If you’ve been reading this blog from the beginning, you know the trials and tribulations we’ve gone through whenever we’ve needed to do anything related to the plumbing at the farm.
The shower has been no different.
You see, there’s never been a shower at the farm. Only a bathtub. I know some folks love baths, but I’m not one of them. I have things to do. I want to get showered and move on with my day.
A couple of months ago (yes, MONTHS), I decided it’d be nice to have a shower at the farm. But I knew we weren’t ready for a major remodel, so I wanted something easy. I bought a new bath spout that had a riser with a shower head on it. One like this. Easy schmeasy. I told our youngest son to take care of installing it. I mean, unscrew the old spout, screw on the new one, put the riser with the showerhead on… instant shower. He’s earned the plumbing merit badge for Boy Scouts, I figured it’d be no problem.
Except the pipe protruding from the wall was too long. So the spout sat about an inch away from the wall. That wasn’t going to work. We repackaged the new one and returned it.
I kept looking. And found another one. A longer one. Which didn’t have the riser, but had an adapter to put a handheld shower on it. I figured that would work. Except it didn’t either. It ALSO wasn’t long enough. The problem wasn’t that I’m just terrible at measuring — it was that most of these spouts have few or no measurements of the interior of the spouts.
So, I bought a third one. And held few hopes that this one would work. But holy cow! It DID!!! Bri got it installed and hooked up the handheld shower and it worked great. We still need to install something to mount it to the wall, but we’ve got a plan for that.
So, now it was time to put up the shower curtains, and we were in business.
I’d brought two shower curtains and two shower rods (there’s a wood-framed window in the bathroom that we need to protect for now). The one covering the window went up no problem. The second one — one of those curved rods that give you a bit of extra room in the tub so the plastic shower curtain doesn’t stick to you while you’re showering — was not as easy.
Hello! So, yes. This hadn’t been my project until now. But when we discovered that this third diverter was going to be the ticket, we decided to plow ahead. Rear shower curtain up. Front shower curtain…doesn’t fit.
How could it not fit? Allow me to explain!
This rod is also a tension rod. But it’s isn’t one in the traditional way. You don’t unscrew it, set it to length, give a quick turn, and lock it in. Instead, there are a series of holes and a little ball toggle that will lock into one of those hole locations and then you can fine adjust by turning one of the ends of the rod. Problem with this was, of course, the holes available for the large adjustment didn’t give us the length we needed.
More holes required.
That meant going outside.
What Erin didn’t tell you all, at the beginning of this post, is that she had had “one of those weeks” at work.
On, I don’t know, Wednesday of that week, she said something to the effect, “Regardless of the weather and with or without you, I’m going to the farm this weekend.”
And so, regardless of the weather, we went. When we got to the farm Friday evening, it was -24. Actual temperature.
When I stood in the bathroom the next morning knowing that I’d have to go outside to make this work, it had warmed up to -18.
But. Knowing this was the third try on this shower thing, and knowing that Erin had been looking forward to it for months, I put on my boots, my parka, and my gloves, and headed out to the shop.
Out to the shop I went. I knew there was a drill press out there, and that’s precisely what I needed.
I found the appropriate drill bit, the appropriate punch to indicate where I’d like to drill, and got the new hole done.
For good measure, I even added two of them. You know, to be sure.
I’d only been in the shop for about ten minutes, but I was freezing. Still, I put everything back where I found it, shut off the lights, and headed back in.
Got back in the house. Boots off, parka off, gloves off, took the rod into the bathroom and triumphantly put it in place.
That’s what I envisioned, anyway.
What really happened was, I extended the rod into the new holes and discovered it still didn’t fit.
I wasn’t…mad, per se. I was baffled. I don’t know how in the world we measured it wrong…but we clearly had!
Boots on, parka on, gloves on, back to the shop.
I’m not going to lie. I wasn’t nearly as precise with the third hole. It was not my finest work.
Totally off the line. I’m disappointed. But, I’m also cold. My eyelashes are frozen, my mustache is frozen, my nose hairs are frozen, I’m ready to be back inside with a cup of coffee.
So, back to the house. Boots off, parka off, gloves off.
Into the bathroom, put the rod together and discover that the hole I made is just enough off the line that the little ball doesn’t want to fit in it right. The curved rod doesn’t have as much side-to-side as a straight obviously would. So I do the only thing I’m willing to do, I try to use all my might to twist the curved rod enough to pop into place.
I’m straining, maybe grunting, I’m envisioning breaking one or both halves of this rod trying to get it turned enough to get it in place. I may have heard a tenative, “Bri?” from the other room as Erin’s hearing the weird noises of exertion I’m making in the bathroom when I hear
It’s in place!
And with that:
The shower was up.
And so, on that cold Saturday morning, somewhere around 94 years after the house was built, months after the project was first embarked upon, I enjoyed the very first shower in it.