Every year my mom has a lovely Christmas tree at her house. She and dad usually pick one out from a tree farm the day after Thanksgiving. This year, though, they are several states away, and we decided to get a tree ourselves.
Unfortunately we didn’t get out soon enough. Our tardiness combined with the terrible drought this summer meant pickings were slim at the tree farm.
We walked for an hour or two looking for “the tree.” We never found one that was altogether perfect, but we did find a nice small one that had no dead branches or brown needles.
Yoli and the girls got it decorated Tuesday evening. Yoli had also taken some free scrap branches that the tree farm was giving away. On Wednesday she used them to make a wreath, and on Thursday to decorate the mantel over the fireplace.
Here are some photos of how it turned out:
Yoli called all of us in to eat lunch Saturday, and I went to find the girls. And lo and behold, they were neatly arrayed behind three play desks they had created. Jadzia was playing store/restaurant, and the others were just singing along with music on their play computers. Keep reading to see a really short video.
So, the other day I was proud of myself for having successfully emptied the water heater and then re-assembled everything. I spoke too soon.
Upon completing this project, the water heater’s pressure relief valve began to leak, leaving the basement (which gets wet somewhat often when it rains) wet all the time.
Later, our shower faucet began to leak as well.
Today I planned to replace the pressure relief valve. As I was driving around taking Jadzia to school and picking up a part from my dad’s house, the “service engine” light light up in the van.
P.S. I hesitate to speak to soon, but it looks like the pressure relief valve change has been successful. At this moment I am seated at the computer, several feet from the water heater, and there is no dripping. The other problems will have to await fixing another day.
P.P.S. On the bright side, Yoli is trying her first fish fry today, ala Alton Brown.
My showers have not been lasting very long lately, and I love my hot showers.
So I got to looking into water heater maintenance. Today I finally took the plunge and flushed the water heater. It turned out not to be too hard. The only mistake I made was at the end while refilling the tank. I left the pressure release valve open, and subsequently flooded the basement. (Note to self: next time just leave the hot water faucet open and closed the valve before refilling the tank.)
I don’t know if this is going to fix the problem. I might try a shower tonight and see. But I suspect the real problem is that the dip tube inside has broken or come undone. But disconnecting the cold water inlet to look for the tube seems (right now) beyond my ability.
Update: So I have actually created a new problem: the pressure relief valve is leaking. From what I’ve read online, it seems that when you open an old one, frequently is doesn’t shut back down the way it’s supposed to. Hooray. Looks like I’ll have to replace it.