Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Adventures at the Hodgepodge

I don't know why I chose my recent experience. I don't know why my husband chose our recent adventure either. However, we chose to have them and have jointly decided we would rather hit the reset button, reboot and revert back to the previous restore point.

if only it were that easy.

I've heard it said that we choose our experiences for the fun of having the experience. There are lessons to be learned and we shall learn them. I just can't say we're actually having fun even though we continue to laugh in spite of them.


My daughter was home from school last week for Spring Break. Friday we were cruising along taking care of domestic chores, playing together and having a delightful day. I decided to freshen up my hair before meandering off to her weekly piano lesson. Before we left I noticed a twinge in between my shoulder blade and neck. It was what I thought to be a pinched nerve.

By the time we made a necessity stop on the way home, I was in severe pain and desperately wanting my heating pad; something my husband had warmed up and ready to go next to my favorite red leather chair in our living room by the time my daughter and I pulled into the driveway.

Having a difficult time sleeping I found myself awake at 3:00 a.m. when I heard a BAM! and then a thump. Jeriko, our youngest and most mischievous family pet had been put to bed in the art studio so I knew it wasn't him. As I stepped out of the bathroom the lights flickered and our cordless phone made that beeping noise it makes whenever the power returns from an outage. I watch far too many crime shows and began to think "home invasion." I walked around our small, 1100 square foot home to find nothing out of place. I needed to get some sleep so I headed back to the heated bliss of my heating pad and fluffy pillow.

Upon waking hours later on Saturday morning, I discovered that my computer would not boot up, the cordless base still had no power to it and our alarm clocks weren't working. After reporting these inconsistencies to my husband, he too had noticed a power issue in his home office (a detached and enclosed garage). Everything else appeared to be working properly. That being said, my husband reset all the breakers 'cuz that's what you're supposed to do first; check the breakers. Quite frankly, I won't let him do much more than that. While I adore that he's an I-can-do-it-man, sometimes he can't. And while he's not afraid to take on a task and learn something new, I don't always appreciate his learning curve.
Our house is old and these sort of anomalies are not an uncommon experience. I often think our house is possessed or at the very least has a mind of its own. After resetting the breakers we hadn't noticed any change and then discovered the lighted display on our kitchen range wasn't working. It was time to call the power company and they sent out a tech to investigate and repair our power a short time later.

Problem solved...er, almost.

The tech from the power company discovered that the neutral power line had been severed by a fallen tree branch. He trimmed the tree, repaired the line and tested our breakers before departing to his next destination. As I went around to survey the non-working items, I found that my alarm clock was working but not my husband's. My computer still would not boot up. Our cordless base still wasn't working and to my knowledge, neither was the kitchen range.

What the hell?

Most of these items are connected to surge protectors. When I unplugged them from the power strips and connected them directly to the outlet they all worked. The twelve hours of power surges killed our surge protectors. That's easy enough to fix.

...er, later. My neck is killing me.

However, our kitchen range is not connected to a surge protector and the display was still dead. We discovered that the range top was working but the oven wasn't. I wanted a new one anyway.
Waking every time my body shifted and the pain was too much to ignore, I could only sleep a couple hours at a time. Five o'clock Sunday morning I opened the freezer to grab an ice pack . In pain and half asleep, I checked the gauge in the fridge. It was up to 50 degrees.


The fridge wasn't working. I decided to see if unplugging it in an attempt to reset it would work. It didn't. Hours later there had been no change and in reading the manual we learned that power surges could damage the compressor.

oh goody.

A quick call to Sears In Home Repair Service takes care of that; however, in the mean time we are living out of ice chests.

My neck hurts and I'm not having any fun.

Why we chose to experience these adventures in living, I do not know. There are lessons to be learned and things to be grateful for. I would have managed better if I hadn't tweaked my neck and shoulder. There's something about physical pain that intensifies everything else. Small annoyances become major headaches. Things could be worse and it seems that they are. I try not to make a mountain out of a molehill, but it appears that one little molehill is piling up onto another...and another...and another.
Meanwhile, we have learned that we will be purchasing a surge protector for our refrigerator. While it was not the compressor, the power surge did fry an essential piece of our modern, computerized unit as well as the defrost thermostat. I'm grateful I will be able to stop living out of ice chests even if it cost us the price of a new range.

I'm also grateful for the surge protectors I must replace because they did what they were supposed to do and protected the devices we had connected to them. Had they not been protected, the damage would have been far greater. While I could live without a land-line, the majority of my life is on my desktop computer.

I'm grateful that I finally had a solid night's sleep. It has begun to alleviate my pain and I'm taking fewer tablets of Tylenol today.

The refrigerator is fixed and because I had to clear it off to make room for the repairman, I can now take time to thoroughly clean it in its entirety before filling it again with all the delicious food I will have to purchase tomorrow morning.

A blessing in disguise, no?

Just trying to look on the bright side! Wink

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