Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Sub-optimal


Every Tuesday, Anne has us laughing and crying and tearing our hair out at the antics of her mum who is finding life as a widow challenging because she now has to organise and wait for things like repairs and yard work. She encapsulates the situation by saying "we don't know whether to thank Dad for taming the beast or curse him for creating the monster."

It got me thinking about the things around here that have needed fixing. You see, my husband is a very talented Mr Fix-it/ home mechanic/ handyman but he also demands that he be the only person to take on these tasks which has made for some good stories.


  • There was the time the hot water system broke down in the middle of winter and I bathed myself and my four small children from a boiled kettle and bucket for three weeks before we got the new system installed.
  • The new gas oven we got 17 years ago and which was never calibrated. It has to be set at a temperature at least 30 degrees higher than the recipe states to get the stated cooking time.
  • The car which had to be parked on a hill for a roll start for a number of weeks, the kids used to push it out of the garage so I could do a clutch start as it rolled down the drive. If I missed the clutch start we were screwed because the car would get stuck in the gutter.
  • The oven light that wasn't replaced for years.
  • The shower screen which shattered inexplicably one day when I was home alone and not in the bathroom. We haven't had a shower screen for at least 15 years.
  • The microwave that was out of action for about three years before the simple fix.
  • When we moved into the house there was no light in the main bedroom because the circuit had been used for a fan. We got a light after I tripped in the dark and had a tantrum about it.
  • The school teacher who used to constantly ask the kids if the car was working this week.
  • The new light bulb with a three year warranty that blew after a week. It hasn't been replaced yet.
  • The new stairs that have posts for a hand rail but no hand rail.
  • The spa/ hot tub which was drained for cleaning at least six years ago and is still empty.
  • The window that had a soccer ball go through it and was covered with cardboard for a couple of years.
  • And my current favourite is the dishwasher. The door has been broken so it doesn't latch properly, without latching the machine won't run so I jam a chair against the door to make the machine go. Sometimes the chair slides out from the dishwasher just enough to stop the machine and then I have dirty dishes when I least expect them.
It keeps life interesting.

29 comments:

  1. I'll bet the conversation with Mr fixit is different than this post! Funny!However I feel a little pang of guilt when I read this as I am sometimes like Mr fixit.

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    1. Red,
      Welcome to eclectica!

      I'm sure most people can relate to Mr Fix-it at least a little bit! And a little inconvenience won't kill the rest of us

      Delete
  2. Sigh. This is sadly familiar. At the moment the lock to our security door is faulty. Several times a day screw-driver action is required to let us in or out. But someone who shall remain nameless insists we can do it ourselves. Despite the weight of evidence saying we can't.

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    Replies
    1. I love it! I hope there is a table to hold the screw driver close to the door!
      Or just take the security screen off altogether!

      Delete
  3. I'm my households Mr Fixit, but because I'm also a bit of a perfectionist and can't stand it when something isn't working right,I always do the job ASAP.

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    Replies
    1. I was about to say I'm sure your family appreciates it but truth be told, most people notice the inconveniences much more than the things that work.

      Delete
  4. I am laughing while I read this. Our front door lock was repaired today after about 6 months of not being able to use it because it would only lock from the inside. The dishwasher handle is held in place with black duct tape and the flatware basket is woven with strips from the net bags citrus fruit is packed in. The lever on the toilet in the master bedroom has to be held down for about 45 seconds or it will quit mid flush, and the cover to lint trap on the dryer has to have a gallon bottle of water on it or lint flies everywhere. And those are just the high points.

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    Replies
    1. Excellent! Don't tell your mom!

      Delete
  5. Haha, well I don't like to be provocative but there are a few things on that list you could do surely? The oven light and the other light bulb are really easy jobs. Maybe just put a hose into the spa and fill it up again?

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    Replies
    1. The oven light has been done, the spa has been disconnected from the power and needs serious work done to connect it so no point in that and I really don't like ladders for replacing globes but I take your point!
      In my defence, I got a guy to come and replace the shower glass the same week it broke but I was asked to cancel him

      Delete
  6. Goodness, that's a seriously long list of domestic glitches! But you have the excuse of having kids to look after, which rather pushes household repairs down the priority list. On the whole I'm pretty good at getting things fixed, but the external lights over the back doors haven't worked since we moved in eight years ago! We can get by without them....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have compiled this list over the 20 years we have lived here and you would expect some issues in that time. It's just the length of time before fixes that can get frustrating.
      If you had lights over the door you would wonder how you lived without!

      Delete
  7. Who needs perfection? What we need is a bit of healthy chaos in our lives and it sounds as if you have got your fair share Kylie. You must have the patience of a saint.

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    1. I try to re-frame it and be proud of my adaptability!

      Delete
  8. Neither my son nor I, the two males at home here claim to be Mr Fixits. The Lady Of The House, my daughter in love, simply accesses my list of professionals collected over a quarter of a century and calls the appropriate one to come and fix whatever is wrong. She is very good at it and the two of us never even come to know about it.

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    Replies
    1. Manjiree is your Fix-it angel! I like that

      Delete
  9. Since I live alone and have ten-foot ceilings, I have to get someone to change bulbs or have them hold the ladder and spot me. It is frustrating. My ex could do nothing! Honest!

    I used to be the one to fix things. Now, I cannot get down and reach the bulb in the oven. It seems I don't know a soul who can do that either.

    Oh, the men who installed the stove were standing here and I asked them to level the stove for me. I was told--that is the customer's responsibility. I almost called the store to tell them to have the lazy men just take it back.

    I could make a similar list as yours. Isn't it frustrating to have so many things undone? trouble is, there is no fix-it man here. That would be ten times as frustrating!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your delivery men could have tried a little harder!
      I have to admit these are the most dramatic stories I have collected over 20 years so it's not quite as bad as it looks but it has been frustrating at times. I have felt disrespected, you know?

      Delete
  10. Quite a list! Did you marry Frank Spencer? They could've made a whole TV series with that lot. Lol. How did you survive in one piece?

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    1. You know how it goes, sometimes we dont choose our fate but we still have to make it work!

      Delete
  11. I love he title of this post. There was a time when I would play the piano while my wife installed curtain rods. Nowadays, 54 years after the nuptials, I have actually been known to install a new flush-valve gasket in one or more toilet tanks. Don't tell me a leopard can't change its spots. Guilt is also a great motivator.

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    1. I guess it was nice to have live music while slaving away over a hot curtain rod :)

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    2. I didn't know this about you, although I had wondered based upon your lack of writing about projects.

      Delete
  12. I must be odd. I love fixing things and it would drive me insane if a lightbulb wasn't replaced within minutes of it being discovered faulty (I can guarantee that I used to keep - I've given most of them away as I'm now almost completely LED - a lightbulb that would fit any light in the village). The only problem is that I'm so busy fixing things that I don't have time to do 'proper' things. But that doesn't really matter 'cos I'm happy.

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    1. Fixing things is proper! Just ask anyone who doesn't have things fixed!
      My mum always had a spare bulb in the cupboard and I learned it from her but now we have all manner of energy saving lights it has become hubby's domain

      Delete
  13. I don't understand his insistence that you not even change the oven light, or why you put up with it. I do sometimes put off things but nothing like your husband does, and Peggy often helps with tasks. The problem is that she tends to take over. She's afraid of power tools, not much good with manual tools, and she didn't spend years working as a handyman/remodeler, yet she thinks she's qualified to run the show. She's also a perfectionist, and while I'm no half-ass, good enough is good enough, and consider it absurd to build a fence to the tolerance level of machining a part for an engine.

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    1. To be honest I didnt realise how easy it is to change an oven light!
      Perfectionism is a curse to those who live along side it!

      Delete
    2. "Perfectionism is a curse to those who live along side it!"

      It often makes me unable to feel good about the work I do because I always have the sense that she's looking at my work and finding every little imperfection. I know she can't help it, and I'm glad she wants everything done right, but her perfectionism is a burden. On the plus side, she catches errors quickly, and often makes good suggestions about how to do something. I suppose you know that her hobby is collecting and displaying clothing buttons. It's a realm in which she has complete control, and she mounts those buttons artistically and to the millimeter of perfect balance. When she couldn't find trays that were good enough for her, we started making them. It's one of the few jobs we do that falls under the category of fine woodworking, and surprisingly we do it well together because I know exactly what she expects and how to give it to her. She even enjoys running the router. The only other power tools she will use is a drill and sander. I talked her into using a circular saw once, and she immediately cut through the cord, and wouldn't never use one again.

      Delete

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