Posts Tagged ‘living with a do-it-yourselfer’

Another oldie for a busy day. It was written five years ago but the truth still applies.


Roseanne Roseannadanna got a bum rap. People laughed when the late Gilda Radner’s alter ego said, “It’s always something.” But she was right, and if harried country dwellers weren’t so busy, they’d surely get together and elect the hapless broadcaster their patron saint.

Take our family, for example. Lately, life feels like one calamity after another. Granted, much of the chaos has been around family health issues that rendered three of the four of us immobile at one time or another. I’m practically on a first-name basis with the hospital staff and my pharmacist has jumped to the next income tax bracket on our business alone. So I really don’t need any more upsets in my life.

Add to that the fact that I’m married to the world’s most fearless do-it-your-selfer, and you may get a hint of the chaos in which I live.

Our house is “getting on,” and it feels like we’ve been renovating constantly for the past two years. Last year it was the main bathroom, then the deck. He drained our pool and began excavating around it to convert it into a pond, complete with bridge and water wheel. Last month, he removed our carpets and installed new flooring, then ripped out and rebuilt our staircases.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the fact that he’s willing and able to tackle so much, but so many projects on the go can wear you down. It feels like every room in the house is serving as a tool shed, and we’ve lost all control of the inventory!

But back to my point in writing this diatribe. Once again, there is critical illness in our home. This time my loved ones are all fine, but the health of my furnace is a whole different story.

Here I am, on a country road, open to acres and acres of farmers’ fields on three sides, and going through one of the coldest winters I can remember, and my furnace has croaked. Granted, it’s been terminal for about a year now, but we’re firm believers in recussitation. It’s been on life support for a few winters now.

But on Friday morning, around 5A.M., it gave its death cry. It screamed in misery, broken metal clashing within, forcing my husband to disconnect its power and investigate. Diagnosis made, we began our search for a replacement part, only to find it no longer existed. Apparently electric furnaces get a head start on obsolescence.

Luckily, Mr. Fix-Everything-Somehow managed to do a makeshift repair so that we had heat by Saturday afternoon, before the temperature in the house could dip lower than fifteen degrees. But our squeaky, power-guzzling friend will have to go. Not that I’ll miss it. Last month’s hydro bill was over $800.00, due two weeks after receipt. Over a year, spending close to $4,000 on electricity is not unusual for us. That in a time of privatization. Very scary.

Of course, being in the country, we have no gas lines to access, so it looks like we’ll have to take the plunge and convert to propane. Ugly tank at the side of the house (which I hope to camouflage), and we’re promised lower bills. Spooks me a little though, despite reassurances from my husband. I can’t help but imagine riding high on a gigantic fireball one day.

It turns out we’re going to need the extra savings, too. Our old lawnmower/snowplow combo (which has recently received a “Junkyard Wars” rendition of a plexiglass and plastic enclosure) dropped dead yesterday before we could get our long, country driveway cleared. The drifts are now past my knees.

Yeah, Roseanne Roseannadanna was a woman of great wisdom. It really is always something. Think she was a country girl?


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