Sunday, October 4, 2015

Not a Lot to Show

It was a lovely, relaxing, long weekend.  Would I like it as much if it was a permanent thing and I didn't have a job to go to?  I would like to find out.  I feel like I squandered away too much of it even though I went out to work on the mobile home Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  I only stayed 4 or 5 hours each day because it was hot and dirty work.  I managed to cut a new piece of paneling to cover the wall where the water was leaking in.  I'm going to be honest.  It isn't getting painted any time soon.  Let's just call it an "accent" wall.  I have more important chores to do.

Do I dare add trim around the door?
I put up a pull-up bar in the doorway of the bathroom for my nephew.  He didn't ask for it, I just put it there to make exercise convenient.  Maybe if he hits his head on it, it will remind him to do a few pull ups.

After that, I started tackling the shower plumbing.  I decided on a configuration for the pipes and then went home, thought about it, and changed things around.  Then I bought plumbing connectors and started working only to realize that my plan would not work.  I left frustrated and bought more plumbing parts.  I would call that job only 10% complete.  It will have to be my main focus on Friday if I am going to get it done before my nephew comes back on Saturday.  I did not work on snake proofing the dogs' fence or making the cat area more secure or fixing up the kitchen.  There's just too much to do.  At least the weather should be in the 80's this week.  That will help my productivity for a while until it gets cold and I want to just stay in bed and nap with the dogs.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Two Steps Back and New Members for our Team

Even though it was 102 today, I decided to take the afternoon off and tackle some chores.  First step, pull off the paneling around the door in order to find the leak.  It took a while to get the paneling off and I made a big mess.  I felt like I was taking two steps backwards after we worked so hard to make the place livable. I got up on the ladder and poured water around the outside of the door.  I went inside and watched the water trickle in right where the drip edge is located on the outside.  

See where the brown drip edge was cut to make room for the door frame?  Even though I thought I caulked every gap, there was a hole inside the drip edge channel right by the door frame which let all that water drain right in, down the wall, ooze out the bottom of the paneling and pool under the linoleum.  At least, I hope that is the cause.  I've thought I found the cause of the water leak 3 times already but I am pretty confident that I have found the real cause this time.

I caulked the hole on the outside, caulked all the edges on the inside, and tomorrow I will buy some Great Stuff Foam for even more protection.  Then I will pour water around the door again and if the inside is dry I can put up new paneling and FINALLY finish trimming the door inside and out.  I also drilled some drain holes in the drip channel so that the water will drain away from the door.

This mystery wire was cut by the handyman who put in the door.  Obviously, the outlet doesn't work now.  My coworker said he would come over this weekend and help me reconnect it and figure out my electric panel.  The panel is still labeled 'furnace' and 'dryer' and there hasn't been a furnace or dryer here in over 10 years.

Here's another project I have started.  Barn cats.  Specifically, mouse hunters.  I contacted a cat rescue to see if they had any unadoptable cats that would be suitable for an indoor/outdoor situation.  After 3 months of waiting, 2 cats were delivered this week.

A woman had trapped them when they were 6 months old and tried to tame them but they did not appreciate the attempt at taming.  The woman brought them to the pound to be euthanized for being unfriendly.  I do not mind if my cats are unfriendly as long as they keep the mice and rats away.  We have set them up in the back room where they will stay in a large crate for 10 days and then they can roam the room for another 10 days.  After that, I will open the cat door and, hopefully, they will remember to come back to the room for food, water and shelter.  Ideally, I would like to close off the jacuzzi area, greenhouse, and under the mobile home so that they can hunt in those areas and not leave the safety of an enclosed space.  This is the area that the cat door opens to.  The jacuzzi area has a chainlink fence but no roof yet.  I have added 'build catio' to my to-do list. I have wanted a catio for a while now and these cats are so pretty, I don't want them to be coyote food.

I took tomorrow off too so I will continue working on the door weather-proofing and then move on to, maybe, getting water to my nephew's shower, then painting my bedroom, building a bedframe to get my mattress off the floor, putting up the overhead cabinet for my kitchen, organizing my storage room...and the list goes on.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Good News from the Rental House

It's time for some good news.  My house is rented!  They signed a year lease, moved in today and paid their rent.  I should be getting my money direct deposited in to my account around the 12th of October.  Maybe I can get back on track paying down my mortgage again.  That is, unless my mother wants me to start paying her back for the barn-shed.  I paid all of my property tax last week (around $3K) so my savings should be at it's lowest amount but there are no big bills needing to be paid.  I can re-balance my mortgage spreadsheet and focus on my goals again.  I miss my monthly mortgage updates.

Last weekend was nice and relaxing after I dropped my nephew at the airport and picked up a few thing at my mom's townhouse to ship to her.  I stayed at home and did the usual laundry, sweeping, weeding, and cooking.  I think I will take Friday off to work on my mobile home even though it will be 102 or something awful like that.  Next week will be low 90's so they say.  They better not change their minds because I have been saving up a lot of digging for the cool weather if we ever get some.


Friday, September 25, 2015

Made it to Fall Break

Sorry, I seem to be getting behind in my blogging.  This was the last week of the first quarter and I was determined to make my nephew get all of his work in.  Last Friday, we packed up the dogs and drove to the house, unloaded, then went to a dinner theater to see a spoof on Harry Potter.  My nephew has to see a show and write a 2 page paper for his choir class each quarter.  It was a fun show and the pizza and ice cream was good but after working all week, 2 hours at the theater was the last thing I wanted to be doing.  We survived and checked that off the list.

View from the balcony.
The rest of the weekend I made sure he worked on his homework and I took a nap.  On Sunday I made him go bowling with the church youth group.  He was reluctant to go but I told him it was either bowling with other kids or running errands with me.  I dropped him off and said he could text me to pick him up in an hour and a half if he was miserable.  First, I went to Home Depot to pick up the water heater that I ordered and look around for a few other things that I can't even remember at the moment.  I spent too much time browsing.  I stopped at Big Lots next to use my 20% off coupon on paper towels and dog treats.  It had been almost 2 hours since I dropped him off but I needed to go to the grocery store and then I would have to take the groceries home to put the milk in the fridge.  I sent him a text to see if he was ready to be picked up but he didn't reply so I bought groceries and went home.  Just as I finished unloading he sent a message that I could pick him up with a smiley face.  I wasn't sure what the smiley face meant but when I got there he was talking and laughing with a group of kids so I guess it wasn't as awful as he expected.

After that we had 2 hours before it was time to pack up the car and head back out the the mobile home for another week.  I heard that the weather was turning stormy on Monday so I added a rubber weatherstrip to the bottom of my door because I thought that was where the rain was getting in.  I was wrong.  I still don't know but next week I am going to rip off the interior paneling around the door and look for light.  This is a huge problem and I must find the solution.  But anyway, I must back up.  I have been fighting with the tuxedo shop, Tuxedo Online, because I exchanged my nephew's choir outfit and they hadn't shipped the replacement.  After staying on hold for 45 minutes last week, the woman promised they would send it out last Tuesday.  After parent-teacher conferences (oh ya, I went to that too) on Thursday, I got a phone call from the tuxedo shop saying they didn't have the size shoe that I ordered.  I told them to send the closest size and asked when the package would arrive.  They said Monday and I said I needed it Monday so I had them ship overnight.  So, on Friday when we got to the house the package was waiting for us.  I was relieved until I opened it and immediately knew that the vest was not supposed to be a solid color.  The choir teacher had mentioned that some parents said that the vest were backordered.  Did they think I wouldn't notice that they sent the wrong vest?  On Monday he dressed up in his outfit and we marched up to the choir teacher and asked if he had any extra vests left.  Luckily, he did.  It was a little big but at least it was the right pattern.  I went home to clean up the water that had leaked in around the door and under the vinyl flooring and then went back for the performance which was very good and not too long.  Choir is a popular elective at their school.  They have 5 different choir groups and each one sang 3 songs.

Whew, so that was over but we still don't have the right vest of our own.  I sent back the solid vest and now I'm waiting.  The next choir performance is at the end of October.  Hopefully, the vest arrives before then.  Oh, and the shirt sleeves were too short and the shoes too big but those problems are easier to fix than the back-ordered vest.

The rest of the week I made sure he worked on his paper for choir, made up any late work, and tied up all loose ends.  He has the next 2 weeks off for fall break while the teachers get caught up on their grading.  I will try to over-ride my natural tendency to relax and try to get some projects done that will make things easier next quarter.  The list is long.  Maybe I can do the top 3.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Elevating My Stuff

Because everything was unfinished when we moved in, there were no shelves or anything mounted on to the wall.  I was supposed to finish putting up the trim but that hasn't happened because it involves measuring and power tools and is more than a 20 minute job which is all that I have time for after work.  On my lunch break I bought some shelves for the kitchen and put them up.  They aren't pretty but they are very useful so I bought more shelves for the storage room.

Everyday when I come home from work I take a few more things off of the messy countertop and attempt to organize them in the storage room.  It is finally cool enough in the back room so I can spend 20 minutes fussing with stuff before I start sweating.  Every little bit helps though, as you can see, I was able to move my little 2 burner stovetop out to the counter instead of in my bedroom.

If you look through the door way you can see where the cooktop used to be, in front of the window A/C.  It was very awkward and unsafe to cook there.  Soon I will have the rest of the counter cleared off and organized in the back room.  I need more organizational tools, perhaps a pegboard to hang my tools on so that I can see them.  I also need more hooks and clear plastic tubs for organizing plumbing and painting supplies.

I have a long way to go but I am working at it little by little and seeing some progress.  I still have a wall cabinet to put up in the kitchen area and I hope to buy more shelves when I have extra funds which won't be for a while.  I thought my rental house had a new tenant but I guess it didn't work out.  The property management company called me yesterday to ask if I was flexible on the price.  We decided not to lower the rent because they said the house is getting a lot of interest and it has only been vacant for a month.  Until it is rented I have to pay for the electric and water bill and I am without $850/m in my budget.

I added this photo for my mother.  When my nephew doesn't turn in a homework assignment he has to spread gravel on my driveway.  At first I was just going to restrict his video game time but then I thought, why not make the punishment benefit me?  He has had to do it 3 times but I think he is being more careful with his homework.  Every time I see a zero on his online grade record I ask him if I need to get more gravel delivered and he manages to get the assignment taken care of like magic!

Saturday, September 12, 2015


School started in July and my nephew and I moved out to the mobile home and I haven't had a chance to reflect on my expectations.  Some things went smoother than anticipated.  Some things were much harder. Other things happened that I never expected.

Things that went smoothly:

The school bus.  There were a couple of times in the beginning when my nephew didn't set his alarm and over slept.  He has been doing much better.  Walking to the bus stop and back is not a problem for him.  I like that he gets some exercise.

The dogs.  So far so good with transporting the dogs to the mobile home during the week and back to the house on the weekends.  They love the car ride.  They have all found their sleeping spaces in the mobile home.  2 sleep on my bed, one in his own dog bed, and my foster dog usually sleeps on the rug by the door.  Carrying in extra drinking water is a chore but it is nice to be able to buy 5 gallons for a dollar out of the water machine if I am not able to fill up for free at home.  Snake-proofing of the fence is not complete but the fence has kept the dogs contained.  Luckily, I have only seen one gopher snake far away from the dog yard.

Food.  At first I was trying to buy groceries at the house and haul them out to the mobile home.  It was too much to fit groceries, luggage, laundry, dogs, and water in the car.  Now I stop by the grocery store after work if we need something.  The only things I take between home and mobile home are leftovers that can't be frozen and milk.  Since my kitchen is not set up for cooking yet, I have some easy meals that we repeat.  Bean burritos, microwave lasagna, spaghetti, microwave beef and gravy with potatoes, Dinty Moore beef stew.  Every other week I pick up cheeseburgers.  Once I get my cooking area set up, our meal selection will expand.

Mail.  I thought I was going to have to forward my mail and change my address with everyone but that hasn't been necessary.  The school only needed my property tax bill to prove my residency and they were happy.  I usually stop by the house once mid-week to pick up the mail, water the plants and feed the quail.

Quail and plants.  I was worried that the heat would kill my plants and quail.  I thought about taking the quail out to the mobile home but then I would have had to give them air conditioning on the weekends.  The quail and plants have done well at the house during the week.  A few plants died but most of them are on a drip system.  The weather is getting a little cooler now so I am not as worried as I was.

Things that are much harder:

Getting anything done after work.  When I come home from work I still have to make dinner and make sure homework gets done.  The only projects that I work on are ones that are emergencies, like water leaks, or fun ones like putting up shelves.  Big projects that require getting out power tools or ladders rarely get done.

Water.  My grand plan was to get free water from the sky with my rainwater catchment system.  Since I haven't put up the gutters, I can't collect that free water.  I think I will need another water delivery in a month or two.  Hooking up the bathroom plumbing was much harder than I expected and I haven't even tackled the shower yet.  I gave up on the hot water heater for the bathroom because it requires a 20 amp circuit which I don't have and don't have time to install.  I purchased a small 4 gallon water heater that can be plugged in to an existing outlet. I hope my nephew can learn to take fast showers because he's not going to have much hot water in the winter.  

Money.  So many unexpected expenses.  I am still throwing money at the mobile home to fix problems plus I'm throwing money at my car problems.  Soon I won't have any more money to throw.  I am sad that I don't have money for my barn-shed yet but I just need to be patient and keep working and saving.

The things that happened that I didn't expect were, of course, my father passing away and my mother breaking her hip while in Florida.  I had no control over those things but they required my time and mental energy.  I was hoping to not still have my foster dog but when I found out she had Valley Fever I couldn't just give her back.  I was not expecting my nephew to forget when golf team tryouts were.  I am still trying to get him more involved in school.  There may be some hope with the tennis club.  Surprisingly, they don't have a chess club, the one club he was interested in joining.

I know there are many other things that have gone right and gone wrong.  It has been a huge learning experience.  We only have 2 weeks left of the first quarter and I think we have a system that is working.  Hopefully, it will continue to get easier each week as I complete more projects and streamline our routine.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

3 Cars but No Ride

I was so happy to have a 3 day weekend but the first day I had a sinus headache that wouldn't go away even with 2 pills and a nap.  The next day, I don't know what I ate the day before but something did not agree with me so I was miserable most of the day.  On Monday, I had promised to take my nephew to see Ant Man with his friend and friend's mom.  We browsed the mall for a bit and then watched the movie which was ok.  I guess I was expecting more from the movie.  I really dislike sitting in movie theaters and paying high prices so going to the movies is something I only do when other people want to do it.  I had two free passes given to me by a coworker so at least that was a bargain.

On Tuesday, I jumped in my car to go to work and the battery was too dead to start the car.  The funny thing was that I have two other vehicles at the house in town but out at the rural mobile home I am stuck.  I briefly considered riding my nephew's bike but the closest auto parts store is 20 minutes away by car.  I called AAA and popped the hood.  I never noticed that the battery is not visible in the PT Cruiser.  I had no idea where it was.  The AAA guy was out in an hour and he knew where the battery was hidden.  He tested it and it was bad so he sold me a battery right out of his van.  I didn't even know they did that.  The new battery has a 3 year warranty and a 6 year pro-rated warranty.  I don't expect to keep this car that long.

So, that was my less than exciting weekend and expensive start to the week.  After the $1,100 maintenance bill from last week, I was hoping I wouldn't have any more problems any time soon.  No such luck.

I have much better news about my mother.  She is safely in Washington state now.  She is doing much better physically and mentally.  She will be there for a few more weeks of rehabilitation and she gets to see her grandkids everyday so I hope she is enjoying her time there.

Two more days until another weekend.  It is getting a little cooler here.  Today was only 88 but this weekend it will be back up to 99 so I don't think I will plan to work on any outdoor projects.  This is the time of year that I look longingly at my long sleeve shirt but it is still too hot to wear them.  Cooler weather is right around the corner though.  3 more weeks max.  I can't wait to turn off these air conditioners and save some money on my electric bill.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Quick Update

I made it to my 3 day weekend!  I am so happy.  Every week seems to start out with potential and then something bad happens.  This week's challenge was automotive.  The low oil light on my car flashed on and off a couple of times.  I took it in and the mechanic gave me a laundry list of things that needed attention.  Another motor mount (so that's why the car was shaking), couple of oil leaks, a new radiator cap (I wonder why the "new" one I got in January failed so soon?).  There goes my extra money for September and it is only the 4th.  When my new tenant moves in and I get my first rent check (Oct., I hope) I want to go back to paying down the mortgage if possible.

So, I was driving my mother's car and the check engine light goes on.  I think I am bad luck for cars.  The estimate is $275 for some sort of smog system valve and a new gas cap.  They have to order the valve so I told them I would let them know when I could bring the car back.  It 's not easy to get away from work and I have been getting in late or leaving early a lot lately.

Right now I have 3 houses and 3 vehicles and it is too much.  Too much money and too much time.  The rental house maintenance manager sent me an email with the repair estimate while the rental house is between tenants.  One of the items was landscaping.  Immediately, I thought, "I could do that and save myself some money."  After further thought though, I realized that I did not want to spend my Saturday pulling weeds and pruning trees in 105 degrees.  I have plenty of other things to do at my  other houses.  It's ok to out-source some things.

Traveling between my house and my mobile home is working ok so far.  My nephew rides the bus to school and back and if he needs to stay after school, they have tutoring or the library open until I can pick him up after work.  I am still encouraging him to try riding his bike when the weather is cooler.  I hope he tries it.  There is a great sense of freedom from having ones own mode of transportation.  I may even buy myself a bike...we will see.

Tomorrow I plan to work on the mobile home some more.  A big rain storm came through yesterday and it still leaks around the new door.  I need some sort of cover or at least a drip edge above the door.  I would love a full porch.  Dare to dream. Someday, maybe after I consolidate my homes and cars so that I can focus on one of them.

Latest Mom news:  Mom's hip has healed enough for her to be able to fly.  My sister is going out to Florida tomorrow and getting her on a plane on Sunday.  They are going to Spokane where my other sister lives and Mom will finish her physical therapy.  After that, it all depends on Mom's cognitive abilities.  I hope she will be able to come back to Arizona but as of right now she wouldn't be able to live alone.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Plumbing...I'm Learning So Much

Has it been a week already?  Every day is a rush to get things done.  Get up, feed the dogs, make sure the boy gets to the bus, get to work, after work errands, feed dogs, make dinner, check homework, clean up, fix something, shower and bed.

The sink in the nephew's bathroom has been leaking.  One day there was so much water that it tripped the GFI outlet.  I couldn't figure out where that much water was coming from.  Finally, after work on Thursday, I took the faucet off and re-connected it over a bucket so that I could watch for leaks.

By chance, I turned the hot water faucet on in order to hook the faucet over the bucket.  When I turned on the pump, water came pouring out of the hot water side of the faucet.  It suddenly dawned on me what was happening.  My nephew, either not remembering that the hot water is not hooked up or just by accident, has been turning on the hot water handle which allows the cold water to spray out under the sink.  That is why I could not figure out where the leak was coming from.  Every time I looked, it wasn't leaking but it was wet.  I needed a hidden camera!

The fix was easy, just screw a cap on to the hot water intake.  At least, the fix was easy in theory.  The plastic cap would not screw on straight.  I tried and tried and finally I checked the threads and saw that the soft plastic threads had been cut by the metal pipe.  Luckily, I had another cap and I was very careful to get it screwed on straight the first time.  So far so good.  There is another small leak that I need to fix and then I need to figure out what is causing the tiny leak in the drain.  I explained this all to my nephew and told him he would need to diagnose plumbing problems when he has his own place.  He said he wouldn't have to because he would buy a new house that didn't have any problems.  Haha...good luck with that.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Saturday Plans

For once I am not working at my mobile home on a Saturday.  Since I have the water pump hooked up for the sink and toilet, there are no more super urgent chores to do.  Everything else is on the 'will make my life easier' list but it isn't urgent.  Instead, I must go to my mother's house to get her mail, check the food in the fridge, and hook up her two trees to the drip system.  I also plan to go adopt my foster dog so that I can take her to my own vet.  I am less than thrilled with the care she has received at the pound.  They just want to amputate her leg and get her adopted without taking in to consideration her other injured leg which will leave her with only two good legs.  I want another opinion.  Lastly, I am taking back a bag of plumbing fittings.  I'm not finished with the plumbing project but I know I won't use that type of fitting.

So, that is my exciting Saturday.  I hope there will also be time for a nap and some Netflix.  I don't plan on spending more than gas money and $15 for the dog's license.  My credit card needs a break.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Winning The Bad News Lottery

After my father's funeral, we encouraged my mother to meet my sister and her family in Florida for their family reunion/Disney World vacation.  It seemed like a fantastic idea.  Mom would have time with her grandchildren, meet her great-grandbaby for the first time, travel like she has wanted to do for so long, and get away from the reminders of her life as a caretaker of my father.  Everything went well until last Sunday... the morning before the day she was supposed to return to Arizona, she got up to use the bathroom in the dark, got confused by the unfamiliar house, fell and broke her hip.  It is what she had feared for so long.  One of the main reasons she moved to Arizona was because she was terrified of falling on the ice in Washington and breaking a hip.

But it gets worse.  The hospital gave her morphine for the pain.  Evidently, many seniors come down with a thing called 'hospital delirium'.  They aren't sure of the cause but they think it has something to do with morphine, anesthesia, possibly dehydration, and the combination of medications that elderly people are taking. This condition which causes hallucinations and paranoia, can go away in a few days, a few weeks, or never.  It's only been 3 days since the surgery so we are still hopeful.

And still worse, my mother is now stuck in Florida where we have no friends or relatives.  My sister is only able to stay until Monday.  Mom was transferred to a rehabilitation hospital today and has to be there for 2 weeks before they will possibly clear her to fly.  After that she will fly to be near one her daughters to complete her therapy.

I just can't even wrap my head around all of this misfortune.  I had hoped that she would be able to travel for at least a year before something like this happened.  Not only am I extremely sad for her, but everyone in my family is looking at their own future and wondering.  The urge to retire NOW is growing but I still can't seem to do it.  There is a lot of security in that bi-weekly paycheck.  I have very little in savings after all of the renovating.  My rental house is still in transition between tenants and I am having to pay for repairs and utilities.  I am not ready to sell my house just yet.  I'm not even ready to sell my truck and now I have my mother's car too.  That's 3 cars sitting in my driveway.  All I know is that I had better not wait too long to retire because there is no guarantee that my physical or mental health is going to cooperate with my retirement plans.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

My Plumbing Project That Just Won't End

How many times can I get heat exhaustion in one day?  It was 110F or something like that today.  All I know is that it was HOT and I wanted to stay home but I had important things to do which will make my life easier eventually.  I made it to Home Depot by 10 which is early for me.  They had to retrieve my toilet from the back so I went shopping for push-fit SharkBite connectors.  I was going to buy them last time but I got confused by the SharkBite brass barbs and compression rings and I thought that was what I was supposed to buy but, no.  The copper rings are too hard for me to squeeze and it was either spend more money on tools or change to the more expensive push-fit connectors.  I like them because they are simple and re-usable if/when I mess up.  I spent $200 on fittings but I bought extras to avoid numerous trips to the store.  When I am finished I can take the extra ones back.

This is my new toilet after I took it out of the box because it was too heavy for me to carry in the box.

This is the jacuzzi turned in to a mosquito breeding ground from the recent rain.  It is right next to where I was working on the plumbing so I had to stop and scoop water out until I got too hot and then I went inside and searched for the BT granules which is a natural way to kill mosquito larvae.

This is the fancy toilet ring that I bought but didn't need.  I had heard terrible things about wax ring failure but I didn't have any problems, probably because it was so hot in the bathroom the wax was very gooey.

This is another distraction.  The hall door is still un-usable and I haven't covered or removed it yet.  It bothers me every time I go by.  

The little tension rod with a twin sheet covers up the hideousness nicely.  Not fixed but covered up for now.

This is the old 4 gallon flusher.  I will not miss hauling 4 gallons to it.  The inside of the bowl was pretty gross too.

The old wax ring was melty and very hard to remove.  I had gloves on but I used some tools and they got sticky from wax.  This was the worst part of the toilet replacement process.

Ta-Da!  The new low-flow toilet!  I am happily surprised that I installed it successfully the first time.  

Look at those fancy buttons.  The left one uses 1.1 gallons and the right one uses 1.6 gallons.  The bowl does not fill with much water so it will probably get dirty easier.  I hope my nephew will cooperate with my toilet paper in the trash can request.  I think that will greatly reduce any chance of clogging.

The big questions left is, "Is there water to the toilet?"  Sadly, no.  For one glorious moment, I had running water to both the sink and the toilet.  I actually considered putting off installing the new toilet since the water would automatically fill now but I am glad that I went ahead with it because the pump started acting up again.  I was too exhausted, hot and starting to get a headache so I didn't start hooking up the little RV pump.  It turns out that the reducer fitting that I bought today was the wrong size.  I need to go down from a 1-1/4" pipe to 1/2".  I made a list of a few other connectors that I will need.  I'm not looking forward to another Saturday of plumbing especially since it will involve going under the mobile home but I sure will be happy with this stage of the project is complete.  At least we will only have to carry 1 1/2 gallons to the toilet this week instead of 4 gallons .  That is progress.