The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

Just Another Day in Paradise

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We’re back to the age old saying “when it rains, it pours”!! Another day in this (new) old house brings additional and unexpected expenses.

This morning started off pretty good. Our contractor returned early before the rains came and finally finished off repairing the fence. The special order of cedar planks had arrived and they wanted to finish off before our yard got too wet and would make for a really mucky repair. As usual, they did their job and blew out of town as fast as they blew in. But nice job, guys!!!

While the contractor was here our neighbour, Bill, came by and was looking for a quote for some work he wanted them to do. At the same time Nat kind of pulled him aside and asked about our sump pump. Not knowing anything about them, Nat wanted to pick his cute little brain (as he buys and sells homes and has really good knowledge of these things). So downstairs they went and I could hear them puttering around and they were both pointing out additional flaws that the previous handyman (and I use that term loosely) had created, and thank goodness hadn’t quite finished yet. Two peas in a pod and happy talking “guy talk”. I was starting to wonder if Mike Holmes was down there with them!!!

It now turns out that naturally whoever installed the sump pump was cutting corners in a big way. We can only assume it was that little unknown handyman who was in this place before us!! This guy is now starting to sound dangerous to have in your home!! Bill offered to go out and pick up the proper parts and would come by on Sunday to fix things up – bless his little neighbourly heart!!! Total price is probably going to cost us $20.00 and naturally, Nat and I agreed to give him extra “beer” money. So after hearing some really great raccoon stories (poor Bill has quite a few in his attic), along with this huge (and I do mean huge) wasp nest that no one wanted to get rid of for him, Bill was gone to attend to the rest of his daily chores.

Later in the afternoon Nat decided to go back downstairs and was draining the pipe or bleeding the pipe to the water heater (or whatever your suppose to do to the tank every now and then). Suddenly he came running upstairs, quickly explained what he was doing and said he couldn’t turn the valve off. He had a bucket under the pipe catching the water from the tank, had turned off what he could to stop the water from coming into the tank and asked me to call Direct Energy to get the guy out to turn the valve off. He had tried everything he could, but to no avail to turn that thing off.

Within the hour the repair guy came. They were both down there for some time, and the repair guy was suddenly making quick trips up and down the stairs to his van. I waited and waited and waited. I finished watching a show I like to watch during the dinner hour and never get to finish. But this time I was able to see the whole thing. Then I continued to wait and wait some more. Next thing Nat is coming back upstairs and I’m thinking they’re done. Nope. He sits on the couch and starts to explain that we now have to get a new hot water tank along with new piping or tubing that leads to the tank and it was going to cost us over $200.00. Turns out the tank is leaking carbon monoxide (in very small amounts mind you, but it’s still there) and the piping is now against the law and will have to be replaced. The water tank is a rental so that’s not a problem, but it turns out the piping (or whatever it is) will have to be replaced at our expense. Naturally they don’t belong to the water heater and we’ll have to bear the brunt of that repair. Isn’t that always the way????

The repair guy took off all of the new parts he had originally put on, shut down the old tank and called for installation of a new tank as soon as possible. We’re now going to have to spend a day or two (God, I hope not two days) without hot water. So how’s YOUR week going???

So, I’m thinking. Where’s Mike Holmes when you really need him. This bloody little handyman that was wandering around this house before us, and was mucking about with things he knew nothing about, is now really getting on my nerves. I know the hot water tank isn’t really his fault, but he’s now getting really easy to blame. I really don’t want to know whatever else he’s been up to and I shudder to think what may be behind some walls that may some day come jumping out at us!!!! Please, God, let this be it!!!

The weekend is now going to be spent having more repair guys hanging around. Can’t do laundry, can’t turn on the dishwasher and can’t take a shower (egads!!!!). Hope it’s really nice weather this weekend – may have to open some windows! Wish us luck, we may get cranky!!!

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Author: Twila

Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, with 5 sisters and a brother. Now retired, my husband and I travel, play golf and am slowly renovating our new (old) home. After my kidney transplant in 1999, we've learned to enjoy life to the fullest. Nat and I have driven across Canada, taken an Alaskan cruise and drove home via the Northern United States. We've also been to Mexico, the Caribbean, the East Coast of Canada and Cape Breton. We've done the "Snowbird" thing, having lived in Destin, Florida for a couple of months of the year. In 2007 we changed our travel plans in order to move into and renovate our new "old" home, but hope to someday get back on the road again. We also love returning to Scotland (Nat's origin of birth) to visit his family and tour the Highlands and surrounding Isles.

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