time collar. They’d have to look out the window, though, because we walk in the dark, now.
      Fixing the faucet wasn’t all that big of a deal, but the fact that the guy I live with started to imagine all these nightmare scenarios was pretty disturbing to me. I know he’s not a complete nut, but still…

      • Mew me wmew Mani mee heerss you loud an cleer. BellaSita Mum can make a mountain out of a teeny hill over sum of THE silliest thingss! Sumtimess mee just shakess me ehad an goess fore a ‘happy nappy’….sumtimess shee even followss mee…..
        Bet THE nayboarss all look out seecrettly an admire yore collar! 😉

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with does that a lot. I suppose living without anyone to talk to can do that. He does talk to me, of course, but I never have anything to say about such things.
        It’s possible that there are jealous dogs looking out of the window at me…

      • Uss true Mani…livin alone Hu’manss end up talkin to themselvess….sumtimess BellaSita even talkss to one of her deeceased hubbiess…fore reel…mee sorta thinkss they are here inn spirit….
        Shee talkss to mee alot an mee astually meowss back….mee has beecome furry hatty an that makess BellaSita happy…what efurr werkss rite??
        Mee betss there ARE jelluss poochiess watchin you…poor them not havin a fancy collar like you! Yore Guy iss purrty grate!

      • paridevita says:

        A lot of talking goes on here. Though I understand that back in the old days, the guy I live with would be upstairs, like cooking here in the kitchen, and his wife would be downstairs, drawing or writing. But still, he had someone to talk to.
        I do understand things like when he says “I have to go out”, like to the store, but I know he’s a pretty good hunter, and often comes back with stuff for me.

      • 😉 Same here Mani……mee knowss what BellaSita Mum iss sayin most of THE time! An shee two, iss a guud hunter of foodabulss an stuff an treetss an kewl toyss fore mee! Oh an foodabullss fore herself.
        What wuud Gu an BellaSita Mum due without us?? Mee nevurr wantss to find out…mee iss purrty sure my Hu’man wuud go to peecess without mee!

      • paridevita says:

        I don’t know. The guy I live with’s hunt today did not go well. No one has cans of Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream, which I really like. I get a couple of tablespoons added to my dry food (also Pacific Stream).
        He did find some other cans of salmony things, though.
        Oh, we just heard an owl. To the northeast of us. We might go look, later.

      • EEKKK!! No Taste of THE Wild Pacific Salmon Mani?? That iss pawfull. Same up hrew ith Natural Balance Turkey an Gibletss…gone with THE wind! An now NO Salmon eether! Mee hopee yore mew slamony food iss guud! Mee got switched to Merrick’ss brand an it iss yummy!
        Oh youss’ herd an h00ty Owl? Kewl…hope you find him on yore walk 😉

      • paridevita says:

        We heard the owl last night, but didn’t see it. Didn’t hear or see anything this evening.
        I guess it’s what they call “supply issues”. Maybe I’ll like the other food just as well; it goes with my dry food and the guy I live with makes kind of a gravy with it. Very tasty.

  6. Mark Mazer says:

    Salvia cyanescens, fantastic.

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