I’ve been thinking about endurance lately. And failure.

Some problems you can address with a small amount of time and a gung-ho effort. You know what to do, you’ve just got to do it. I think that’s why I like painting rooms so much. As long as you’re smearing paint on the wall, you can’t really mess up too badly. You work your butt off for a bit and BOOM! You’ve got a whole new backdrop.

Unfortunately,  we all discover repeatedly (daily? hourly?) things that don’t work like that. You’ve got to chip away, and chip away, and chip away. And you don’t necessarily even know if you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. One of those that has come up for me started out with some drips in my shower. It has always dripped infrequently, but lately the dripping had sped up. Not a pressing problem, yet after years of hearing that little drip, I was just ready to make it stop. I watched a bunch of videos online, read a bunch of articles, headed to Ace Hardware and confidently bought all the things I could possibly need. It’s funny to look back on now, because I didn’t actually need any of those things for this particular project. Some will be handy later, but most just went right back to Ace.

The first big hurdle was getting off the handles. I tried all of the normal ways of getting them off, but nothing seemed to work. Some online forums suggested that I just wasn’t using enough force. So I used more. They were talking about something different. I broke stuff.


Luckily nothing bad, it just made future parts of the process harder for me, personally, but what I broke needed to be replaced fully anyway. And honestly, I probably wasn’t going to get to the point of understanding that if I hadn’t made that first mistake. At that point, it was a matter of just doing something or throwing in the towel. I did something.

Charlie’s always struggled with struggling. He’s used to either being able to figure things out ahead of time or having stuff neatly explained to him. So when he doesn’t automatically know the answer to something, he looks like a deer in the headlights. One thing that has helped with that lately is circuitry. I think the best thing about it is that I don’t know anything about it. So he’s got to work through it on his own. He either tries some things out (may or may not work) or doesn’t accomplish anything at all. He tries.


Green light!


Henry’s a pro at endurance and failure. It’s how he operates all the time. I love this series of moments of him trying to figure out blowing bubbles (with some old, crappy bubble solution, I might add. I was struggling with it myself).


Charlie was constantly lunging at the almost-bubbles!


He got one!


Mr Bubble Man


Another thing he’s been learning is good teeth brushing. He’s always brushed and brushed and brushed. In fact, there was a time when I was using our “tooth timer” because he was going on too long. So I didn’t worry much about the quality of the brushing. Figured quantity was fine. Also, he’s been going to the dentist for 3 years, and all has always been well. But it turns out those molars were not quite getting the love they needed, since brushing the front teeth is way more fun. So we had to meet the “Tooth Tickler” at the dentist last week. That was a first for me as a parent, so I was sad about it. But Henry just embraced the new experience, and went in bravely (though slowly) all by himself.

He had fun telling the tale later, especially to Charlie, who just might be a little jealous 😉 Here he is right after. He chose to stay and play in the waiting room for another half hour after he was done, just because he was having a good time.


Two weekends ago was the May Day Parade/Festival. It’s one of my favorite events of the year, but is sadly no longer able to happen financially. So I hope the people who organize that do some serious enduring this year so that it can continue in the future!

While it’s still around, though, we truly love it.

This huge puppet lady was soooooooo amazing and intricate. She also, moments before I took this was walking straight at us, but I missed the moment. Gah!


At Powderhorn Park, everyone gathering for the food, music and performances


Grandma and Grandpa met us there after the parade


May Day dancers from across the lake


Bird boats waiting to sail




Those Novaks! Always taking the path less traveled


We found where they parked the floats!


Aw…poor house fell apart. Maybe it will end up in Oz


Boats are sailing! Paddling against a stiff wind, for sure


But they make it


And I did, too, gosh darnit! It took weeks of off and on work. Learning and trying and thinking and figuring. And buying the correct parts, which may just have been the biggest challenge.


But look! Not only does it not drip, it actually gives a full shower, with nothing dribbling out of the faucet below. No fiddling or wiggling of handles necessary.


Woohoo! It feels so good. And the most important thing is that I learned a lot. Including the fact that neither of the shut-off valves to our house work, which is real bad. So if not for this little project, we’d never have known that until something went wrong and then we’d be hosed.

Luckily, we’re going to get a new water heater, so when Chad the Plumber comes, he’ll do it all at the same time. Won’t that be a fun day?!

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