After $250 dollars and several hours of chipping at concrete, I have a working bathroom.
Not only did the plumber put in new fittings, faucets and a shower head, because I demolished the wall, he also fixed the toilet and unstopped my bathroom sink (it was running slow). I don't have to close the bathroom door to keep from hearing the toilet run and the shower drip. I just have to be careful not to drop an earring down the bathroom sink--he took out the "built-in" stopper because it kept getting gunked up.
To recap--I took down the wall behind the shower stall to help with the repair work and to lower my costs. When I took down said wall, I found a mess of concrete and 2x4s. Mr. Lindsey spent a good hour chipping away at cement buildup just to get to the pipe fittings, and, of course, he had to remove the 2x4 right above the fittings. What he charged me seems a pittance, considering what he had to do to fix the leak. Once he finished the shower, he gutted the toilet tank and put in low-flow works--it uses less water to flush and it fills up faster. I don't have to wait 15 minutes for the tank to shut off. And then he took the stopper out of the sink, grabbed the plunger, and, in two seconds, flushed out all the gunk that had built up in the sink pipes.
What a guy! And he also does electrical work, so, when I'm ready to put in a breaker box to replace the fuse box in the garage, I know who I'm going to call.
When I told my sister what he charged me, she asked me if I thought he'd come to Houston and do some work for her. Probably, if she wants to pay for his gas!
As soon as I recharge my AA batteries, I'll take pictures of the (still) open wall so you can see his excellent work, unless I decide to do the drywalling before then. I've spent the last three days working in the yard, but I'll write about that next time.
I don't mind paying for good work, and I certainly don't mind paying when the person I'm paying goes above and beyond. And Mr. Lindsey has never let me down. This is the third time he's done plumbing work for me (not in the same house, not for the same problem), and he works quickly and accurately. He does what he says he will do. So, the next time I need plumbing or electrical work, I'll call him. I have his number on speed dial.
I stopped by Mr. Lester's twice Saturday--once on the way to my mother's, and, again, with my sister on the way back to my house.
The first trip, I bought a huge cabbage for my mom, a head of lettuce, about three pounds of yellow squash, and about three pounds of new potatoes for $9.80. (I split the squash with my mom, too.) On the way back, I bought a round zucchini (round like a small pumpkin!), some fresh corn, and a jar of local honey. I think that's all, and I think I spent about $10 (the honey was $6.95 for a pint).
My mom came out to my house on Sunday and cooked half the cabbage (with some of the potatoes) and the squash. My sister and I had the leftovers and added the corn for dinner. A mostly vegetarian day! And all of it was excellent. I'll be so glad when my garden starts producing--but I did spy a tomato today, so the vegetable garden is progressing!