If it’s not one thing…

July 15, 2010

…then it’s another.

We got our wall knocked down (still need to do some more work on it – mudding, sanding, painting, etc.). It looks great! I love the open feel. I also got my kitchen counter tiles cut & glued back on. Well, when I say I “got” them done, I did it, with some help from MIL. Next step is grout. Turns out we got the wrong grout color. Thankfully I realized this before I started applying it!

Then, we realize our oven isn’t working. WTF? It’s one of the little in-wall jobs. Only like 24 inches. Not easy to find. Oh, and a while back the door on our ice chute quit opening. So if you don’t stick your finger up the hole to hold the door open, the ice doesn’t come down. Key problem here is that it will eventually come down when there’s enough backed up pushing it out. Hubby seemed to  think that worked just fine. Until the ice melted & refroze into a solid block in the chute. NOT FUN!

So, I called out an appliance repair guy. The part for the oven (let’s call it the brain) has been discontinued. Seriously? The freakin thing is only 10 years old!! The part for the fridge is only $15. Labor is $69. But I’m stuck, so I tell him to get the part & come back. He also says he can find basically an aftermarket part for the oven. It will run between $300-375 to fix including labor. Well, this is AT LEAST halfway to a new oven. Thing is, I don’t want a separate oven & cooktop. I have three sections of counter top that are about 1 foot max. If I could get rid of the cooktop, I would gain another 36″ of counter, PLUS the area on either side.

My quandary now is what kind of range to get? I REALLY REALLY REALLY want a smooth top. That means electric. Of course, the kitchen is not set up for electric. We have plans to completely remodel the kitchen in the next few years. So, do I cheap out now & buy new then? Or do I just get what I want now and make sure it will work in the grand plan? I was leaning towards the latter, but the choices for electric ranges are slim. Sure you can find them online, but you don’t have a clue about what they REALLY look like. And all the stores charge a 25% restocking fee if you return it because you don’t like it. (I understand it costs them money to return, but how am I supposed to know how the racks slide? What the configuration is? How the door opens? All with just a photo – that is a thumbnail no less – to base my decision?)

The only one I could actually see was an Electrolux (you know, Kelly Ripa’s brand? LOL) and it was $3000. Before tax, delivery & extended warranty. The least expensive I could find online is $1200. If I just went with a freestanding gas model, I could probably get away under $1000. We’re fortunate to have a Sears outlet (scratch & dent) nearby, and I have the time to shop it daily if I have to. But they don’t even CARRY the electric models I want, so the chances of them getting a return is pretty darned slim.

Oh, and part of the reason I just want to get a new range is because the grates on my cooktop are basically destroyed. I called to see about replacing them (all four, because they are junk) and they want…. drumroll…. $95. EACH. I asked the guy if they were gold-plated. Or at the very least, self-cleaning. Unfortunately, neither.

Damn. I just need to win the freaking lottery.


Perspective

July 9, 2010

Perspective is such a funny thing! 

Yesterday I had a bit of a difficult day. I wasn’t feeling great and I attempted to grout my new kitchen tiles. My mother-in-law helped me gather up all the supplies at the local hardware store. I have no one to blame but myself – I ended up with the wrong grout color. And of course, I didn’t realize it until AFTER I had mixed it. Oh, and a 25 lb. bag was the smallest unit they had. BAAAA I had also been thinking a lot about “that friend” and all her issues. (No contact for days which is really unusual!) I guess you could say I was having a bit of a pity party. Everyone has those days, right? 

Well, after dinner, hubby & I went for a little cruise in my old Bug that we’ve been working on. We had a loop going where we’d drive by a friend’s house, but he was never home. Until tonight. Now this guy is a walking soap opera. And the perfect one to put anyone’s problems back in proper perspective. His second (?) wife used to be a nice, relatively normal girl. They got pregnant and there were complications. She decided to carry him and he ended up being still-born. I really don’t know the details, but that is a terrible tragedy. She suffered extreme depression (who wouldn’t?) and started taking all sorts of pills (prescribed). They had another baby, and he’s doing great (he’s around seven now). She, however, is a mess. 

NOT the couple in question

 

By mess, I mean she belongs on Maury. Or Jerry. Or Steve Wilcox. Or any of those shows. Maybe even Dr. Phil. She is so messed up on drugs, she doesn’t know which end is up. The parents have alway fought – and I mean knock-down, drag-out fights. The cops know them on a first name basis. Fast-forward: they are divorced, he got screwed in the deal, she’s still messed up on meds, and they have mutual restraining orders. (She’s a trust fund baby, and he’s self-made, mostly from real estate. They live in the most affluent cities in our half of the state too.) 

It seems she had a bit of an accident a few weeks ago, involving compound fractures. Of course this means more meds. And we’re told she’s using alcohol to wash them down. She, in her drug induced fog, just knows they are not divorced so she’s parked herself in his house (much to his current girlfriend’s dismay). Of course, it’s his fault because he’s let her stay for weeks. I’m sure he feels sorry for the mother of his only son, but c’mon pal! 

We found all of this out last night when we stopped by. She was threatening to throw him out. He was convinced the cops would be there any minute. We’re worried about the kid! (Kid does great when she’s not in the picture. He’s an amazing dad.) They are both bound for jail since they’re in violation of the respective restraining orders. What a mess.  Nothing like walking in on something like that (well, we stayed in the driveway, but still) to bring my piddly gripes into proper perspective! 

And yes, what’s up with the crazies in my life? 

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Note: If I thought for one minute that the child was in any immediate danger,  the police would have been summoned immediately. There were several responsible adults at our friend’s home, and the boy knows them well. Sad as it is, this is a version of “normal” for this family.


Bitten’s Broken

June 23, 2010

My little workhose is sick!

Well, actually, I’m not broken. (Okay, maybe that one’s up for debate.) But what really IS broken is my computer. I’m on a borrowed laptop now. Ugh. I feel like someone ripped my security blanket away from me!

So anyway, I have no idea what’s really wrong with my machine, but I’ll be back as soon as I can.

And just for the record, I did not go all ‘Office Space’ on it, so don’t blame me. Blame those little computer gremlins.


Perfection vs. Reality

March 25, 2010

Perfect. According to the first entry at dictionary.com, there are 15 definitions of the word “perfect” used as an adjective. (Doesn’t that just scream imperfection?) Here are a few:

  • conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type: a perfect sphere; a perfect gentleman.
  • excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement: There is no perfect legal code. The proportions of this temple are almost perfect.
  • entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings: a perfect apple; the perfect crime.
  • accurate, exact, or correct in every detail: a perfect copy.

Society today puts such pressure on us to live life without mistakes, and to fill certain molds. For example, many view today’s models as being “perfectly” proportioned, while for the majority of us, we will never, ever attain even close to that image. Perfection, or near-perfection, is also expected in the workplace. As competitive as the job market is today, pressure to maintain a perfect performance is insurmountable. Perfection is expected in many households as their children move through the school ranks. (Doesn’t every other car have a “my child was on the honor roll” bumper sticker?)

There needs to be a balance between “trying” and “perfection.” I’ve been told to remove the word “try” from my vocabulary, as it includes a built in excuse for failure. In my opinion, trying is good enough – as long as it is giving your full effort to whatever it is you are doing… working your hardest and striving to achieve the best possible outcome or product. What’s so wrong with that?  It’s so contradictory to the pat phrase: “You did your best and that’s all anyone can ask.”

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