How I Spent My Summer Vacation

I think this picture says it all, but if you would like more of an explanation, by all means, read further.
Ahhh, summer vacation is finally here, which basically means even fewer child care options. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. It's just an adjustment.

My daughter and I have been doing pretty well so far. She has basically been glued to the computer, allowing me time to explore other ways of keeping myself busy. So on Tuesday morning, I mustered up the motivation to tackle cleaning the toilets. However, this little plan of mine was quickly derailed when my curiosity implored me to investigate why the upstairs toilet would not stop running.

Earlier that morning, I had asked my husband what was up with that, and the reply I heard went something like this:

"Er, mumble whole unit...mumble...I replaced the something or other and it's still broke."

Look, it's not that I wasn't paying attention, I just really didn't understand. Now before I go further, I have to brag about my husband a little bit. He is a master fixer. He can fix anything from your car to your computer to your air conditioner. If there is a problem, yo, he'll solve it.

So, there I was, toilet brush in hand, when the impulse to investigate matters for myself took over. Before I knew what came over me, the lid was off the water tank and I was staring at a bunch of parts that I don't know the name of. After a lot of trial and error, mostly involving me with my hand in the tank and my head in the toilet to see if I had stopped the water running, I finally figured out that the flap doohickey was not sealing properly. But, if I pushed down on it hard enough, it would seal and the toilet would stop running. The second I stopped applying pressure with my hand, the toilet would just start running again.

So I am sitting there with my hand on that flap trying to figure out how I can keep the darn thing sealed without holding it down and here are the obvious solutions that present themselves: duct tape, or something really, really heavy. I couldn't quite grasp how I would make the duct tape idea work, so I went with something really, really heavy. Next problem that needed solving: what do we have that is really, really heavy...


I rummaged around in the garage for a bit and found some heavy things, but decided against them because they weren't mine. What I was really wishing for was an anchor.

Finally, I made my selection.
Here's how it went down:

Clara (still riveted to her iPad): "What's that?"
Me: "It's a bag of rocks."

(I go upstairs to deposit the bag of rocks on the flap doohickey. Not heavy enough. I am delighted to remember a brick I saw in our back yard a few days ago.)

Clara: "What's that?"
Me: "It's a brick."

(I go upstairs to add the brick on top of the bag of rocks on top of the flap doohickey. Still not quite heavy enough, but now the trickle of water coming into the toilet bowl is so slight, and I am totally out of bricks and better ideas, I deem this repair "fixed for now".)

I don't know how many pounds of pressure I was applying with my hand, but I do know it was more than a bag of rocks and a brick.

Obviously there are drawbacks to having a bag of rocks and a brick holding down the flap doohickey. For example, it makes flushing a challenge.

But luckily, my husband is competitive in nature when it comes to fixing things, and he would not be upstaged by my brick and bag of rocks approach. He promptly installed a new and improved flap doohickey which did the trick.

It's a win-win.

I can't wait to see how this summer unfolds.