My Invention

Don’t call me diminutive, or height challenged, or pint-sized. I’ll admit right away, so don’t go beating around the bush.  Been this way a long time. Not sure what all the deal is about. Everyone sees it. I am short.

Learning from the string of blue words that explode out of anyone who tries to drive a vehicle that I have been driving previously, I now automatically change the seat setting from the absolute closest to the pedals to the very farthermost setting and let the next driver adjust accordingly. I pick up all my height-enhancing step stools, ladders, blocks of wood, stair-stepped hay bales, etc., so they do not become tripping hazards for those who look down on the world from higher vantage points.

I spend a lot of time devising ways to compensate for my lack of stature which has led to some interesting inventions over the years. Items in high cupboards, I have a step stool but prefer long-reaching, rubber-gripped barbecue tongs (WARNING: there is a learning curve with this approach. Do not begin your tong regimen with large or heavy items. Begin with 8 oz. cans of sliced olives for practice because they hurt less than the sharp edges of cereal boxes or 28 oz. jars of pickles).

Cleaning the 20 foot section of a second story gutter on the house has been a thorn in my side for the last ten years. The large leaf maple trees and tall firs that are fairly close to the house do their best to fill the gutters with needles, leaves and those little twirly seedpods so the gutter gets clogged easily. It would take two ladders, or the tractor with a ladder tied onto the front loader to get high enough to reach the clogged gutter. Neither option is suitable for me because heights tend to give me the heebby-jeebbies. I came up with an invention and so far it works great.

PVC pipe and drain trap used for gutter cleaning.I purchased a 10 foot section of 1 1/4 inch PVC pipe at the local home improvement store, along with a plastic U-shaped sink trap with the screw-on cuffs, and I stole a 5 inch piece off tubing off our shop vacuum and screwed it onto the end of the sink trap by one of the cuffs.

Now by using only one ladder, I can unclog the gutter by placing the u-shape over the edge of the gutter where it attaches to the down spout.A long PVC pipe invention for clearing gutters. When the gutter is overflowing (yes it is pouring down rain at this time, but my invention only takes a minute) I turn on the shop vac and start sucking the water through the sink trap and down the 10 foot pipe until the water starts to flow out. The siphon effect takes over once the flow is established and the gutter contents empties out at a fire hose rate (WARNING: Make sure the end of the PVC pipe is aimed away from your body or you will get the full effects of the fire hose that will knock you off of your ladder along with the shop vac). All debris and water is expelled in a big whoosh and the gutter is clean for several months.

Cleaning that gutter is now pretty easy, and I don’t have to mess around with changing any settings before anyone else can do the same project.


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