Monday, January 5, 2009

Getting a Hosing

I made it through Anne's class this morning at Slimmons with little more than the usual problem during exercise... I am much weaker than I previously was, but that was compensated for by so few students that attend in the morning. And so, since I still had a little energy left, I made my way to West Valley Nursery for the third trip in two days, this time to buy a 'Female' connector for my hose. But I digress.

Two or three years ago - I forgot how long at this point... could be even longer - I was tired of always being squirted by the 'Male' end of my hose when I would put the high-pressure nozzle on it and wash my patio down. Somebody who's identity escapes me at this point, pointed out that I could go to Home Depot and buy a new male end of the hose and voila!, my problems would be over. So I made the trek, was surprised at how easy it was to locate one, came home, and sawed off the end of my hose with a kitchen knife.

Unfortunately, the male end purchased from Home Depot didn't fit. I did not understand why, but gave up immediately in disgust. Figured that the rubber end of the cut-off hose would work just fine with a finger applied to the hole to increase water pressure, and that it did for several years.

But as time went by, and my dogs used my patio as a pishing point while I was sick, "things" started building up out there and have been very noticable as of late. Bad enough to warrant another attempt at the hose so that it would accept attachments. But this time, instead of going to Home Depot where they have everything but I am basically on my own, I decided to go to my local nursery.

They were, as always, very helpful. I showed up yesterday asking for a male attachment for a hose. "What size?" they asked. Huh? I didn't know what size, but as we discussed it, there are apparently normal sized hoses and "thin" hoses. My hose is a very heavy duty one, so I told them that it was normal. That requires a 5/8" or 3/4" end.

I bought it, and a new high pressure nozzle to boot, and came home full of excitement. Took the male end off of the display card, and tried to fit it into the hose. No go. No matter what I did, it would not be inserted!

Well, I don't know what kind of depraved determination came over me, but I decided to go back to the nursery again. But before I left, I measured the opening in my hose. 5/8". The end should have fit! And so, in a rare display of brilliance, I decided to saw another 6" off of the end of the hose and take it to the nursery with me.

Back within the hour of the initial purchase, they of course recognized me. We conferred about the hose. When I gave them the piece, they agreed that the original end should have fit, but it didn't. And so they sold me a 1/2" male end.

I came home, put the end in... it was loose, but when I secured the bolt-down feature, it fit beautifully.

I gracefully attached the nozzle onto the hose, and started to wash my patio down. It was lovely watching all that debris suddenly float off of it and into the dirt. And then.... KABOOM!

There was an explosion at the wall where the spicket was! Water was flying 6 feet up into the air! I forced my way through the curtain of aqua, and turned the spicket off. Oy! I had had a "Y" connection on the spicket so that it might handle both my hose and the soaker hose that runs behind my roses. Apparently, over the years, it had calcified. Weakened. And when forced to contend with the sudden back up of water within it's Y, it couldn't handle it. Came to pieces, so to speak.

I quickly got my plumber's wrench and removed what was left from the spicket. Figured I'd attach the hose directly on and continue with the task-at-hand. But when I moved on to the other end of the Y connection, it was too solidly attached to the female end of the hose to be taken off. Calcified just like petrified rock. Oy. Time to go back to the nursery for another end.

That I did today. Yes, they recognized me. Restrained themselves from laughing. And sold me a 1/2" female hose connector. Which I attached to the hose several hours after getting home. (I hit the wall, needed a long nap first before dealing with it.)

Late this afternoon, the end was on. The pressure nozzle was attached. The hose was connected to the new Y connection attached to the spicket in the wall.

I turned on the water. Held my breath.

But nothing untoward happened! I washed down my patio with glee. Unsatisfied with just that, I washed down my patio walls. Washed down my security screen. Washed down my gate. Washed down my patio walls again. And washed the patio one more time for good measure.

It smells better out there. Not all the way back to acceptable yet, but with a daily washing and warm weather scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles later this week, I'm guessing that it will be sweet by this weekend.

Of course, now that the hose has been dealt with, I need to remember. It's January. The worst month of the year for me. For I love a garden that has grown wild, but in Los Angeles, January is the month that we need to cut the roses back. I hate that.

But I also remember the one year I decided to see what would happen in the garden if I did not cut them down to stumps. It was ugly. They were ugly.

Ah, the chores of a part-time gardener. But at least today, I had a happy ending. That is, ahem, actually, two of them.


Anonymous said...

The Garden is looking lovely..Wondering Y males and females are giving you such a bad time. (okay bad pun)

Love you

LI Laura said...

Oh my Gawd! To think how many times I just went and bought a new hose instead of repairing the old one! Doh!

Joe Ganci said...

Wow, I'm surprised that in the end you didn't hose down all of LA!!! :-)

That was a great story! Thanks, Laura!


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