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It was sort of a nonstop weekend. We haven’t had one of those in a little while.  

Saturday was a painting party down for 

isabeau_larkI have to admit that when we first got there, I wasn’t sure how far we were going to get – it was all a little overwhelming. But she was able to throw lots and lots of bodies at it, and we got quite a bit done on both floors. I think it’s now manageable for her, and I think there were some folks coming over again on Sunday. The pizza she got for dinner was amazingly good. The weather was odd, though. It kept flipping back and forth from sunny and spring-like to snowing sideways. Given that all the windows in the house were open, I much preferred the sunny and spring-like! My painting pants have now acquired some actual colors, because unlike me she is NOT afraid of color! It’s not all to my taste, but it’s going to be very nice when it’s done. It was a fun day, and a good day’s work. I even managed not to get paint in my hair.

But, OH do I hurt now. I haven’t had a painting day for several months, and a lot of muscles that I haven’t been using stiffened up on me. I’m still feeling some of them.

Sunday we went to the home show at the Expo Center. Basically it was crowded and kind of annoying, but we got the information that we went there for. I had a chance to talk to the folks at the booth for our well service about our well pump. I love a family business - I told him that we had a house with a well that they had dug back in 1979, and he said "that would have been my grandfather." Then I told him that as far as we and the Grela technician could tell, we were still on the original pump from 1979. They all get the same look on their faces when I say that, and it’s not a look that makes me happy. What did make me happy was that he said it won’t be a big deal to pull it when the time comes even though the truck can’t get in there any more. There have been 30 years of tree growth since then, and I really didn’t want to have to chain saw a path to the well head. We also found out that we really can’t do anything about our crummy water pressure. If we try to crank up the pressure tank it’ll make that old pump work harder, which will shorten its life. We’re on borrowed time right now, so I’m not going to risk it. He guessed that if we increase to a ½ horsepower pump when it goes (given that he doesn’t know the depth of our well or any of the details) that we’ll be looking at $1,500 to $1,800. I was guessing about $2,000, so that didn’t horrify me. Assuming that all goes well (!), I think that maybe we want to do that next year. This year the air conditioning and the flue relining, next year perhaps the garage and a new well pump. Who knows – the pump may go another ten years. Or it could die the morning that we have a bunch of company coming over. I’ll chat with my dad about it but my current inclination with something that critical is to replace it before it dies. That way we’ll have time to talk to them about increasing the pump size, if we need a new pressure tank, etc.

Speaking of air conditioning, we stopped at the booth for Air Temp Mechanical and they will be out to measure and give us a quote for air conditioning this afternoon at 5:00. I’m very excited. I’m also excited about the sign they had that said "12 month no-interest financing." For the last couple of years this concept has been my new best friend. It’s how we bought the snow-blower and the fridge, and I think I’ll use it for the air if we qualify. It’s a great way to do things if you have the discipline to get them paid off on time. If not, it’s a disaster as they hit you with all of the interest for the whole period. What I like about it is that I’ve got the money to clear it in the account, but I don’t have to dig a huge hole in the savings all at once. So if say... the well pump blows – the money for the repair is there and available. I’ll budget myself an overly generous monthly payment that will pay it off well in advance of the cut off date, and I’ll have the free use of their money for a year. That’s hard to argue with. I won’t do it if I don’t have the capacity to just pay cash because then it’s a risk, and I’m still gun-shy even after a few years of wealth (okay – to me, it’s wealth. No debt = wealth. I live in a simple world.) But I’ll use their money instead of mine if they’ll let me. I’m just hoping the estimate won’t come in over $4,000. But CL&P may give us a rebate for energy efficiency, and we’ll get a show special on the price.

So needless to say, yesterday afternoon was spent cleaning. He’ll need to see the entire house, even the private spaces, and I’ve let the clutter build up a bit. It’s not how I want someone to see my home, but it’s minimally presentable. Most of the loose stuff has been put away, any and all personal papers have been filed away, and Bob is going to vacuum up the random drifts of cat hair.

I’m pretty excited about this system. It’s kinda sorta like central air for people with no duct work. If anyone is interested, the website for the system is here. I gather they’ve been using it in Japan and Europe for decades, but it’s the new big thing in the US. Other than this we would have to have a bunch of through-the-wall units because I don’t want to use up all my lovely windows with air conditioners. This will be more expensive, but I think it’s a far better choice in the long run.

The only bad thing from the weekend is that our internet is down at home. Apparently AT&T lost a major router in Wallingford at 4am on Sunday, and so far we’re still not back up. It’s good to know that it’s not something in our home system, but it’s still annoying. In the meantime we’re piggybacking on a neighbor’s unsecured wireless network. Password your networks people! Unless you don’t mind providing charity – in which case, continue as before. And not until mine is back up, please... On the other hand, it did show me that I’m spending too much time online in the evenings.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
galingale
Mar. 3rd, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC)
No debt = wealth. I like that concept.

But what I had to comment on was the AC -- I think that's actually the kind of system Rob's friend Fred (formerly "Chef Fred") was installing a lot of in Bordeaux, FR. He told us some eyeopening stories about coming in to fix things after people not ready for DIY tried to do it themselves... on antique stone houses, the classic Aquitaine kind with 10-inch thick walls. Yikes, talk about an expensive mistake. Oh, and there were some guys who ignored the instructions and blew all the coolant. Definitely a good job to hire a trained professional!
kls_eloise
Mar. 4th, 2008 02:08 pm (UTC)
With the amount of money we make as a couple, we darn well *should* consider ourselves lucky. I know I harp on it, but I'm never going back to the bad place again.
merimask
Mar. 3rd, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC)
That's a nice AC system. That's what was in the mansion in Costa Rica that we stayed at a couple years ago, & it's very effective because the cool air falls from up high & cools more efficiently. We have our central AC system hooked up through the blower & it blows through the same vent system we have for the furnace. Not efficient 'cause it's all along the floor & it takes awhile to cool the entire room...you end up with cold feet & a hot head. I have to put little fans on the floor & tilt them up to circulate the cool more effectively.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )