My new BFF: Alain the Plumber #JusJoJan Day 5 – Gurgle

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

“No, no, no!” I wailed as I stood, sink stopper in hand, listening for the healthy gurgle of water draining from the sink and gushing down the pipes to wherever it is dirty dish water goes. Instead, there was only silence as I watched the dirty dish water circle painfully-slowly and lazily in the sink.

This is a familiar situation in our house. Because the slant of the pipes is not steep enough, every few years, debris accumulates along the way and clogs the pipes. But this was New Year’s Eve. In a pandemic. It’s as if the debris conspired to gather for a clandestine celebration just to spite us.

I asked Ben to come and take a look. He poked around in the sink and … success! Slowly but steadily the water drained and disappeared to wherever it is that dirty dish water goes. Then, a few hours later, I discovered exactly where it is that dirty dish water goes – at least when the pipes are clogged.

I opened the top of our washing machine to do a load of laundry and there it was. Clearly, this was a job for a professional. But again, it was New Year’s Eve. In a pandemic. What plumber in his right mind would want to celebrate the end of one of the worst years we have known by being elbow-deep in dirty water?

Thank goodness for small miracles!  Small Miracle #1:  One of Ben’s clients is a plumber who lives close by; Small Miracle #2: His wife/assistant answered the phone – on December 31st!  Small Miracle #3: Alain, the plumber in question, came and fixed the problem within an hour.

Pandemic restrictions or not, he was already in our house and it was New Year’s Eve. “Offer the man a glass of wine,” I whispered to Ben. And so it came to be that we gratefully toasted the end of 2020 (safely physically distanced) and welcomed 2021 with Alain the plumber!

Written for Just Jot It January’s word for Day 5: Gurgle.

20 things for 2020 so far

Photo by Markus Winkler from Pexels

On July 1st, we hit the half-way mark for the year 2020.  When we raised our glasses and rang in the New Year in January, none of us, in any country in the world, knew what would hit us in a few short months.

Because the year so far has been so overwhelmingly different from any other, here are 20 observations for 2020 (and we’re only half-way through!)

  1. The room that needs painting, the light bulb that needs changing in the spare room – all the things you didn’t notice that need fixing in the house are glaringly obvious when you work from home.
  2. I still love the feel of a book in my hands, but in a pinch, e-books will do nicely.
  3. Chipmunks are not as fast or as smart as I thought they were. My house cat caught two chipmunks in the last few weeks while on a rope and harness in the yard. Lucky (for the chipmunks), it was a catch and release situation since we were there to save their skins.
  4. You save a lot of money when you don’t have to buy gas, lunch or clothes for work.
  5. You save a lot of time when you don’t have to brave traffic to get to work.
  6. The travel time you save is never used to attack the “to-do” list you always said you would tackle when you had more time.
  7. We are in the middle of the third heat wave since May. I don’t like
    +35-degree celsius, hot and humid any better than I do -30 degrees celsius, cold and damp.
  8. The one good thing about hot, humid weather is there’s no need to cook because who the heck is hungry in that kind of heat?
  9. Cats nap a lot during the day.
  10. Husbands nap a lot during the day.
  11. I can no longer leave the house without a mask and hand sanitizer in my purse.
  12. Black Lives Matter. Period.
  13. I’m late to the party, but discovering on-line shopping.
  14. It’s not the same as the real thing, but I appreciate the musicians who put together concerts via Zoom to honour front-line healthcare workers and entertain the masses.
  15. Six feet feels too far from friends and family but too close to strangers in public places.
  16. There are no professional sports games to watch on TV? Oh, I hadn’t noticed.
  17. Don’t judge me: I started watching Sons of Anarchy on Netflix and I love it. (Yes, I know it’s cheesy, but a cheesy treat never hurt anyone.)
  18. How can leaders in different countries have such different approaches to the same killer virus?
  19. I am really, really bad at Sudoku. I keep playing on my tablet to try to sharpen my observation skills, but it’s hopeless. The numbers I plug into those blank spaces are rarely the right ones.
  20. Travel is overrated.

This post was written in response to the daily prompts provided by
Jibber Jabber with Sue for Day 9 (country) and Day 10 (treat) and Day 13 (blank)


To your health!

Health issues and bad weather/road conditions have meant that our New Year’s Eve plans have been cancelled, but I am fine with that. I prefer that we all stay safe at home instead of venturing out onto the roads and that my friends who have come down with nasty colds rest and recuperate.

I don’t have any resolutions but I do have one very fervent wish:  Good health for my family, my friends and myself.  There are things we can all do to improve our chances of staying healthy. It wouldn’t hurt for me to cut back on sugar or that second glass of wine on the weekend. But since I already eat fairly well and exercise, that’s about all I can reasonably do. The key word is “reasonably” because I know I am never going to become a vegan, eat a raw food diet, exercise every day without fail etc. But even all of that is no guarantee against sickness and sometimes it comes down to luck and wishing.

This year at the cancer wellness centre where I work, I met a young couple in their thirties. They were building their careers and future together when, last year, BOTH were diagnosed with cancer within a month. I also met a remarkable woman who just turned 50 and who is full of life – she is a wife, mother to two teenage boys, a teacher, a radio host, a writer, an actor and she recently took up guitar. Aggressive breast cancer slowed her down for a while, but didn’t keep her there.  And I crossed paths with dozens of others who are taking one day at the time as they try to live well with and through cancer. Why do I bring them up? Because for almost all of them, the cancer was random. They weren’t smokers or heavy drinkers. They weren’t exposed to any more pollution, pesticides or toxic materials than you and I are. Sometimes it’s just not fair.

So, my husband and I will be enjoying bouchées and bubbly by the fire to ring in the new year. And instead of making a resolution, I am making a wish for health, the best gift of all. Cheers – wishing you a Happy, Healthy New Year!