Category Archives: Home

I love Home Depot

Our generator is almost but not quite exactly like this one.

Our generator is almost but not quite exactly like this one.

So I was driving home this afternoon and spotted a big hand-painted sign by the road outside our local Home Depot: “Do you want a generator? Come inside!”

Nah, I thought, too good to be true. But when I called, they said yes, they had lots of generators for sale right at the front of the store. A little while later I headed down to check them out. They had received a shipment of about 200 this morning, and thanks to the sign and radio announcements, they had about 30 left by 3:00 p.m. As I stood talking to the clerk, people bought another 5.

Doug made a couple of phone calls and learned that they hadn’t jacked up the price. A little while later, after some discussion, we became the proud owners of a 5,000-watt generator.

It’s running now, safely tucked away behind the house, well out of range of windows and doors. We have hot water. A cold refrigerator. A working computer (and working internet — I’m still not sure how the cable is functioning, but who am I to argue?). A working lamp. We’ve been made incredibly happy by these comparatively small things.

Even if we only use it for one day, it’s worth it, because of the peace of mind we’ll have during future power outages. (And living in a wooded area like we do, there will be future power outages.)

Thanks, Home Depot, for making my week.

95 hours and counting

This entry is brought to you courtesy of my friend Mark and the other fine folks at his company, Stratis Technologies. If you or anyone you know has anything to do with banking, check them out; they’re awesome.

Still no electricity at my house.

A survey conducted this morning indicated that 100% of women writing this blog vastly prefer washing their hair in warm water, rather than cold.

Hurricane damage in southern Indiana

Hurricane damage in southern Indiana

As I was driving here to my temporary office, two local DJs were discussing the post-midwest-hurricane situation. One got his power back this morning; the other still has no electricity. The lucky one commented in a joking way that it’s all about your attitude. “Hey,” the other one responded, “I have an attitude — it’s just bad, that’s all.” She also suggested that he could bite her attitude.

Now there’s a sentiment I can relate to. My husband and daughter are sunny, optimistic people who can weather any storm (in this case, literally) and maintain a positive outlook. I, on the other hand, have trouble seeing a clearly half-empty glass as half full; and despite full awareness that I’m lucky to have running water, an intact house, and a healthy family, I want electricity and I want it RIGHT NOW.

But that isn’t going to happen. Our electric company is saying that they’ll have the remaining power-less 25,000+ Indiana customers back on the grid by midnight Saturday, and I think we’ll be near the end of the line. I spoke to a technician yesterday when he walked through our yard, inspecting lines, and he said that although our immediate problem is a downed wires in the woods behind our house, those wires connect to other wires that are also down, which connect to other wires that are also down — and all those lines aren’t just down, they’re tangled in trees and branches and will have to be sorted out and repaired by guys on foot because trucks can’t reach many of the locations. This is part of the price we pay for loving trees and living among them.

As soon as this event has left the collective memory, and generators are once again to be found at the local Home Depot, we’re buying one. Yes, I know that nothing like this incredible wind damage has happened here before, and it’s unlikely to happen again. But I also know for sure that this is the last time my family will go for days without a refrigerator and hot water. Once has been more than enough.

the amazing Mr. Fix-it

About a year ago we bought a new TV. We also needed a new DVD player; but because we were spending way more than we should have on the TV, the DVD player we chose was cheap. We’ve been suffering from that decision ever since. The player skips; it locks up; it refuses to load disks unless coaxed.

Tonight, my son and I sat down to watch a movie. I put in the disk, and the panel on the front of the DVD player flashed Load, as usual — but it kept on flashing. And flashing. It’s done this before, so I tried the usual solution: I turned the player off and back on. No luck. I took out the disk and cleaned it. Nope. I opened and closed the disk tray multiple times. Nothing doing: just Load, over and over and over.

My husband came home at that point, and I told him that it looked like I’d be buying us a new DVD player tomorrow. He asked if we’d tried unplugging the player. Well, no. He did that, with no success. He fiddled around with some of the same things I’d tried. He took the player off the shelf and turned it over, searching for a reset button. (It doesn’t have one.)

Then he said the thing that I’m pretty sure would never occur to the average woman, and definitely not to me: “I’ll try banging it on the floor.”

And he did. He thumped the DVD player firmly on the carpeted floor three or four times, as our son and I watched, amazed.

Do I need to tell you that when he put it back on the shelf and inserted a DVD, it worked?

Incredible. 🙂

fire

sitting on the floor
a few feet from
new bright flames

sparks
        burst
        outward
    tiny orange fireworks

gentle
crackle
    hiss

dancing light
glows
warm

we read;
dogs sprawl nearby;
cats drape the furniture.

this is what it is to be
        content.

the hole in the wall

I love our new wood-burning fireplace. It is infinitely better than the ventless gas fireplace it replaced, and we’ve had a fire going just about constantly since it was installed last Thursday. Currently it’s gray and drizzly outside, but in the living room, the flames flicker and sparks crackle.

Getting to this point was a little surreal. Imagine a dentist is drilling inside your mouth: The sound and the vibration feel as though they’re taking over your body and soul, right? Well, that’s how the whole house felt when the Fireplace Guys began using whatever large, powerful tools pulled back the siding of my house so they could remove the old box. The incredibly loud grinding went on interminably. A while after it stopped, I ventured into the living room and was greeted by the extremely strange sight of a hole in my house.

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undo

Just did something I’ve never done before: deleted a post. I wrote it early this morning when I was 1) really, really tired and 2) cranky from being tired and 3) even more cranky because I knew I’d have no chance for any sleep for a long time and I had to drive home from rural Kentucky. When I reread it, I didn’t want to have written it; so it’s gone.

I’m still really, really tired. But now I’m home, and there’s a fire in the new fireplace, and life is good.

the search for a white wall

https://i2.wp.com/www.mixforest.com/blog/archives/images/051018hospital-thumb.jpgI’m working as a contractor for a company and will be editing some Microsoft documentation. I could write a Stephen King-esque horror tale of the nearly 5 hours I’ve spent on the phone with the MS help desk over the past few days, attempting to sort out the process I need to follow to get logged in to their corporate network — but I won’t, because even thinking about it causes my eye to start twitching.

Side note: after finally negotiating the sadistic labyrinth Microsoft has constructed to welcome newcomers, I wrote a step-by-step “how-to” guide and emailed it to the other contractors who were just starting the same process. This morning, one of those people politely bowed out of the project, saying she didn’t have the heart for that sort of struggle. I nearly quit several times, but, as my husband said afterward, I wasn’t going to let them lick me! 😀

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