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DIY Fail

Y’all know that when something breaks around here, I’m usually pretty good at fixing it.

Well, I think I finally met my match a couple of weeks ago.

It all started when I woke up one morning and reached into the dryer to pull out what I expected to be dry towels, which I’d put in the night before.

That’s when I had an inkling that something was amiss.

Everything in the dryer was still very much wet.

I wondered if I’d forgotten to turn it on, so I did and went about my business . . . working out, showering, etc.

When I finished, my clothes were still wet.

Y’all, when my stuff isn’t working properly, I don’t function well.

I quickly googled what might be the problem and realized that I could be in for a pricey fix.  I left the Mr. a note beside his coffee . . . just so he wouldn’t miss it . . .

After posting a picture of the note on Facebook, because I’m all about posting everything on social media, or so my family tells me, the Mr.’s cousin sent me a message listing out possible fixes.

The first thing I needed was a multimeter to check the connections of a few parts . . .

I had to do some reading to understand the difference between open and closed circuits.

Then, I began taking the dryer apart – after I watched a video on YouTube . . .

One of the thermostats that controls the heating element

This is the heating element

This is the fuse.

I’m not going to lie.  I don’t think I ever quite figured out how to read the multimeter as I tried to test four different parts.  By that time, the Mr. had found a kit with the parts I needed . . . the more inexpensive ones . . . for only $30, so he ordered it.

In the meantime, we found ourselves needing clothes.

Thus began our weekly treks to the laundromat.  We’d wash our clothes at home and then carry them a couple of miles up the road to dry them.

It had been awhile since I’d had to use the laundromat and couldn’t remember how to operate the dryer.  A lady patiently told me that I’d put my money into the wrong dryer.  Then, we figured out that I couldn’t get my money back, so I had to move my clothes over.  Then, I figured out that I didn’t have enough change, so her husband gave me a few quarters.

Because this is how I do life.

Sigh.

Of course, I didn’t realize, until eighteen minutes in, that I’d set the dryer on medium heat.

I repeat, this is my life.

You’re jealous, aren’t you?

The Mr. visited the laundromat the next day, because we wash our clothes separately, and made the same mistake with the heat settings that I did.

Welcome to our life together as a married couple.

Betcha feel sorry for us now, eh?

Ha!

Unlike me, who did not enjoy the experience, the Mr. actually enjoyed the time he spent there.  He likes people watching.  We’re in a good town for that too.

It’s a good thing though because even after spending a couple of hours installing the new parts when they arrived, the heat still would not work.  The dryer was also making a funny sound when it ran – a sound that had not existed prior to my magic touch.  Ahem.

As a last-ditch effort, I pulled out the Mr.’s wet/dry vac and tried to blow out the dryer vent.

Picture the Mr. standing outside, at 10pm, while it’s cold, looking for dryer lint to fly out.

This didn’t fix the problem either.

I knew, at that point, that the fix would involve a lot more than $30.  The Mr. knew it too, so he reluctantly agreed that it was time to find a new dryer.

Truth be told, even though we’d had our current unit for about five years, it had never really dried clothes all that efficiently.  Simply put, I think we’d gotten a lemon.

So, we spent another week visiting the laundromat until we got our butts in gear and ordered a new one online from Best Buy.

The Mr. thought he was going to get away with getting me a cheap one.

Yeah, no.

I told him that I was going to pay for it, so I could get what I wanted.

We researched the heck out of them, ran to the store to look at them (they didn’t have the models I’d narrowed my search down to), and finally made our decision.

It had really good ratings, and I also liked that this model was made in America . . .

That was last Sunday.

I set up delivery for Friday afternoon, the day after my surgery.

Now, let me tell you that the only place I’ve ever bought big appliances from has been Sears, and I’ve always gone into the store to do that.  It’s usually been a bit of a hassle.

Not so this time.

I signed up for text alerts and was updated and reminded regularly that my appointment was coming up.

Not only that, but someone from the Geek Squad called us two different times to tell us they were on their way.

The second call came about ten minutes before they arrived, which I appreciated because I was in quite a bit of pain, trying to navigate around on my crutches.  I called the Mr., who’d gone to Walmart, and he made it home a few minutes after the delivery guys arrived.

They were well-dressed and uber-professional.  They carefully removed the old dryer and quickly got the new one set up.

As Yoda might say, “Thoroughly impressed was I.”

They even saved me $30 by suggesting that I keep the dryer vent I already had since it was longer and more flexible than the one I’d been required to order with the dryer.  They set up the refund before they left.

Totally cool, eh?

The Mr. and I went back and forth over who was going to use the dryer first.

I won.

Naturally.

He stuck a load of sheets in to help me out since I’m unable to put weight on my bad ankle, and when it was time to turn on the dryer, I took over.

My new dryer has a lot of bells and whistles and a fancy menu screen.

You know me and technology; we are a match made in heaven.

I used the Sanitizing setting since they are sheets that Chicky will be sleeping on the next few nights.  She’s got a lot of allergies, so I wanted everything squeaky clean for her.

The dryer was super quiet and yeah, the heat worked just fine, as evidenced by my hot laundry room.

While I’d love to brag and add another item to the long list of things I’ve fixed over the years, I can’t say that this DIY fail was, in fact, a fail.  I wound up getting an early Christmas gift out of the situation . . . From :  Me . . . To:  Me

Four Phones in Four Days

On Friday, I posted about buying myself a new iPhone.

Well, Chicky came home Friday afternoon, and it was time to upgrade her phone as well.

She’d been drooling over the iPhone ever since our extended family members got theirs last Christmas.

She, Rooster, and I drove to Best Buy, and wouldn’t you know it, but the same associates were there.  It was slightly embarrassing to be there again, but they laughed it off.  Processing my order went a lot quicker.

While we were waiting for the phone to be activated, Rooster started taking a look at the phones on display.

I could see the wheels in his head turning, but there was no way I was paying for another iPhone that day.

Insert Daddy…

As in Rooster talking to Daddy the next day…

About Daddy paying for a new phone…

And us driving to Best Buy straight from the movie theater.

Yes, Saturday found us BACK at Best Buy, with the same associates, buying another iPhone 4s.

While the three of us were talking about and playing with our new phones, the Mr. was sitting by…stewing a bit.

Enter Sunday afternoon, after church…during lunch.

The Mr. started asking questions about the iPhone…can it do such-and-such and such-and-such.

We could all see the wheels in HIS head turning…

Which is why…

We found ourselves driving…

To Best Buy later that day…

And finding the SAME associates on duty…

Chuckling as we walked in…

To purchase our fourth iPhone.

One could have accused us of stalking the Best Buy employees.

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

It was the technology we were after.

We are now the proud owners of four iPhones.

Call us crazy, if you will.

I’d like to think that we have a new family motto:  “The family that plays on their iPhones together is the family that stays together.”

Lame, eh?

But still fun.

We ‘re having a blast sharing the apps we’re finding, how to make our own ringtones (I figured out that one), and how to take screenshots of our phones.

Fun times indeed!!

The phones in order from left to right: The Mr.’s, Chicky’s, Mine, and Rooster’s.  Don’t you think our wallpaper says a lot about who we are as individuals???

Shopping Day with the Family!

The Mr. declared today Shopping Day.

He had a coupon for Kohl’s, and he wanted to take the family out shopping for summer clothes.

Why, pray tell, would I blog about this seemingly everyday task?

Well, because it is highly unusual for the AuburnChick family to do such things…together…these days.  Money is tight, and the kids are growing up.  Chicky usually shops by herself or with friends.  I, on the other hand, cannot stand clothes shopping, so I prefer not to go.

My dislike for shopping goes back to years ago, when we lived in South Florida.  We lived within 30 minutes of numerous malls…most of them much nicer than the one that is in Podunk, USA.  We lived about ten minutes from Boca Raton…shopping mecca for the rich (I’m surprised we were allowed to even window shop in that ritzy area).  We were only 20 minutes from one of the largest outlet malls in the nation.

Most weekends, we stuck the kids in the car and headed out.  We bribed them with food.  I’m 100% pro-bribing, even though all the “books” tell you not to.  What do they know?!

Anyhoo, we spent hours shopping.  The Mr. comes from a long line of get-the-best-deals kind of people!

Oh, and for those of you who are married to men who hate to shop, I will hire the Mr. out on an hourly basis.  He loves to shop!  I used to tell the kids, “Hang in there.  Just keep Daddy happy, and he’ll buy us food.”  And he did.

So, I was less-than-thrilled to go out today.

As soon as we hit the store, we scattered.  Chicky had just responded to my rhetorical comment about my thighs (kids, always tell your Mamas they look good, no matter what they say about their butts and legs).  I got mad because she was her usual, blunt self (some things do not have to be said…”Yes, Daughter, I know that exercise will help get rid of my flab, thank-you-very-much).

But I digress…

I didn’t want to look at Chicky while I shopped, so I went my own way…to the Still Teensy for a 40-year-old Eat Your Heart Out Teenager Daughters Section (otherwise known as Juniors).

Let me tell you…it didn’t take me long to get in the spirit.

Man oh man, but I do love Kohl’s.  This store puts on some great sales, and the clothes are good quality!  They are stylish…conservative, but cute!

I quickly made some selections and headed to the dressing room, where I glared at my thighs a while before trying everything on.

After discovering that yes, I still fit into the same size I wore in high school (not bragging…that’s for Chicky, should she be reading this), I headed to the shoe department…my favorite.

Now, let me ask you a question.  Are you like me and try on the shoes stores have out on display, or do you find the size you need from a box and try that one on?

See, this is where I’m lazy.  I will squeeze my foot into a size 5 if I have to…just to give me an idea of how it looks on me before making the effort to hunt for the right size.

Years ago, stores were dumb.  They put out the smallest sizes possible.  Perhaps it was to discourage people like me from putting their nasty feet into sample shoes.  I don’t know.  But nowadays, they put the bigger sizes out!  Woo Hoo!

I never have trouble finding shoes I like.  Plus, I have longer feet, so there are always sizes available.

I quickly found a pair I liked and headed over to the rest of the family…clothes hanging from my arm.

Chicky’s mouth dropped open at the number of things I had.  She had selected three for herself.  Rooster only found a couple of things he liked.  The Mr. had picked a few.  I had the most.

I heard Chicky mutter, “Of course, Daddy probably won’t say no to you.”

And he didn’t.  The Mr. has a lot of faults (as do I), but he can be very generous, and he knows that where it comes clothes shopping, he never has to worry about me spending too much.  In fact, he knows I never buy clothes and that my dresser is sorely lacking.

So, here’s what we got…

My haul:  Three shirts (all of which I can wear while I teach), two pairs of shorts (love the plaid ones, which are a little longer and cover my icky thighs), and a pair of nice sandals, which I love so much that I took a few more pictures (please excuse my ugly toes…no amount of working out will fix those):

Chicky’s selections were practical…

Love the shirt on the left! Hope she leaves it at home when she goes to college (wink)!

Rooster couldn’t resist the shirt.  The vines intertwine to make a set of drums…

And the Mr.’s haul…

And you know me…ever the deal-finder.  We managed to save a little over $250 during this shopping trip!

The next thing we did was go for lunch at Moe’s, where I had a coupon for a free entree from my birthday (sign up at their website, and you’ll get this coupon a few days before your birthday).

Moe’s is located next to Best Buy, and since I still had birthday money, I asked if we could go in.  What a dumb question.  I was with the Mr. and Rooster (Chicky had departed for the beach).  Boys love electronics!

The store has its Nintendo DS games Buy 1, get the 2nd for 50% off.  The only game I’ve had since Christmas is Brain Age, so I was more than ready for something new.

Here’s what I got…

I’ve spent the better part of the afternoon playing the Mystery Case Files game, and boy is it fun!!

We bought a fourth game, but it’s for my nephew’s birthday.

All-in-all, it was a fantastic day and a great way to kick off Spring Break!

AuburnChick Succumbs to Temptation

BRIEF INTERRUPTION…

Littlest Chick will henceforth be referred to as Rockin Rooster. Thanks, Megan, from the Stitch-It Ravelry forum, for this suggestion! We mulled over each idea very carefully and decided that this name fit the bill nicely, being something he will not outgrow as he ages.

AND NOW, BACK TO YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAM…

AuburnChick has hit the road again. Soccer Chick’s team is playing in a national tournament in Virginia Beach, so we loaded up the car and headed out Thursday afternoon.

Packing for this almost week-long, 13-hour each way trip proved challenging. As fellow knitters, I’m sure you can identify with the following scene.

I arrived home from taking the kids to youth group and decided to get busy preparing for the trip. What’s the first thing a knitter packs when going on a trip? Clothes? Um, no. Toiletries? Wrong-o. Of course, it’s the knitting that goes into the bag first. Clothes and other stuff go in last, and if there’s no room, my motto is that you buy them when you get to your destination.

I currently have three works in progress. This is way more than the one I usually have, but into the bag they went, along with all possibly-needed accessories and patterns.

Next, I decided to pack yarn and needles for the charity blankets I hope to cast on this week. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but I am heading up the West Coast Oddball Baby Blanket project that’s based over on KnittingHelp.com. You’ve seen the other blankets I’ve worked on. Well, wonderful Shandeh, brave leader of the entire project, decided to split the country into regions to make the project more manageable. I was asked to coordinate one region. I’m very excited about this. I created a blog for the project, found here. My region covers the states of California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and Hawaii. If you live in one of these states and want to participate, please let me know. We have a thread going over on Ravelry in case you’re not on KH, so you can stay connected there as well. Or, you don’t have to be a part of either site. Just drop me a line, and I’ll explain how the project works. It’s a fabulous way to use your talents to benefit others…without having to make a humongous time commitment to knit an entire blanket.

Within 30 minutes, I had filled up two bags with knitting supplies. My family was not amused that half of our trunk is devoted to my hobby addiction.

Now, being the techie that I am, I also cannot leave home without my gadets. Enter in my laptop, with its 17″ screen (aka a LARGE computer bag), and my new camera.

Oh, I didn’t tell you about that yet? Well, remember that my old camera was kicking the bucket. It finally quit sputtering and completely died. I just cannot be without a camera. My blog requires the frequent posting of pictures, plus I want to capture every drop of sweat that Soccer Chick works up on the field.

After much inquiring and research, I finally went to Best Buy, where I totally disregarded everything I had previously read and fell into the tech trap that frequently engulfs me the moment I step foot into that place. To be fair, I passed by the $899 cameras. There’s a line I won’t cross, and that was it. Stepping over to the cheaper aisle, I was quickly overwhelmed by all of the shiny gadgets. I was like a kid in a candy store…I wanted everything!

Timing is everything. At that very moment, Mr. Young Salesman appeared at my elbow.

“Hello, you look like you’re confused and thus willing to spend an exorbitant amount of money right now. Allow me to lead you down the path to debt.”

Yeah, that was me alright. And boy did he lead me astray. It was almost like he had chocolate in his pocket, and my sniffers knew that and followed blindly behind him.

Sure, I’ll take that expensive camera that happens to be on sale this week (of course).

4gb memory card, that’s also on sale this week? Of course. Why not. I’m gullible today.

Extra warranty? In case I drop my camera in the toilet? Sure thing! You go boy. Ring it up!

To my credit, I bought the generic camera bag.

I walked out of there the proud new owner of a Nikon Coolpix P80. It’s got 10.1 megapixels and 18x optical zoom. No longer will I have to wait until the second half of the game when Soccer Chick is on my side of the field. I can photograph ever hair of her unshaven leg from across the park, if I want. I’m sure she’ll appreciate this comment, but since she doesn’t read my blog (thinks it’s stupid, but what does she know), who cares.

Here are a few of the pictures I’ve taken so far…

My Leaf Lace Scarf

A Little Slip of a Thing

Pele (Soccer Chick’s dog)…

Molly…

Aubie…

This is Ziggy, Soccer Chick’s teammate’s dog…

I plan on posting more pictures from Virginia. I can’t wait! The scenery is beautiful up there, which should give me ample opportunity to play with my new toy.

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