There are friends, and then there are uber friends


OK, so most everyone has seen the Febreze commercials where people go noseblind to the smells in their homes, right?

The same can be said of things that are out of place or in a minor state of disrepair in your home.

At least that’s the case with me. It likely drives Mary a bit crazy at times. I have to be reminded to fix this, or get that back to where it belongs.

One area I delayed addressing was where some paint had peeled off the ceiling in our upstairs hallway. I had become all but blind to it.

Not so for Mary, or our friends Pete and Arlene. I was informed they were coming over on a recent weekend to tackle the ceiling, as they knew my ailing hip and knee limit what I can do these days.

But they’re always on the lookout for us as well. Pete’s the guy who tracked down the problem with our upstairs oven down to one switch. Unfortunately it was a $130 switch on a very old stove, so I put off getting it as I started looking for a newer used stove. Then the stovetop elements went on the thing.

Good thing we didn’t buy that one part!

So, on the morning Pete and Arlene were to come over to work on the ceiling, as we (OK, Mary) were scraping the loose paint off the area to be worked on, the dynamic duo called us from Habitat’s ReStore in Chatham. They found a stove in pristine condition and wanted us to come look at it.

We did just that, and wound up with a new (to us) stove that looked like it had barely been used. I’m told Arlene guarded that stove until we could get there.

The folks at ReStore helped load it onto the back of my truck, and off we went.

Of course, Pete and Arlene helped get it into our house, and our old one to the curb. As we went to install it, however, the power wouldn’t stay on. Pete, an electrician, determined it was the old 220-volt plug, so a trip to the hardware store and about $6 got us a replacement.

With a new stove in place, we set about working on the ceiling. Pete did the mudding, while Arlene and Mary opted to reorganize our kitchen. Before we knew it, the ladies had cleaned off all our counter space, opted for what would remain, and sent the rest of the stuff either into the trash or downstairs into a cupboard.

We have a one-cup coffee maker at home. I don’t drink coffee. Brenna, the kid, doesn’t drink coffee (yet). Only Mary does, and I couldn’t remember the last time she used this machine. Into the basement it went.

We tried moving our large microwave around to increase the space options on the counter, but it wound up on the other side of the kitchen.

What we have now is a nice, clean counter and reorganized kitchen to go with the new stove.

Oh, and the ladies remained in mega-clean mode, even washing the walls in our entrance way and down the stairs into the basement, as well as our kitchen cupboards.

So, on a day where our buddies were to pop by to address a small part of our ceiling, they wound up finding us a replacement stove, helped revamp our kitchen, and aided in to pre-spring cleaning.

These two are our age, but their energy tops ours. It is, however contagious, so hanging out with them invigorates us.

Old and stupid

We have two bathrooms in our house. The downstairs one is essentially mine. It’s where I shave every morning, etc.

It’s the etc. that caused problems recently. The toilet became partially clogged. I tried plunging it repeatedly, but it remained slow draining. I realized I just had to wait it out for 24 hours and try again, letting water soften the clog.

The only problem is when I first wake up, my brain doesn’t fire up to top speed instantly.

I walked into the bathroom, and flushed the toilet…

And then I saw the bowl was three-quarters full BEFORE the flush cycle began.

I grabbed the plunger and a couple of quick strokes unclogged the toilet (I knew it!) but not before water spilled over the sides and onto the floor.

Fortunately it was clean water, as I’d flushed, plunged, flushed repeatedly the day before.

But the floor received an unexpected washing that morning, thanks to my stupidity.

Oh, and I had socks on at the time. Cold, wet socks just plain suck, especially on a cold ceramic floor in the middle of winter.

And it was all my own doing.


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