Saturday, March 7, 2009

How we spent our Friday, a/k/a why Robin breathed in too much bleach

To properly set the scene, you should understand that Friday is a semi-weekend day here. For children it's a (slightly shorter) schoolday, but most adults, particularly those in office jobs, have the day off. (No, we don't get a longer weekend than you, our weekends are Friday and Saturday, on Sunday it's back to work again.)
Friday is also the only day that Jay and I can often sit down and have breakfast together. Sometimes we go out to one of the local cafes, other times we stay in. Yesterday was a stay in day. There we were, sitting at the island (that very same one you see in the header above you, albeit slightly less pristinely clean looking), enjoying our breakfast when we heard a very loud THUMP.
Something just fell down, I said.
(I've always been quick on the uptake.)
Well, I guess it's down now. (Again with the razor sharp mind.)
We finished our breakfast and then went off to investigate.
Hmm... Nothing obvious in the kids' rooms. Nothing in the hall closet. Nothing in the spare room. What the hell could it be? I figured I'd better check the bathroom closet. Nope, nothing in there.
And then I happened to glance over at the counter and let out a shriek, because what I found was this:
(Ignore the cleaning supplies and other assorted crap, I didn't think to snap any photos until we'd already started trying to fix it.)

See that giant gaping hole where my sink is supposed to be?

Yeah, this sink, the one that you now see sitting on the FLOOR of my bathroom, and last time I checked, the floor was not the appropriate installation point for a bathroom sink. Damn thing fell right out.


(Let me point out here that while my husband and I have many wonderful qualities, mad DIY skills are not generally counted among them.)


Jay managed to scrap off most of the old caulk but there was still a fair amount left, not to mention a whole heap of mildew where mildew should never have been. None of the standard cleaners we had around, including the anti-mildew spray you see pictured above, made a dent in it. After realizing that his efforts were futile, Jay headed off to consult with the experts over at Google and discovered that a homebrew of one cup of bleach to 3 cups of water, with the addition of a few tablespoons of laundry detergent, was rumored to do the trick lickety-split. Since he'd already spent about an hour an a half scraping caulk and still had to head to the hardware store to buy "whatever I need to reattach my sink", he asked me to get out my trusty cauldron and brew up some of this witches potion and then take a go at getting the mildew off while he went out to pick up Maya from school and go to the hardware store.
I was willing to do my fair share of the work so I mixed up the potion and went to work - in a small, poorly ventilated bathroom. To top it all off I even closed the door behind me so that I'd have more room to work! (Are you seeing where this is going? Probably. Me, I wasn't quite bright enough... Have I mentioned that I have asthma and breathing is already not my strong suit? Yeah. Like I said, not so bright...)
I got to work scrubbing, and - nothing. Nothing at all. Not a millimeter of mildew was removed. I was determined though. Jay had asked me to do it believing it should work and I wasn't going to concede defeat within the first five minutes.
So I kept going.
And going.
And going.
At some point I realized that the mildew was actually on some remaining bits of silicone and that I'd be better off scraping them off with a penknife than continuing to scrub. Because I knew that I'd still need to scrub more mildew from the back of the cabinet itself I decided not to throw out the bleach solution and left it in a bucket in the tub while I continued to work - in that same small, poorly ventilated bathroom.
By the time Jay came back and had the sense to make me stop I was completely nauseous and very light-headed. I stumbled out, wandered around the house for a bit complaining of how sick I felt, and then finally gave up entirely and headed up to bed, and of course we all know what happened then...
Oh, and while we were at it, we also found this lovely sight, which will have to be dealt with sometime soon.


It's Saturday now, and Jay has removed the car jack (!) that he'd been using to hold up the freshly reglued sink. It's holding. So far. Keep your fingers crossed...


mother in israel said...

It made a great story, anyway. Not a good day for the resp. system.

I've often wondered, when I open your blog, about the pristineness of your kitchen.

Nancy said...

I just think it's funny that you figured, oh well, it's down what ever it was. That's so like me!

Good story =)

I hope it stays put!

anymommy said...

It's been a crazy week on the island! Take it easy this next week, okay? Try not to hurt yourself or suffocate yourself or anything.

marcia@joyismygoal said...

Oh my goodness You should give google a piece of your mind if there is any unaffected left :) So sorry dear that does not sound fun at all

Maribeth said...

OMG! I think that would more than have rattled me. Hope it holds!

Tim and Vicky said...

Well, if you play hide-and-seek in the future, you might not want to hide under the bathroom sink. :)

Thanks for sharing your story. You made me smile (though you had your own misery with it . . . sorry).

This Eclectic Life said...

OK, I've bookmarked this post. Whenever I think I am having that sinking feeling that it will be a bad day, I'll read this and feel much better.

Sorry you had such rough time. The joys of home ownership are over-rated, aren't they?

Cheryl said...

Wow, that is a crazy story! Watch those chemicals girly, you could lose a lot of brain cells.

Off topic-do you kids only have one day off school in Israel being that they have a half day Friday then back to the grind on Sunday?

Robin said...

Yes, nearly all Israeli children go to school 6 days a week. Their school day is shorter, so in total they're not going more hours than an American child, but it's split over 6 days instead of 5.

There are a few pilot programs which utilize a "long" school day and have 5 day weeks, but they're very much in the minority.

Kelley said...

sounds like something I would do.

Cause I am dopey.

Nice to know you are dopey too.


bermudabluez said...

I LOVE your island!!! Yikes, I have never heard of a sink falling out before!! Glad you were able to get it fixed and I hope you are over your bleach-poisoning....or over-dosing?? Have a great Sunday!

Dawn on MDI said...

Hmmm. With sinks like that, there are usually brackets of some kind underneath that hold the sink up snug to the underside of the countertop. They usually look like the little clips that keep the storm window in the screen door in the winter - and there should be at least four of them on a sink that size. They should tighten with a standard flat or phillips screwdriver. Take a peek underneath and see if there are little holes where the clips used to be, and then tell the hardware store guys what happened. They'll know just what to get for the solution. I liked the use of the car jack, though. Very creative and utterly workable! Points for problem-solving skills and adaptive technology!

Robin said...

Nope, no clips, we checked after another friend mentioned that. Lovely middle eastern 80% strikes again... (Let's almost finish the job, never 100%. Sigh...)

Linda said...


I'm sorry you felt ill, and that there were lots of fumes in the sky. Kind of reminds me of our forest fires last year. "Breathe? You're kidding, right?"

But I have to admit that I chuckled so loudly at the magically disappearing sink that the hubby came over to find out what was going on. ;)

Daryl said...

Oy and Vey. First I am glad you're okay. Then I feel for you, I was without a bathroom sink for 2 weeks .. not a good thing. I am amazed it didnt break when it fell, if it had been mine, it would have broken and Husband does not have ANY DIY skills tho he'd argue that ..

Crossing fingers!

Robin said...

It didn't break because it landed on all the crap, umm I mean very important stuff, that we were storing in the cabinet below.

We're on Sink Watch Day 1, and so far so good. Keeping our fingers crossed...

Neas Nuttiness said...

I'm really sorry about this...but I'm still laughing. What in the world caused the sink to fall through? This story is one "for the books"!

Grace @Sandier Pastures said...

It's the same here in Dubai! Work is so substandard. BTW, I didn't realize we have the same weekends and you have Fridays off too. I thought only Muslim countries have Fridays off...

Jill said...

Oh my goodness Robin!! I've never heard of a sink falling out of a counter top... and more importantly, that it didn't break is crazily fantastic!

Hope you're recovering from the fume inhalation... I can't imagine that being in a confined bathroom sniffing bleach all afternoon is a fun way to spend your day. I'd ask for a do-over for your Friday!

BTW - where's the finished product photo?

Deb said...

wow, you had quite the day, thank you for stopping by to visit, come back anytime!

Jientje said...

Oh my god, that's quite a bit of excitement, all in one day!