In Which I Re-Enter the 21st Century

A while back I wrote about how my washer died, leaving me to rely on a 1950s wringer washer as my main laundry machine. (Didja miss that? Read it here.) That adventure lasted for a little over a year, until we managed to (finally!) clear a path to get another hand-me-down washer out of our detached garage.

While it was kind of “cool” when we first brought the wringer washer in, the novelty quickly wore off. It was time-consuming, messy, and about a month into it the agitator inside stopped turning. Meaning it was much more hands on than originally intended. Lucky me.

I managed to avoid getting my fingers crunched in the wringer for about two months. When it finally happened—and let’s face it, we all knew it was going to happen at least once—I think I invented a few new curse words. Luckily nothing was broken, and I kept all my nails. (Kinda wish I could remember what I said, though.)

Anyway, that update leads us to where we are now—in the middle of home improvement project hell.

Okay, I’m exaggerating. But that little gremlin that did in my washer seems to still be kicking, stubbornly and stealthily wandering about the house and putting his grubby little mitts on each of my appliances, one by one.

My range was his latest casualty, going belly up about two weeks ago. It threw an error code, then did a grand impression of Chernobyl, brutally murdering our french fries and refusing to turn off as the temp inside continued to climb. We had to throw the circuit breaker to get the thing to turn off, and wait for hours until it cooled enough to pull away from the wall and unplug.

Needless to say, we thought it best not to plug it back in again.

That gremlin doesn’t always go for the spectacular kill, though. Sometimes he just maims them enough to allow them to die slowly, or they just stop working for no apparent reason.

We’re on our 4th microwave in 13 years because the things just quit working. They work fine one day, then nothing. We finally took down the first fatality—our over-the-range microwave, which died an embarrassing number of years ago–this past summer.

Our dishwasher stopped draining properly over 3 years ago. So I washed everything by hand.

Our fridge has been limping along, with temps wavering between the arctic and tropics, for about 4 years. Sometimes the fridge side would be iced over, and sometimes the freezer side would be partially thawed. It was anyone’s guess what we’d find in the morning. Much like the Fonz, I knew some tricks to get it to cooperate better for a while.

And our furnace takes great delight in playing a game of “will I or won’t I fire correctly” every winter, especially when the temp drops. (We have a great contest of wills, the furnace and I.)

That stinking gremlin.

So, back to our dead range, we’d been eating leftovers—warmed in our thankfully still-working countertop microwave—since that fateful Friday night. The man had various weddings booked over the weekend (he’s a photographer) so we couldn’t do any stove shopping until the following week. No problem, plenty of leftovers.

On Sunday, he stopped in an HHGregg’s after his shoot, where they were running a fantastic deal on a Frigidaire set—a range, over-the-range microwave, fridge, and dishwasher. The house gods were smiling down on us for a change!

My first new (matching!) appliances EVER. It was a little sad how excited I was about them.

It was going to take 4 days for them to be delivered—testing the limits of how much reheated leftovers we could stand—so we took a good, hard look at the kitchen.

It needed cleaned. And re-organized. And repainted. And I was sick of looking at those same ugly golden drawer knobs and cabinet handles.

Scope creep. The struggle is real.

We got everything done just in time for the delivery men on Thursday—nearly a week after the range went ka-put. Now I have appliances that actually work reliably, and 24 months with no interest to pay them off. It’s nice when things work out like that.

In addition to our kitchen work, I’ve been cleaning the mess of a basement of ours (no more goat paths to maneuver through!), trimming up the wild brush that starting taking over the property, purging like a mad-woman, battling my on-again-off-again affair with depression, and thoroughly cleaning each room from top to bottom. It’s amazing how scrubbing a toilet clean can make you feel so accomplished!

So I’ve been scarce. Sometimes things seem to avalanche on top of me, and it takes me a while to dig out. But I think I may see daylight.


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