My moment of zen

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life56 Comments
Yesterday at 4:30 p.m. I cracked open a bottle of Apothic Red, put my feet up on the couch, took this picture and was grateful for the one room in my home that stays, for all intents and purposes, clean and functional.

You might think 4:30 is a little early for happy hour, but I’d been working since around 6 a.m. on a big job (the fall issue of Scrapbook & Cards Today and the new special issue on creative cards that we’re putting out next month). When your wrists start to go a bit on the numb side, it’s time for a break. And for wine.

The other day I asked on Twitter if it would be tacky to launch Kickstarter campaign for everything in my domestic life that needs a little help.

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 7.02.10 AM

It’s that time of life when everything is breaking down. Metaphorically and literally.

We keep water in our dishwasher from flooding the kitchen by rolling up beach towels and wedging them at the base on the floor. We help water drain OUT of our washing machine by slamming the lid down repeatedly until it decides to move onto the Spin Cycle. We prop windows open with rules and old books. The hot water in our bathroom sink (our only bathroom)  comes out of the tap in a barely visible stream.

And our car got rear-ended over the weekend.

This is why I love our remodeled family room. Windows open. Nothing leaks. And it mostly stays clean.

I’m not just whining for the sake of whining, but just observing how you adapt to making things work. Well, YOU may not do this. But we do.

We are the kind of people who make do until something becomes truly unliveable. I always wonder, “Do other people get things fixed asap? Or do they roll up towels and wedge them on the floorboards, too?”

I’m sure this post will make my parents cringe. Why? They get things fixed. They’re fixers.

Part of  why we put fixing things off is our desire to live within our means and not hike up those credit card bills.

Only occasionally do I think it would have been nice had I chosen a more lucrative field in which to make my living.

But I’ll take the sometimes wild ebb and flow of self employment and keep propping those windows open with rulers for another summer.

What about you? Do you endure the little things that collectively break down? Do you divide and conquer? Are you a fixer or a make-do ‘er?


Cathy ZielskeMy moment of zen

56 Comments on “My moment of zen”

  1. #1

    I think of those things as work arounds. If it isn’t a show stopper, usually it’s good enough. For your washing machine, it sounds like a top loader… parents washing machine wasn’t moving to spin cycle so they stick a pencil in some hole in the top and close the lid on that. That’s been their work around for about three years.

  2. #2

    I’m with you. For me it’s triage. I have a finite amount of energy and attention to spend in any given day, and the health, well-being and appetites of my kids will always trump the performance of my appliances. But it is a big help to have that one “good” room to put your feet up and clear the mind. This is also why my TV is down in the family room – so I have the quiet/clean room for chilling out.

  3. #3

    I came from a family of call someone to ” fix it” asap….but married into a family of “do it yourselfer’s” when ever possible. My children have carried this over into their own adult lives. Beyond that…we base each service repair call on an individual basis. Washer, Dryer, vehicle….they would be a high priority to be fixed in my world…..holes in screens….I have shipping tape on quite a few.

  4. #4

    Our cars both have over 150k miles, we have a temperamental hot water heater that likes to give the coldest shower to the first person instead of the last. My ice maker broke but we didn’t fix it because we need to buy a new fridge. I need new carpet….bad. We have had the same 2 ugly recliners forever. Only when I clean do I get sad but other than that life is not about those things unless we have no hot water. I love YouTube for small maintenance issues. We fixed our water softener with a video. We also found out how to fix our washer.

  5. #5

    I’m not against “making do”; however, the dishwasher would have to be tended to as I’d be worrying about the potential damage to the floor underneath.

    1. #5.1

      I thought the same thing too…..leaking into the floor. Even just from the moisture. The rest of it, no big deal. Well get a new to you used car I guess since you probably need wheels.

    2. #5.2
      Tracy Lee

      I’d be all over that dishwasher too – no need to add to the expense by allowing it to ruin the floor!

      The washing machine, I work too much and am too busy to deal with that noise. I’d make do for a bit but would eventually start with a you tube video to see if I could fix it myself. If I can’t, I’d probably bribe my brother or another handy person with a case of beer to tear into it and make the problems go away.

      That car-the damage isn’t bad – I’d buy that baby back from the insurance company and drive it until it rolls over and gives up entirely.

    3. #5.3

      I think the fixing and making do depend on the situation. Also, my husband is a fixer and I’m a make do type. Although I have to agree with the others about the dishwasher – I would be too worried about the structural damage going on underneath and around the dishwasher to not handle that. Otherwise it becomes even more expensive.

      The washing machine reminds me of when I was a teen – we had a dryer with a door that wouldn’t close and latch completely. For years we had an old hockey stick of my brother’s that we would wedge between the dryer door and the 2×4 attached to the floor of our partially finished basement laundry room. Once you got it wedged just right the dryer would run. Gotta do what you gotta do!

      My daughter had her car rear-ended recently. It was the other driver’s fault, so we got an insurance payment from the other driver’s insurance company. Is that a possibility??

  6. #6
    Allison M.

    Right now, we’re make do-ers unless it’s something that absolutely needs to be replaced or fixed. We’ve been working on living within our means the past couple of years. It’s hard, but worth it in the end. Our dishwasher has been leaking since late last Fall, so we’ve actually been shoving towels under it to catch the water too. It works for now as long as I remember to put a new one down every couple of days!

  7. #7
    Colleen H

    We are totally the “make do” kind of people and you’d so totally get it if you saw the 14 year old car I drive! The best part is that I work at a school where some of the kids drive $75,000 vehicles! lol

    And just why is it that everything seems to fail at the same time?! We went through this a couple of years ago, so I feel your pain. Waiting for the next wave…

    Good luck!

  8. #8

    I think we are a combination of fixers and endurers. We’ve endured older model vehicles because my husband is a mechanic. He can fix most things on them. Therefore we went several years without any car payments. When something big breaks we try to fix it ourselves and then if we can’t we figure out when we can replace it. We also keep a large emergency fund balance instead of credit cards so that we can just replace something major, if we have to. But I’ve always heard that bad things come in threes. So maybe you’ve met your number 3 now. 🙂

  9. #9

    I am right there with you. Lots of stuff that needs fixing, but the budget is saying NO. I’ve fantasized about a GOFUNDME page…….but that’s tacky, right? Right??

  10. #10

    I like to fix things as they break, BUT my budget doesn’t always allow me to do so. I’ve had some major “must fix” repairs in the past 12 months … new fridge, the hot water heater’s bottom rusted out and flooded my basement so I had to replace it, the main drain was backing up into my laundry tub and overflowed (ick!), the diverter on my shower gave out (only one bathroom here too), and then my furnace broke … it’s 22 years old so well past it’s lifespan as is the companion a/c unit … so they are being replaced next month.

    And 15+ year old dryer is now making a nasty squeal … it’s never ending!

  11. #11

    I hate that everything seems to break down at once. Why is that? I tend to fix things when they break, especially if it were the dishwasher. I would worry about water damage to the floor underneath. Otherwise cosmetic stuff just gets ignored.

  12. #12

    We tried repairing our own washing machine last summer by watching videos and buying parts from this super useful website that will actually take returns if it’s not the part you need. We weren’t able to fix the issue and got sick of the project, so we’ve opted to deal with our “semi-automatic” washer. It works fine, except that it “hangs” in certain sections of the cycle and you have to go down and turn the knob to make it do the next thing. We priced new ones and once we regained consciousness, decided to make do with this one for now. Our dishwasher hasn’t worked in three or four years and needs to be replaced and also an issue with the drain fixed — we really need to do that, but we’re now possibly facing braces for the kiddo, so . . .

  13. #13
    Deborah P

    I keep cars a minimum of 10 years (except one that I thought was unsafe to drive, so only had it 4 years). And my dryer no longer heats. It was old when I bought it from the former owners of my house, 20+ years ago, so it was probably past time for that to happen. Unfortunately, it happened at the WORST time for my budget. However, I discovered that clothes will get dry with cold air and/or hanging to dry. Two years later, that’s just the way it is.

    When budget wasn’t such an issue, I didn’t have time, so often put up with things for longer than I should have. Now I don’t have budget or time, so it’s a good thing it obviously doesn’t bother me to “workaround.” (smile)

  14. #14
    Katie Jones

    Same as many others, I am a mix of the two. Washing machine broke (wouldn’t drain, etc.) – got a new one the next day. Now (6 or so years on) the door lock is temperamental and keeps locking shut if it’s not opened within a couple of minutes of releasing. I was going to call a repair man until I found out what the error code meant through lots of digging online, and now we just deal with it!

    Fridge breaks, repair or replace. Something we use or need every day or other day, repair or replace. Other stuff, leave it til I have “time” or just live with it!

    Our front door lock has been being really awkward for a while now, and just recently it’s been almost impossible to get the key in sometimes, so that needs to be prioritised – but we’ve just coped with it until now because I’m not sure if we need a new lock (should be easy) or a whole new door (much more hassle and a whole lot more money!!).

    Again, we have some savings but are not flush by any means. Usually we have a way of getting what we need without credit card debt or loans, though.

  15. #15
    Kate I

    I used to think that my only option was to go out and buy something new when an item broke down but over the past few years I’ve been inspired by friends and family to check out the online Buy and Sell sites…”Used (name of your city)” or “Craigs List” etc. There are so many great deals to be had and people get rid of things that are still in good condition…they’re moving or they want something newer or different. It might mean perusing the sites for a few weeks until you find just what you’re looking for but I’d bet you could get a lightly used dishwasher for a bargain…and yes, do bargain! I’ve had great success (and fun) with this.

  16. #17

    We fix some things and make do with others. We would have fixed that dishwasher ASAP, hubby probably would have done it as he’s done it before, to avoid water damage. We drive our cars until the wheels fall off or they are killing us with repair bills. Since we’ve been driving Toyotas, it’s until the wheels fall off. Part of that is because I fall in love with my car and can’t bear to part with it, no matter how old it gets. My hubby can’t fix cars, but he can fix almost everything else. He has also redone one bathroom and is in the process of redoing our master bath. It’s a slow process, but it saves a ton of money.

  17. #18
    DL in Bham

    What one person said: Triage! It’s impossible to keep everything fixed all the time unless you have unlimited time and money. What are the consequences of not fixing it, as some people have pointed out with the dishwasher that could be damaging the floor. We really need either to get new windows or spend a lot of time stripping, repainting, reglazing, repairing, etc. But as we are not big do-it-your-selfers, we haven’t had the heart to dig into savings or credit cards to get it done.

  18. #19

    It depends on what it is, really. But when the washer started smelling like something was burning only yesterday I turned it off real quick! It’s nine years old, so we bought a new one today. We save money for replacements like this, so when it’s needed it’s not a problem.

  19. #20

    This was such an interesting post. It made me take a moment to reflect upon my fixer/make do status. I have concluded that I have the heart and soul of a fixer, but due to lifestyle and circumstance, I have submitted to being a “make do’er”. We are a military family. Yesterday our twins celebrated their 8th birthday in their 5th house/5th state. A large percentage of our belongings (in the military they are called household goods) have endured many more moves than our twins. After over 23 years in the military, our household goods have taken a beating from movers/packers. Any time I tell my husband that something needs to be replaced, he asks if it can wait until retirement. No sense in getting something new, only to have the movers break it on our next relocation. My husband has been dangling that retirement carrot in front of me for the last 5 years. And retirement is still 3 years away. We are down to 5 plates. If 2 more break, someone will be eating off a napkin until retirement. However, I do take comfort in knowing that we will not have to pack as much on that last move; the move to the retirement house, the forever house. Half of our household will be going into pile on the curb for trash/recycle/bonfire/desperate college student needing whatever furnishing they can find. Then, when I walk into my last house, I will awaken the fixer inside of me. It will be like a fairytale with a happy ending.

  20. #21

    Old house living… we make do too. I guess we fix some things, but trying to make 100 year old windows open just isn’t worth it.
    Although if we had a dishwasher and it was flooding, I’d just stop using it completely to save the floors. Damp floors, rot, carpenter ants, ugh. We don’t have a dishwasher at all – we barely even have space for a fridge in our kitchen.
    I just went and looked at youtube washer repair videos as suggested by some other commenters, and boy, what a laugh! I just watched one that was the whole family gagging and crying “ewww!” and running away from the washer as they emptied the clogged drain pump. But hey, they found their keys and a pencil and about $5 in change. I think I’m going to clean mine (or have the hubby do it!) I have one missing sock and one missing napkin and now I think I know where they are.
    Maybe there’s a video to help with your spin issues…

  21. #22

    I’m so happy to read this post and all the comments and can’t wait to share this with my mom. She is convinced she is married to the only man in the world (my dad) who is a do-it-yourselfer who puts off actually doing anything. Haha! He is forever coming up with fabulous work-arounds but never actually fixes anything. They are both going to love this post!

  22. #24

    As I am reading this post and the subsequent replies, I am just smiling to myself. At this moment, I look into my kitchen…at the butter knife wedged under the taps to keep them in place. There’s a C-clamp on the edge of the counter keeping the E6000 glue pressing down the loose countertop. The washer is a different make and model as the dryer because they had to be replaced at different times. And my fridge is 35 years old (and still running reasonably well despite a few frozen items). And I’m actually happy with all of that. I believe that living within my means (I could even afford some professional repairs) makes me a better human being. Most importantly, my two adult children tell me that growing up this way provided a solid groundwork for each of them to appreciate what they have, to realize its not about “stuff” and to be satisfied and content with less. While I wish sometimes that I could live in a beautiful and updated home, I know this has been an important learning process for me over the years.

  23. #25
    dawny dee

    wow. so interesting to read. at this time my back screen door is broke (bent last summer when the dog ran into it), front outdoor lights on the house are broken, door handle for the front screen door is broken, i drive a 2003 honda with a front bummer that is duct taped together (at least the duct tape is clear). i did have a plumber come fix my shower drain yesterday because it was leaking hot water and i just got a $700 oil bill for heating all that leaky water for the past 2 months. i wish my home was more of a sanctuary but it just seems to be beyond my reach.

  24. #26
    Michelle t

    We are make do’ers. We were laughing the other day at our 25+ year old stove. We’ve been fairly lucky, though. Michelle t

  25. #27

    I’m so bad about calling in someone to fix something that I when I looked into having our fridge fixed I realized the warranty was over. Had I called when the problem first presented itself, it would have been covered. It’s still broken. (one of the produce draws fills up with water and freezes)

  26. #28

    We are do-it-yourself-ers. We both love construction, I’m a craft geek of all sorts. We’ve torn apart more things than I care to admit (I’m looking at you Keurig). I can Google and YouTube search like a whiz. If it’s a necessary daily need (fridge, car…actually those are the only 2 I can think of), we will replace or pay to get it fixed asap iffin’ we can’t do it our selves. If it isn’t a daily necessity? Then it waits until we can deal with it or we have enough money in the bank to fix it. We built our own house about 6 years ago, so right now we don’t have too much hanging around waiting to be fixed…our friends however also know our proclivity and call us often to lend a hand. Which we love!

  27. #29

    It depends on what breaks around here. Tape on holes in window screens? Yes! Going without a fully functioning dishwasher? With a family of 5, no way!

  28. #30
    Tammy B

    I totally depends what it is that is not working properly. I would fix the washing machine and the dishwasher because really, who wants to do those things by hand all the time!! Windows would be an ‘as money permits’ thing. We own a vehicle that has been rear-ended twice, the second time the frame was bent – still okay to drive.

  29. #32

    We definitely use “workarounds” and, recently, we seem to have hit that special number “3”. Our garage door makes a grinding noise when it’s opens but my husband discovered a “workaround” so it’ll have to wait until the $ is there to fix it. We have 2 valves ($275 ea.) to be repaired on our sprinkler system. I convinced my husband to wait before calling the repairman but now we have a lawn that is turning brown. Our “workaround” for that was to buy inexpensive sprinklers and manually water the lawn (not fun when it’s 95-100 degrees outside even in the late evening). Now, we are on the list to have the repair service to come out. : ) And, finally, our master shower is in need of some caulking and grout work so we are using our another bathroom. The joys of home ownership!

  30. #33
    Christine K.

    My husband is a great fix-it man and that really helps keep things running well around here. We have had to replace 2 cars in the last 4 months. Both totaled due to accidents. My daughter was responsible for one and an un-insured driver was responsible for the other one. Fortunately we had some savings to overcome the extra cost (after insurance settlements) to buy 2 used replacement cars. We are in the process of saving to replenish our emergency fund.
    I am a big fan of yours over at Designer Digitals and plan on spending some more of my money there. My purchases are going toward our new dishwasher. (btw: Consumer Reports did ratings of dishwashers in their September (or August) 2015 issue).

  31. #34
    Christine K.

    My husband is a great fix-it man so this helps keep things humming around here. We have had the mis-fortune to replace 2 cars in the last four months. Both cars were totaled due to accidents. One was my daughters fault and the other was from an un-insured motorist. We had to use our savings to help replace these cars after receiving some money from our insurance company. We are in the process of building our emergency fund back up.
    I am a big fan of yours over at Designer Digitals and I plan on spending some more money on your stuff. I want to help you get a new dishwasher.
    BTW: Consumer Reports has rated dishwashers in their September (or August) 2015 issue.

  32. #35

    I think it depends on how often you move. We are the kind of people that just put a piece of tape across a light switch that doesn’t work and then forget to ever call an electrician. However, we learned our lesson in 2010 when we make to MASSIVE fixes to sell our house of 15 years. So, for the past five years we’ve fixed things as they broke. As result, selling our house this time around, while not inexpensive — we had to replace the roof — wasn’t quite as bad.

    But I agree with you on renovated spaces. It is so nice to have something perfect — for a few years.

  33. #36

    I could live with all of that except the dishwasher leak. Unfortunately, it’s probably also leaking under the cabinets on both sides. We had that happen and I didn’t realize it until I saw the massive damage to the ceiling in the bathroom below the dishwasher. No bueno for sure! Good luck on getting everything up to speed again. 🙂

  34. #37
    Annet M

    I would agree with all the above that the dishwasher leaking could be causing more damage.
    But I would just tape it shut for now, keep an eye on cheap used ones (people get rid of perfectly good white ones all the time, so that they can get a ss one), and handwash. We don’t even own a dishwasher here and it is a nice nightly ritual, gets your teens involved or whoever is visiting, etc. With only 3 in the house once Aidan is at school, you probably won’t have that many dishes!
    We totally make do and workarounds and google to fix things all the time. The only thing I don’t kid around on is electricians, since coming from Australia where a plug can zap you badly (double the voltage) means I am scared to DIY that. Otherwise, it’s me all the way. Ask a lot of questions at good small hardware stores (not necessarily possible at HD) or speciality stores. Like a place that sells parts for dishwashers will probably be happy to talk you through it. Always surprises me how generous people are with their knowledge when buy like $5 worth of plastic parts.

  35. #38

    We are DIY fixers on one income, past military family, turned farmers. So. Having said that, the few appliances we have currently ~ fridge, stove, washer, dryer, vacuum ~ are all musts to keep us humming along and replaced immedidately upon ‘beyond DIY fixing’. Yet, we have given up a few things. When the microwave broke, I bought a tiny French made copper saucepan to melt/thaw all the things the m-wave did. I love using it and rarely miss the wave When the dishwasher broke, I converted it to additional cabinet space (all things baking), and became more efficient in using fewest pots/dishes possible. Love the extra space more. There is tape on our screens, but the room paint is meticulously kept to keep us loving our old, off-kilter floors and not-even-close-to-square everything else. We have to replace the sliding glass door, as it freezes shut in the winter (gotta let out the dog), and it will look off kilter as it will be the only thing that’s square! Our homes are just like us ~ a little balanced here and a little off-kilter there, in perpetual need of fixing, but rolling up the towel and making due. 😉

  36. #39

    You seem to have struck a chord here!
    Your washers could keep good company with my flickmixer that has developed a random hole that sprays water out onto your face when you turn it on – easily fixed by placing your thumb over said hole. And the toilet cistern that leaks onto the floor – captured by a towel that goes mouldy if I leave it there too long.
    All this “making do” makes the joy of the repair all the sweeter!

  37. #40

    …the past two seasons the heat in my truck (2009, not ancient) comes out one side and the a/c the other so I’m driving around sweating while my passengers freeze. I would love to rack up the credit card to fix this, responsible hubby says “maybe later”. Ugh. Work arounds. I’ve had to learn to love the windows down.

  38. #41
    Kay Gregory-Clark

    Laughing! My 21-year-old washer has been failing for a while. First, the agitator only half-works. Then the knob to change settings fell off in my hand one day. My husband put a big nut on it and now I use pliers to turn it! I nearly fainted when I looked at new appliances and went back to using my pliers. Yes, duct tape and packing tape to repair screen holes too. Earlier this week, my husband went out to mow and the ride-on wouldn’t start. He’d already replaced the battery. He realized oil had leaked into the engine while we were on vacation. After working on it a couple hours, it started but looked like an old steam engine with black smoke spewing out. So he got out the gas trimmer, cleaned it up and discovered the fuel lines were broken. Finally, he tried to use the push mower, which started right up. After one swath, the wheel fell off and he couldn’t find the nut! So, the next day he bought a new mower. Talk about 3s!

  39. #42

    We are make-doers. ALWAYS. Until I simply cannot take it. I keep lying under my van to Zip Tie this huge piece back onto the bottom of my car…. when it snaps, EVERY person walking their dogs yells out “Hey lady, your car is dragging!” Ummmm, yeah, I know…. the zip tie broke. I went to get my oil changed with it hanging the other day and the kid says, want me to tie this up for you, your zip tie broke. Ummmm, YES PLEASE! It has stayed for like a week. I feel like it is really fixed this time. 🙂 He did NOT charge me. So, my make-do seems to be working!!!!! If not, my $9.99 bucket of zip ties from Home Depot do the trick. 🙂

  40. #43

    Well, we fix – sometimes ourselves, sometimes we get other people in to do it. We rent, and have done for the last five years. At one house, we were house-sitting for a couple living in Dubai for two years (and paying rent, I might add, to do so) and their cooker broke. We looked it up on YouTube, rung the manufacturer, got the spare part for pennies and fixed it ourselves. Same when our washing machine stopped working, that was a simple You Tube fix. The seals on the oven were cheaper than replacing the whole thing (and our Landlord is grateful that we haven’t insisted on a full replacement). However, the double glazing units that have blown and have condensation between the glass panels – they were replaced last night by the landlord. Not the whole frames, just the glass. Also much cheaper. However, he’s also replaced the shower pump and mixer, fitted a new toilet, and had to fix the boiler (furnace) to ensure we still had hot water and central heating. So, we’ve not been cheap tenants!

    As for Dishwashers? Don’t have one – we wash up by hand!

    Wherever possible, we look for the cheaper option. Do it yourself, ask a friend, find someone in the know. Replace the part, not the whole thing. We eke out what little money we have.

    One day we might own our own place, but for the moment we’re more than happy that someone else has the bills for fixing stuff!

  41. #44

    September 2012:
    Me in the kitchen and family room: hey, I think we have water under the pergo.
    He: no not possible.
    A week later:
    Me: I’m pretty sure this is water, look drops.
    He: shit I think you’re right.
    He: it goes all the way to the dishwasher.Look the floor bounces a bit *slosh* *slosh* not good.
    He after careful tracing the stream: oh shit it’s the dishwasher. Big problem if we can see/feel the water half way the family room.

    Called the insurance first. Couple of hours later they were there. Determined it was under the pergo floor all the way into the dining room, hall way, family room and kitchen. Long live open floor plans. Plus it went up in the walls behind the counter cabinets. It had been leaking for months without us knowing it.

    We were ordered to evacuate the house. Dishwasher water is considered sewer. When they opened up the walls, after they removed the counter and cabinets they found mold. When they took up the floor they discovered that the previous owners had placed the pergo over an asbestos floor. And guess what? That had to be removed according to state law. Yippee! Not.

    Packed up laptops, first things first, pets important papers and moved into our brand new RV that we bought in June that year. They said it would be 6 weeks. Not. End January we moved back in again. That was 5 months.

    Most of the work was covered by our insurance and the insurance was covered by the dishwasher company because they found a defective part that should not have been defective had they used the right part. So they blamed the company and claim a load of money.

    Maybe your insurance will cover a flooded kitchen because of a leaky dishwasher?
    You need to fix this Cathy. Because water from a leakage forms mold within 24-48 hours. When I saw the mold in the walls I thought oh fscking hell! I told the guys who were working to dry the walls that I wanted it tested for mold before they closed up the walls. But what do I know, I was at the RV, had no sight on what was happening. My husband who did not believe in mold causing illness told them not to test, waste of money and close up the walls.

    Guess what? 2014 he gets sick, so sick he can not work anymore. Has now been home for a year. Neurological problems, cognitive problems, exhaustion. My naturopath who treats me sent him out for a bunch of test. Also a urine test for mycotoxins. They are caused by molds and wouldn’t you know it he tested highly positive. We now have to test our home for toxic mold. We have collected dust and stuff and are waiting for the results. We have to know where it comes from before he can start getting better. Some people with mold toxicity have to leave their home and everything behind. Not even a book or PL albums can they take with them because mold spores adhere to everything and you can not clean those albums page by page with bleach.

    So think about it. Living frugal and like my husband wanting to take a shortcut and saving money is now costing us MAJOR. It’s difficult not to get frustrated, you know how mobile I am. Not. The RV was my only means of getting out of the house but can not be used now because his hubness is too weak. Cabin fever is running high.

    Get the dishwasher field Cathy! It isn’t worth the trouble and snowball effect if you don’t.

  42. #45

    Ooooh, i have janky windows, and we use rulers etc. to prop some windows too. I had some double hung (1930’s house with original windows) fixed a number of years ago by a handyman but to have 17 windows fixed… They need painting again, and a good number of the sills are caulk, filled by yours truly… It is on the list, will have a handyman rebuild the windows a few at a time and I’ll caulk and repaint the rest myself.

    My washer and dryer are 20 and running on last legs, but they still work so here they are. An extra spin cycle for most loads, two for towels please or they are too heavy with water and the dryer doesn’t spin. But they still work, so here they are.

    Yeah, there is a long list… I mean we’ve done upkeep like the roof, furnace and water heater when they died, but that furnace was 30 years old when we moved in. we kept saying “one more year”. it died on a below zero night when my husband was out of town, and all 3 girls slept in my bed so we could stay warm. but we had the moolah saved up for “someday” by then!

    We did just remodel the original kitchen and bath (after being here 20 years ) and added the dishwasher, and I can live with that happiness for a LONG time. Just made payment 1 of 12 years of tuition, so the kitchen was a now or never thing. I think we’ll get the 1 car 1930’s garage replaced when we’re dead.

  43. #46
    Jennifer O

    Oh this post makes me smile. We are very much the “make do” kind of people. We’ve had the rolled towel on the floor in front of the leaky dishwasher – which I would then hang over the back of a kitchen chair to dry after each cycle – which lead to all the varnish coming off the back of the chair, etc. We’ve also had the shower head which if you turned it off as required, would lead to leaking. But if you stopped it at approximately 28 minutes past the hour (if it were a clock face) it would not leak. It all makes perfect sense until you try to explain it to someone else or you see the rolled up Hello Kitty towel in front of the dishwasher as guests arrive! 🙂

  44. #47

    Definitely a make-doer here. You can tell by looking at our kitchen. The appliances are held together with duct tape. There is more…but I think you get the idea.

  45. #48

    Towel wedging window propper here. Only my windows are propped with scraps of 2×4, because rulers would snap under the pressure. I did just get a new (used) car, when my previous (used) car could not pass inspection, and fixing it was going to cost more than the blue book value. However, we are managing to put the third kid through college, and have not driven our kids into a lifetime of student loan debt, so all in all, I am ok with living within our means…

  46. #49

    Dude, I SCRAPBOOK about all the $hit that needs fixing at my house. Hubby is a contractor, but too burned out to make repairs. The plus side? I’ve actually taken the initiative to fix what I can, and ya know what? It ain’t usually rocket science – a few head scratches, a couple of questions, and sometimes I can make stuff work!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *