“That’s Not a Name, that’s a Major Appliance” — Buy Nothing New for a Year!

We almost made a critical error. I admit this only because the comedic value in our near miss is pure genius. To make a short story long, let me provide some background information. Almost 6 years ago, we purchased a fixer upper that had solid bones and a brand new central HVAC unit, but little else. The previous owners did some “updating,” but literally every. single. thing. they had done to spruce up the home has needed to be undone, simply because it was either done with low-quality parts, shoddy craftsmanship (if you could call it that without insulting real craftsmen) or, generally, a mixture of both.

One of our major pet peeves is our kitchen, mainly because it’s where we spend most of our waking time at home. The appliances we inherited were all dated, but in their defense, they all worked. That is, until two summers ago when our refrigerator up and quit running, which was good, because quite frankly we were tired of chasing it. It was a fabulous early 90’s white, french door model with the freezer on one side and the fridge on the other, neither of which had the room you ever really needed. We were thrilled to finally upgrade to one of the fancy stainless steel “bottom freezer” models, if for no other reason than more cubic footage for our produce-heavy diet. Fast forward 2 years: This past Saturday our “new” fridge started to make a loud noise, presumably from the fan. The warranty tech that came out yesterday to not fix our fridge told us, essentially, that it was our fault that the fan had stopped working, because we have too much produce in our refrigerator. You actually heard that right. We are at fault because we store too much produce. Over time, evidently, this causes excess moisture that gathers and freezes on the fan blades. We are currently defrosting our refrigerator in hopes that the ice melts and the fan magically starts working again. I’ll keep you posted on how that works out. Super glad I purchased that extended warranty for the low, low price of $250.

Great White

Great White

This brings us to the fact that while we were arguing with the store about their inability to honor a warranty, we inadvertently almost purchased a new stove, just because. Actually, what got us talking about this was that In the past week we have two separate people tell us that they smell a faint gas odor coming from our stove. Freaky as this sounds to the general layperson, I happen to think that the gas odor is because we have an older gas stove, and the kitchen fan constantly blows out one of the pilot lights. Otherwise, I feel like it is, albeit ugly as sin, in perfect working condition. However, being a rational man, I figured that while we were at the appliance store, it might indeed be a good idea to purchase a new one. After all, they’re only $500-800, and so shiny and stainless-y and matching my beautiful, broken refrigerator…how could I resist? And of course I’d like to add the service plan!

Luckily reality bit us both at the same time, and we immediately realized that buying a new stove would indeed be “buying something new,” and so we left empty-handed knowing that we will just have to deal with “Great White” that much longer. Besides, I really want a restaurant-grade appliance…not one of those fancy $5,000 models named after a Nordic warrior, but a real one. I figure we can probably find one used out of a restaurant fire sale, and get that 5K look for about the same price as a new standard household stove.

Before. We purposely killed that grass by sheet mulching over the winter btw.

Before. We purposely killed that grass by sheet mulching over the winter, BTW.


After. Can't hardly tell the difference unless you look closely!

After. Can’t hardly tell the difference from this picture unless you look closely! Trust me. It’s fantastic!

In other news, the Backyard Wonderland Project is in full swing! Yesterday was the official kickoff day, as we had our lawn tilled up by a neighbor. I’ve been a bit under the weather lately, and unable to man heavy machinery, so we found a neighbor who is a bit of a landscaping pro, and did a bit of bartering with him to have the lawn tilled. We were planning on seeding the lawn, but have decided that it’s getting a bit late and may need to go with sod. I’ve been on the hunt to find the best deal in town, and will need to take a “home repair/maintenance exemption” on my purchase of the sod as I’ve been unable to find used sod in great enough quantity or quality to finish the project. More on that to come! Over the next 2 weeks or so we will be working on a number of awesome projects, including: building a pergola and raised beds from reclaimed lumber, purchasing a used playhouse for the kids and building it up on stilts (because they love to climb things!), painting our old picnic table to give it new life, creating a cool urban sitting area out the space between our neighbors chain link fence and the side of our dilapidated garage, and finishing some other long overdue home projects. And finally, for now, a coat of paint on the cabinets will be about the only updating our kitchen gets for the remainder of this year!

What do you think?