Thursday, April 14, 2016

What's That Clunking Noise?

We are going through what one might call a bit of a rough patch around here lately. It's my thought that everyone has these stretches in life where you kind of tiptoe around hoping nothing else breaks or goes south around the house. These rough patches are spaced between long stretches of relative calm and synchronicity, but I've discovered that when you own an old house, the stretches are much shorter than say, the owner of a new house. (i.e. one built in the last 60 years or so.)

Now let me preface this with the fact that I realize these are all first world problems. When you own multiple vehicles and try and keep a relatively modern household, things go wrong. Sometimes it's real expensive things. Other times it's just minor inconveniences.

But compared to the Ebola virus, the child slave trade and the Syrian refugee crisis, my problems are ridiculous. Unfortunately, it also is my life and they must be dealt with. Here's a little of what's gone bad lately. Again, not looking for sympathy, I'm just posting it so that if you're going through something similar, you can relate. If you're not, well, you probably will at some point.


  • Our 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe was making a humming noise that turned out to be a $900 muffler manifold/catalytic converter repair. The car has been paid for seven years, but when you start taking hits like that you have to start doing the new car payment math. Especially when we'd just put $1300 into a new Power Steering rack last fall. A new car doesn't figure into the whole kid-in-college and one on the way scenario real well. So we duct tape, patch and jerry rig the trusty Hyundai. Then again there are families of 6 in some countries that own a moped. It's all about perspective.
  • About a month ago our refrigerator suddenly spiked a fever. It kept our food at a savory 58 degrees, so we had it "fixed" to the tune of $200. When it was done the technician said it might be a different, much more expensive fix but he wanted to try the cheaper route first. Well, guess what? We're at 58 degrees again. This may be the old nail in the coffin for the Amana. New refrigerators are another budget buster item. What fun.
  • The Bosch dishwasher that we own - my wife's number one nemesis - has taken to saying dishes are "clean" after only three minutes of cleaning. The other night she futzed with it until I nearly had to tell her to step away. Today she managed to get it to run a full cycle. If anyone knows any Bosch employees, point them my way. I'd like to have a few words with them. Singularly the worst appliance purchase ever.
  • On a brighter note, I was vacuuming the other night and for no good reason, our Shark vacuum head stopped spinning. It literally was working one minute and when I turned it back on, it was dead again. Now, unlike the folks at Bosch, I have nothing but good things to say about the folks at Shark. I called an 1-800 Number and within 10 minutes a new head was on the way. This is on a four-year-old vacuum. It is the second time they have done such a thing, and I cannot say enough about what that means to me as a customer. Never a Bosch. Always a Shark!
When you get a rash of badness like this, you kind of want to stay in bed some mornings with the covers pulled over your head. I'm sure we'll find a way to cover everything - they truly are first world issues - but that doesn't mean I wanted to spend the money on other things. Things like "getting ahead" whatever that means. We're bleeding money in a jugular kind of way. 

So, my advice for any of you going through some stuff right now is, hang in there. Everyone has their crap to deal with. One day at a time. Breathe, work through them and always remember that someone else would kill to have these kinds of problems.

As the great Canadian sage, Red Green would say, "Keep your stick on the ice. We're all in this together."

Blogging off...

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