Flowing is remarkably àpropos as today’s subject.

I spent a good part of last night repairing the toilet off the (not so masterful) bedroom.


I had been reading Gretchen Archer’s soon-to-be-released new book, “Double Knot” and enjoying it so much I couldn’t stop reading. As the digital dial on my clock radio flipped past 2:00, I had to keep reading.

Usually when I read, I can’t hear anything. I’m in the book. All  I hear are words inside my head. But I couldn’t not hear that funny little noise. Troubling little noise. Which I couldn’t quite identify.

Double Knot Cover

I finished the book. Sighed. Turned off the Kindle. Went into the bathroom. And realized that irksome little sound was the toilet running. Not good. This was how our well crisis started a couple of years ago.

When you live on well water, a continuously running toilet sends up flares. Danger, danger!

All I wanted to do was sleep. Hey, world, this is my birthday. I’m grateful to be walking the Earth, not six feet under it. Okay. Figured I’d turn off the valve and deal with it later. But. I couldn’t turn the valve. At all. Solidly stuck. Yet I could not leave it running.

happy birthday from google

While humming “happy birthday to me,” I disassembled the tank. Toilets are simple. Mechanical. I looked, saw the little hose that fills the tube that tells the float when the tank is full, had popped out of position. It apparently had done it before because someone (surely my son) had previously fixed the problem using a piece of twisted wire made from a Christmas tree ornament hook.

The wire and the little hose had separated. Despite juggling and jiggling, they were not coming together again. Using as much brute force as I dared, I eventually convinced the input hose to stay in the float tube. After I reassembled the tank, I hauled my tired old body to the computer to ask my son to please fix it. Before we have another well crisis.


I kept thinking that this was a really crappy (appropriate, right?) way to start my new year. And then, suddenly, I was grateful. Because I can figure out how to fix the float mechanism in a toilet tank — despite having a college degree!

It’s morning again. The toilet stayed fixed. Happy birthday to me!

You only get two options with life. Get old or get dead. Old is better. Life flows, bringing with it the good, the bad, the ugly.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

42 thoughts on “FLOWING THROUGH MY DAY”

    1. Disasters avoided are high points in life, aren’t they? I was really tickled that I could still do something useful. I’m generally perceived as overly intellectual, but hey … how overly intellectual can you be if you can fix that toilet tank, eh? Thanks!


  1. Happy birthday, Marilyn. Always feels good to be able to fix something oneself. At least it was a minor thing after you got to enjoy a good book. Love your last statement.


  2. Happy birthday Marilyn and may it be a good one, in spite of the running toilet. My computer has been reminding me all day today that it is your birthday with buzzes and banners, so what could be better. (to be quite honest I thought it was tomorrow) We also had a drippy toilet two weeks ago, but it seemed to cure itself. I was captivated by a 12 foot teepee last week, but am now reading Book No. 5 of the Flat World by Terry Pratchett, Sorcery. And now all WP blogers are singing together Happy birthday to You – can you hear them??


    1. I hear them, I hear you. Voices in the wind. In my world, toilets need intervention but I was very proud of myself for fixing it, especially in the middle of the night when the world was unconscious. Knowing which little tube goes into which other little tube … that’s REAL knowledge 🙂

      Thank you again. And again. And thank you for reading my book. I keep being surprised that anyone is interested, but I am deeply grateful!!


    1. It’s brilliant. I’m going to review it next week. It’s due for release April 12th and you can pre-order it on Amazon. This is her fifth book. I’ve been following her since the first one. This is the best one yet and I don’t think she’s even scratched the surface of her talent. She’s got that magic something that makes an author special. You don’t see it very often anymore, but she’s special.


    1. Thanks! It turned out okay. I really DID fix it … better than I thought. I didn’t know the names of the parts, but a toilet is a pretty simple mechanical device, so if you’ve got a mind for puzzles, it’s easy to see what belongs where. But we have to replace the valve. It’s never going to turn again. Gotta find a cheap plumber. Over all, not a bad day. Not bad at all.


    1. Thank you. Pretty good, over all. The son remembered. We got the dog we wanted to adopt (a scottie boy to be Bonnie’s pal). We’re going to have to replace the valves on the toilets. Two out of three … not bad.


    1. The Japanese invented computerized toilets. Although they haven’t caught on big in this country (yet), I can but imagine what would happen when a memory chip in your toilet gets wonky. Nothing like taking a simple mechanism and “improving it” to make it non-repairable. Like what we’ve done with cars.

      Liked by 1 person

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