Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Big improvements, small repairs

It wasn't until we went to clean the house today that I realized how much has changed around here in the past month.

There's a beautiful new window in my office. It's not just a much nicer view of the garden, it's got insulated glass, snug fittings, and an insulated frame. No more drafts at my desk! No more closing the curtains to get insulation!

The basement den has been completely rearranged to create a 7-foot deep area in which to use the XBox, Kinect, and Dance Central. There are probably a few more changes yet to come down there that I'm in denial about, involving large bookcases.

The living room is now in its post-holiday configuration, which is more spacious than usual.

All that's the good news.

The bad news? We're in one of those weeks in which things break. Not badly, and not irreparably, but in annoying and time-consuming fashion.

It started with the annual visit from the oil company to tune up the furnace yesterday. The upstairs is always chilly when we wake up, but this morning it was exceptionally so. The seriousness of the situation became apparent when I went down to the kitchen and discovered it was 52 degrees. All attempts to revive the furnace failed, so I called the company. They apologized and sent out the serviceman, who discovered that some new equipment he'd installed had malfunctioned. He put in yet another piece, and, well, we'll see what the temperature is tomorrow morning.

In the midst of the furnace follies, I went to take a shower and the plastic handle on the shower valve shattered. There is now no way to control water flow and temperature without grasping the metal stem with a pair of pliers. I was reluctant to get scalded, so went dripping upstairs to the stall shower. We didn't get out to the plumbing store today, but "replace faucet" is at the top of tomorrow's to-do list. I sure hope it is a realistic do-it-yourself task and we don't end up having to bring out the plumber.

These things tend to happen in threes. I am now eying the refrigerator, dishwasher, washer, and dryer suspiciously — though they are all four under extended warranty. Clogged drain, anybody?

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