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Category Archives: homeowner

A Little More About the Laundry

Continuing my laundry saga will allow me to give a shout-out to two local businesses.  Therefore I offer the following in lieu of my usual Tired Tuesday post.

Our first stop was Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner for breakfast.  I’ve written about Crazy Otto’s numerous times.  It is a local favorite.  They were doing a booming business, as usual, but we were able to get a booth.

The crab meat omelet special was tempting, but I was conservative and ordered a bagel with cream cheese.  I was pleased that they had Everything bagels.  Being indecisive, as I am, I love Everything bagels, because you don’t have to decide on one.  The waitress asked if I wanted it toasted or grilled. I had never had a grilled bagel before.  It was quite tasty.  Steven had bacon and eggs with hash browns and Italian toast.

As we were paying, I noticed two orders of steak and eggs go by.  I’ve never gotten steak and eggs.  What steaks!  They were huge and looked delicious!  I’m getting that next time.

Properly nourished, we walked across the street to Collis Hardware.  Collis TrueValue Hardware is a real old-fashioned hardware store.  It is located on Main Street in Herkimer, where I’m sure it has stood for years.  I’ll have to look up some history about it, but, well, I guess it’s still Tired Tuesday, because I can’t do it right now.

Be that as it may, on Sunday we found someone to help us right away.  As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, we needed a new cord for our new (to us) drier.  We had a rubbing of the socket it had to go into and a diagram of what the plug should look like.  The man at Collis quickly found just what we needed.

Back home, I put a load of laundry into the washer while Steven installed the new cord.  If the drier still didn’t work, I knew I could hang them out to dry on the clothesline.  Perhaps I should have anyways, because Sunday was a nice sunny day.  Still, we wanted to use the new (to us) drier.  It turned right on with the new cord.  And the hose popped out of the back.  Steven was able to reattach it, so we were in business.

I hope this post was better than my usual Tire Tuesday tripe (see what I did there?).  My question now is, will I end up doing as many blog posts about the new (to us) (yes I’m going to keep doing that) washer and drier as I did about the laundromat?  I’m not going to keep score.  If you are… you might like to look for a more fulfilling hobby.


I Get Fenced In

I said yesterday I would try to offer a more substantive post today. Previously I mentioned that I owed a better blog post about a fence problem I recently had. This is what I came up with:

My mom had told me she, my dad and my sister Cheryl would be over to take a look at our fallen fence section and help us with repairs. I had gotten the bright idea of getting some of that plastic orange mesh stuff you sometimes see put up as a temporary measure. My main concern was to keep my dog in my yard and not running over into my neighbors’ back lot, which is where they park their cars (it is a multi-family dwelling). She has shown no disposition to go over there, but you never know what might catch a dog’s interest. Mom said to don’t buy anything yet but to let Dad take a look and advise us. I was good with that; my dad give excellent advice.

Since I’m a big advocate of “the more the merrier,” I was delighted when Cheryl showed up with her daughters Kimberly and Jenna. She said Dana, her married daughter, and her husband Dan were also coming, and Mom and Dad would be there soon.

“Grandpa’s coming?” asked Jenna.

“Who do you think’s going to tell us what to do?” said Cheryl.

When Mom and Dad arrived, we trooped out back where a section of wooden fence lay flat on the lawn, near a big space between two sections staying up with varying degrees of success. While Dad assessed the standing parts, I looked sadly at the fallen section. It did not seem in good shape to be put back up.

“Let’s just leave it here,” I said. “It can be a boardwalk.” I started walking back and forth on it, demonstrating. Kimberly started singing “Under the Boardwalk.” That’s a woman after my own heart. I stopped after a couple of boards broke under my feet. I knew I should go back on the South Beach Diet.

While Mom, Dad and Cheryl headed to the hardware store for supplies, Dad put the rest of us to work dismantling my boardwalk. I continued to sing the chorus of “Under the Boardwalk” as I pounded and pulled nails. A little music always helps the work go pleasantly.

My family did me better than my orange plastic idea with a roll of wire fencing and green metal posts to hold it up. We even took down and dismantled another section of wooden fence that looked about to fall. My new fence was soon looking beautiful. Alas that I do not have the right equipment to post a picture.

“I love it,” I said. “It’s the best fence that ever lived.” I thought I might even plant some pole beans to climb up the fence next spring. My mom suggested cucumbers, too. “And then I’ll make pickles to give everybody for Christmas,” I said. Now that would make a good blog post: me learning how to can something.

I am very happy with my new fence, and I feel so blessed that I have a family who helps me out so much.

Please, Fence Me In

I thought I was off on a Mohawk Valley adventure on Saturday when I left the house bound for New Hartford, NY. I’m afraid it turned out… not so much. But I will attempt to write about it nevertheless, just to avoid Yet Another Post About Why I Can’t Write a Post.

I was delayed by a minor homeowner’s disaster: a section of my fence was down. A brief explanation about the fence: It’s been pretty crappy since we moved in. We didn’t think it was ours, because the smooth side was in. Turns out the previous homeowner put it up backwards. Ah, the things you learn. A few years ago my father, mother and sister came over and helped us replace one post and nail up some boards which had fallen. I’ve spent every winter since living in fear that it would fall on the one of the neighbors’ cars.

So it was not entirely unexpected that a section was down. But it sure wasn’t what I was in the mood to see. It was dangling, still caught on part of the fence left standing. It obtruded into the neighbors’ driveway in a most inconvenient fashion. I thought I had better do something about it. I tugged and pulled and pulled and tugged. Tried pushing with no more success. At last it fell off the still upright portion. With my meager strength I could not move it further into our yard, but at least the neighbors could drive around it to get in and out of their parking lot. I cravenly went to New Hartford.

I did part of what I set out to do in New Hartford, as I said, nothing very adventurous. I thought I should hurry to be back home by 12:30, when Steven was expected for lunch. I hurried, while still following the posted speed limits. When I got home Steven was already home, pulling at the fallen fence section with more effect than I had. I ran to help and we got the damn thing on our own yard. Phew!

Tune in next week for a riveting blog post on What We Did to Fix the Fence (um, we probably won’t use rivets. I was speaking figuratively).

Jim the Plumber to the Rescue

My only regret is that I don’t retain hydration enough to cry. I’m sure many people are reaching the saturation point of my litany of woes, but it is Wrist to Forehead Sunday, and it is not for the faint of heart (I, personally, am not faint of heart, but it is two sizes too small).

This morning, after sleeping in to a leisurely six o’clock, I thought I heard it raining. No, it couldn’t be raining. Too sunny out. Good. Don’t want the basement flooding again; we’ve got fans down there.

Yes, it was raining. IN MY BATHROOM!!! A strong stream of water was shooting out from a pipe on the side of the toilet. I hollered to Steven while trying to turn that little thing he showed me how to turn when the toilet backs up. Righty tighty! Righty tighty! It wouldn’t budge.

Steven tried, and it wouldn’t budge for him either. In a panic, I called our plumber, the wonderful Jim Montague from Jim’s Home Improvement (I don’t know why I didn’t give him a shout out after he snaked our toilet on Saturday). He told me to shut off the water main.

“Where’s that!” I must have sounded ridiculous, but I submit that at this point, anybody would. I found it, but could not budge that either. On the way to the main I noted with dismay that the water was pouring through our kitchen and into our basement. At least I hadn’t put the sump pump away. I quickly moved the fans, so they at least would not get ruined.

I reported back to Steven. He had given up on the other and was trying to stem the flood with a towel. I took over the towel (didn’t stop the water, but at least it wasn’t squirting into our cabinet now). He got the main shut off. Good grief!

Jim soon showed up. The man is a prince, and he even likes our dog. He found the crack in the pipe, removed the pipe and was off to TruValue in Ilion to purchase another. TruValue in Ilion by the way, is open at 6 a.m. on Sunday. In the future I may have to divide my hardware dollars between Aubucon and them.

Of course I needed to use the toilet. I did what I had done Saturday: I went to FasTrac. It was, in fact, raining by this time. Did I say raining? It was a deluge! I had the wipers on high and I still couldn’t see. I got soppingly wet just going from the house to the car and the car to the store.

Once in the store I looked out and saw that I had parked in a completely ridiculous way. Well, what a surprise! I couldn’t see the damn lines in the parking lot or anything else for that matter! I just waited for somebody to say something, but nobody did.

The same lady I had dealt with on Saturday was there. I told her of my new woes and she was suitably sympathetic. I purchased some donuts (I felt to offer Jim coffee and donuts was the least we could do) and bottled water. It had stopped raining by the time I got home. Go figure!

To come to the end of my lament, Jim got our toilet fixed and it even has better pressure than it had before. And we found out he does hot water heaters, so he may soon be replacing ours. It’s only a little more mess to clean up than before. Really, as disasters go, this one was Not So Bad.

One must write blog posts on Wrist to Forehead Sunday, after all. But as a special favor to me, please, could nobody ask, “What next?”

Jim’s Home Improvements is based on Frankfort, NY. His phone number is 315-868-4083.

The Flooded Basement Blues

Well, I WAS writing a post all about a cheesy movie I saw, but I’ve been a little distracted.

It has been raining in a ridiculous fashion in the Mohawk Valley. Today, we flooded.

It was one thing when my street looked like a river. A little scary, but I could just stay in the house. It was a little more worrisome when the basement flooded. Well, I’ve been meaning to throw away a lot of that junk anyways. Now I’ll jolly well have to.

But it was a completely different animal when I started to hear a buzzing noise down in the basement.

“What’s that noise?” In a loud voice. “What do I do?” Even more agitated.

I did not, nor even consider for a moment, sloshing through the water for a closer listen. For one thing, the water is over knee deep. I can swim, but still. I have since been told that I was absolutely correct for such restraint.

As usual for a woman with my age, experience and sophistication, I called Mom and Dad. I suppose I am both a Mama’s and a Daddy’s Girl, but it cannot be denied that my parents know many things. I don’t think their basement ever flooded, but they probably know somebody who’s had it happen to them. My sister, for example (oh, wait a minute, I know her, too).

Mom said call Niagara Mohawk, they would send somebody.

“Steven! Get me the number to Niagara Mohawk!”

Of course we meant National Grid. For you younger readers (if any), National Grid used to be called Niagara Mohawk, in my opinion a far superior name. I mean, you can say NiMo, but are you likely to say NaGri? I, for one, am not.

So I called. They are sending someone. I later found out that we are also number 251 on the list for the Herkimer Fire Department (Steven called when I wasn’t looking).

So now I am waiting on my front porch for the NationalNiMo person. To relieve my feelings a little, I write a blog post about it. I don’t mean to treat my readers as unpaid therapists, but I must confess, I do feel a little better.

So that is my Friday Lame Post for the week. I hope you have enjoyed.