Saturday, January 24, 2015

Surprisingly Fast & Easy Fixes

Not surprisingly, as a miser (mom),  I mend a bunch o' stuff.

Here are my two latest personal Miser Mom Mends:

Mend number 1:  Miser-Dog ate one finger off of a very expensive bike glove; I made a single denim finger using my sewing machine, and then I hand-sewed the makeshift finger onto the glove.  (Sticking a pen inside the finger while sewing made it easier to maneuver the fabric where I wanted it).

My husband enjoys making jokes that I'm giving him the finger!

Speaking of clothes that the dog has enjoyed too much, "Mend #2" is that I patched a pair of J-son's boxers that the dog munched on.  (Usually, the dog goes for *my* underwear, not other underwear, so I've been trying to tell J-son that this a kind of a canine compliment).  I like using t-shirt material as patches on the back side.
 On the "good" side of the clothes, the patch shows through just barely as scars.  Fortunately, very few people get to see J-son's shorts while he's wearing them.

But those two projects are NOT the fix-it projects I'm most proud of.  Instead, I'm just delighted beyond belief that I'm passing my proclivity for patching things along to my kids.  For example, J-son came to me one morning to complain that the pocket on his sweatshirt was coming undone.  I think he meant for me to fix his sweatshirt; but instead, I sat him down in front of the sewing machine, and in the space of 30 seconds, he re-fastened his own pocket by himself.  Yay, J-son!
J-son is Sew talented!

We've also had a bunch of problems with our low-flow toilets running frequently.  (Sort of defeats the purpose of low-flow, right?)  With all the crazy administrative work I'm doing for my college this year, I have a hard time figuring out how to get the hardware store so that I could fix this myself.  While I was in San Antonio at the math meetings, my husband got so frustrated with our toilets that he wrote to me:
If there is some new part we should order, we should do it soon.
Let me know if there is something I can do.
So I wrote back:
Go to a hardware store and just ask. We need a new flapper assembly. (You could take a photo with your phone of the inside of our toilet to show the clerks, but they'll know what I mean).

I know we'll need four, but get one to see if it works. If it does, buy more. If not, we're no worse off.

They're generally really easy to fix, I swear. It just takes time, which I don't seem to have much of.
So, do you know how much is cost to replace the the flapper assemblies on all four of our toilets?

It cost $8.  That's Eight Dollars.  My husband (wisely) disregarded my advice to fix one toilet at a time (which would have cost a whopping $16) and got a bag of five "universal tank flappers" for a mere $8. It turns out that taking pictures and showing them to the guys that work in hardware stores is a great way to figure out how to fix things in your home.  My husband fixed one toilet himself; then he delegated the other three toilet repairs to my sons.  Our family is living proof that there are some plumbing repairs that are so easy that a kid can do it.

So there you have it:
  • one $60 bike glove,
  • one $2.50 pair of boxers,
  • one $10 sweatshirt, and
  • four ($????) toilets,
all fixed for the price of $8, plus a bunch of (yard-sale-purchased) thread.

And we could still break one more toilet, if we had it (which we don't).  Hooray for mending!


  1. Love how the non-frugal husband outdid frugal you with his purchase of flapper packages!

  2. So inspiring! I have all kinds of mending pending including a pair of inadvertantly fingerless gloves, stretchy pants with a seat that has given up, worn out jeans that want to become a quilt, and many more. My dear son weeded out all his uniform pants that were too wide for his skinny self (this was almost all of them!). I'm researching how to narrow them.