Saturday, September 26, 2009

The family curse

Pretty much anytime we purchase something, particularly if it is electronic in nature although it sometimes extends to items with batteries or motors, it will break or fail long before its time. We bought Erin a camera and six months later it sprung a fatal error and had to be sent back. Uncountable tools, cameras, phones, you name it have entered our house only to be shipped back rather quickly because they failed. From this we have learned to always fill out warranty and registration cards because we use the heck out of them eventually.

Thursday evening, Erin, Mike and the girls were here for dinner. We were having a last gasp of summer picnic on the deck complete with hot dogs, Italian sausage (Johnnie's was a Tofurky sausage) and a bean burger for me. I warmed the buns in the microwave over the stove as usual, along with heating corn and baked beans before. As I took the buns from the microwave, I slammed the door closed. It continued running. Hmmmmm. Stood there punching buttons to make sure the exhaust fan wasn't on, slammed the door closed again. Light was on inside the oven and the oven was cooking. So I took the buns to the deck and left the microwave oven door open.

After dinner, Johnnie took a look at it and confirmed that it was indeed still running although he thought it just thought it was running but he didn't believe the magnetron was actually emitting microwaves. Just to be safe, he unplugged the microwave. All was good.

On Friday (yesterday), Johnnie and I went to Sears and finally found a new microwave that we ordered. It won't be here until October 6th but probably more like October 7th. No problem, we can do without microwaving since we have a great stove.

Yesterday, I was opening a pile of mail and came to an envelope from Sears. It turned out to be a recall notice on our smooth cooktop stove, alerting us that a burner might just spontaneously heat itself up or heat to a temperature beyond what was set, posing a fire hazard. Do not use the stove and unplug it until the defective part could be replaced. Great. Now we have a defective stove and no microwave for the next 10 days.

Since all our appliances are from Sears, we felt they might be able to give us a hand. Johnnie got on the phone last night and waited about 30 minutes to speak to a supervisor to get some assistance with the problem. Of course it's not their fault the microwave crapped out and that the new one will take 10 days to get here. After quite a long discussion last night and again this morning with the escalation team at the Sears call center, they gave us $100 off the new microwave.

So we quickly went hunting this morning and purchased an inexpensive microwave at Target that will be our primary cooking source for the next 10 days, along with the gas grill outside (and it's trusty side burner), slow cooker and rice cooker. Kinda like camping indoors for the next 10 days and a couple weeks after that since the new stove part isn't scheduled to arrive until October 20th. Looks like my creative cooking skills will get put to the test for the next month, huh?

The family curse lives on!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Erin's fourth anniversary of her 29th

Last Friday (9/11) was Erin's birthday (bad mommy for not getting a post up about it then). Since 2001, this date has had a giant cloud over it for everyone in the United States but for the past 33 years it has always been a wonderful day for me, even in 2001.

When Erin was born, her dad and I didn't immediately have a girl's name picked out because we had both been pretty certain that she was going to be a boy. We debated for a couple days over names but Erin Elizabeth was always the front runner. I was overjoyed then and always that she was a girl. And a wonderful g
irl (and now a wonderful woman, mother and wife) at that!

I showed these two pictures to Erin's four-year old daughter this week and asked her who she thought this person was. She thought the picture on the left, Erin at 2 1/2, was of her (Emily) and the one on the right, Erin at 1 1/2, was of Lucy. Nossir, the apple didn't fall too far from the tree here either!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Horoscopes and rubber mulch

I am not in the slightest a horoscope or astrologically-inclined person. I'm 99% sure that it's all a bunch of hooey but I do always check it on my birthday, just to see where the stars say I'm headed in the next year. Here's what Holiday Mathis' horoscopes in our local paper had to say about my special day, my comments are in blue:

"You have a clear vision of who you want to be, and this ye
ar you make the changes necessary to become that person. [That's the plan, Stan] The process that works best for you is loving, creative and gentle. [Well sure, when the 2x4 isn't effective...] A lively relationship keeps you guessing through October. [Whoo hooo! Bring it on!] Family makes you proud in December. [Our family always makes me proud] Finances improve in May. [Not until then? Gee, that's kinda harsh] Aquarius and Sagittarius people adore you." [That seems extreme and I don't really know any Aquarius and Sagittarius people that well]

But I'll take it! I especially like the first part and am definitely committed to doing a better job in my weight improvement department.

We spent half the day yesterday and another thr
ee hours this morning putting down rubber mulch. The weeds in our front landscaping really got the upper hand this summer, what with all the rain we've had and my lackadaisical halfhearted attempts at weeding. I spent about seven hours last week on my hands and knees pulling weeds (four wheelbarrow loads full) and was quite resolved that it was the absolutely last time I would do that. Mama didn't raise any fools. So we (rather Johnnie, on seeing how dead set I was on putting in rubber mulch regardless of the expense) set about purchasing 105 bags of rubber mulch and yesterday we commenced putting it down.

The mulch was actually fairly easy to work with a
nd we had perfect weather. The temps never got above 67 degrees yesterday. Despite all that, I worked myself into a mild case of heat exhaustion, barfing over the landscaping timbers into the ravine and then all but collapsing after taking a shower.

However, the landscaping looks awesome and ***the very best part*** we should never have to mulch in those areas again. We ended up using 111 bags of rubber mulch (1.15 cubic feet per bag, roughly 30 pounds a bag) and I believe it will be so worth it.

Next year we'll do the side garden but getting the front done is huge and looks great.

The little white parts at the edge of the third picture are the edges of the newspapers that we spread beneath the mulch to help discourage any foolish weeds that might try to get through the mulch. That'll teach 'em.