home repairs

Exit 252. Traumatized.

[EDIT from spring 2020: This blog is pretty much inactive indefinitely at this point.  The last post below was written in September 2019.  Someone today posted a link to this site on a post intended to get people to check out new blogs.  So if you are reading this for the first time and are looking for a new blog to follow, you might want to check out my other blog instead, which I’m still updating although I just finished a month long hiatus.  Also, as of now there haven’t been any other major problems with the house, and the trip to New Mexico in October was wonderful.]

I haven’t been posting very regularly on this blog, and I don’t know if I ever will be again.  I could blame it on the other blog taking up more of my writing time, but now I’m not posting very regularly there either.

I feel like the events of 2019 have completely traumatized me.  I have had so many things at my house fall apart.  I have spent so much money on repairs and improvements, and many of those either didn’t do anything or just made things worse.  Any time I hear heavy wind, or water running, or even think about rain, I’m terrified that the house is going to fall apart even more.  Sometimes, when I leave the house, or when I go to bed, I double- and triple-check to make sure I didn’t leave any water running, and that the oven and stove are turned off, and lots of stuff like that.  I was almost late to work this last Friday because I kept running back inside double-checking things.

And now I got screwed out of $2600 by a company that didn’t tell me that the product they installed on my house was not completely compatible with the way my house is built.  The first time they attempted to install it, they caused more damage.  They eventually came back to fix that, but they didn’t fix all the damage they caused, and it took them about a month.  I was looking more closely at their work recently, particularly after another home repair professional pointed out that their product might cause more damage in the future.  I took a picture of their project not working as intended, sent it to my contact person with that company, and he basically said he had done enough and didn’t want to talk to me anymore, and that poor construction isn’t his fault.  So now I either cut my losses and consider the $2600 a bad investment, or I take them to court and give myself an even bigger hassle.

So, yeah, I’m a little stressed now.  I have work on top of all this.  And I’m going to be in New Mexico for five days in October, which will be awesome unless something happens to my house while I’m gone.

But I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, because there are some good things happening too.  And I know that I should be trusting God to take care of me, but on the other hand I still have responsibilities that I need to deal with.

So I’m just going to write in both blogs when I feel like it.  Hopefully you guys will stick with me.  Happy last weekend of summer.

Exit 239. The simple solution that was right there all along.

A couple weeks ago, I got home from somewhere in the evening and noticed that the porch light was out.  I took out the old bulb; it was definitely burned out.  But when I put a new bulb in, that didn’t work either.

I tried the new bulb in another socket, and it worked.  So it wasn’t the bulb.  Something in the process of inserting a new light bulb broke the porch light, apparently.  I spent the last couple weeks with the knowledge in the back of my mind that I needed to do something about the porch light eventually.  I was hoping it would be something simple, like a loose wire, but given the way that I’ve had so many home repairs over the last few months, I was afraid it was going to be something difficult to fix requiring me to shell out another large sum of money and work around someone else’s schedule to get fixed.

I hadn’t done anything about it until this morning, mostly because I had been busy and hadn’t felt like dealing with it, and having a porch light isn’t absolutely essential.  But I decided to take a look at it this morning.  I started by unscrewing the bulb to make sure, again, that it worked in another socket.  It did.  And then, looking at the porch light, I noticed something.

When I tried to change the bulb a couple weeks ago, it was dark.  A mix of cobwebs, dirt, and stuff that fell off of or came out of bugs was inside the socket.  Apparently, when I tried to screw in the new light bulb in the dark, this debris had pushed into the socket, making a bad electrical connection between the bulb and the rest of the electrical system.

So I took one of those spray can blowers and blew out as much stuff out of the porch light as I could.  I took a paint brush and brushed more of it off.  And I put the new bulb back in.  It worked.

Sometimes, one can be so blinded by stress and worry so as to completely miss the simple solution that was right there all along.  That is all.