This old house

Years ago, buying your own home was supposed to be a good idea.  Perhaps it still is, although many financial advisers will tell you that it’s not always the best thing to do.  In my case, I think it may have been a huge mistake.  Not only did I buy a house, I bought an old house.  When you’re a single woman, there is no one to do the repairs unless you have substantial money to hire someone.  I do not have substantial funds, so I have to do the work myself.  I do enjoy fixing things and putting things together, but I also have a rather full life with many other things to do, and spending a day repairing things can really be a drag.

My kitchen faucet has decided to just shut itself off.  It will come back on every now and then, but when you’re trying to wash dishes or, most importantly, fill the coffee pot, ending up with no water is NOT good.  I can, of course, run in and get water from the bathroom, but not everything fits in the bathroom sink.  I have Moen faucets in my house.  Yes, you may buy them for looks, but you certainly don’t buy them for life, as the ad says.  There are cartridges inside them that tend to break.  The one in the shower broke last year and caused me all sorts of grief and expense.  Now it’s the cartridge in the kitchen that has broken.  I couldn’t find my faucet on-line as their webpage only lists current models.  I took the faucet head off the faucet and took it to the home improvement store last night, hoping they could help.  Well, no . . . Moen changed all their cartridges five or six years ago, and I’d have to take a picture of the faucet, send it in, ask them to investigate the model, find the cartridge, and then pay for a new one.  You know what?  I don’t have time for all this falderal.  I figure, if it is anything like the shower faucet, it’s going to cost me about $60 for a new cartridge, so, on the way home, I had already promised Ozzie we’d go to Costco and get treats.  I wandered down the home goods aisle and happened to find a very nice faucet for under $60, so I bought it and will be installing it soon.  As soon as I a) complete enough quilting that I don’t feel so far behind, or b) the lack of consistent water in the kitchen sink drives me over the edge.


Sometimes I really wish I could just call the landlord!

Phew! The joys of a job well done

I have to tell you that the memories of crawling under the bushes and under the house in the mud and the rain from last year were enough to make me really dread going back out there this morning.  I put it off as I sipped my coffee and, fortunately, there came a break in the clouds and I decided there was nothing for it but to go out and fix the thing.  I grabbed the pruners, as I live in blackberry country, and the entrance to the sump is down under the rhododendrons.  I also brought along a nice large black trash bag.  I stopped at the breaker box to make sure I hadn’t tripped a breaker on the pump.  Once I got the area cleared of snagging blackberries, I put my trash bag down and crawled under the bushes.  When I lifted the lid to the sump pump, I could see it was nearly full of water — it’s been really raining.  I thought to myself, “I spent way too much time under here last year for there to be anything major wrong.”  Fortunately, I was right!  I unplugged the pump, cleaned around the plug, and plugged it back in.  I then pushed the red button on the ground fault interruptor, and the pump immediately sprang to action!  I am so relieved.  It’s nice to know I did the job the correct way first time.  I think I may have tripped the fault when I used the outlet with the weed whacker this summer.  It was so nice not to have to take everything apart and crawl down in there again!  Here you can see that the water is all just about gone.  I’m hoping all will stay dry for the winter.

Sump pump

More joys of home ownership

I have been glorying in the return of the rain to Oregon.  It was a long, dry, hot, and eventually, crispy summer.  Not that I didn’t enjoy the beautiful weather, but it gets old.  I’ve been enjoying watching the grass turn green again, the fall crocus popping from the ground, the birds playing and bathing in the puddles.  What could happen to dampen (pun intended) my joy in the wonderful rain?  The realization that the sump pump is not running.  You may remember my forays into plumbing last year, where I spent days under the house installing a new sump pump.  Now I must battle the sticky orb spider webs and crawl back under there to see what’s going on.  Hopefully, it’s as simple as a flip of the ground fault interruptor.  I hope it won’t be a major job.  The good news, however, is that despite the fairly steady rain, the bathroom ceiling is not leaking this year!

Yes, there are times when I really wish I could call the landlord, but I do like knowing that if I decide to paint, remodel, knock out a wall, or change a light fixture, I don’t have to ask anyone.  And I’m proud to say that I can handle almost all of the problems myself.