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The Joys of Homeownership, Part 2

Well. Haven’t the last couple of days been exciting?

Monday afternoon I came home for an exciting interlude of... more raking! As I think I previously stated my enthusiasm for the oak trees is definitely waning. But I needed to get the two huge garden beds in the back yard cleared out before the assorted unidentified bulbs got so tall that I couldn’t rake over them without damaging them. I’m not really sure that I care at this point, but I’m trying. So I raked like a mad-woman, and made HUGE piles of leaves, that I moved into the wooded portion of the back. The eventual goal when we get more organized about this whole "yard care" thing is to create a permanent leaf depository spot – preferably about 10 feet the other side of our property line. But for now – ten feet back into the trees is just fine. For that matter, five feet back in the trees is also good.

After about an hour of raking, during which time Bob got home from work, it was time to go back inside, add another 30 minutes to the timer for dinner, and check to see how long the potatoes needed to bake. Coming in the door, I noticed The Noise. Not a good noise. A bad noise. The noise of the refrigerator fan motor squealing and grating. The same noise that we heard less than a month ago when we ripped the fridge apart and lubricated it, thereby buying ourselves (we thought) a couple of months breathing space. Naturally, Bob was pulling the back out of the freezer again just as Erica arrived for dinner. He managed to get it down to a quiet grumble, but it never quite sounded right, which was also not a good sign. While he did that, I took the case off of the computer and installed the Ethernet port in the desktop. Another thing that was so easy that I’m not sure why I was putting it off.

Then I made a critical error in timing. I called my dad to ask a technical question about getting the DSL and the wireless set up *before dinner*. It turned into a much longer conversation than anticipated, and I ended up waving everyone else towards the food while dad and I talked about modems and routers and set up disks and passwords and why the new battery for the laptop won’t charge up correctly. Once that conversation was over, there was nothing for it but I had to install the DSL. I hadn’t intended to do it on Monday. I’d intended to do it on Tuesday. But once I invoked my father I knew that he was going to call on Tuesday to ask how it went, even though I told him that I wasn’t planning to deal with it just then. So I ate a quick dinner and installed the DSL on the laptop. Of course the damn thing put all *sorts* of crap on my desktop and set it all up to run at startup. I’ll have to go through and yank that all out manually now. <sigh> I even managed to get the library picked up. All the while the fridge motor grumbled and muttered in the background.

Yesterday morning I came downstairs to discover that the fridge was no longer grumbling and muttering – it was grinding and squealing again. The lube lasted about 8 hours. This is Not Good. After extensive consultation on the phone at work with my husband (whose sense of urgency had not been impressing me) and my father (who called to see how the DSL install had gone – told you!), it was determined that I would go home on my lunch hour to find the model number for the fridge. Which I did, and thankfully the fridge was back to grumbling instead of screaming. Then all three of us Googled it. There is ONE reference to my fridge on the internet, and it’s just a rating for its yearly energy consumption. Bob finally just called Frigidaire, and in order to look up that motor they had to go to the microfiche. That is never a good sign. While he was dealing with fridge parts, I called AT&T to get my WorldNet accounts transferred over to the DSL, as I refuse to change email accounts at this stage of the game. The customer service rep didn’t inspire a lot of confidence, but I managed to get enrolled in the correct program.

Arriving home I determined that the fridge was still grumbling but not screaming, and went outside to... rake! I’m tired of raking. Have I mentioned that? But I discovered that we have a second forsythia, and what I *think* is a lilac bush. When Bob got home, he went straight into the freezer in an attempt to actually remove the motor so that he could examine, clean, lubricate, and measure it. He was still working on that when my patience with the leaves and the bugs ran out. Since he seemed to be occupied, and there’s only room for one person in the freezer at a time, I decided that I would call dad so that he could walk me through getting my email accounts set up on the laptop. What followed was probably an hour or two of dad being passed back and forth between the two of us. It was pretty comical, and I really hope he didn’t mind.

Diagnosis: the email will live, the motor won’t.

By the end of the evening, the motor had been removed, cleaned, lubricated, and reinstalled, and a new "universal" motor has been ordered online (they don’t make the original one any more.) We may have it by Friday, which would mean that we would have it in time for the parental visit on Saturday. That would be perfect. Hopefully the lube job has bought us a few days, and the new motor will buy us *years*. Not that I want to have that fridge for years. But if it can postpone the purchase until this coming fall/winter, that would be the best option. Also by the end of the evening, I had both of our email accounts up and running on the DSL on the laptop, with all of the settings tweaked appropriately. We hauled the carcass of Bob’s old filing cabinet down to the curb for bulk pickup along with assorted other large pieces of trash that had been pulled out of the back of the garage. AND I got the living room picked up.

Tonight is barony meeting, so I will be giving my rake a rest. Depending when we get home, maybe there will be time to do a little more picking up. Maybe get some empty boxes up into the attic. Something. The parents are coming on Saturday, and time to clean is running out.

I’d like a moratorium on things breaking for a couple of days, please. Everyone tells me that this is the fun of homeownership, and I get that, I really do. I’m not surprised by any of this. Heck, we’re talking about a 30 year old fridge! I just want a couple of days to regroup. After all, we’ve:

"Replaced" the stove. That is to say that we took out the icky 30 year old gas stove that scared me, and brought in my mother’s 30 year old electric stove that still works just fine.

Dug up the well head to pay the well service $135 to replace the $15 part that was leaking five feet down.

Replaced the dishwasher that died during the purchase negotiations.

Replaced the faulty transformer on the boiler so that the heat will actually *stay* on.

Ordered the part to make the fridge last until this winter.

I’d like some cooperation from the house for a while now. If I get a little time away from crisis management, I can get back to cosmetic fixes, which are much more fun. They’re also less tiring.

I still hate my rake.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
kyrelle
Apr. 26th, 2007 12:52 am (UTC)
You have my sympathies. I'm sort of glad I don't own property anymore. I just don't have the time to deal with it!

And raking sucks. Especially when you have seasonal allergies. 30 minutes out working with one of those and my eyes get all puffy and I start sneezing.
kls_eloise
Apr. 26th, 2007 01:36 pm (UTC)
Yes dear, but you have a fabulous, fascinating life that doesn't allow time for things like broken fridges or cleaning gutters. I'm a 38 year old legal assistant. This is as exciting as it gets :-)

It occurred to me yesterday that I've suspected for years that my greatest pollen sensitivity is to oak trees. I bought a house surrounded by oak trees. Genius, no? But it's only a couple of weeks in the spring, and I just get sniffly and my eyes water. That's not so bad.
pippagrey
Apr. 26th, 2007 02:51 pm (UTC)
Is there anywhere in Connecticut where you can have more than a postage stamp-sized yard and NOT have oak trees?
kls_eloise
Apr. 26th, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC)
Brookfield comes to mind pretty immediately. After living there for almost 20 years, I couldn't tell you *anywhere* that there was an oak. Mom and Dad have two and a half acres of almost anything *but* oaks.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )