This would more properly be entitled "Sitting at home watching the plumbing rot." Finally the drips went a-gusher and I had to call in the professionals. The quite expensive professionals. The quite take-all-day professionals.
The immediate problem was a leak at the pressure reducing valve outside my house. It was acting like a drink-all-you-can water fountain for my apparent pet gopher and that was just too much leakage on the foundation for me to allow. Since I've had a couple of drippy faucets and a won't shut-off toilet for several months (shhh, don't tell EBMUD) I figured I'd get those fixed too.
Turns out that the stems in the sink are rotted away into a sludge of metal and plastic. I was worried that might be the case since I'd been unable to clean up the rust around the handles since I moved in here (11 years ago). So I need a new faucet and of course it has to match the existing brass fixtures. Cha-ching! Also it turns out that my very high-flow old toilet would cost almost as much to repair as replace, so I'm getting a new low-flow toilet. Cha-ching! The only good news is that the valve in the shower is easily replaceable and I don't need to have a hole knocked in my living room wall. Uh, yay?
Since I needed to be at home for the plumber I decided it was a good idea to get another estimate from an arborist for trimming my two trees. In my front yard I have a very large Sycamore that's lopsided, growing onto my roof and filled with dead wood. In my back yard I have a very large Maple that's lopsided and growing onto my roof. Both are providing a lovely vermin highway to the top of my house (and thanks for pointing that out Mr. Arborist!) so they need to be cut back. The last estimate I got a couple of years ago was almost $1500 to prune both trees (seriously) and that's why I didn't hire those people and why the trees are so badly overgrown now. This time I was told it would be about half that. I don't know why I'm excited about spending $7-800, but I guess it beats (1) roof rats and (2) $1500.
All that and my water has been turned off for the past 5 hours. I gotta go!