Saturday, February 25, 2006

Still Around . . .

I'm sorry that I haven't blogged much lately. I try to report good news, and there isn't a lot lately.

Not that anything really horrible has happened. It's just that day-to-day life continues to be, well, quite annoying.

It's snowing tonight. The prediction was for from 2 to 4 inches of accumulation. We already have at least 9. Snow is, of course, a normal part of February in New Hampshire, and this snow, falling on an exceptionally cold day and night, is dry and fluffy and will be fairly easy to remove. But in two important ways, these signs of Winter cause us problems right now.

First, we still live in a very drafty, poorly-heated house, originally designed to be a summer home and never quite properly adapted to year-round use. And the price of propane and wood have both shot up considerably since last year.

Second, my all-wheel-drive Chevy Astro is not, currently, operating as all-wheel-drive. In fact, with the AWD engaged, it is actually fighting me, making it more dangerous to drive. I found myself, during the last snow, just two days ago and only an inch deep, driving sideways down a rather long portion of MIddleton Road. Which made me jittery and extremely out of sorts for the rest of the night.

As you might expect, I have not tried to take the van out in this storm. I also am not quite sure how I'm getting to work on Monday.

And we won't be able to take the van on a planned trip to Connecticut and New Jersey at the end of the week, which means we get to squeeze into Karen's wagon for the long trip.

But I complain too much. You don't need to hear this. And that's why I haven't written too much lately.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

This Is Just Silly

As I'm writing this, it is about 10:30 in the morning, and it is raining outside. We have had quite a bit of rain, and sunshine, and temperatures well above freezing this winter. Today, just looking at the calendar and remembering where I am, I would expect to look outside and see a deep coating of fresh snow, instead of the soggy, thin layer of ice that is the remnant of our last, and not terribly impressive, snowstorm.

I remember that we had a blizzard before the official start of winter, but that is now just a memory. And predictions of colder weather in the coming week don't amount to much: the lowest temperature predicted is 14 degrees overnight, and only for one day. There is snow in the forecast, but only showers with little or no accumulation.

I am not complaining, really. It's kept our heating bill down and allowed us to get our leaky roof fixed much earlier than would have been possible during a normal winter.

But it's weird, you know?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

What a Week It's Been

Last week, we took delivery on a new stacked washer/dryer combination. This was not a proud new purchase, but a necessity as our old washer/dryer broke down, requiring $500 in repair. A new machine costs $700. Easy choice.

Somewhat less easy was finding the replacements machine, but we finally bought it from a local store that had the best price, offer fee delivery and set-up, and could take away the old machine for only $15. Great!

But setting this machine up proved to be anything but easy. When they went to take off the old hoses, they decided that the cut-off valve was broken, because water started spraying out of the hoses. Of course, they hadn't done anything to relieve the remaining pressure in the hoses. I did that when I got home and found them easy to drain. On the other hand, removing the hot water hose proved to be pretty much impossible! As did actually plugging in the new machine without getting trapped in the closet where it is installed. Neither the power cord nor the hoses were long enough for that.

Eventually, they brought the hoses, I bought the power cord, and I ended up cutting the hose connector off the faucet with a hacksaw and a pair of heavy-duty wire cutters. So we are finally doing laundry again. What's really funny it that, except for the knobs and a couple of settings, the machine is pretty much identical to the old one.

And then there's my van. Nobody seems to be able to figure out what's wrong with it. I've got the mechanic tearing his hair out over this, and nobody he's talked to has any insights either. So I'm driving a loaner. It's a GMC Jimmy (a version of the Chevy Blazer) from who-knows-what model year, with a very bumpy ride and hardly any luxuries. But at least it's four-wheel drive to get me up the icy driveway.

Our leaky roof is now fixed, and we should be getting some estimates for the interior damage soon. We'll be trying to have to house back on the market by the first day of Spring, and we are still planning to build a new house after we've sold the old one.

Wish us luck.