Saturday, January 19, 2008

Don't Buy Cheap Toilets

It sounds like I should have a really funny story for that title, but I don't--and as I imagine what kind of funny stories a person could tell about cheap toilets, they'd all involve some pretty big messes, so I'm glad I don't!

Nearly two years ago, we did some cosmetic remodeling in our two tiny bathrooms. We spent a fair amount of our budget on a new cabinet/sink combo and a hanging cabinet for the master bath and put in new flooring in both bathrooms, so when it came to replacing one of the toilets, we picked one we thought was okay for a budget price of somewhere around $100. What I think, though, is that the manufacturer saved money on the glazing because that darn thing attracts all kinds of stains, hard water deposits, etc. Although we rarely use that bathroom, I feel like I spend a whole lot of time trying to get the thing clean. So be warned--don't buy cheap toilets!

If you didn't already guess, I'm spending a good part of my Saturday cleaning house. For the last several weeks, I've been doing the bare minimum of cleaning, and it's all caught up to me now. But the good news is that it's a little after 1:30 p.m. and I'm heading toward the home stretch--I just have the kitchen left to clean, and then I can reward myself with a little quilting time before we meet friends for dinner and a movie.

My younger cat LOVES it when I clean house. If I could only tie a duster to her tail, we'd be in business! For some reason, when I start moving around the house a lot cleaning, she sees it as her cue to run around too. And she's such a big help--NOT! For instance, as I swept all the dust and dirt into a little pile in one of the bathrooms, she came running in and lept into the bathtub, using my little pile of dirt as a springboard. Not amusing! (What WAS amusing, though, was the time the bathtub was full of water--have you ever seen a cat turn 180 degrees in mid air?!)

Being a fairly young cat, Spike's all about playing. Here's her favorite toy:

Doesn't look like much, does it? It kind of reminds me of how kids can amuse themselves for hours playing with a large cardboard box--more so than playing with the toy that came inside it. We call this Spike's "feather" because at one time, it had a large, purple feather on one end--until I was cleaning house one day and accidentally sucked it up with the vacuum. No problem, though, because she never cared a hoot about the feather--she just loves running after the stick. The funniest thing is the way she carries it around in her teeth like a dog with a stick and drops it at your feet. She does that a lot while I'm sitting in front of my sewing machine. Then she looks up at me and meows until she gets my attention and paws at the stick so I know what she wants--as if I could pretend ignorance!

When we go to bed at night, we always know when she's coming, because we can hear the stick tapping against the wall of the hallway all the way down to our bedroom; then she leaps up on the bed, carrying the stick in her mouth, and drops it at our feet--just in case we get the urge to wake up and play in the middle of the night, I guess!

Oh, and back to the topic of cleaning. I just had a kind of funny telephone conversation with my friend Lisa. She asked me what I was doing--cleaning, of course. She told me I should do what she does and have a house cleaner come in twice a month to do the bigger things like the floors. "It's only $80 a month," she said, "and worth it for the time it would take me to do that stuff myself." (I'm thinking I could buy a fair amount of fabric with $80 a month and keep cleaning my own floors.) "What are you doing?," I asked Lisa. "I just finished cutting out coupons, although I'll probably lose them in my car before I use them," she replied. (I used to clip coupons too, but I'd do the same thing--lose them or forget I had them--so I just don't spend the time doing that any more.) "LISA!," I said, "How much money do you actully "earn" an hour by looking through the ads and cutting coupons? Just CLEAN YOUR OWN FLOORS!" We both cracked up. Isn't it funny, though, that we all have different ideas about what we're willing to do to save money? But take it from me--don't buy cheap toilets!

Okay, time for me to get back to cleaning--it's been fun taking a break with you!


Teresa said...

Congratulations on the house cleaning - a chore I always dread but I do love a clean house once it is done. Love the pics of your quilt projects - that Hometown Christmas sure looks like a neat quilt.

Eileen said...

OK, here's a hint with that toilet. Use it more often, keep the water flowing and also get those Colorax toilet bowl cleaners and put in the tank. It keeps the toilets nice and clean. I don't think $100 is a cheap toilet. $50 is. Glad you got your house good and clean again so Spike has a nice clean house to play in. He is so cute.

Crazy for Primitive Quilts & Gardens said...

Funny! I love your cat stories. My doggie carries his favorite toys to bed too, like he can't bear to let it out of his sight even at night, just in case! Love your quilts.

Cowguy said...

I knew it was just a matter of time until the toilet stories came. :-)

Anonymous said...

My bathroom desperately needs remodeling and that job is scheduled for 2008. I'll buy an expensive toilet!!:)

Anonymous said...

I testify to the folly of buying a cheap toilet. It costs more in the end when you consider repair and/or replacement costs.

mamaspark said...

Your cat story had me laughing so hard, I...well you know = ) Try those drop in stain repellant disks that go in the tank of the toilet. I have found them the only thing that actually works at keeping the stains from coming back.