Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I'm going to try to get back into the habit of writing here.

I didn't write yesterday because I stayed home in the morning, waiting for a handyman service to send their guys over to do some repairs and then give me an estimate on some other repairs.

It's been a busy week. I bought a new refrigerator last week -- that was delivered on Saturday. It was almost a fiasco. I'd very carefully measured the space where the fridge has to fit, even allowing for the way the counter sticks out over the edge of the shelves, because I'm clever like that.

Except I'd forgotten to allow for the way the molding sticks out at the bottom of the wall. And the new fridge is... big. Like, really big. (I remember thinking, when I bought it, maybe I should get the one that's a couple of inches narrower. Then I'd be absolutely sure it would fit. But I thought, don't be stupid, of course it will fit.)

Well. The installation guy re-measured for me and said I could either trim the counter to be flush with the cabinet, or I could take the molding off the wall. Mind you, I could do those things -- the installation guys are not allowed (because of insurance stuff) to do anything except the installation itself. Well, I don't have a circular saw, and my hand isn't steady enough for me to want to take on the countertop, but taking molding off isn't that big of a deal -- you just get a screwdriver and a hammer and pry it off.

...Except Matt had borrowed the toolbox and the ratchet set so he could put furniture together for his apartment. So I didn't have a hammer and a screwdriver in the house.

Luckily, the installation guys had a couple of other things to do with the fridge before it could be finished anyway, and Matt lives close by. I called him and told him what was going on, and he came over with the tools immediately. (See that? Right there? Good reason to keep things cordial when you separate. You never know when you're going to need a favor in a hurry.)

And now? New fridge! Yay!

I'm still rearranging everything in it every couple of days while I figure out what needs to be where and how much space various things require, but it's pretty awesome.

I also bought a new kitchen faucet, because the one we had has been clogged for months with our nasty hard water crusties, which makes the water come out at like a 30-degree angle, and spray all over, and generally not act like a faucet should.

So when the plumbers showed up yesterday morning, I set them to work first fixing the toilet that wouldn't stop running (the entire contents of the tank were in horrible shape and needed to be replaced) and then installing the new faucet. So that's all fixed, yay!

The handyman's estimator guy (who, when I finally looked at his card, turned out to be the company owner) was awesome. I showed him the spot where the dining room floor is sagging (which translates to rotting wood) and then the spot in the living room where the carpet is discolored and the stain is spreading out (which tells me there's a leak somewhere under there). He got into the mechanical closet and looked at everything, and then he went down into the crawlspace under the house to check out the situation there. He didn't pull any punches, and he didn't try to give me an estimate on the spot, but he told me what he thought my best bets were as far as getting the work done -- namely, that he didn't see any damage under the house, so the most expensive work is avoided, but they'll have to pull up the floor to see the real extent of the damage, and they can't know how to fix the leak in the living room (if it's not really just the cat, which might still be the case) until they've gotten in there to see it. So his suggestion was to plan on redoing the floors (which is going to have to be done anyway along with the repair) and then once they've gotten the flooring up, they can give me an additional estimate for the repairs. I'm waiting on the estimate for doing the floors.

I can tell right now, though, that it's not going to be cheap. After the new computer in June and the car breakdown and the new fridge, and the vacation on the horizon in a couple of weeks... I may need some time to recover before I can pony up for floors and repairs. Or, despite wanting the dining room and living room to have matching floors, I may have to do them separately (maybe I can work out a deal for them to buy all the flooring at once, so it's all the same lot, and then do the installation in two parts). But at least I'll have a ballpark estimate so I know what I'm working toward.

I also showed him the three sets of expensive blinds we've had installed in the last five years which have already broken (all in different ways). The blinds in my bedroom had gotten busted when another handyman service put a new window in a year or so ago. The blinds themselves are fine, but they got knocked off their brackets and only dubiously replaced, so that any time I try to open the blinds, it's more likely than not to make the whole assembly fall down. The other service declined to return to the house to fix what they'd broken, thus ensuring I will never use them again. One of the brackets had gotten bent, it turned out -- he got a hammer and straightened it, and snapped the blinds back onto the bracket, and voila! fixed installation! He didn't even charge me for that.

Penny's blinds have been stuck at half-mast for over a year now, and the blinds-specific store that installed them had told us we have to take them down entirely and bring them in for repairs. And the pull cord on the living room blinds had snapped Saturday morning, and the broken end of the string is inside the mechanism, so I can't just tie it back together. Unfortunately, this guy said his company doesn't do blinds repairs, so I'm back to my Plan B of just putting up some thermal curtains to keep out the heat and light in the afternoons.

So, like I said, it's been a busy week. This week, I'm trying to get back into writing -- both for pay and the writing exercises my therapist has recommended -- and also planning for Penny's birthday party, which is in eleven days, and also planning for our vacation, which is in two weeks exactly!

(And now I'm late for a meeting and must skedaddle!)

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