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This post is dedicated to my college Roomie, Pat.  We have more fun (and more pun) together than two giggling college freshmen!

“When life hands you lemons, make lemondade,” says an old adage.  I had a chance to do that today, although everything started out great:  I felt well enough to be up for the first time in three weeks, and the plumber came!  Yes, Phil, the boss himself!


While Phil got to work in the bathroom, I started pre-coating the switch plates for the Dawn Treader berths with my fail-proof Charles Neil product.

Phil couldn’t believe how heavy the stone sink was!  I think he was sorry he came instead of sending his employees!  He drilled a couple holes and spent quite awhile under the sink with his head smashed up against the wall, but he finally got it done.

I am SO thrilled!  It’s exactly the way I pictured it!  And I must say, I’m pretty proud of the tung oil job I did on the Brazilian cherry countertop that Ben made out of 2 stair steps.  The technique was: evenly wipe a thin coat of tung oil on to the wood and let dry for 12 hours.  Buff lightly with fine steel wool, and repeat.  There are at least 7 coats on there so hopefully the wood will be adequately protected from water.  Phil said he recently built an entire floating dock out of Brazilian cherry–about $200,000 worth!  Well, I guess it will stand up to water, then!

Next came the shower.  (Each photo looks a bit different in color because of the camera settings I have to use depending on the angle.)  You can’t see the oil-rubbed bronze hardware in this photo, but trust me, it looks great!

Next it was time for my marvelous, one-piece, comfort height, easy-to-clean toilet.  As you can guess, “one piece” translates into as “heavy as all get out!”  Luckily, Herb was home so he helped Phil haul it up the stairs.  By the time they got it into the bathroom, they were panting and flushed.  (Okay, I’m going to point that one out to make sure you get it; now you’re on your own!)

That’s when I got the lemons!  There was N.O.  W.A.Y. that toilet could fit in that spot.  Nohow, no way!  What I wanted to say was, “CRAP!”  (And something else completely apropos that was definitely running through my mind!)  What I actually said was, “Bad word!  Bad word!”  It tends to shock contractors when homeowners say “crap” no matter how appropriate to the occasion.  I will say here that part of the blame lies with me for changing from 1×4’s to D-log siding, but I LOVE my logs WAY more than any toilet!  So it’s partly my fault this whole lovely toilet thing is circling the drain.  (Oh, sorry, that’s a tub pun.)

Okay, so let’s make lemondade:  Let’s put the toilet in our master bathroom!  No, have some more lemons:  It won’t fit!

Forget the lemonade; I made a desperate call to Stuart:  “What do I do with a $348 special order toilet that won’t fit in any of our bathrooms and that I can’t return to Home Depot?”  Stuart asked me to describe the toilet which I did with all my enthusiastic longing to own it, and he said he had just the place for it and will take it!  Wow!  Just like that!  You make great lemonade, Stuart!

With instructions from Phil that I need a toilet with a 10″ rough-in (I know, you construction guys are already laughing!), I dragged myself out to Lowe’s.  I told the helpful clerk I wasn’t picky, but I’d prefer a flat top and fewer filth-collecting curlicues underneath.  No problem, Kohler has just the thing, and it’s only $275.  Yikes!  It’s not even a fancy toilet, and there’s less material in it than in a 12″ size.  Yep, but if you’re dumb enough (I’m saying that, the clerk didn’t!) to need a 10″ rough-in, they’re going to take you for all you’re worth.  Okay, let’s make lemonade:  I’ll take it!  Well, no, you knew there had to be more lemons, right?  They can’t deliver it till Dec. 24?!!!  And when do they think I’ll get a plumber?  January, maybe?  And what about our final inspection and the family here at Christmas with no toilet upstairs?  And the stinky odor coming up from the drain?

So I’ll go to Home Depot and make lemonade.  After several tries to find someone who actually knew what 10″ rough-in meant, I ended up back with the lady who sold me the first toilet (and didn’t bother to mention the bizarre specs!)  Like we were in an outhouse, she thumbed through page after page in a catalog.  (Lowe’s has computers for this stuff!)  At least she assured me that they ship in 5 days.  Finally, she found two toilets, but it was pretty bitter lemonade:  One was $312 and one was $330.  I picked the “cheap” one.  Before she ordered it, I asked if she could confirm the delivery date online.  No, she said, they don’t do that, but I assure you it will ship in 5-10 days.  Wait a minute!  Did 5 just become 10?  “Uh, that’s 10 business days,” I told her.  “That’s two weeks.  That’s Christmas!”  Thank you, goodbye.

There’s one last chance to make lemonade:  The guy at Lowe’s told me that Ferguson, a private plumbing company ‘way across town, has 10″ toilets.  So I commandeered HD’s phone book and looked up the number since they would close before I could get home.  I sat in the truck with its toilet-free bed and called Ferguson’s.  Finally!  We’re making lemonade!  Yes, I was told, we have one in stock, but if someone comes in this afternoon and buys it, we will order you one.  “Oh, no!”  I exclaimed.  “I’m paying for it right now with a credit card!”  So I did!  So tomorrow I have to drive across town and get my very expensive, ordinary-looking, very sour lemonade toilet, BUT I WILL HAVE A TOILET BEFORE CHRISTMAS!

By that time I was totally wiped out.  In fact, I was pooped!  So I picked up some take-out Thai curry and headed home to relax (writing this post in my head with some help from Pat-inspiration.)

By the way, I saved the best for last.  Before he left, Phil asked where I wanted the toilet to go.  I think he agreed with Herb that since Stuart was taking it, his guys could huff the thing downstairs.  “All right,” I agreed, “but in case they need to come finish the floor, let’s put it on a piece of carpet out in the hall.”  And that’s what they did.


So there sits (Ta! Da! wait for it . . .) The Throne in Cair Paravel!  Please don’t choke on your lemonade!