Driving into Paducah on a rainy Monday to go grocery shopping at Wal-Mart, we spotted a pickup towing a flatbed trailer. On the trailer was a mattress and box spring, spanking new or nearly so. Underneath and over these items of value to protect them from the weather? Two antique quilts. A blue and white below against the blackened trailer bed, and a multicolored star pattern above. J covered my eyes as I frothed. “Pull him over and swap him a darned tarp for those quilts,” I raged. J tried to calm me down. “They’re Chinese knock-offs, not real quilts, dear.”
The wind has been blowing like mad since Sunday. Only today, Wednesday, has it stilled. Monday night it was quiet enough to have a campfire, but just as we sat to have our dinner near the fire ring it started to rain. Ok, we packed everything up and finished dinner inside, watching the fire slowly die. That was fine until later that night when the wind picked up. Turns out there’s a handy hole in the fire ring (old tire rims make great fire rings, complete with handy holes) perfectly positioned to chimney the winds up and through the fire. Flames flare up and embers go flying across the lawn. J shoots out of the trailer to get that under control. Just about the time he’s got it down to safe, I notice a puddle of water on the kitchen floor. Puddles, especially when you know you haven’t spilled, are a Bad Thing™. After some flapping about with concern that one of the tanks had overflowed (no) we wound up pulling the storage out of the basement compartments so that we could get to the access panels covering the plumbing. Some cranky time later, after I’d crawled into the basement to pull the last few stubborn screws, we’d tested the lines to toilet and sink (that side being where the leak was) and found no obvious cause. We grumpily dried everything off and left it.
I’ve got a terrier mind (J calls it border collie eyes), some days, so I went out later that night and again found wetness near the lines. More crawling and hunching and unscrewing (I thought that last screw would never budge) and the other access panel is off. It took some searching but I finally found wet threads on the fittings blocking the water lines that would run to the washer and dryer if we had them. We disconnected the fresh water feed and drained the lines enough so that I wouldn’t spray water everywhere (specifically all over the heater which sits right next to that particular bit of plumbing) and I applied some Teflon tape and a little more tightening to the problem. Which seems to have solved it.
We’ve probably had this leak for some time. Once in a while we’d mop up a small amount of unexplained water, which we always chalked up to different sources. We think it’s a pressure thing; using the pump doesn’t stress those lines at all. Low pressure fresh water wouldn’t cause those fittings to leak, and in the winter, with the heater running, seeping water would dry before we saw a puddle. It was midnight before we got to sleep, but I slept the sleep of the just. It’s comforting to know that we can find and fix these little problems.
I’ve been tagged. I got to the convention center about an hour before the window was supposed to open for on-site registration. There were a couple of posters showing which classes and lectures were still available, one person ahead of me in line, so I happily took out my Hawaiian appliqué and passed a pleasant hour chatting and sewing. Registration garnered me a handful of colorful tickets and a plastic wristband. “Don’t take it off,” they warned. I joked that it changes color when you shower, and they said I must have heard their spiel before. It looks like a bird band. Does this mean I am a migratory quilter?
I saw the Best of Show quilt today, Wednesday. It is an intricate arabesque appliqué quilt so beautiful it moved me to tears. I will take photos at some point, but they will not do it justice.