Friday, May 1, 2009

May 1st, 2009

The graphic above was made by a very talented lady named Dusty. I wrote and asked her if I could use it and she graciously gave me permission but asked that I let people know it may be shared but not altered in any way. Thanks Dusty.

Another fast week in our household with a few ups and downs. I'll tell you about the downs first, not so bad really but..... a few days ago we had 90 degree temperatures and we turned on the air-conditioning only to find out it wasn't working. The house stayed in the high 80's and we called a nice man who has been taking care of us ever since we moved here. He took one look at our air-conditioning unit outside and found that a copper tubing had been sliced neatly in two letting all the freon out. Oh dear, I thought of the Ozone Layer when I wrote that. A few days earlier we had had someone do some major trimming in the garden - we don't have the heavy-duty equipment to do the kind of work that was needed. We think maybe he got a little too close to the unit and sliced the thing while using a power saw, but we can't be sure it was him not having seen him do the deed, and we haven't used our air-conditioning for months. Well, we had it fixed and yay, when the next heat-wave arrives we'll have cold air. I'm English you know, I don't handle heat and humidity very well. The first summer that 'hit' me here in Virginia, Gregg would come home and find me lying prostrate on the floor underneath that little air-conditioning box in the window of our apartment. I found it all very stifling and to this day feel like a limp lettuce during the summer months. If I am repeating myself and I have mentioned this before in a previous post you'll have to forgive me. That first summer left quite an impression on me. Whoever invented air-conditioning bless him a thousand-fold.

Have I mentioned that we've had strange goings on inside the walls? No, I'm not talking about rats or any other critters. For a while every time we turned on a faucet anywhere in the house we would hear strange vibrations, no kidding! We didn't think much of it at first and then they got louder and stronger. The first person we seek advice from is Gregg's Dad who knows practically everything and can do everything. He is such an amazing person. Growing up on a farm and then being an engineer on naval ships for 30 years gave him an amazing amount of knowledge on how things work. He gave us some advice on how to regulate the water by turning valves and so on, but I'm afraid his knowledge did not translate to our fingers and the knocking got worse. At one point the wall in the family room sounded like there was a jet airplane trying to use the inside of the wall as a runway and then all of a sudden, and with us not realizing it, the noise quit, just like that.

Okay so that was good news but then two weeks later the dishwasher sprang a leak and then the turn-off valve under the sink followed suit almost simultaneously. We unhooked the dishwasher from the offending hose; a hole was found where that leak was coming from. We tried to fix the one under the sink at the turn-off valve. Couldn't do it, oh joy! Thank goodness for very large pots, which we used because thankfully - and here's the good news - my dear father-in-law was coming up for the weekend and we knew he would save the day, which he did. He and Gregg went off to the hardware store, got the needed parts and voila, no more leak under the sink and the dishwasher also has a new hose and is back in working order.

Now we're coming back to the gardener we think may have damaged the air-conditioning unit. He did us a HUGE favor turns out. That's the good news. Gregg decided to change the filter down in the basement and next to it is the hot water tank. What he saw gave him a bit of a start as the tank had buckled inwards and was in danger of causing a major flood in our basement. Fortunately it was at the same time as the repairman was coming out and we asked if there was a connection between the two and he said no. When we told him about our talking walls he said he couldn't really understand why that was and it was not connected. Hmmmmm.........still a mystery. Maybe you knowledgeable people out there could give us a clue.

Good news is that we have cold air when we need it, no leaks under the dishwasher and sink, and no pipes in danger of exploding out of the walls or Noah's Ark having to be built in the basement. Bad news is we won't have hot water for a week until the repairman can bring us a new tank. Good news is we can take a shower. Bad news is that the water feels like it is as icy as spring water being directly piped from somewhere akin to the Rocky Mountains. If you want to have a good laugh you can stand next to the shower and hear screams, swift gasps, followed by mumbling, chuntering and teeth chattering. Almost wish for those 90 degree days again....not really. We jump into the shower and get out of there as fast as we are able. Yes I know we're a couple of spoilt wimps and it has made us realize we are not ready to join the Polar Bear Club yet, not in this lifetime anyway. Good news is that son has now moved into his new apartment and has hot running water. We're going over there tomorrow to use his shower.

Bad news, my cursor wouldn't move and I couldn't use the computer for almost 24 hours. I rebooted several times and after a very frustrating time, when Gregg came home I gave it to him to try and fix. He worked on it for a long time but we were both very tired and decided to go to bed. This morning Gregg looked at it again and voila he immediately noticed the little red light. It should have been blue. See what a good night's sleep does for you and for him a very cold shower? He was wide awake. I had accidentally pushed the almost invisible button at the top of the mousepad which had effectively locked up my cursor. I hadn't noticed that little blue light before. Now tell me, why is that even needed? Really have to get my glass subscription changed to a stronger lens. I've been squinting a lot lately and missing things I really shouldn't be missing. So the good news is we don't have to take the computer into the computer repairman, who would have just tapped that button and said, "$40 please!" and we would have felt like idiots.

Life is never boring around here.


  1. Believe it or not, not boring is good.

  2. Whew! That was quite an adventure. I could see in your face, a smile at the end of the day. Have a nice weekend.

  3. I saw your blog over at kay's nd I'm so glad I came over. I love your blog. I'm following you now.
    I'm English too but not from ancestors I mean and I melt under hot humid weather too!

  4. Ah so good when you have some one to call on to fix things

  5. Well you've had quite a week. Myself, I would have forgotten the cold showers. I would have heated some water on the kitchen range, put enough into the bathroom sink to get myself wet and soaped up, then used what was left to pour over myself while standing in the shower.

    Be thankful your father-in-law is so handy. We had a slow leak in our kitchen faucet but the noise would come from the utility room sink faucet when it was turned on. No one seemed to know what was causing it. BUT when we replaced the kitchen faucets, the noise went away. Now when the toilet is flushed in the utility room, sometimes it sounds like it moans and it sounds like it's coming from the wall behind the toilet. I just hope Abe doesn't hear it, or we'll have a repair man out here before we need one. It only does it about every 15th. flush. It's only the second toilet we've had in the utility room since we moved in here in 1962. We've replaced parts in the tank though. So far except for faucets and toilet tank parts, everything is still the same as when we moved into the house, same tub, sink and toilet. That was when they still made things to last longer then five or ten years.

    I hope your Sunday turns out to be a wonderful day.

  6. My goodness, boring is not a word I would use in this situation! Glad ya had some good news along with the bad!
    Dau #2 in Md had a strange noise last year in her house! You would never believe what it was! Carpenter ants gnawing in between her walls. She almost freaked out at the exterminator she has been using HUMM 8 yrs since she has been living in that house!

  7. Thanks for the visit and all the nice comments. As of this date we still have no hot water but the man is going to be here on Monday. Yay, hot showers!!!!