Showing posts with label repair. Show all posts
Showing posts with label repair. Show all posts

Monday, May 21, 2012

Join me in my pity party!

I feel like my life is in revolt. Two weekends ago we were working on a project and I ran out to get supplies and lunch. When I pulled up into the driveway my car door wouldn't open. This is apparently a common problem with Hondas, one that typically happens when all of your neighbors and all of their friends, and all their friends' friends are hanging out in their yards, so a thousand people can watch you climb inelegantly through the passenger side door.

I bumped my head on our silverware drawer while touching up baseboard paint, got mad at the drawer and slammed it shut, which caused it to go in at a weird angle. When I bumped it in with my hip, the whole drawer front split.

I went to Loree's house the day after my car door busted to pick up retaining stones that she generously gifted me and I ran over her neighbor's lawn trying to back into the driveway. Once we got the car loaded up I discovered I was in the car with a wasp. I thought, "Oh god, this is how it will end. Me, stuck in a car with a door that won't open, discovering that I'm allergic to wasp stings." I managed to get my gardening gloves on and the wasp moved out the window and finally Monday morning came so I could take my car to the mechanic. They fixed my door! And then my car got hit-and-runned while it was sitting in front of the shop!

The damage is minor, but son of a bitch. So now it gets to go to body shop camp.

The second sink that I installed in the bathroom, after I cracked the first one, is the tiniest bit taller then the first sink and twice the P trap popped off the sink's drain stem because it wasn't quite long enough. Installing the extension piece wasn't that hard . . .

. . . but that perfect hole we drilled in the shelf wasn't roomy enough to accommodate everything.

So I got frustrated and sawed out a clearance wedge. It looks terrific. No, wait, awful. It looks awful.

I'm really just being a whiner. Greg fixed the drawer somehow, without my asking, which was awesome. My car will be fixed. My life is full of people who are very nice to me for no reason, like Sarah who gave me agaves, Loree who gave me landscaping materials and a lot of helpful advice, and Scott who drew up plans to help me landscape the front yard, just because he's nice (!). It was a revelation to see how he plans out his garden. I'm incorporating a lot of what he drew up and I'm so grateful.

And my Oregon irises really went bonkers this year. The blooms don't last very long but there were so many this year! I think that's the universe telling me to quit feeling sorry for myself, as these annoyances aren't really big problems.

Iris tenax

Let's just keep our fingers crossed that my car quits having problems. KNOCK ON WOOD.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

My kingdom for a yardboy!

I've been scouting hardware store sales and craigslist for a lawnmower all winter.  Even used lawnmowers are expensive and how do you tell if a mower is "good" or not?  Can you even kick those tiny tires?

 Image source: Stories of Wisdom

Somewhere along the way I arbitrarily decided I didn't want to pay more than $40 for a used one.  It costs $30 to have a landscaper cut the lawn so if I ended up with a lemon at least it wouldn't be that much more than hiring someone to cut the lawn.

It made sense in my head.

I found a listing for a mower for $40 that was magically still available, so I headed out to Wilsonville yesterday to look at it.  When I got there the man explained how he started it up that morning and the starter cord snapped off.  Because I'd have to pay someone to install another cord, he wanted to give me the mower for free.  I was pretty sure I could fix it myself so I tried to get him to accept my money.  We bickered back and forth and he finally agreed to take $10, but "I had to give it to his son" who was standing right there.


They loaded the mower into the trunk of my Honda and even gave me an extra bungee cord to keep it in there.  These guys were so genuinely nice.

I bought a replacement cord at Home Depot for $3.98, bringing the total cost of the mower to $13.98.  I started to unscrew things that didn't need to be unscrewed.  Then I realized that and put them back together.

I almost gave up.  I couldn't see a way to get the housing off the top and fiddling with spring-loaded parts that can remove fingers makes me nervous.  Then I found this video and it seemed more manageable.

I actually didn't have to remove the housing at all.  I'm assuming I did it correctly because it works!  GO ME.

To reward myself for my thriftiness I mowed the lawn, cleaned my gutters, and did some weeding.  Seriously though, the surface of the moon has fewer craters than my back lawn.  In addition to replacing the fence I really need to rototill the backyard and even it out.  And then I think I'd like to get a yard boy.  Someone nice to look at who takes care of this stuff for me.  I'll make lemonade! 

I'm sort of overwhelmed by my yard right now, but I'm still floating from the knowledge that for every jerk on craigslist who wants to rip you off, there's a nice guy who cuts a broke girl a deal.  Thanks, Terry in Wilsonville.  You rock.