Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Today started nicely - with a rash that woke me about 3 am because I was itching so badly! Probably the wee taste of a magnificent fresh mango sorbet one of the sweet gals here in the park made. I choose to forget, sometimes, that mangoes and I really don't get along well. I do fine when they are cooked, like in the mango chutney that my Mama used to make, but fresh mangoes make my hands and mouth breakout in hives, and now, it seems, the rest of me too!

When I finally woke up after taking a Benadryl and crossing my fingers, the blotchiness was gone, so I figured I was going to live. On that note, I decided to do a couple chores I've been putting off - installing a water filter on my ice-maker (gee, it must be a GulfStream coach - it has a filter on the water spigot for drinking water, but not the ice maker??!!) - and replacing the filter for the drinking water.

Easy, right? Afterall, I used to sell water filters and installed hundreds of them. So, OK, it was many years ago, but . . .
I was a good girl - I read the directions (I hate admitting that - Daddy taught me to only read directions if all else failed, but I've learned the hard way that it pays to read them first!). I measured and calculated and put all the necessary tools in one place. I was ready.

The in-line filter for the ice maker was a snap. Shut off the water to the ice maker, cut the existing water line, point the filter in the correct direction to the flow of water, attach the fittings, flush water through the filter to get rid of the carbon powder, tighten everything down and secure the beast to the wall so it doesn't bang around on the road . . . just like I knew what I was doing!
That was so easy, I knew the next one would be a breeze - I just had to change out the filter cartridge, once I found out where it was hidden. But there were all manner of water lines in that compartment, with a total of five shut-offs. I sat and studied the layout for a long time, tracing lines and analyzing the whole set-up. Once I was absolutely sure which shut-off controlled the water line I was interested in, I did just that - shut it off. The filter simply requires a quarter turn clockwise to loosen the housing, pop it off, take out the old cartridge, slip in the new one, put it back in place, quarter turn counter-clockwise and you're done.
Except the shut-off I chose obviously wasn't the right one. Water was gushing everywhere. Don't panic - take out the old cartridge, put in the new one, force the housing back in it's holder and twist. The compartment was flooded, I was soaked. I looked around to see who was watching, and for once, none of the guys who are always around looking to be helpful were on duty at that time. I hate having to acknowledge that I am a blonde in my actions sometimes!
At least there's a small opening around one of the lines into the compartment, so I was able to drain most of the water out through there. And any minute now, I'll have the full force of the afternoon sun shining in, drying everything up.
And the best part? It's done - new water filters for the next part of my journey. I'm not really going to use them until I return to the States. The water here just isn't that good - fine for washing dishes and taking showers and the like, but the ice maker and drinking tap are both turned off for the duration.
'Nuff work for one day - time for a siesta!

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