Renewing Mercies…A Little Each Day

Starting over from scratch…sorta

The Water Feature


What a long, long, long ass couple of weeks it’s been.  February 24th was our 6th anniversary.  We went out to dinner AND a movie on Saturday night, pawned our children off on their godparents for 24 hours and had planned to go to Denver on Sunday and do lunch and the Science and Nature museum.  Snow put a hold on that idea, but we still hung out together, did lunch in town, and as is normal for American couples…spent some time at Home Depot.

Since we first looked at our house and decided to buy it, we knew that we’d be renovating.  We watch entirely too much HGTV and DIY programming.  We scoff at the newbie homeowners and house-hunters who whine that they hate the popcorn ceilings and dated fixtures and door handles and whatever else they can find to complain about while they search for their dream home.  Oh please…dream home?  I don’t know anyone who once they move into their “dream home” doesn’t start dreaming of the next one.

To us, I guess, the dream home is the dream you have for the one you’re in.  The necessary changes in our house are pretty obvious.  The house was built in 1983 and has the finest 1983 version of cheap crap you ever did see.  The doors and trim throughout the interior are not even wood.  They’re like some sort of recycled splinters turned into wood and a terrible color and grrrr.  Our “powder room” (cuz that’s what the Canadian’s call it) drove me crazy!  It always smelled like pee…even after cleaning it.  Then it smelled like bleach + pee.  It was dark and the ceiling is lower than the rest of the rooms in the house and my biggest frustration (other than locking my kids out and having to endure their pestering whines while I try to find a moment’s peace to pee alone) is that the vanity was not centered.  Not just off center for the room and floor tile, who cares about that? Nope, the center of the cabinet was off center from the countertop and sink…and rigged, not just with a 1.5 inch slat to the right as a filler…but the counter was cut into the door jam to fit in the room.  This has been driving me nuts for over a year.  My little iPad and I have Pinterested many a dream bathroom to overthrow the angst that this half-bath has caused me, but I figured that would be years in the future or something like that.

So, back from the rabbit trail, on that glorious anniversary Sunday, while at Home Depot buying light fixtures for the upstairs hallway and the basement hallway, we discussed water features, little did we know.  Not 24 hours later, after an incredibly frustrating morning at home and a really relaxing early afternoon at the gym ~ workout, magazine, coffee, shower, all kid free ~ I came home with every intention of feeding the littles and scrubbing clean the middle seat of my new car (which had recently been christened with Cherry Sprite and CapriSun), since it was such a nice day.  As I approached the house the dog was freaking out inside, not really uncommon, but intensely enough to notice.  I walked into the house and heard gushing water, from somewhere.  I opened the beloved powder room door and there was water spraying up from somewhere behind the toilet and up toward the ceiling like a geyser.  At first I thought the water was coming from the upstairs bathroom into the half-bath.  Oh I was sooooo wrong, the water was going from the half bath…into the basement.  We had 3-4 inches of water in the basement.

In a complete hysterical panic, I called Court and told him what was going on.  Then called our neighbor who is a property manager and he instructed me to turn off the water to the house and how to do it…and then sent his guys to help with the clean-up.  Help arrived probably 15 minutes later and chaos has ensued from there.  We’ve yet to really sit down and determine what’s truly been damaged, but the big things down there were Court’s office countless computer wires, parts, actual computers sitting on the floor, a mattress & box spring, baby clothes, Christmas stuff, some rugs…and my washer and dryer.

They were dead.  Dead dead dead..$800 to fix the washer…$500 to install a new motherboard in the dryer just to get it working enough to see if anything else might be wrong with it.  $1300…just to see if they could be salvaged and that didn’t include labor!  Holy crap!  This is just the center of my world.  Laundry is actually housework I enjoy.  It has a beginning and an end.  I’ve noticed that I do at least one load of laundry a day.  My very dear friend has been kindly let me and my children invade her home a couple of times a week and run a couple of loads of laundry at her house, but boy is that inconvenient for us both!

On Friday we got the news of just what our insurance was going to give us for those 2 machines and Whooo Boy that’s a lot of dough, or so I thought, until we shopped for new ones this weekend.  Oh dear Lord, I’ve never bought a new major appliance.  Craig’s List and refurbished appliance shops or using whatever was already in the rental are all I’ve ever known.  Part of me really wanted to cheap out spend a quick $500 on someone’s cast off Craig’s List posting and call it a day and use our extra $$$ for something fun.  I couldn’t make myself do it though.  After all these years of the cheap crap we’ve been stuck with…and of course the last set were pretty high end, but had their quirks that were somewhat annoying…it was time to take advantage of the opportunity to get what we deserved.  It was work to find it I’ll tell ya.  We spent a couple of hours on Friday night looking around, listening, picking the brain of the salesperson at Home Depot, until I got too hungry and then was just unpleasant.  The next day about 5 hours looking at several different options, top loaders, front loaders, getting pricing, recovering from sticker shock, wondering if the money we’d been given wasn’t quite enough after all.  After negotiating and renegotiating and moving on to Lowe’s and finally finding the one I wanted on sale for cheaper and the pedestals for 1/2 what they were costing elsewhere and hunting them down in Denver…my brand new super fancy washer and dryer will be delivered on Wednesday, $500 under budget…and normal life can resume.  Well, as normal as it can be with my husband’s office at the dining room table, but that’s another story.

posted under Homeownership
One Comment to

“The Water Feature”

  1. On March 11th, 2013 at 10:41 am GramMarie Says:

    You are SO FUNNY! My “new” washer was delivered today and the dead one carted off all for $300! Of course, I buy all appliances from my buddy Tom ~ and they are not nearly as fantastic as yours but they do last for years & years. Let’s see who wins in the longevity department….
    Happy Laundry!!! (somehow that sounds like Chinese food)